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BA CC not exactly 'putting themselves out' for my dear mum.

BA CC not exactly 'putting themselves out' for my dear mum.

Old Mar 19, 14, 3:57 am
  #1  
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BA CC not exactly 'putting themselves out' for my dear mum.

Just picked my 76 year old mum up from T5 this morning having returned from 5 weeks in Australia. I'm really proud of her making this journey alone and is her first trip since losing my dad last year. I encouraged her to travel BA (015/016 ) as I try to be loyal but wondering if we should consider other carriers for future journeys?.

She stuck with economy as she didn't feel she could justify the expense of premium travel (you can't take it with you mum!) so i guess you only get what you pay for.

Nice little old ladies travelling alone don't tend to make much of a fuss but I was so disappointed to hear her telling me that she did find the Singapore leg to London quite arduous.. She said she couldn't really sleep and was desperate for a coffee so she asked a member of the CC how long it would be until they would be serving hot drinks. About Two hours was the reply. That's a long time to wait for a drink when you really want one!

I can't remember the last time I did a LH flight of that length 20 odd years ago!), but could the CC member not have offered to make mum mum a cup of coffee? I certainly have recollections of CC Making a tea or coffee for me outside of the regular service on a TATL flight in recent years.

Mum also reported the panini served going into singapore was inedible. Rock hard and all she could do was salvage the couple of slivers of meat between the crusts. She also said they were very slow clearing trays away after meals making it difficult to get out to go to the bathroom since she couldn't exactly plonk her tray onto an unknown companion.

Sounds a bit moan'y I know, but i do think it's is pretty poor for a £900 ticket.

For future reference, does anyone have opinions on other carriers's economy offerings on flights to Oz - I presume it's all much of a muchness and dependent on crew/catering on the day?

Starting to dread my BA economy flight to Barbados next month!
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Old Mar 19, 14, 4:03 am
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Originally Posted by CaroFos View Post
Nice little old ladies travelling alone don't tend to make much of a fuss but I was so disappointed to hear her telling me that she did find the Singapore leg to London quite arduous.. She said she couldn't really sleep and was desperate for a coffee so she asked a member of the CC how long it would be until they would be serving hot drinks. About Two hours was the reply. That's a long time to wait for a drink when you really want one!
Don't forget that in WT they can only make a king size pot of tea or coffee! I's only when you get up in the nose that facilities exist for individual drinks.
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Old Mar 19, 14, 4:09 am
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Originally Posted by CaroFos View Post
She said she couldn't really sleep
I don't think there are many who can sleep in Y - I can just about do it, but after a lot of pratise. I fly Oz-UK returns in Y a few times a year.

Originally Posted by CaroFos View Post
and was desperate for a coffee so she asked a member of the CC how long it would be until they would be serving hot drinks. About Two hours was the reply. That's a long time to wait for a drink when you really want one!
I think there was a misunderstanding, and the CC may have thought she was asking about hot meals. There are regular drink rounds with water, apple juice and orange juice. They are also often freely available in the galley on a tray. Using the call bell will also help if your mum didn't want to leave her seat for whatever reasons.

Originally Posted by CaroFos View Post
I can't remember the last time I did a LH flight of that length 20 odd years ago!), but could the CC member not have offered to make mum mum a cup of coffee? I certainly have recollections of CC Making a tea or coffee for me outside of the regular service on a TATL flight in recent years.
Yes one can still get drinks outside the regular service on the Kangaroo route. There are also snack boxes in the galley on the longer sector, usually you have to prompt the CC to break it out.

Originally Posted by CaroFos View Post
Mum also reported the panini served going into singapore was inedible. Rock hard and all she could do was salvage the couple of slivers of meat between the crusts. She also said they were very slow clearing trays away after meals making it difficult to get out to go to the bathroom since she couldn't exactly plonk her tray onto an unknown companion.
Again, this could be a call-bell thing if it's not too soon after service or to ask for another meal, if there is any left.
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Old Mar 19, 14, 4:12 am
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I agree that it is poor, and that it is reasonable to request and receive a hot drink at a quiet point on such a long flight. I would vote with your feet and try a different carrier next time. Singapore, Emirates, etc... Loyalty is wasted if you are loyal to an indifferent product.
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Old Mar 19, 14, 4:15 am
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Sorry to hear your mother found the flight disappointing. It's a very long way to/from Australia and as you say, quite arduous in many ways.

