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BA - Lesson 1:01: How To Seriously Upset A Group Of Premium Customers

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BA - Lesson 1:01: How To Seriously Upset A Group Of Premium Customers

Old 6th Feb 2010, 18:26
  #101 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: england
Posts: 17
Strake

BA are having to sometimes bus pax to the stand because BAA haven't finished the construction of the 'C' satellite. Once that is completed the problem goes away.

I thinks it's very unfair that BA attracts a lot of flak for circumstances which are way beyond their control.
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Old 7th Feb 2010, 07:57
  #102 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: London
Posts: 75
I found there is little point writing about your concerns to WW, he doesn't even bother sending a standard reply from his minions which to me shows an utter lack of respect or interest in your customers.

Subsequently my large travel spend is now with other airlines as much as possible.

I was unfortunate enough to travel BA to Dusseldorf last week, forgetting the atrocious state of the aircraft, bundled boarding and sour faced staff. The highlight for me was going to the first lounge ( using up the last ever year of executive club membership hopefully) and being asked to present my gold card for the first time in 8 years.

When I explained I don't carry it but have never been asked for it before, the trumped up little twerp on the counter started ranting on about regulation this and that and BA policy. He then made me go through the entire performance of my address date of birth and various other checks. Astonishing really that the other hundreds of times I have passed through there my boarding pass with Gold written on the top right corner was more than sufficient!
And then we try to defend the airline, I know I have for years but not any more.

Simple facts, BA does not care about its customers or a level of service therefore BA does not deserve yours or my custom.

As far as I am concerned it can collapse on top of the idiot 'running' it.
profot is offline  
Old 7th Feb 2010, 09:25
  #103 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Europe
Posts: 1,420
BA attracts a lot of flak for circumstances which are way beyond their control.
If BA were to take a robust approach to BAA, get on top of problems and potential delays before they turn into disasters, exert severe penalties for failed service, you would be surprised to see how much control it could have.

Companies get the service they deserve, and this applies to what BA gets from BAA.

The relationship between managers at all levels is far too cosy; frightfully gentlemanly, don't you know, never a cross word or, if one escapes someone's lips in exasperation, there is no real force to back it up.

"Beyond our control" is almost always untrue when used as the excuse of last resort by the incompetent.
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Old 7th Feb 2010, 14:07
  #104 (permalink)  
Paxing All Over The World
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Hertfordshire, UK.
Age: 63
Posts: 9,047
spock33
I thinks it's very unfair that BA attracts a lot of flak for circumstances which are way beyond their control.
When BA trumpeted that that T5 was opening and it was world beating and all the problems were over - I did not expect that to mean that nearly two years later they would still be bussing pax.

If they had cautiously announced T5 Phase 1 - and made that clear in all their publicity? If they had listened to the people who did the test pax + suitcase tests, that the system was not working? Etcetera.

For the record, I really like almost all of BA crew and the flights. The mgmt clearly have lost all touch and are now in the endgame. I say this with no joy.
PAXboy is offline  
Old 7th Feb 2010, 16:39
  #105 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: UK
Posts: 1,042
I've been trying to decide why I sometimes pay (from my own pocket) for something other than economy. It's mainly because (when travelling long haul) I arrive feeling much less like death warmed up the more I pay. Access to the lounge at the airport is an added bonus.

But I have to say that I've never experienced any real difference in treatment as I pass through the airport. But then I've never travelled on Virgin. Oh, I've experienced priority boarding which is a bit of a two edged sword sometimes as you sit there watching everyone else struggling past (not all business seats involve a left turn) and priority security (sometimes works), priority check in (not much in it these days with self service). But I've still schlepped the corridors, got on buses etc.

Should I expect a better airport experience? Yes. But then so should everyone.

Should I expect a better service, the more I pay? Ah, there's the real question. There is little doubt that the airport forms a part of my overall travel experience. So, am I buying a better aircraft experience or a better travel experience?

