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British Airways Centenary Becomes A PR Nightmare

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British Airways Centenary Becomes A PR Nightmare

Old 27th Aug 2019, 11:08
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British Airways Centenary Becomes A PR Nightmare

Martin Rivers at Forbes Magazine rather neatly encapsulates the current problems at British Airways......

British Airways poured money into marketing this year by re-painting four of its planes in heritage liveries and running a series of TV and online advertisements hailing 100 years of flight by the flag carrier. The campaign – which drafted in celebrities like Olivia Colman – sought to rekindle BA’s historic reputation as “the world’s favorite airline”. Yet the company seems oblivious of the thing that made it popular in the past: looking after customers.
Read the full article here
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Old 27th Aug 2019, 12:24
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Says it all really, and rather eloquently.

It’s all so sad and unnecessary; surely the time has come to ring-fence some of the profits to secure the airline’s future and then invest the remainder in improvements to the basic day-to-day operation.

As a small example: the way we treat our wheelchair users is a disgrace. Third-party providers are consistently failing to deliver an acceptable service. For about £2m per annum we could do it ourselves and become recognised as market-leading in this regard.

Virtually every other area of the LHR operation needs more staff. The catering offered to premium passengers is an embarrassment and I feel sorry for our cabin crew who have to apologise for it (or lack of it).

The irony is that the general public are on our side and realise that it’s not the fault of the staff at the coal-face. They desperately want us to succeed but also want to see a vast improvement in the whole “customer experience”. Yes; lounges and aircraft seats are being improved but that doesn’t make up for chaotic data breaches, IT failures, lost bags and being told that you can’t have the chicken because another passenger has taken the only one and by the way we’ve run out of bread rolls too. Don’t get me started on waiting for stand guidance and stuck chocks!

I used to be proud of working here but now I keep quiet unless I get asked.

I’m not a business man and fully accept that I’m probably missing something but I do find it strange that our management can’t seem to grasp these basic concepts. How much profit is enough?
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Old 27th Aug 2019, 13:09
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As a small example: the way we treat our wheelchair users is a disgrace. Third-party providers are consistently failing to deliver an acceptable service. For about £2m per annum we could do it ourselves and become recognised as market-leading in this regard.
Alot of airlines would love to take over but this is not permitted as it is the responsibility of the airport to provide such services as per EU regs. It is a contracted service that is decided through the airport AOC.
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Old 27th Aug 2019, 13:21
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Couldn't agree more. I am ashamed and embarrassed to be associated with this organisation. Once upon a time, I was proud to work for BA. Customer Service is a thing of the past. To Fly, to serve? Who are we serving? We have lost touch with those who pay our wages. Across the range of products, look at LH, KL, AF....... we are a poor runner up in each case.
We are now an increasingly US run business, with US standards which isn't always what is wanted elsewhere. Let's look again at OUR culture.
Whinge over.
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Old 27th Aug 2019, 13:35
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Originally Posted by Icerefugee View Post
Once upon a time, I was proud to work for BA. Customer Service.
Once upon a time, I was proud to be a BA passenger. No longer, the airline is almost an embarrassment to the UK. Where are the decent in-flight meals like those amazing hot breakfasts that used to be served on the domestic routes to/from Heathrow? I booked a flight to return on Sunday, the self-appointed 100th anniversary Day, hoping that there may have been a souvenir on offer.... oh dear, a small piece of chocolate shrink-wrapped in a plastic "100 years" wrapper was as good as it gets !
The inflight meal was a miserable cold chicken sort-of-salad - a premium product without premium in the service.