Originally Posted by CaroFos View Post
She said she couldn't really sleep and was desperate for a coffee so she asked a member of the CC how long it would be until they would be serving hot drinks. About Two hours was the reply. That's a long time to wait for a drink when you really want one!

I can't remember the last time I did a LH flight of that length 20 odd years ago!), but could the CC member not have offered to make mum mum a cup of coffee?
Actually, I suspect this was the case of miscommunication. It sounds like the crew member did not understand that your mother wanted a cup of coffee then, but misunderstood to mean she was asking about the service routine. I think your mother was a bit too polite in her expression for the crew to guess that she wanted one there and then.

That's not to blame your mother, because a "good" crew member will have said "would you like one now?" or something to that effect. So the service was poor in that the crew member could not read what your mother wanted. But it's worth being forthright about what we want on a flight, because I think many crew members get so used to being told "(I want) coffee", "(I want) water" etc without "please" or "thank you" - I suspect some no longer have the antennae for an extremely polite nudge! "Could I have a cup of coffee please?" should not be deemed to be too demanding. I know my husband has done so many times on BA WT and never had a snub yet. It won't offend the crew if we made a polite but direct request.

Mum also reported the panini served going into singapore was inedible. Rock hard and all she could do was salvage the couple of slivers of meat between the crusts.
That is one problem I find with hot bread on board. If it's served slowly, or you leave it on your plate for a while, by the time you eat it, it's rock hard.
I'm curious as to if it was wrapped in plastic or wasn't? BMI did their hot panini on short haul wrapped in a film (or some kind of a special wrapper), and that prevented the 'rock hard' effect, and I'm wondering if that's something that BA isn't doing in Y. Maybe you can find out, because really, it should be resolved.

She also said they were very slow clearing trays away after meals making it difficult to get out to go to the bathroom since she couldn't exactly plonk her tray onto an unknown companion.
I found the same with all carriers when I used to be a regular long haul economy class carrier. It's often a bit difficult to have it cleared quickly because of the number of trays that need to be collected. If you politely ask a neighbour if they could hold it for a moment while you get out of the seat (and once you get up, put it back on your tray table), most people will help.

Last edited by LTN Phobia; Mar 19, 14 at 5:08 am
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Old Mar 19, 14, 4:20 am
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Originally Posted by at240 View Post
I agree that it is poor, and that it is reasonable to request and receive a hot drink at a quiet point on such a long flight. I would vote with your feet and try a different carrier next time. Singapore, Emirates, etc... Loyalty is wasted if you are loyal to an indifferent product.
I don't think the OP stated that she actually asked for a coffee, just asked "when the next drinks run would be".

While it would be nice for the crewmember to have connected the dots and offered a coffee, it's not part of the economy service, and most people can make it to the galley where a range of drinks are usually available on a tray.

Difficult to expect someone who doesn't travel much to know that, but it's really a case of needing to articulate one's needs clearly.

Most of us would travel with a bottle of water, so perhaps arming mum with this knowledge beforehand would have helped.

When you get older, if you can stretch to Premium Economy at a minimum, it's certainly the way to go.


Last edited by oscietra; Mar 19, 14 at 5:12 am
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Old Mar 19, 14, 4:24 am
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To be honest, this is disappointing to hear.

I would expect, that the majority of switched on crew, would offer a hot drink to your Mum after being asked a question like that.

It really is sad to read that this crew member was not responsive to her needs.

It really is part of the service for crew to look after passengers and serve them at their seats, part of the SCCMs introduction actually invites passengers to use the call bell or visit the galley for any drinks. Personally I find it is strange that any crew member being asked that question would have not immediately realised that this customer wanted a hot drink!
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Old Mar 19, 14, 4:48 am
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Originally Posted by oscietra View Post
I don't think the OP stated that she actually asked for a coffee, just asked "when the next drinks run would be".

