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Trip report: bmi short haul C (using a GUV) and ever faster dropping standards at bmi

Trip report: bmi short haul C (using a GUV) and ever faster dropping standards at bmi

Old Nov 19, 08, 2:40 pm
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Trip report: bmi short haul C (using a GUV) and ever faster dropping standards at bmi

Zo, as the forum has been busy with other matters recently, here's a quick trip report from the frontline, following a recent LHR-BRU sortie.

Out on the BD141, straight through security (shoes off, laptops in) at T1 and into the *A lounge, which, at 06:00 was virtually deserted. Had a good breakfast of 2 bacon rolls, cereal in a proper bowl, pastry and OJ perched in my favourite seat on the bar in the conservatory section facing the TV. On to the bmi gate 14 lounge, where entry was impeded by an unctuous DYKWIA twot giving the poor girl at the desk a verbal pasting ".....well I don't care if I haven't got my silver card with me and your system says I've recently been demoted to blue, because I'M the %$%£"% customer and YOU'RE giving me bad customer service.....". If only he had paused and looked up, he would have noticed that everyone's eyes were on him. Good grief, a rumpus in a bmi lounge, what is the world coming to ? I thought this only happened in easyjet docusoaps. Anyway, order was resumed when he was sent packing and a silent ripple of nodded heads of approval went around the lounge. Now that's sooooo bmi.

OLCI had shown a md-haul config, so, although upgrading on a morning flight is normally not worth it, I had a couple of GUVs to use before they expire, and the desk obliged : I was soon in posession of a C pass. The DC lounge was surprisingly busy, plenty of reading material, including the new November issue of Business Traveller magazine, with a nice mini-essay on SQ award ticket release strategy on page 30 authored by someone named Boddingtons.....

Off to the gate, and, OH YES, its my continuing love-interest Delta Yankee again ! 50 inches of leatherness. There were 3 of us in C (2 GUVs) and Y was only half full. On a prime business flight too. Credit crunch ? you bet.
No newspapers and no hot towel, breakfast was a piping hot full English, bottle of fruit smoothie, and insultingly small finger of pineapple-in-a-bag. Boiled sweet (with the wrapper glued on) for landing. Thanks to a quick departure from 27R, arrival was 20 minus early.

Returning on the evening 154. OLCI gave me 12E, between 2 occupied seats, even though my preference is windows and there were rows of 6 free further back. It had again shown a mid-haul so I approached the check-in at BRU, GUV in hand. There are 4 desks, and this time they were labelled 'economy', 'economy', 'economy' and 'business, flexible economy, bag drop, Star Alliance', so of course status passengers had to wait in line while Jan van Y Chav and friends dropped their bags. BRU is a great airport, but this is ridiculous. Straight through security (laptops out, shoes on) into the lounge, where, save for one dog-eared copy of the Gruniad, there were no English newspapers, but who cares when there's a big pile of Hello in the luggage rack ?
Delta Yankee had slipped off to Moscow, so got her twin sister, Delta Tango. 6 of us in C and Y nearly full. Got the usual 'may not be a meal for you' guff from the gate, but elected to GUV anyway. As we pushed back, Lucy came up to me, printout in hand, addressed me by name and apologised for the fact she had no meal for me, delivered with a sincerity and gravitas normally only used when breaking news that your favourite puppy has just become roadkill. During meal service, Lucy came back and advised that, in fact, she had 6 bento boxes but only 5 hot meals (why ????) so I had the bag of apple slices, the twix finger and a chicken sarnie spirited up from behind the curtain.
Drinks orders were written down and delivered on a tray. No newspapers, no boiled sweet, but this time a hot towel. Just before we landed an embarrassed Lucy came back and asked that, as a stock check at the back had shown that someone had apparently stolen a chicken sarnie, could I offer up my gold card for recording ?

Despite a couple of laps of the Essex stack we were still 5 minutes early. Straight through the "UK border" and into the ever-efficient Park1 minivan.
Incidentally, in typical BAA-fashion, they've used some crappo Letraset on the front of the UK border booths, and mine said " l ase w it unti cal e f rwr d. o obil phon s'. Who on earth has the inclination to creep in at the dead of night and peel these letters off ?

anyway, I digress. All in all, 2 good flights, well done bmi. ^

PS. Please accept apologies for any typos. I had one eye on the footy

Last edited by Oxon Flyer; Nov 19, 08 at 4:37 pm
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Old Nov 19, 08, 3:24 pm
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We haven't had a report for a while . Thanks for taking the time to write it up. ^

Originally Posted by Oxon Flyer View Post
I had a couple of GUVs to use before they expire
You're welcome.