Originally Posted by Icerefugee View Post
To Fly, to serve? Who are we serving? .
"To fly, To screw as much money out of the passengers as possible"..... I did recently find the full "mission statement" from the 1990s and have it at home on my computer. Somewhere along the line, Management lost the plot and the motive is now to make as much money as possible for the shareholders and company executives. I just hope that the aircraft monitoring/maintenance safety standards are not being compromised
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Old 27th Aug 2019, 13:59
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Maybe it’s time to reclaim vital infrastructure out of the hands of foreign shareholders and back into the hands of stakeholders? Ludicrous that utilities and transport hubs are owned by foreign entities, and yet the same countries keep a tight grip on their own. It wouldn’t be bad if we had inexpensive, high quality services, but , sadly, we don’t.
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Old 27th Aug 2019, 16:54
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I did rather like one recent passenger's opinion of flying with ba: "It's like Ryanair without the charm"....
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Old 27th Aug 2019, 17:02
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It's heartbreaking to read the article and these posts. I worked for BA for twelve years until 1999 and was immensely proud to say that. (I still am.) It was by far the best job I ever had. Where else do you find yourself driving home and literally looking forward to coming back to work tomorrow?! But a lot of my friends who are still there are saying the same thing - it's changed, and not for the better. It's not the company that I left.
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Old 27th Aug 2019, 18:26
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You are flying to serve the management and shareholders, that’s it.
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Old 27th Aug 2019, 19:33
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Originally Posted by GE115b View Post
You are flying to serve the management and shareholders, that’s it.
Never let a leprechaun run your business !
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Old 27th Aug 2019, 21:02
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Winter 1991, from BA Investor (my late father had shares....)
I thought that this was so good, I used to carry a copy round with me in my diary, to show any company that was struggling to set its own mission statement up.

TO FLY, TO SERVE
A Company aiming to be the best.

The corporate mission of British Airways is: To be the best and most successful company in the airline industry.

The company's seven corporate goals are:

Safe and secure
To be a safe and secure airline

Financially strong
To deliver a strong and consistent financial performance

Global leader
To secure a leading share of air travel business worldwide with a significant presence in all major geographical markets

Service and value
To provide overall superior service and good value for money in every market segment in which we compete

Customer driven
To excel in anticipating and quickly responding to customer needs and competitor activity

Good employer
To sustain a working environment that attracts, retains and develops committed employees who share in the success of the company

Good neighbour
To be a good neighbour, concerned for the community and the environment
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Old 27th Aug 2019, 21:29
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As for actually being 100, companies house says otherwise - 1983..

Company Details

Name & Registered Office:
BRITISH AIRWAYS PLC
WATERSIDE
PO BOX 365
HARMONDSWORTH
UB7 0GB
Company No. 01777777

Status: Active
Date of Incorporation: 13/12/1983

Country of Origin: United KingdomCompany Type: Public Limited Company
Nature of Business (SIC):
51101 - Scheduled passenger air transport
51102 - Non-scheduled passenger air transport
52230 - Service activities incidental to air transportation
52242 - Cargo handling for air transport activitiesAccounting Reference Date: 31/12
Last Accounts Made Up To: 31/12/2018 (GROUP)
Next Accounts Due: 30/06/2020
Last Confirmation Statement Date: 31/07/2019
Next Confirmation Statement Due: 14/08/2020Mortgage: Number of charges: 830 ( 695 outstanding / 135 satisfied / 0 part satisfied )
Last Members List: 31/07/2015
Last Bulk Shareholders List: 31/07/2011Previous Names:No previous name information has been recorded over the last 20 years.UK Establishment DetailsThere are no UK Establishments associated with this company.Oversea Company InfoThere are no Oversea Details associated with this company.
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Old 28th Aug 2019, 09:53
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Originally Posted by Paul Lupp View Post
Once upon a time, I was proud to be a BA passenger. No longer, the airline is almost an embarrassment to the UK. Where are the decent in-flight meals like those amazing hot breakfasts that used to be served on the domestic routes to/from Heathrow?
No fan of BA's current incarnation but let's be realistic here: The Super Shuttle style of service (and the fares) were killed by Easyjet and Ryanair.
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Old 28th Aug 2019, 19:10
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Michael, a lot of people felt the same, it was a great company to work for. It might comfort you a little - friends in the U.S.,
but also people who work ( worked ) for other European carriers, say that their airline is not the one for which they would
have " given their lives ". Four of my very good airline friends are still working for the national carrier, they are so fed up
that they will leave at the first opportunity ( early retirement ). One of the problems is the fact that fewer and fewer people
have started their carreer at the bottom, in the later years the " direct entries " took over, having no other knowledge, than
their Excel spreadsheets. After more than three decades of frontline work I fell in the hands of one of these torture masters,
a former Pan Am steward, who had made his way through the back doors. I finally was offered early retirement, I missed
my work, but it was a fair deal.
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Old 28th Aug 2019, 19:58
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Work for KLM, at least,theirs is a genuine 100 years,am not flight crew,but engineering. Am English,but live in Holland,and work at Schiphol.
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Old 29th Aug 2019, 03:31
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Originally Posted by BEagle View Post
I did rather like one recent passenger's opinion of flying with ba: "It's like Ryanair without the charm"....
A couple of years ago, I flew BA for the first time over to Frankfurt. Things didn't start off well when I arrived as all the baggage belts at T5 were not working that morning. So as instructed, I left my bags in the directed area along with everybody else and was told that they would not arrive with me.