While it would be nice for the crewmember to have connected the dots and offered a coffee, it's not part of the economy service, and most people can make it to the galley where a range of drinks are usually available on a tray.

Difficult to expect someone who doesn't travel much to know that, but it's really a case of needing to articulate one's needs clearly.
I think that a reasonable response to her enquiry would have been to say 'not for two hours, but would you like me to bring you something sooner? Or did you know that there are some drinks available in the galley if you'd like something right now?'

It's just the basics. To fly, to serve.

Originally Posted by Littlegirl
It really is part of the service for crew to look after passengers and serve them at their seats, part of the SCCMs introduction actually invites passengers to use the call bell or visit the galley for any drinks. Personally I find it is strange that any crew member being asked that question would have not immediately realised that this customer wanted a hot drink!
Exactly right.
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Old Mar 19, 14, 4:54 am
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Maybe she got the same CC as this person :P
http://www.smh.com.au/travel/travell...129-31lyy.html

Honestly though I think in Y it's much of a muchness, some CC are better than others and for my recentish flights with CX and MH economy vs business were worlds apart in terms of service. Not bad service per se, just "meh".

Your mum may have been a bit too polite - The CC may have misunderstood and have thought she meant food, and if not should have proactively offered a drink, but I doubt they'd have said no if she had asked directly. Same thing with the bathroom if she had asked her neighbour nicely if they wouldn't mind minding the tray for 5 minutes.
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Old Mar 19, 14, 5:01 am
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Originally Posted by LTN Phobia View Post
If you politely ask a neighbour if they could hold it for a moment while you get out of the seat (and once you get up, put it back on your tray table), most people will help.
This is a dance I see performed on every economy flight I've ever taken, I'm sure! I've even performed it myself, on occasion!
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Old Mar 19, 14, 5:08 am
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The crew member should have offered a hot drink when you Mum spoke to them.
From day one on our training course we are reminded about the little old lady travelling to and from Australia who would never ask for anything but in the middle of the night would love a cup of tea and a chat.
Maybe this sort of thing isn't covered any longer with our new entrants, it's very sad to hear we are letting our older customers down.
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Old Mar 19, 14, 5:14 am
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Originally Posted by Can I help you View Post
From day one on our training course we are reminded about the little old lady travelling to and from Australia who would never ask for anything but in the middle of the night would love a cup of tea and a chat.
.
OMG, now I know why I am offered a cup of tea and a chat in the middle of the night when I can't sleep on a WW flight!









But seriously, I agree, what you siad would go a long way towards keeping old (and young and middle aged...) passengers who are awake and bored in the middle of the night happy.
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Old Mar 19, 14, 5:21 am
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We were also told to look after Mums with babies, it is very difficult to offer a personal service to hundreds of customers in WT with so few crew but we should look offer help to those that are most needy.
Not only is this good service but the hallo effect is is priceless.
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Old Mar 19, 14, 5:22 am
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Originally Posted by LTN Phobia View Post
OMG, now I know why I am offered a cup of tea and a chat in the middle of the night when I can't sleep on a WW flight!








But seriously, I agree, what you siad would go a long way towards keeping old (and young and middle aged...) passengers who are awake and bored in the middle of the night happy.

There is nothing old about you, you just have a kind face and a warm personality.

Last edited by Can I help you; Mar 19, 14 at 5:31 am
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Old Mar 19, 14, 5:27 am
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Reading the interesting comments here, I'm sure this probably boiled down to a generational issue. Mixed Fleet run the Sydney service, they tend to be in their early 20s and possibly missed what was an obvious sign: that your mum belongs to a generation that doesn't like to make a fuss (though, if I was being harsh, isn't above having a good old whinge after the event, when it can't be fixed). Oh so English.

It's kind of regrettable but a bit of assertiveness goes a long way, that doesn't mean being rude, just "I'd really love a cup of tea please" with a a hint of steel in it, and tea would be graciously provided I'm sure.

But the point made about "not being able to take it with you" is well made: can't you do the Tesco stuff for a bit and get her into at least WTP? She'll never look back, and rightly so. It seems a good fit between her expectations and potential service delivery.
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