I didn't expect rose petals....but

Old Jan 22, 12, 9:06 am
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I didn't expect rose petals....but

In the dim and distant past, as a Civil Servant, I used to use BA a lot, as it was "the done thing", and after being somewhere unpleasant, there was a strange comfort in boarding a little piece of Briatain, aboard what we used to refer to as the "world's surliest airline".
Over the past 15 years, I have used BA very little, a lack of regional departures mean I use KLM (Humberside) or Emirates (Manchester) for my 35 or so long haul business trips a year.
This week, I need to be in Jamaica, and as BA and Virgin have the duopoly, I went with BA, as their business class fare was cheaper than their own Premium economy, and on a par with Virgin's PE fare.
Gatwick is a 5 hour drive from home, on a good day, and not really do-able by train onthe day of travel, any hitch would be a disaster if the flight was missed. So it was down the night before, and a £160 London hotel room before finishing the journey to LGW in the morning.

Check in was ok, the lounge average, and I was paged by my full name to attend the desk, where a nice lady welcomed me to my first trip in the CW cabin. Actually, I used to use it every month in the dim and distant past, but don;t let that stop you being patronising.

The minute the screen in the lounge went to "boarding" I set off. By the time I got downstarirs it was "final call" and by the time I got to the circular staircase towards gate fifty whater it was "gate closing". I got to the gate, and joined the queue of WT passengers, which went from the entrance to the airbridge to the plane door, about 10 minutes. The welcome onboard was a cool affair, and I have to say I was completely unimpressed with the service throughout the flight. Anything I wanted, I had to virtually beg for, I asked for a pen, to fill in the immigration form for Jamaica, and a short sharp "no" was all I got, not "I'll see if I can find you one" or any offer of assistance, just a plain "no".
For sure there was a huge difference in attitude for other passengers, presumably gold's rather than a mere blue (now Bronze), but I have never felt less loved as a fare paying passenger. Only 1 of the cabin crew made any effort, a pretty young thing who was always there with a friendly smile as she walked past the rest gave off a couldn;t care less attitude.

Ok, I didn't expect to be waited on hand and foot, that only happens in EK's first cabin with which I am very familiar, but this was a BIG let down.

The seating didn't work for me either, a rearward facing window seat was a bit odd, but the nick-nack drawer at floor level is a right pain if you actually want to get something if as in my case you are less than fit and agile.

Food was Ok, no more, but no, nice lady in the Lounge, I won't be making you my airline of choice based on this trip, I will continue to use you where there is little or no choice, the rest of the time I'll stick with Emirates or the Blue meanies of KLM.
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Old Jan 22, 12, 9:11 am
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Originally Posted by tezzer View Post
Check in was ok, the lounge average, and I was paged by my full name to attend the desk, where a nice lady welcomed me to my first trip in the CW cabin. Actually, I used to use it every month in the dim and distant past, but don;t let that stop you being patronising.
This to me explains everything. You were determined that nothing was going to get in the way of having a thoroughly miserable experience.

That lady wasn't being patronising, she was being nice.

BAH
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Old Jan 22, 12, 9:16 am
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Originally Posted by BAHumbug View Post
This to me explains everything. You were determined that nothing was going to get in the way of having a thoroughly miserable experience.

That lady wasn't being patronising, she was being nice.

BAH
I disgree, to advertise to the assembledthat "this was my 1st time in the business cabin" was nothing more than patronising.

I would have LOVED to have enjoyed the CW experience, but there was little to like. It does not measure up I'm afraid.
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Old Jan 22, 12, 9:26 am
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Originally Posted by BAHumbug View Post
This to me explains everything. You were determined that nothing was going to get in the way of having a thoroughly miserable experience.

That lady wasn't being patronising, she was being nice.

BAH

^^^

OP said he had last used it in the 'dim and distant past' so maybe past usage had dropped of the BA system so they thought you were a new user??

Did the lady really announce over the tannoy that this was your first flight? If she did then that's bad but all you said that she called you to go to the desk.

And I think that even if the OP had got rose petals they would no doubt have been of the wrong colour / scent / variety

Last edited by UKtravelbear; Jan 22, 12 at 9:27 am Reason: typos
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Old Jan 22, 12, 9:27 am
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Originally Posted by tezzer View Post
I disgree, to advertise to the assembledthat "this was my 1st time in the business cabin" was nothing more than patronising.
Gosh, did she make her comments that loud that the rest of the lounge could hear?

