View Full Version : When is a King Size Choc Bar not one?

6th Aug 2004, 14:39
On a recent Iberia flight to LHR, my wife ordered a "Barra de Chocolate Grande/ Chocolate King Size Bar.....74gr " from Tu Menu, on which is shown a picture is shown of a king size Mars. bar. The price for this item is an extortionate 1.50 euro.

However the FA proceeded to take the money and pass a bog standard, 4 bar, 45gr Kit-Kat to my wife. Needless to say my wife kicked up about this to the FA and wanted what she had paid for, or at least chocolate to the weight advertised. After arguing with two other FAs for some ten minutes, the pursers authorised the return of my wife's money and allowed her to keep the Kit-Kat as a "good will" gesture.

The original FA decided to have the last word adding that she was not to blaim, but the Company.

I should add that this flight was already delayed in departure by an hour from Malaga and went to Madrid for an aircraft change, which passengers were advised would take 20 minutes, but infact took 1.5 hours. The pilot, quite rightly had decided that because of malfunctioning systems and weather conditions at Heathrow, that he was not prepared to take the aircraft there.

There were a lot of disgruntled passengers on board, as only a small glass of complementary water was offered to redress this delay. Also passengers with BA etickets were not made aware that all food and drink on Iberia is now chargeable. Many passengers expected more in the way of a food and drink concession, given the delay.

Poor show by Iberia, BA and Oneworld, as passengers especially in Madrid, were not kept informed on the delay or new departure time, merely dumped in the terminal at a departure gate and told to wait. Result : 5.5 hours from AGP to LHR.

Some passengers with connecting flights at LHR were concerned and rightly so, as it turned out. Despite Iberia staff in Madrid and on the aircraft assuring them they would make connections, several arrived too late at LHR for their onward flights.

To finish the day off well, the MAD to LHR section of the flight was given a new flight number. Enter BAA at baggage reclaim, who put up the new flight number that very few passengers were aware of and an arrival from Madrid and not Malaga.

6th Aug 2004, 22:41
Generally BA staff have seen this issue regarding charges with Iberia coming. BA need to be a lot more prominent stating that flights operated by Iberia will find passengers charged if they are on a eurotraveller ticket.

Swiss and Aer Lingus do the same and BA codeshare with them as well.

Mind you on the BA flights the passengers demeanor doesn't seem to improve when the Iberia or Aer Lingus ticketed passengers suddenly find out it's all for free, their still as grumpy.

I don't see where this can be resolved because at the moment BA is still commited to not charging, see where it goes.

7th Aug 2004, 07:31
During a recent opinion survey, I was asked whether I would accept "No food or drink on flights of less than 3 hours". I replied "Absolutely NOT! At places like this (FDH), the check-in gate doesn't open until t/o minus 1 hour. That doesn't leave time to eat in the airport restaurant as we have to be at the gate at t/o minus 30 min. Then after trudging around at FRA there isn't time for a decent meal before the onward flight check-in. So what you might think of as a 0:50 flight from FDH to FRA followed by a 1:20 flight from FRA to BHX would end up as over 8 hours without a meal! Arrive at FDH at 1720, get to BHX at 2320 (CET)/ 2220 BST. Drive home, arriving at 0030 BST. Yes, I darn well do expect to get a reasonable meal on the a/c - and not the inadequate snack which is all LH think they can get away with giving their Business Class customers these days!"

Even Ryanair allows you to pay for a snack and a drink on a short flight - LH Economy might be free, but it's utter rubbish nowadays! But as for a mainline airline like Iberia not providing free in-flight catering included in the ticket price - well, that's them off my list!

Although IB's Business Class catering looks substantially better than the poor LH effort, 'Tourist' class Tu Menu looks pretty expensive. Club sandwich and a beer, please? That'll be 10... Gin and tonic and a packet of nuts? 8.50..

And yes "Barra de Chocolate Grande / Chocolate King Size Bar - 74 gr" is indeed listed at 1.50! If they fobbed you off with something less, then you have every right to complain!