Well, if the airport won't play ball the airline can't do much. And, there are places where the airline doesn't really have an option. As an extreme example I'll quote Iguassu in Argentina where we boarded across the tarmac (no bus, no jetway) in the rain with the Aerolineas Argentinas staff shuttling umbrellas across the tarmac. The only thing they might have done was escort the premium pax instead of leaving us all to get on with it.

In the end the airport experience on a long haul flight is a small part of the total travel experience timewise. It is particularly true that on arrival we all suddenly become equal. Being at the front of the plane should mean being first off which should mean first in the queue for immigration but at many airports that simply means having first choice of which existing queue to join.

I believe that it's not so much about bussing and being pushed in with everyone else so much as availability of buses and jetways. I've had the experience too many times of being told that a gate is not available or we're on the gate but the crew aren't there to operate the jetway, buses are just another part of that problem.

So, do I expect a better airport experience for my extra money? Yes. But in the end I expect it for everyone.
Hartington is offline  
Old 7th Feb 2010, 17:25
  #106 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Outside the EU on a small Island
Age: 75
Posts: 529
@ hartington ... nice, balanced post.

My wife and I travel Club a couple of times a year on holiday to the USA. We can afford to, and we hope for a bit extra for the money we pay - better seating, food and service, and Club Lounge, and priority security and boarding.

To my sadness, the only bit that really happens is the better seating ... the rest, these days, generally doesn't. And I guess that's why I sounding off here. We pay a premium rate for things that don't happen, and I guess the list will be familiar to many of you:
  • Priority Security .. only ever experienced that at STN with MaxJet, otherwise LHR doesn't deliver. Nor does IAD, but then that's been under re-building since the 1990s and remains a shambles for Premium pax.
  • Lounges ... never done VS, but BA are similar to the ones sold commercially for about 30. Possibly not as good.
  • Boarding ... for the first time EVER, on my last trip out of T5, the BA staff were actually trapping the WT pax trying to use fast-track boarding and sending them back to start again. Unlike at IAD, where we were bundled and bounced by [insert race/religion here] family who shoved into the clearly signed queue/line, and then were allowed to get away with it by BA staff.
  • Settling Down ... "Would you like a plastic glass of warm water?" In BA Club?
  • Service ... "White wine, please." "Excuse me, that's warm ... I'll have a red." In BA Club?
  • Meal = average, items missed almost every time we fly. And don't you DARE ask for what's been missed out, like the coffee. My wife is still hoping to get through a flight without being ignored somewhere.
Oh, it goes on, and on, and on. Why do I pay the money? Because, on a 7-8 hour sector, I want some physical comfort. And, as Hartington said, I can actually get off at the end in a fit state to pick up my rental car and drive round the DC Beltway for an hour in a safe state. That for me, is a major factor. Staggering off an aircraft after 8 hours in WT/WT+, spending another hour on Immigration and then car pick-up, is not the ideal scenario for an hour on the Beltway. [Especially today ... ]

And for this rather sub-standard product, I subsidise the folks in WT?

I'm now burning my BA Miles, and wondering what compensation BA will give me if my next flight [due to IA] results in me being given a cardboard snack-box instead of the usual "adequate" service that I've already paid for.
Two-Tone-Blue is offline  
Old 7th Feb 2010, 18:01
  #107 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Isle of Man
Posts: 583
TTB like you I pay my own way. Four returns each year in BA First, over 30 grands worth. Last year I used BA Miles for three trips, and Airmiles for the fourth. Now I'm about to book my first First for a while with my own cash and I'm really wondering whether I should try something else. Yes the seat is great but the service on the aircraft is not as good as it was (the food and wine are now pretty average, unless you like leaks and beetroot), and the service on the ground (other than the Concorde lounge) is identical to that enjoyed by those in Y.

Yet for the fifteen years previous I've been a happy BA First pax. They really have screwed it up, and one wonders whether the bankers, if and when they return, will take notice and reject this crappy product range as I am going to do.
Haven't a clue is offline  
Old 7th Feb 2010, 18:16
  #108 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Outside the EU on a small Island
Age: 75
Posts: 529
Interesting, Sir!

