Whilst I have found many things interesting in this forum, my degree of participation has diminished for several reasons. Firstly, while logical given the nature of the publication and the audience, I find the Forum too UK (read: London) centric. Secondly, regardless of topic we end up in some sort of discussion about all things BA. Thirdly, despite all good intentions from the publisher, the technology behind the forum leaves much to be desired. Furthermore, we now have an excellent Forum in Sweden developed by true travel/Forum junkies with the right level of topics, participation, banter and interest. In two years, we’ve had one or maximum two threads that have malicious and viscous. In this case, the threads have been closed by the editorial staff. Finally, whilst I don’t get involved in the bickering, I find it rather sad having to scroll through tons of unnecessary verbiage to find the useful information.
I disagree with the Right Hon VK when he states: It’s really a forum for entertainment…” To me, it is a forum for like-minded, smart business travellers looking for news, great deals, and perhaps inspiration to try something new. An internet forum is to me a place to share best-practises, ideas and experience with people of roughly the same interest.
My other forum works with simple Ts&Cs. I have taken the liberty to translate:
On the xxxx.se site, we care for each other. The forum is build upon communal help and respect. Personal attacks, provoking posts and so called “trolling” is banned. Focus on discussing the topic, not the user. Obviously, different opinion should be discussed as adults, but personal attacks are never allowed and as a user you can be barred from the forum if you break these rules.
8. If you break these rules
If you break these rules, or if you disregard the moderator’s suggestion the course of action can be a warning or suspension. If your actions are deemed to be severe, we may elect to delete your profile. Attempts to create new accounts to circumvent this will lead to complete lock-out from the Forum.
Obviously, some of the above are hard to monitor and to enforce. Given you are providing personal details when registering, but are allowed to keep anonymous public profiles it is easier to enforce.
I want to for the third time however, offer the wise words of John Henson, the lovely Irishman fronting the smallish rock band U2. At a concert weeks after the London July bombings, he said: “I would like to offer a prayer for all the victims and the victims’ families. I would also like to offer a prayer, that we don’t become a monster in order to defeat a monster”. Life is too short to get wound up about how many seats there are across the Club World cabin or that someone is willing to fly in-direct via Timbuktu to save money and have (in their opinion) a better customer experience.
The people in this forum are privileged. I can count about a hand-full of people in my social network who’ve been in business class or First. Most make more money than I do, but elect to travel differently.
If we look at our travel and our ability to travel in premium as a privilege not a right, I think a degree of humility will set in. With humility comes consideration to others and we can avoid this unnecessary bickering and small stuff.
With that, I sign off using a phrase from my favourite travel-related film ever:
“Cpt Over, Cpt Roger, Cpt Dunn… Roger, Over, Dunn….. Dunn, Over, Roger”