Of course, this was not their fault but it was annoying. Then I got on their 767 and was hoping to have an on time departure as I had a timeline to meet. There was a delay as one of the pilots found an oil leak of some sort. We were told that while it was within limits, as a precaution a hose would be changed and then we departed about an hour late. OK...fine. These things happen and I appreciate the safety first, even if annoying, that the leak wasn't discovered by maintenance earlier.

After all this, I discovered that the food and drink was not free. I asked if due to all the delays and issues that I might get a free orange juice. Not allowed. OK fine. When a email arrived at some point later and asked about my experience, I said that I don't plan to fly BA anymore. Who knows, maybe I will. But if I were running the show, when a screw-up day like this happens, it might be an idea to give something minor in return.
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Old 29th Aug 2019, 09:28
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BA has not been an airline of choice for some time. If there is no choice then you are stuck with them.
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Old 29th Aug 2019, 11:52
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Originally Posted by beamer View Post
BA has not been an airline of choice for some time. If there is no choice then you are stuck with them.
in this day and age there usually is a choice. for some people it's "better the devil you know" though...
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Old 29th Aug 2019, 20:09
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I commute between CPT and LHR 3 or 4 times a year

Mostly fly BA Y these days (either direct or via JNB) as the cracking EK Business Class fares of a few years ago are a distant memory. My Silver card has been cast into history, but I survive (used to fly this route a lot with BA in C).

BA is mostly on time. I nearly always bag a reasonable fare. Service is normally fine and even though the 744's are old in the tooth, I'm always pleased to be on a blue, red and white tailed G-reg plane when over the heart of darkness.

Living in Africa with its daily ups and downs, when I arrive back in the UK, I get the sense most Brits have gone soft, lost there sense of place and adventure and think they are entitled to something they can't afford.

So fellow snowflake Brits, keep on moaning. I'll keep boarding my BA flight from Africa to Blighty as I am sure it will get me home to my family safe, without too much drama and at a reasonable fare.
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Old 29th Aug 2019, 22:46
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I read somewhere that no matter what the service and review stars of the airline are most people buy the cheapest seat . They see it as a commodity because you get there and the snottiness of the staff and lack of beer and food isn't worth the extra £10. So you could blame the passengers for getting what they buy. How much extra would you pay on top of your £35 seat to Malaga to get a smile a beer and a nice meal?

I was on a BA flight recently where one member of staff seemed to care what was going on. Despite being only 20 and not trying too hard she stood head and shoulders above all of the other slack jawed staff put together. I was so impressed I wrote to BA to compliment them on picking up the staff training that had been missing for so long. Sadly she seemed to be a one off...

One day day customer service might be seen as a basic need, not just for first class...
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