Originally Posted by Oxon Flyer View Post
Just before we landed an embarassed Lucy came back and asked that, as a stock check at the back had shown that someone had apparently stolen a chicken sarnie, could I offer up my gold card for recording ?
You'd think they'd have this sorted out by now, wouldn't you?

Originally Posted by Oxon Flyer View Post
All in all, 2 good flights, well done bmi. ^
Very bmi. Great staff. But cannot get their soft product together. Look at the variables - 2 flights, 1 hot towel, 1 boiled sweetie, 1 hot meal etc.
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Old Nov 19, 08, 3:43 pm
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Yep, that's our bmi !

No spare meals loaded, in case a Gold Card holder might like to use one of his listed benefits or, perish the thought, some punter walks up and wants to actually buy C ticket. Then the meal-less passenger gets asked for their card as they're sh$%&#g themselves down the back cause a sarnie had gone walkabout.

Yep, that's our bmi !
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Old Nov 19, 08, 3:47 pm
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Originally Posted by FlyingOnceMore View Post

Ye, that's our bmi !
It brings a tear to my eye and a lump to my throat. They are the true British flag carrier methinks
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Old Nov 19, 08, 3:54 pm
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So if a Gold Card balances the books onboard, what do they use in Donington? SMB's Centurion ?
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Old Nov 19, 08, 4:51 pm
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Many thanks Oxon Flyer for a most entertaining write up (and LiviLion too ^). Demonstrating classic BD forum content at its very best
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Old Nov 19, 08, 5:01 pm
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Ah the joy of intra-Euro C class travel

Stilll, that's our BMI.... I justh hope the Blue and Yellow crowd are paying attention that we like it like this occasioanlly
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Old Nov 19, 08, 5:55 pm
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A fun packed trip report Oxon Flyer - Please point me in the right direction of any previous you may have done.
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Old Nov 20, 08, 2:03 am
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Great trip report(s) [ditto to LiviLion]^ Good info and a laugh too

This is the sort of info that makes this forum interesting and active. I check out the KLM forum regularly too which is pretty flat - 10 days worth of posts make up the 1st page whereas here it's 2 days^ Great work!
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Old Nov 20, 08, 10:54 am
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Originally Posted by FlyingOnceMore View Post
No spare meals loaded, in case a Gold Card holder might like to use one of his listed benefits or, perish the thought, some punter walks up and wants to actually buy C ticket. Then the meal-less passenger gets asked for their card as they're sh$%&#g themselves down the back cause a sarnie had gone walkabout.

Yep, that's our bmi !
And that can even be BA, demonstated by a similar story on the BA board some time ago. Someone with a fully flexible C ticket decided to change his return flight, and as a consequence there was no meal
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Old Dec 27, 08, 5:01 pm
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Nice write up, but how many miles did you earn??
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Old Mar 13, 09, 3:21 am
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getting the bmi 'finger', again......

So, another recent sortie, and this time a different act in the same farce....

Seeing a mid-haul at the gate, and being ravenously hungry, I presented 2 whole shiny GUVs to upgrade myself and a colleague, "certainly sir, no problems".

Mealtime cometh and it soon becomes apparent that there are 5 bentos for 11 passengers, which were distributed (passenger #5 didn't look too chuffed when he was told he would have to make to do with 'white bean stew'), and then the Y trolley was wheeled in for the rest of us to claim our mealdeals.
When I asked for a champagne to go with the chicken 'n pesto sarnie, I was refused. A discussion ensued as to why, during which I was presented with the passenger manifest, with 6 of us having "no meal" written against our names. "As you've all been upgraded for the trim of the aircraft, sir, you're not entitled to anything". " Er, but we've both paid for an upgrade, we understand about the meal, but we'd like the rest of the business class service thank you very much". Apologies, but nothing : no offer of another drink, no tea or coffee, no hot towels tweezered in our direction.

BTW no newspapers, and no landing sweetie for anyone. I've had 4 short-haul C flights in almost as many days, and none have been up to par. You just get the feeling that bmi is losing the will to serve......