I thought she had paged you to the desk...which most in the lounge would either (a) ignore without speculating (b) idly wonder if you got an upgrade (and feel a bit jealous) or (c) if they had to guess, assume you had a connection issue or some baggage query that front desk were getting back to you with.
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Old Jan 22, 12, 9:29 am
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Originally Posted by tezzer View Post
I disgree, to advertise to the assembledthat "this was my 1st time in the business cabin" was nothing more than patronising.

I would have LOVED to have enjoyed the CW experience, but there was little to like. It does not measure up I'm afraid.
I very much doubt that was what the lady was intending. You showed a pretty bad expectation level at the start 'world's surliest airline' and had set your mind that it would work this way. I am surprised at the attitude of the CC when you asked to use a pen as I have never found this a problem on any airline regardless of class or travel or my status on the airline.
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Old Jan 22, 12, 9:34 am
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To clarify, it was to the assembled around the desk, rather than the entire lounge. As for the "worlds surliest airline", as I said, there was a "home comfort" feel to it, to be scowled at by an English Rose,after spending a hostile time in a hostile environment.
I just think that as an experioence that should have been enjoyable, it fell far far short of the competition, which is a shame for a National carrier, but indeed, nowhere near as bad as Air Fraince.
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Old Jan 22, 12, 9:54 am
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Cool

Oh, my, how awful!
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Old Jan 22, 12, 10:00 am
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Originally Posted by tezzer View Post
a lack of regional departures mean I use KLM (Humberside)
Go Kirmington! I was a nocturnal labourer on that runway extension as a holiday job when I was a hairy student
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Old Jan 22, 12, 10:03 am
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Must have been some glitch in BA's systems as didn't quite a lot of us who travel CW a lot get e-mails welcoming us to our upcoming first trips in CW a few months back.
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Old Jan 22, 12, 10:05 am
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Kirmington, in, check in, security to lounge in 5 minutes flat. On return, in, baggage reclaim, "customs ??" and in the car in 10 minutes dead.

Pefect regional airport, with good connections using Amsterdam as a hub.
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Old Jan 22, 12, 10:08 am
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Originally Posted by tezzer View Post
To clarify, it was to the assembled around the desk, rather than the entire lounge. As for the "worlds surliest airline", as I said, there was a "home comfort" feel to it, to be scowled at by an English Rose,after spending a hostile time in a hostile environment.
I just think that as an experioence that should have been enjoyable, it fell far far short of the competition, which is a shame for a National carrier, but indeed, nowhere near as bad as Air Fraince.
You should try Iberia l/h in Y if you want a thoroughly miserable experience. I was glad I had a pen for the Colombian paperwork, I would not have dared ask to borrow one, getting a glass for the strictly rationed wine was hard enough.
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Old Jan 22, 12, 10:13 am
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Are you EK029 in disguise as they might sing from the terraces.

Sounds like a self-fulfilling propjecy to me - you were determined not to enjoy it and you didn't disappoint yourself. Congratulations.

Would love to know which countries you used to find unpleasant.
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Old Jan 22, 12, 10:16 am
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Originally Posted by johnashw View Post
Are you EK029 in disguise as they might sing from the terraces.

Sounds like a self-fulfilling propjecy to me - you were determined not to enjoy it and you didn't disappoint yourself. Congratulations.

Would love to know which countries you used to find unpleasant.
Mainly South American ones, and a couple in the Sub continent, where wokr was shal we say, difficult.
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Old Jan 22, 12, 10:19 am
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It's a shame that someone who flies such a lot found that BA was not as good an experience as on airlines he flies more often. It was just on one trip (was the return any better?) but in reality, that's all BA has to try to tempt frequent fliers from other airlines, so they've failed on this occasion.

Attempting to justify BA by disparaging the OP won't actually change his view of the airline, and I fear, show that this board is little different from the airline.

What could BA have done better that would have impressed you (the seat is obviously non-negotiable! ) more?

(I used to love using HUY - anywhere where you can check bags, but be back in the car park no less than 15 mins after your flight has landed has got to be good )
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