From United Airlines' forcible removal of a passenger from a full plane, to Delta's racist cabin crew who refused to believe a black female passenger could be a doctor, and now British Airways' (BA) catastrophic IT meltdown during the bank holiday, 2017 has not been a good year for aviation communications.

Airlines are, by their nature, serious about risk management and invest hugely in the their communications structures to plan for the worse possible scenarios. 

Part of any good crisis planning is to use teams from across an organisation to identify areas of weakness and put in place systems to prevent or, where that's not possible, swiftly recover from crises. 

Hosting a back-up IT system in the same location as the original, as it has been reported was the case with BA, is a basic error that a disaster recovery team should have identified as a potential problem. 

For the passengers stranded across the globe, the issue itself was a of very little interest. What they needed, and rightly expected, was to be told what was happening, what that would mean for them and how BA was going to help them. What is clear is that this didn't happen, certainly in part because BA's own staff weren't kept in the loop by headquarters.

Reportedly over 100,000 passengers have been affected, and IAG, the owners of BA, have seen £500m disappear from its stock value.

The longer term damage, however, remains to be seen as potential flyers question how valued they really are to the airline.