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Eurostar crew member incident-what would've happened on BA

Eurostar crew member incident-what would've happened on BA

Old Jul 8, 14, 8:07 am
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Eurostar crew member incident-what would've happened on BA

I apologise for going slightly OT, but I am curious to know how BA would've handled this (and it brought to mind the recent seat swapping thread)

The other day I traveled from Brussels to St Pancras in Eurostar's Standard Premier. It wasn't much more than standard and decided the meal and improved comfort were worth it.

They wouldn't allow me to change my seat assignment before the train left, and unfortunately I was sat at a table seat with someone directly across from me. Being tall, the Eurostar table seats are pretty uncomfortable for me because I have to sit straight up to avoid playing footsie with the other person.

there were several empty seats in the carriage, but when I asked if I could move the French crew member angrily told me those seats were reserved for passengers embarking at Lille (not sure why they get better seats). Not appreciating the lecture, I moved anyway. I planned to return to my assigned seat at Lille and see what happened after that.

When serving the meal the crew member told me "I TOLD YOU YOU CAN NOT SIT THERE" She then said she wouldn't serve me my meal until I moved. I said I would return to my seat at Lille, and she told me that I would not eat if I didn't move. I asked why and was told "It is not our fault if passengers won't listen as they're told."

At this point I had enough and asked to speak to the train manager. I told him I would sit anywhere but that this woman was not to address me the rest of the journey. The manager was sympathetic and moved me to a single seat in the Business carriage, where I was brought my standard premier meal.

I don't take an aggressive tone when making requests, but the crew member's attitude really put me on the defensive. I was fine with the resolution and didn't pursue the matter with Eurostar any further, but the whole thing was very embarrassing.

Had it been BA I would've gone straight to customer service upon landing. I'm wondering how they would've addressed it.
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Old Jul 8, 14, 8:17 am
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I can't say I have much sympathy with you, to be honest.

The crew member told you the other seats were reserved, yet you moved anyway.

Her manner may have been a factor, but proceeding the way you've done (summoning the train manager, demanding the crew member to not speak to you) doesn't really paint the empathetic picture that I think you were hoping for.

Bear in mind also that Eurostar crew generally need to speak in English, French and Dutch/Flemish, so it's possible that what you perceived as 'angry' may have been something else somewhat lost in translation.
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Old Jul 8, 14, 8:18 am
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SCSA, I'm not really sure that I understand the aim of your post. You want to gather an opinion on what BA may or may not have done if there was a similar situation onboard an aircraft to what you had on Eurostar?

It seems like anything said would be the purest form of speculation there is and I'm not sure what value it would offer you.
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Old Jul 8, 14, 8:24 am
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Originally Posted by opalfruit View Post
I can't say I have much sympathy with you, to be honest.

The crew member told you the other seats were reserved, yet you moved anyway.

Her manner may have been a factor, but proceeding the way you've done (summoning the train manager, demanding the crew member to not speak to you) doesn't really paint the empathetic picture that I think you were hoping for.

Bear in mind also that Eurostar crew generally need to speak in English, French and Dutch/Flemish, so it's possible that what you perceived as 'angry' may have been something else somewhat lost in translation.
Not looking for empathy, but to be honest, I would not have moved had the crew member responded so angrily after my first, rather innocuous request. People change seats all the time. I was punished for asking. I was also extremely uncomfortable in the table seat.
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Old Jul 8, 14, 8:26 am
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I don't think you can do a parallelism between BA and Eurostar. BA flights are from A to B, you have your preassigned seat and once boarding is complete you might ask to move somewhere else to crew member, it's rare they say no in my experience.

You were told not to move from your seat but you did it anyway, probably the crew member's reaction was a bit excessive but she was ultimately right in my opinion.
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Old Jul 8, 14, 8:27 am
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Originally Posted by matthandy View Post
SCSA, I'm not really sure that I understand the aim of your post. You want to gather an opinion on what BA may or may not have done if there was a similar situation onboard an aircraft to what you had on Eurostar?

It seems like anything said would be the purest form of speculation there is and I'm not sure what value it would offer you.
...and, in any case, I don't think any BA flights stop at Lille to pick up extra passengers
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Old Jul 8, 14, 8:27 am
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Originally Posted by matthandy View Post
SCSA, I'm not really sure that I understand the aim of your post. You want to gather an opinion on what BA may or may not have done if there was a similar situation onboard an aircraft to what you had on Eurostar?

It seems like anything said would be the purest form of speculation there is and I'm not sure what value it would offer you.
Feel free to delete the thread if it's too off-topic. Will raise it in another forum.
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Old Jul 8, 14, 8:30 am
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Originally Posted by SCSA View Post
Not looking for empathy, but to be honest, I would not have moved had the crew member responded so angrily after my first, rather innocuous request. People change seats all the time. I was punished for asking. I was also extremely uncomfortable in the table seat.
I don't know what BA would have done - probably throw some Avios at you to keep you sweet.

For future reference, if your seat allocation is pants, it's usually best to ask one of the two Train Managers before you leave if there's any free seats to be had. They have a roster sheet with passenger names and can make some last-minute manual adjustments.

A further complication in your case is that border staff join the train at Lille (search "Lille Loophole Eurostar" in Google for a bit more info on why). Perhaps any seat shifts not recorded by the train manager can cause a headache - though I'm not sure.
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Old Jul 8, 14, 8:31 am
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I disagree, this crew member was not listening and focussing on the customer.
We do have similar situations, say for example on the flight from DOH to BAH and continuing to LHR, if a customer wanted to sit in a vacant seat for the DOH to BAH sector knowing they would have to move back to their original seat this wouldn't be a problem.
I would have however asked to speak to the train manager after being told I couldn't move, I wouldn't have moved until given permission.
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Old Jul 8, 14, 8:32 am
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I should add that I was actually meant to be in the window seat, which didn't have anyone across from it. But the man who was sat there claimed his seat number corresponded with the window, not the aisle. So was faced with a dilemma of arguing with the passenger or asking to move. Again, I felt I was treated very rudely for daring to ask.

My job requires telling people no much of the time. Delivery of that message is everything.
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Old Jul 8, 14, 8:49 am
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Next time just move. Dont ask first.
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Old Jul 8, 14, 8:56 am
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Originally Posted by Can I help you View Post
I disagree, this crew member was not listening and focussing on the customer.
We do have similar situations, say for example on the flight from DOH to BAH and continuing to LHR, if a customer wanted to sit in a vacant seat for the DOH to BAH sector knowing they would have to move back to their original seat this wouldn't be a problem.
I would have however asked to speak to the train manager after being told I couldn't move, I wouldn't have moved until given permission.
This is of course, slightly different. The DOH/LHR flight sits on the ground in BAH for an hour, a Eurostar stops at Lille for less than 5 minutes. I can fully understand why E* would want you to stay in your seats from Brussels - Lille especially if the train is busy, they are still completing the food service and they anticipate lots of people boarding at Lille.

There is, however, no excuse for rudeness.
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Old Jul 8, 14, 8:57 am
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Not appreciating the lecture, I moved anyway. I planned to return to my assigned seat at Lille and see what happened after that.
Or next time, explain your intention properly. From what you've written, you did not explain your intention to return to your assigned seat from Lille, so the crew member just saw you move after they had explained why you could not move.
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Old Jul 8, 14, 9:16 am
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Originally Posted by irishguy28 View Post
Or next time, explain your intention properly. From what you've written, you did not explain your intention to return to your assigned seat from Lille, so the crew member just saw you move after they had explained why you could not move.
Sorry. I did tell the crew member several times that I was going to return to my seat when we got to Lille. She was not having any of it.
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Old Jul 8, 14, 9:28 am
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Sometimes BA crew members allow seat changes, sometimes they do not. While there will be operational reasons to refuse a seat change, they should still be polite about it.
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