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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 29th Jan 2010, 10:06
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BA - Lesson 1:01: How To Seriously Upset A Group Of Premium Customers

Offer "World Class" service to First and Club passengers with promise of exceptional experience.

Outward:

- Having called passengers to the "Gate", cram them on a bus for a tour of the T5 area following slow moving baggage carts and other ancillary airport vehicles. Then, disgorge them onto a rain and windswept apron where they can fight amongst themselves to get onboard.

- In case of First passengers, escort to seat and ignore.

- After take-off, apologise for lack of welcome due to "operational difficulties" with newspapers, food and drink service.

- Offer menu with reduced selection of food and drink

Return.....

- Place senior BA manager in seat 1A and spend considerable crew time visiting and chatting etc.

- Before arrival at Heathrow, make "apologetic" announcement about requirement to bus from aircraft to "gate" but reassure everyone that this is a "slick operation".

- On arrival at the stand, senior BA manager has dispensation to jump out of seat before aircraft "comes to a complete stop" and bustle past fellow First and forward Club passengers to door 2.

- Despite having at least twelve hours notice of aircraft's arrival, make "apologetic" announcement that the previously mentioned busses are inexplicably delayed.

- Having opened door briefly to let senior executive manager deplane into a waiting BA van, make another vague announcement that busses "are on the way".

- Give frosty response to irritated passenger (American) who complains, reasonably, that perhaps the operation needs looking in to.

- After 15 minute wait, make upbeat announcement (inferring personal negotiating success) that busses are now here and everyone can happily make their way onto them. Force as many people into bus as possible, encouraged by shouts and orders from driver and various ramp staff.

- repeat outward bus journey through traffic lights, slow moving traffic etc.

Charge from 3500 to 9600 for the experience.

Last edited by strake; 29th Jan 2010 at 19:46. Reason: spllng
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Old 29th Jan 2010, 10:34
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Apart from the occupant of Seat 1A, that sounds just like the last few times I've flown with them. A deeply disappointing experience. You either failed to mention the inadequately chilled white wine - or perhaps you were lucky.
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Old 29th Jan 2010, 11:49
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this is the norm !!
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Old 29th Jan 2010, 18:05
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Strake

All you can do is vote with your feet.

I have been working in London this week and need to go to the middle east tomorrow.

I am taking BD.

Too much stress flying BA (if they are not on strike.)
 
Old 29th Jan 2010, 19:03
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And some folk sneered and sniggered at Lufthansa's First Class terminals when they were first announced....
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Old 29th Jan 2010, 19:20
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I fail to see why so very many pax continue to use BA.
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Old 29th Jan 2010, 19:26
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Company policy

Company policy is why I'm flying BA to Washington in a week. They are the cheapest Business Class from here. I tried to get on the non-stop UA flight (not that their Business Class is that great, but it is non-stop) and they were quite a bit more.
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Old 29th Jan 2010, 21:20
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Any chance of naming dates, route or flight numbers?
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Old 29th Jan 2010, 21:41
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Any chance of naming dates, route or flight numbers?

.... or the senior BA manager in seat 1A, who should be very, very ashamed, both of his behaviour and his company's failures.

All you can do is vote with your feet

No, it's not - complain loudly, bitterly, and directly to WW, who I fervently hope sees this thread and acts upon it.

Jack
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Old 29th Jan 2010, 22:07
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I agree
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Old 30th Jan 2010, 07:09
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complain loudly, bitterly, and directly to WW, who I fervently hope sees this thread and acts upon it.
No, he's too busy to bother about premium passengers, he's still trying to erode terms and conditions of staff.

So nothing has changed since the 60's when BOAC were bussing to and from terminal 3. The only difference was passengers didn't have so far to climb on a 707/VC10.

When BA get their A380, I wonder how many buses they will need then????
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Old 30th Jan 2010, 08:01
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So as it's not the passengers fault then, why should they suffer?
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Old 30th Jan 2010, 08:12
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No, it's not - complain loudly, bitterly, and directly to WW, who I fervently hope sees this thread and acts upon it.
I did, for two years.

Never got a reply, only a standard response from customer services.

Nothing got better, only worse, e.g. removal of hot towels from CE, cutbacks in CW.

Thus my comment.
 
Old 30th Jan 2010, 09:41
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Any chance of naming dates, route or flight numbers?
9 times out of 10 the Newark flights will park at a remote stand. Getting a bus in is a greater social leveller....