Last edited by Oxon Flyer; Mar 13, 09 at 3:30 am
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Old Mar 13, 09, 3:41 am
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Originally Posted by Oxon Flyer View Post
Seeing a mid-haul at the gate, and being ravenously hungry, I presented 2 whole shiny GUVs to upgrade myself and a colleague, "certainly sir, no problems".

....
When I asked for a champagne to go with the chicken 'n pesto sarnie, I was refused. A discussion ensued as to why, during which I was presented with the passenger manifest, with 6 of us having "no meal" written against our names. "As you've all been upgraded for the trim of the aircraft, sir, you're not entitled to anything". " Er, but we've both paid for an upgrade, we understand about the meal, but we'd like the rest of the business class service thank you very much". Apologies, but nothing : no offer of another drink, no tea or coffee, no hot towels tweezered in our direction.
I think this justifies a letter to Donnington to get the GUVs back! This isn't good at all! In fact, if it had been me, I'd have probably reacted very negatively, and would have been right to the CS desk on my arrival.

I always thought the GUVs had turned into a bit of a joke, but this really is well beyond the limit.

Yes, thats our bmi alright!

Ken.

Willard the Bear - He'd have set the Bear on them - I bet! Grrrrrrrrrrrrrr
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Old Mar 13, 09, 5:10 am
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Originally Posted by Oxon Flyer View Post
So, another recent sortie, and this time a different act in the same farce....

Seeing a mid-haul at the gate, and being ravenously hungry, I presented 2 whole shiny GUVs to upgrade myself and a colleague, "certainly sir, no problems".

Mealtime cometh and it soon becomes apparent that there are 5 bentos for 11 passengers, which were distributed (passenger #5 didn't look too chuffed when he was told he would have to make to do with 'white bean stew'), and then the Y trolley was wheeled in for the rest of us to claim our mealdeals.
When I asked for a champagne to go with the chicken 'n pesto sarnie, I was refused. A discussion ensued as to why, during which I was presented with the passenger manifest, with 6 of us having "no meal" written against our names. "As you've all been upgraded for the trim of the aircraft, sir, you're not entitled to anything". " Er, but we've both paid for an upgrade, we understand about the meal, but we'd like the rest of the business class service thank you very much". Apologies, but nothing : no offer of another drink, no tea or coffee, no hot towels tweezered in our direction.

BTW no newspapers, and no landing sweetie for anyone. I've had 4 short-haul C flights in almost as many days, and none have been up to par. You just get the feeling that bmi is losing the will to serve......
This is disgraceful customer "service". Period. One wonders if this is as a result some of some sort of directive to "manage costs" or really is just the result of staff who are de-motivated. Either way, it stinks.

I will be re-qualifying for bmi *Gold next month and had plans to use the GUVs that I have burning a hole in my pocket (at least 10 or more from previous years plus the additional 4 with the new membership year). Perhaps I should have directed the discretionary spend to One World/BA...maybe not

It's the consistent inconsistency with bmi of late that hacks me off though. Rant over.
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Old Mar 13, 09, 6:38 am
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I should think that returning the GUVs would only be the start to the matter - the GUV should be a reward to a loyal passenger, not an invitation to be treated like dirt and differentiated. Something similar happened to a chap I know recently, and they fobbed him off with a returned GUV, but no resitution for being starved, singled out and then insulted.

To my mind, you are either a business class passenger, or you are not. Period. Paying passengers should NEVER know that there are GUVs/OpUps/Staff F&Fs in the cabin. It is simple courtesy.

I don't even need to mention that on an A320 the trim argument is just rubbish between LHR and BRU - there are many threads on FT such scenarios are argued out technically and the number of occasions where trim on a sizeable aircraft is compromised by passenger seating arrangements are close to zero.

There is no doubt that bmi staff morale is low because they have been left in a vacuum, but that is absolutely no excuse... this isn't just mis-managemnt - it looks like no management. Is everyone expecting to be fired? Sure, LH is going to take over. Sure, there will be changes. Yes, things will be different. Just like in every other industry right now. Dare I say "Get over it"?

But seriously, they are not just letting customers drift away - they are actively driving them away. Someone somewhere needs to stand up and address this issue, because if they don't, when the changes do eventually come, they will be harder, faster and less pleasant than they otherwise need to be.

If the customer base is sufficiently debased, it could even lead to LH deciding on a different strategy involving LHR slots. All this down to staff, supervisors and managers just plainly taking the mickey.

It's our airline. It's our choice to use it.

It's your livlihood. It's your choice to maintain it.
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