The Memsahib and i were just discussing the possibility of going F ... and decided "it's probably not worth it". As you are about to discover, using your own tends to focus the mind a bit more!

Sadly, my required sector is only served by BA, VS and a couple of US carriers I wouldn't bother with. As I've noted on other threads, "I could get used to the purple/red colour scheme" although other Pruners have said that's gone downhill as well.

Bloody British financial crisis, eh? I'll just have to grit my teeth and pay for the 'privilege' of having modest comfort. And bemoan the fact that I don't really feel I'm getting what I pay for.
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Old 7th Feb 2010, 18:39
  #109 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Isle of Man
Posts: 583
Being a dinosaur I remember when you were escorted from the First check-in desks through security to the lounge. Of course you were on your own thereafter. But it was a nice touch, as was the cart that was wheeled out with the food service, and the Dom Perignon. And on arrival at SIN (and only SIN) your bag was first off and waiting for you in the baggage hall. (Although you now have a seat to yourself and the IFE doesn't fail because you have accidently spilt your drink on the long suffering tape player under the armrest..)

Now you may or may not get cashews, you may or may not get a hot towel, you may get fed immediately or left for ages, the scrambled egg is not what it used to be, I have better wines at home and I can't even have the simple pasta snack I used to enjoy. The only thing that works is the seat!

Incidently I wonder why, when designing T5, they didn't put a security route from the First check in area straight to the lounge. Now you have to muck in with the other plebs in the (not really) Fast Track route. But you can then turn right and staright into the lounge, avoiding the retail mayhem and the hoi polloi
Haven't a clue is offline  
Old 7th Feb 2010, 19:02
  #110 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Outside the EU on a small Island
Age: 75
Posts: 529
The only thing that works is the seat!
Lucky you ... twice in the last 4 trips the Mem's seat hasn't. Once for a video failure and once for not motoring fully-upright. On both occasions SHE got ticked off by BA cabin crew. But then we were only in Club.
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Old 7th Feb 2010, 19:05
  #111 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: UK
Age: 62
Posts: 386
two tone

i read your posts

you have not tried VS to IAD upperclass

well for your money you will prob get a limo to the airport,
check-in/bag drop is minutes,
you get VS own security area accessed by the bar code on your boarding pass,
and in 5 minutes you are in the Clubhouse where you eat and drink yourself
stupid before you board and have your hair done if you wish...
the lounge is the best bit for sure,
the boarding usually means you get on quick (can be a shambles overseas)
they rarely bus at LHR (inbounds do sometimes but its rare, except in the mornings)

on board,
well,
sometimes it reminds me of going into a tacky sparkly 1980's disco and other times its very calm and reserved...and that can be the crew too!
the boarding music can be a din...too loud...
the mood lighting and the ambience sometimes can be superb...
the crews can be great and fun, once you get over the fact they have sparkly eye shadow on and look like cheryl cole, (that's the boys) lol joke,
no big ol grannies here ala BA...
although i do like the older ladies at BA very much...most are very sweet and
very pro.

the seat,
its private, maybe abit narrow for some,
the middle seats are wider in many cases than the window seats,
you can sleep, you get nice duvet and jim jams...

the food on board...
eat in the Clubhouse and go to bed...(on night flight)
food has the lost the plot on many flights i have done,
less of it and quality is much lower than ever.
you wont go hungry though, you can ask for more...

day flight?
frankly the virgin premium economy seat and cabin is great for 8 hours, maybe even LAX,
but take a picnic hamper with you. you will starve.
the food is better than Y but not loads of it.

at the other end,
in Upper your bags SHOULD come off first,
you will be off the plane first and sometimes you get immigration fastrak or
there is no one there anyway.
and a limo to your hotel or place...