I'm like F3G there, going to the Middle East with Swiss in Feb, not BA.
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Old 30th Jan 2010, 10:44
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I'm all for customer choice, and the power of the customer. As a frontline BA employee, I am one of the "apologists" that you hear when the buses don't turn up or the BAA jetty doesn't work, or the deicing rigs arent allowed on a stand to de-ice because the BAA H&S police have forbidden it.
If BA goes under, who/what do you think will replace them? Do you think the new incumbent will fare better given LHR's creaking infrastructure?
Are you willing to pay more to expand and upgrade Heathrow Airport?
Sadly, for UK plc, most of us aren't willing to pay. Thankfully, for the residents of Sibson, we have procedures to follow before peoples' houses can be bulldozed to make away for improvements.
Anybody that has transited through DXB or PVG can see the advantages of a totalitarian state with their brand new state of the art terminals.
I'm afraid , that thanks to planning constraints, buses are necessary for the life of T5 and T3.
It would be nice if BA could get its own way at its home base like AF do at CDG or LH at FRA. However, that wouldn't sit well with the British way of fighting with one arm tied behind your back.
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Old 30th Jan 2010, 11:02
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Hunterboy

OK, yes, it's all very unfair. But much of what goes wrong for BA at LHR and elsewhere cannot be blamed on the British way, except to the extent that BA staff operate in the British way.

with their brand new state of the art terminals.
Hmmm......I was under the impression that T5 is supposed to be exactly that.

Most of the complaints in this thread stem from incompetence and/or simple lack of any sense of urgency to do things as well as they can be done instead of just adequately.

Failure to meet an aircraft on a remote stand with the steps and transport, at the instant the brakes go on, is INEXCUSABLE. Failure to organise the right catering at the right time ditto. Other airlines and handlers at LHR get it right; why can't BA?

The problem with the senior manager is one that BA has failed to put right for the 40 years I have known the company, worked for it, and handled it at several long haul route airports. As a contracted handling agent, I once had to forcefully request a senior BA manager to give up a first class seat for an overbooked full fare passenger, and go, heaven forbid, into economy. My report about his attitude and behaviour arrived simultaneously with his about my lack of respect for his position and status. I still treasure the formal complaint from BA about my action; "The correct procedure would have been to ask the passenger to downgrade with a refund in the form of MCOs and if he refused to offload him and rebook on the next available flight, with accommodation at BA expense".

Ancient customs die hard in BA, and that is its main problem.
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Old 30th Jan 2010, 11:35
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When I had problems with BA a few years ago, and wanted to try to to find solutions rather than voting with my feet - as I subsequently did - I tried getting someone higher up the pile to listen. Complete waste of time, just standard cut and paste responses from minions to whom the letters are passed back. Persistence was ultimately rewarded by letters that weren't standard cut and paste but simply obfuscated or avoiding answering my concerns, and 'after reviewing this we have decided to close our file on this matter'.

That's not totally true, after one of my letters in which I said I would strenuously avoid flying BA in the future (never say 'never') I was sent a 100 voucher for - you guessed it - duty free shopping on board a BA flight.

This is the contempt with which they treat passengers, and the level is irrelevant, thus it's no wonder this morning's news states that they are heading for a 1 billion loss British Airways heading for a 1bn loss - Times Online. Whilst I have every sympathy for the majority of their staff, decent hard-working devoted people, I hope they will be able to weed out the trouble makers and ensure management changes. The rot starts at the top.
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Old 30th Jan 2010, 14:35
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Hi there,
I'm a die hard BA fan (well my Company switched their business travel to BA a couple of years ago) and so we have little choice. But when the service has gone wrong and I've moaned and moaned I have got a result out of them. You need to escalate your complaint and hit them with as many facts of the case as possible. I found it also helps to cc my letter to BA's Chief Executive.

I still rate BA and their crews are just about the best in the business but SIA, EK and CX run them very close.

Keep trying and don't give up on BA.
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Old 30th Jan 2010, 15:03
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It would be nice if BA could get its own way at its home base like AF do at CDG or LH at FRA.
Strange, I could have sworn that LHR (& all that is therein)belonged to BAA as part of Ferrovial & BA paid rent for the second rate shopping centre with adjacent aircraft parking slots called T5. I might be wrong, but that suggests to me that BA are only tenants of T5, & its the owner really has the final say.

Then again, I suppose that if BA actually owned their own "home base" there would be more emphasis on getting passengers onto and off aircraft in a timely and stress free manner, rather than hassling passengers through aggravatingly claustrophobic transit security before soaking their wallets for spurious, expensive and innecessary purchases........
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Old 30th Jan 2010, 15:12
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Dan Air 87

....when the service has gone wrong and I've moaned and moaned I have got a result out of them. You need to escalate your complaint and hit them with as many facts of the case as possible. I found it also helps to cc my letter to BA's Chief Executive.
If you feel that this is the correct way for a company to handle complaints, then your definition of what constitutes customer service, and mine, are rather different. In fact, in those words, you pretty much summed up what's wrong with BA.

I'll add a little extra to my complaint. When I mentioned my concerns to someone I'd met in a different context, and who happened to be a BA sales representative for the travel trade, she told me that if, in my complaints, I'd told them I was in charge of the travel budget for a department of a multinational company, and had written on company letterhead, they would have 'sorted things out'.

That was just another nail in BA's coffin for me. It should not be necessary to 'pull rank' to achieve a result. A complaint from Fred Bloggs should be treated the same as a complaint from the head of XYZ Corporation. The reality, as we all know, is that not all beings are equal, but for this woman to have the gall to tell me this just knocked in another nail.
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