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BA: Nearly there but not quite: First to JNB return

BA: Nearly there but not quite: First to JNB return

Old Jan 20, 11, 1:02 pm
  #1  
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BA: Nearly there but not quite: First to JNB return

We have only occasionally flown with BA; traditionally because of high fares and a poor FF program. We would like to start flying with them more now. Hence we are both Plat for life with scary team and Star Gold. We usually fly in F or J.

Have just returned from a BA F return to JNB and they were good; really good in parts but just spoilt it by things that could be so easily corrected. We flew on miles but if I had paid the £8000 pounds per person I would have been a bit dissapointed.

Good:
On board crews were really excellent.
We really enjoyed NF; Much better than Air France or Lufthansa or even Swiss F.
Food and Wines were good.
Concorde lounge and the cabanas were good; (not quite as good as Lufthansas FCT but not far off).
Arrivals lounge was good

Let down by:
Check in at LHR was pretty average; no escort, nothing special etc.
Fast track ; what was that?
Elemis Spa; for the third time no slots available despite arriving 4 hours before the flight.
Lounge to Plane: Well its again down to a long walk then train then walk. (as compared to AF/LH/LX)
Priority Boarding; Did not work; just got stuck in the one air bridge for ages. Why dont they use two?
Priority luggage at JNB: yes we were nearly last off.
Check in JNB was a cattle market ; We waited 20 minutes as the only F counter had decided to help out business and got stuck with two tricky passengers.
Could not see the difference between F and J lounge at JNB
Walk to gate then BUS!! 25 minutes before the thing moved.
Luggage at LHR yes this time it was last off.

So they were nearly there..we enjoyed it once onboard but the ground experience really needs to be sorted out.
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Old Jan 20, 11, 1:11 pm
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Originally Posted by simonsmith View Post
Could not see the difference between F and J lounge at JNB
Ah but there is a small and subtle difference


In the F lounge there's a Champagne bottle in the wine bar.
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Old Jan 20, 11, 1:23 pm
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If the only things that you are complaining about are the ground services then I think you had a very good experience.
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Old Jan 20, 11, 1:27 pm
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Your JNB experiences sound very familiar.
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Old Jan 20, 11, 2:04 pm
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Originally Posted by mamlewis View Post
If the only things that you are complaining about are the ground services then I think you had a very good experience.
I completely disagree. If one is to go the extra mile for F then there should (IMHO) be a distinct difference between J and F.

With a bit more groundwork BA can get it right and build up a reliable and loyal premium clientele. It does let them down a bit, which seems a shame as the setting (T5) really is a good airport - I'm sure more can be made of it though.
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Old Jan 20, 11, 2:06 pm
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I would agree with everything except F checkin at T5. I think it is fabulous, right up until the point where Fastrack fks it all up
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Old Jan 20, 11, 2:26 pm
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Interesting to hear about your experience compared to LH AF etc.

I wonder if LH,AF,LX.... lay on any special ground arrangements for their F passengers when departing from a foreign airport? I'm not so sure that they do.
I suppose BA could improve certain areas of the F ground experience at LHR but they don't seem to be in any rush to do so. Maybe they think the regular F pax is perfectly happy with what they offer at the moment?
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Old Jan 20, 11, 2:36 pm
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Originally Posted by HIDDY View Post
Interesting to hear about your experience compared to LH AF etc....
So at 8.26pm you had still not been struck down by egg poisoning
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Old Jan 20, 11, 2:39 pm
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Originally Posted by badoc View Post
So at 8.26pm you had still not been struck down by egg poisoning
No, all okay thanks.
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Old Jan 20, 11, 2:43 pm
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Originally Posted by globalste View Post
I would agree with everything except F checkin at T5. I think it is fabulous, right up until the point where Fastrack fks it all up
I wouldn't say F check-in is fabulous. The area is nicely designed, and the staff are usually pleasant(ish). But you are not really made to feel terribly special, not invited to take a seat whilst check-in is completed for you or escorted to security...
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Old Jan 20, 11, 2:51 pm
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Originally Posted by Genius1 View Post
But you are not really made to feel terribly special, not invited to take a seat whilst check-in is completed for you or escorted to security...
My only criticism of the T5 F check-in is that it's not exclusive to F passengers. Those pesky Gold cardholders flying in Euro Traveller could hold one up from being checked in.
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Old Jan 20, 11, 2:57 pm
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Originally Posted by simonsmith View Post
We really enjoyed NF; Much better than Air France or Lufthansa or even Swiss F.
I haven’t tried NF yet (done old/current F plenty of times though) but I've done LX's new F and thought it was amazing, so what was it about NF that was better?

Originally Posted by simonsmith View Post
Check in at LHR was pretty average
Totally agree.
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Old Jan 20, 11, 2:59 pm
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Originally Posted by globalste View Post
I would agree with everything except F checkin at T5. I think it is fabulous
What is so fabulous about it??

I’ve only used a few times as I usually don’t see the point with fast baggage drop off desks often empty, but on the very few occasions I have, I found it extremely average with check in agents that couldn’t care less, regardless of whether I was actually travelling in F or using it as a GCH.
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Old Jan 20, 11, 3:45 pm
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Originally Posted by HIDDY View Post
I wonder if LH,AF,LX.... lay on any special ground arrangements for their F passengers when departing from a foreign airport?
LH definitely does in JFK. Much more posh lounge experience and I believe an escort out to the plane but I'm not positive on that.

LX has a nicer lounge for F but it is outside security. Either F or C gets priority security access at the checkpoint.

TK F gets an escort through TSA at JFK, right to the front of the line.

Just a couple I've witnessed recently.
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Old Jan 20, 11, 3:48 pm
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Originally Posted by HIDDY View Post
Interesting to hear about your experience compared to LH AF etc.

I wonder if LH,AF,LX.... lay on any special ground arrangements for their F passengers when departing from a foreign airport? I'm not so sure that they do.
I suppose BA could improve certain areas of the F ground experience at LHR but they don't seem to be in any rush to do so. Maybe they think the regular F pax is perfectly happy with what they offer at the moment?
VS gives their UC passengers an escort from the check-in desk to the front of security (might not happen at all outstations, but it does at DEL). And they don't do F.
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