only trouble is VS is inconsistent whereas for your BA was always the same,
always had good flights on BA in all classes but i have not been on BA long haul for maybe 3 or so years now...
last time was BA First from Cairo and was called 'mate' by the steward...
ummm i'm not a chavv

give VS a try to washington, you might like it
rog747 is offline  
Old 7th Feb 2010, 20:48
  #112 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: England
Posts: 731
the crews can be great and fun, once you get over the fact they have sparkly eye shadow on and look like cheryl cole, (that's the boys) lol joke
followed by

last time was BA First from Cairo and was called 'mate' by the steward...
ummm i'm not a chavv
Fargoo is offline  
Old 7th Feb 2010, 20:49
  #113 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: South of France
Posts: 1,035
Rog747
If I may say, an excellent and very accurate description of VS.

I completely agree with your comments that the onboard part of the journey with them has lost its shine recently. Where VS really gets it right (as I tried to explain earlier) is the non-flying bit..limos, clubhouse and dedicated security.

HaC and TTB,
It's all relative but I would not spend that amount of personal money on BA F. Perhaps if they gave the VS level of "off-aircraft" support, then yes but the cabin service (I mean product not people) is still not up to scratch and certainly nowhere near that which I think you both probably experienced previously.
strake is offline  
Old 7th Feb 2010, 21:26
  #114 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: On the flightpath
Age: 57
Posts: 355
Has anyone tried the PrivatAir service operated for LH out of DUS and LX out of ZRH to New York? How does that compare to the BA experience?
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Old 7th Feb 2010, 21:46
  #115 (permalink)  
Paxing All Over The World
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Hertfordshire, UK.
Age: 63
Posts: 9,047
Likewise, any first hand experience of the BA LCY ~ JFK operation?
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Old 8th Feb 2010, 07:20
  #116 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: UK
Age: 62
Posts: 386
lon city - jfk BA

my pal just did this from LCY and back with BA
said it was marvellous

cant say more at the mo but he is a big hi-flyer and also lives in FRA
so for him to say it was good knowing what he's like then it must have been good,
stops in SNN o/b for fuel and clearing customs said it was a breeze
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Old 8th Feb 2010, 08:04
  #117 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Yearning for sun and sea
Age: 78
Posts: 248
I have just returned from Denver with BA in Club where the flight out and back was on time and the service faultless. The new flatbeds were a vast improvement and just about fitted my 6'4" frame.

I guess I am one of the few satisfied customers of BA!!
GANNET FAN is offline  
Old 8th Feb 2010, 08:48
  #118 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Outside the EU on a small Island
Age: 75
Posts: 529
@ Rog747 ... thanks for the dissertation on VS. Informative and useful. Our last VS trip was about 4/5 year ago [in PE] and was OK - apart from the fact that, when we checked in, my wife [who had paid for the tickets] wasn't on the manifest! Quickly resolved, though. Even then we had noted a bit of decline in the on-boad service ["financial imperatives", I guess] compared with previous trips. We're still keeping an open mind for September - a lot hinges on what BA delivers for us in April.

@ Gannet Fan ... from intensive reading on the CC Forum, it appears that standards of service can vary according to the popularity of the route with the CC, especially on long-haul. Denver [or at least the crew's hotel] may be better than the option given them on the Washington run [where I would guess they're lodged in Herndon, miles from anywhere of merit].
Two-Tone-Blue is offline  
Old 8th Feb 2010, 10:13
  #119 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: UK
Posts: 193
Intersting pricing on LCY-JFK.

If you want to travel on Sunday then can get for about 2k return.

Midweek can pay as much as 5k return. Outbound flights (stop shannon to refuel I suppose and replace crew) are as much as 2.5k less than the return. I am guessing these people will go to LHR for outbound.

So people value their time at 2.5k not to stop at shannon, but to hack across london to LHR and then fly non-stop?
Scumbag O'Riley is offline  
Old 8th Feb 2010, 10:56
  #120 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Abu Dhabi
Posts: 294
The Privatair product on the ZRH EWR route is a bit aged now to be honest. Old style seating and poor IFE. The newer SWISS A333 with their new business seating is better, even if I prefer Newark over JFK.
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