9th Aug 2004, 13:08
The meal problem seems to be a growing one. I travel BA club class in Europe because with diabetes, I need more than a sandwich, and need it at about the right time. If the 1800 flight to Stockholm didn't give me a meal in Club, I'd need to fly much earlier - or the next day. So I'm definitely one of those who expects meals in Club, even when coming from CDG - if you're on a connection, the fact that it's a short flight is immaterial.

9th Aug 2004, 15:53
OneWorld is clearly a misleading title for this group of airlines now.

What a disjointed rabble. The group should be displaying a common image and service to the punter.

Where are the Office of Fair Trading when you need em?

10th Aug 2004, 14:42
This may seem a bit of a silly question but if you want to eat so desperately why don't you get a sandwich in an airport cafe and take it on with you? It'll probably be fresher than what you'd get on board and you'll have more choice/variety than on the plane.

Is it a case of "it's free so I have to have it"?

It's like people who kick off when you don't have their choice of newspaper when you get to the back of the cabin having given out 75 papers already. If you're that desperate for a certain kind of paper, buy one in the airport to be sure you get what you want.


Boss Raptor
10th Aug 2004, 14:57
Yes...but the common (and legal) principal here is you buy a BA ticket/product with BA flight number from BA where under normal circumstances that flight on BA would provide a certain level of service/product i.e. a meal - and then you go on a One World 'PARTNER' note the term - and you dont get that product you have paid for...trade descriptions et al?!

So much for a seamless alliance and standardised service across that alliance which when first vaunted (particularly with One World in the early days when like other alliances this aspect was very defined) many moons ago was what these alliances were aiming for - and as an example US Air was dumped from a pre One World era alliance with BA as BA believed the US Air service and product could not match its own and its customers aspirations...and now with 'One World' it doesnt matter apparently

Aeroflot similarly has struggled for nearly 6 years to achieve a level of service and product to enable them to join the Skyteam alliance - the standards of joining having been set across the board by Skyteam (Air France Management)

10th Aug 2004, 15:13
I don't accept that just because airlines are in an alliance that they all have to be the same as each other.

It seems that just because BA has a complimentary inflight product the whole one world alliance is being slated for inconsistency. I can name differences in products on airlines that are members of other alliances, including on flights that are codeshared with another carrier.

As far as the "trade descriptions" argument goes, that's a non-starter. The contract makes no mention of inflight product, purely to get you from A-B with reasonable dispatch.

At the end of the day, codesharing is something that enables slight of hand for marketing men. Announcing services to a new destination on merit of a codeshare deal does nothing for the average Joe passenger. If the flight's operated by X Airlines you can call it whatever you want it's still gonna be X Airlines.

A rose by any other name...


Boss Raptor
10th Aug 2004, 15:34
The point is and I stress again that when these alliances were originally vaunted to the customer sometime ago now it is true the concept revolved around 'seamless service' that concept is no longer being followed at One World clearly

The so called 'contract' terms of carriage on most airline tickets are unlikely to be upheld in many nations as in many ways deemed 'unfair' or inadequate - the precidents set as such will overtake any 'binding' or upholding of that contract regardless of whatever that contract is for...in this case the term 'reasonably expect' would come into play i.e. pax flies on BA and recieved X or Y and therefore if BA sold him a ticket which turns out he flies on IB he can 'reasonably expect' the service/product he receives on BA - if however pax buys ticket direct from IB then this clearly would not apply - simple and commonplace legal directions particularly seen under UK consumer protection enforcement

10th Aug 2004, 16:19
If you book a ticket through British Airways, online or over the phone and choose a codeshare flight you will be informed. That's the law. Whether you heed that notification is your choice. If you then choose to assume that every airline has the same onboard service then you are bound to come back down to earth with a bump.

In flight service and what you can expect in the eyes of the law... British Airways was using EAL and one of their old 747-200s (co-incidentally ex-BA anyway) during crew shortages to operate LGW-TPA-LGW. BA were taken to court over this by a group of customers who thought they had not received what they had paid for. It was ruled that what they had paid for was transportation from London to Tampa and back, the inflight amenities were not part of the airline's contract with them. You may also recall the ex-AML 777s that had the "extra seat" in economy -- 10 abreast instead of 9. British Airways undertook to ensure 100% disclosure of this to it's passengers not because of any law that governed the provision of inflight services and amenities but as a PR exercise.

