YOU report today on yet more family holidays disrupted or ruined by flight cancellations (“'Carnage’ as 150 flights axed and passengers left to wait for hours”, The Herald, June 2). I empathise with parents who’ve queued at airports for hours with excited children, only to have their flights cancelled at the last minute and to be faced with a repeat performance at anti-social hours the next day.

Having worked in the aviation industry for 30 years, I’ve found it hard to resist throwing things at the TV when yet another industry boss blames Covid, the Government or somebody, anybody, else. They say they had to “let people go” during the pandemic. Oh no they didn’t: they made thousands of loyal, long-serving staff redundant and slashed the wages, terms and conditions of those they kept on. Now they’re surprised that their former employees aren’t flocking back to work on inferior contracts. Unlike their bosses, of course; for example British Airways’ parent company IAG, which wants to increase the bonus it pays its CEO Luis Gallego from 100 per cent to 150% of his salary of £656,000.

Little wonder that BA ground staff start balloting next week for industrial action over pay. If they do go on strike, it’s likely to be during July, normally the busiest month for summer getaways.

Having ground down pay, BA now can’t even find enough captains to fly its aircraft at Gatwick. So desperate is it that it has come up with a scheme to promote First Officer co-pilots from sister Spanish airline Iberia, who will be given a short course then appointed as BA captains. BA could easily recruit UK-based pilots, including from the 250 it made redundant, if it offered market rate for the job, but it has cut wages so much that the package on offer isn’t attractive. This is the same tactic used by P&O, and it adds credence to the claim that recruiting from overseas is used by employers to push down the wages of UK employees.

Front-line workers all over the UK have had enough of slogging their guts out to keep the operation going while their bosses attack their pay and conditions, and award themselves fat bonuses for doing so. It’s going to be a difficult summer.

Doug Maughan, Dunblane.


THE massive oil refinery in Grangemouth now relies on "fracked" gas being shipped across from America to keep it going, which is crazy when we have the potential of fracked gas on our doorstep.

Fracking gas when done responsibly is reliable and safe and has transformed America's energy self-sufficiency, as it could well do in the UK.

We are now facing dramatic worldwide changes in price and supply chain sources and need to consider all options to keep energy prices under some control. Fracking should be considered as part of that energy policy.

Dennis Forbes Grattan, Aberdeen.


GONE are the days when you could sit and quietly watch and enjoy a great game of tennis. The French Open tournament is a prime example.

We have the players grunting, screaming, and shouting at the umpire and line court judges, not to mention them having tantrums and smashing their rackets.

Then we have the crowd, who scream and shout between points and continue to do so even when asked to stop. These mindless individuals have no thought for others who are trying to enjoy the match and it becomes more of a task for the umpire to not only umpire the players but also the so-called fans.

These individuals should be thrown out to allow normal play to resume.

Let's get back to watching this great game with both players and spectators behaving as they should.

Neil Stewart, Balfron.


RE the recent correspondence on skewed grammar (Letters, June 1 & 2): my pet hate is when an "educated" speaker uses the word "mitigate" as though it acts like the word "militate".

"Mitigate" takes a direct object where "militate" is followed by the preposition "against".

When (and it happens regularly these days) such luminaries use "mitigate", they employ the pattern reserved for "militate". Whenever I hear that particular solecism, it acts on my mind in much the same way the squeal of a fresh stick of chalk on a blackboard sets my teeth on edge.

There are other examples which annoy me equally but they can wait for another day as they represent "mair o' horrible and awful that even tae name wad be unlawful".

Denis Bruce, Bishopbriggs.


YOUR photo of Glasgow's Queen Street station ("Queen Street station, 1965", The Herald, June 2) sparked a question: is Queen Street today the only mainline railway station in Scotland, the UK, Europe and possibly the world, wherein you cannot obtain a newspaper, a coffee, a snack or even a packet of tissues? I suspect the answer is yes.

Simon Paterson, Glasgow.


I LIKE the sales pitch of the NS&I retail sales director who effused that “the sense of anticipation and expectation that rippled across the nation in 1957 is still present among our customers today as they wait with bated breath for the results each month” ("65 years since first Premium Bond win", The Herald, June 1).

With a £1 Bond dated 1957, and others of more recent vintage, am I alone that my exhalations remain unsuppressed each monthly draw?

R Russell Smith, Largs.


JOHN Gilligan (Letters, June 2) praises the Odeon in Kilmarnock for its fast food.

Isn’t it possible to sit through two and a bit hours of film without eating?

The smell of fast food and the noise of people eating it has kept me away from the cinema for many years. As well as that there are the people who chatter throughout, some playing with their smartphones and others trotting up and down the aisles to replenish their diminishing stocks of crunchy snacks and vats of fizzy, sugary drinks. If the current trend continues, and I expect that it will, it is unlikely that I will ever return.

David Clark, Tarbolton.