Seamless service seems to be dependant on your expectations. What you seem to be after is "identical service" -- with the best will in the world, it ain't gonna happen. The service that BA and it's partners provides is referred to as seamless because you can approach any employee of a member airline for service on behalf of any other airline member. You will get the same high level of service no matter which carrier you approach. Nowhere is it claimed that inflight products are identical, they are of the same "high standard" but not materially the same.

10th Aug 2004, 19:25
Simply not the case.

I examined several BA etickets on the flight.

Not one mentioned the flight was being operated by IB and not one mentioned that catering to normal BA standards was not applicable.

Although I was aware of the no free food and drink, including water on IB (which is a disgrace and is against Spanish Law), I was using paper BA tickets, booked via BA's website. There was no notification of this being an IB flight to the normal unaware passenger, on any paper work or that food and drink was a chargeable item.

The fault here lies with BA and not with IB, apart from water being a chargeable item. Under Spanish law, you cannot deny a person access to a drink of water, without charge in any bar or catering establishment. IB's aircraft now fit that definition and IB need to reconsider their charge for water.

11th Aug 2004, 08:28
Go to BA.com and book a flight to Madrid or Barcelona, then come back and tell me that you aren't informed...

Flight : BA7055 Non Smoking
Operated By : Iberia
Departing From : Heathrow (London)
Mon 30 August 2004, 11:35
Arriving At : Madrid
Mon 30 August 2004, 14:55
Number of Stops : 0
Flying Duration : 2hrs 20mins
Aircraft Type : Aircraft may vary
Economy Catering : Charges apply for food/drink


Boss Raptor
11th Aug 2004, 09:07
uh...and what if a pax. didnt use BA.COM to get his ticket (like most people)...and therefore still remains formally uninformed ?!

BA ticket - bought in 'good faith' from BA (or agent) and not notified on ticket is actually an IB flight...misleading...misrepresentation?!

We could go on like this for hours...btw the example of the BA pax carried on EAAC - it would seem the judge found in favour of the defendant in this case as the judge deemed that BA had done everything 'reasonably possible' to ensure the passengers arrived in accordance with their schedule and most importantly the pax. had been offered an alternative BA service the next day and turned it down in favour of taking the EAAC replacement service - this is why the plaintiffs were blown out as they had chosen/accepted the EAAC option and therefore could not make any retrospective claim re. lack of service etc.

There are at least 7 precedent cases in last 10 years (havent gone back further) of an English court finding against an airline that the standard (IATA type) Terms of Carriage are either unfair and/or do not constitute a binding contract.


11th Aug 2004, 12:09
OK, you're right then. Have it your way but let me say the following first:

1) If you didn't buy your ticket from BA but from an agent then how is it BAs fault if the agent didn't warn you?

2) Information is passed on by telesales agents at BA call centres as it is the law, they have to do it.

3) It is fairly well known that British Airways along with most other carriers posts service information on their website, if you're too lazy/thick/ignorant to bother to look at it or ask questions then sorry, you're gonna get a suprise when you shell out that whole 3 Euro for a bottle of water when you were told by BA telesales that you were flying with Iberia (if it was a travel agent then that's their call)

4) I'm not defending codesharing -- for me at work it's a pain in the ar$e when I'm trying to answer queries about which terminal which flight goes from/ arrives at. To me it seems like bending the truth to say an airline flies to a certain destination purely on the merit of having stuck their flight number on the board in the departure lounge. Why not just sell the flight on the operators flight number (apart from creating problems with the US and other government's suppliers regulations)

Boss Raptor
11th Aug 2004, 12:39
1. By legal interpretation so far seen - yes - the company's 'agent' is acting on behalf of BA (could be a case of joint liability) BA should really print that detail on the ticket i.e they have a 'reasonably possible' defense and would seem an obvious simple solution...so yr flight is on Iberia and no food service will be made and drinks are chargeable etc. (or refer to BA.COM for in flight service detail)

2. ...as above not all tickets sold by BA callcentres or BA.COM and are being supplied through various other conduits

3. Not a defense...again does BA advise you on the ticket to check the website for such data - if yes covered - if no not covered

4. Agree 150% on what you say - make life easier for everybody :ok: