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[Rumor] New "enhancement" only one bottle of Champagne per passenger in Club Europe

[Rumor] New "enhancement" only one bottle of Champagne per passenger in Club Europe

Old Dec 2, 16, 2:39 pm
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[Rumor] New "enhancement" only one bottle of Champagne per passenger in Club Europe

Friend of mine who works at BA told me about an upcoming enhancement to the service concept in Club Europe. Starting next year the cabin crew will be instructed to only serve a maximum of one miniature bottle of Champagne per passenger in Club Europe.

Obviously this is a cost cutting measurement, which primarily grounds itself in the fact that management aren't too happy with some cabin crew members being a bit liberal on the Champagne consumption onboard. Additionally there is a crackdown on crew members giving out bottles for passengers to bring off the flight.

Personally I'm in favor of this move, as clearly it's not intended to drink 8 miniature bottles of Champagne on a 2 hour flight. While I find one bottle to be enough, I would be pretty sad to see the Champagne go away completely.

It's only a rumor at this point, and while it hasn't been decided whether it'll be implemented or not, the fact that it has been considered is indeed a tell tale sign that we should expect changes to the CE service concept in the near future.
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Old Dec 2, 16, 2:45 pm
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How are you expected to get through a LCA without at least 6 mini bottles?
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Old Dec 2, 16, 2:48 pm
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That wouldn't be a good idea as far as I'm concerned. I can understand the crew being instructed not to give people bottles to take off the flight - that would be fine. Limiting consumption on board - no thanks!
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Old Dec 2, 16, 3:13 pm
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This is a joke, right? I understand excersing discretion and not giving one passenger 8 bottles, but refusing a second miniature of champagne is the point at which CE ceases to even pretend to be a proper business class...
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Old Dec 2, 16, 3:15 pm
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It is so vile I can't imagine why anyone would want even one
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Old Dec 2, 16, 3:22 pm
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If implemented to the letter, it actually could be a true enhancement!
At present an arbitrary number of bottles appear to be loaded on flights alongside the return sectors load which tends to lead to the excuse 'we have to keep some bottles for the return sector' when a bottle is requested beyond the first drink service (regardless of whether it's your first bottle or not!)
If the catering of champagne was actually based on confirmed CE loads across both sectors, the chances of getting one if not two bottles on each flight would probably end up higher than presently (as it is rare to get an entire CE cabin drinking the stuff!)

Just my thoughts - but trusting BA to cater the aircraft properly in the first instance - that's another matter!

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Old Dec 2, 16, 3:23 pm
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The fact that this is nonsense (probably not even galley FM), is that crew are not supposed to give passengers drinks to take away and passengers are not supposed to take them away (hence they are opened before being handed to passengers normally).

I always thought that giving take aways was a disciplinary offence unless there was a good reason such as service recovery.

Loading only one bottle per pax would seem more likely and of little impact on most routes except the likes of LCA.
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Old Dec 2, 16, 4:51 pm
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I've been on a few CE flights in which it's run out by a certain row. The forward rows tend to go all out and therefore less for the rows further back (guilty). So I guess restricting this prevents an inconsistent distribution. I'm not agreeing, if this is implemented, that this is the way forward but with rowdy drunk pax and pax just generally ordering excessive amounts. I guess controls need to be put in place. I do hope it's a rumour and not genuine. But with some Pax paying £500+ for a fare should be given the appropriate service levels vs a Y fare at £100 for example.
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Old Dec 2, 16, 4:58 pm
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Thumbs up

Originally Posted by Mr 1A View Post
It is so vile I can't imagine why anyone would want even one
It baffles me too.
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Old Dec 2, 16, 5:03 pm
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Completely unacceptable. I'll be nicking full bottles from the lounge if this is true...
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Old Dec 2, 16, 5:09 pm
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Originally Posted by rockflyertalk View Post
with rowdy drunk pax and pax just generally ordering excessive amounts. I guess controls need to be put in place.
I would be tempted to start a rowdy drunk passengers thread for FTers to post details of those that they encounter on their flights, but I suspect it will be a very short thread.

I have never seen a rowdy drunk in CE or pretty much on BA flights in general.

Where this does happen, the crew are trained to deal with it and certainly don't offer any further drink.

Restricting Champagne is quite ridiculous - "Sir, you are too drunk for another Champagne! Fancy a couple of large vodkas instead?"

Excessive is also a very subjective term. Excessive because BA don't want to provide more than a certain number of drinks? Or related to the passenger? What's excessive: a 20 stone rugby player who has not had a drink before the flight being refused a second Champagne as excessive, or a slightly built silver rinse who has had 8 G&Ts in the lounge at LCA before the flight even asking for one bottle of Champagne?

BA offer Champagne (not sparkling wine as some claim would be acceptable) as a product feature in CE. Comsumption is predictable and cost per pax variable. It doesn't take a genius to work out that more Champagne will be needed per pax on a band 4 holiday route in high season than an LHR-BRU flight on a February morning. However you might want to tske the average the cost and consider the profit across the network, rather than focus on per route unit costs in making management decisions. (Unless you are very foolish - jury out on that one.)

Anyway let's hope this is just a false rumour.
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Old Dec 2, 16, 5:18 pm
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I would hope it is false rumour. Not because I drink a lot of champagne in CE but because it becomes the thin edge of the wedge / slippery slope to setting limits generally when it comes to alcohol consumption. Why stop at champagne when you can say to people that you can only have one beer, one bottle of wine, one vodka, etc.

I am not advocating that people drink to excess (perish the thought) but simply that if you're offering a complimentary beverage service you should, within reason, allow people to set their own limits. If I fancy a second glass of champagne or a second beer then assuming there's availability and I am not rocking and rolling after a session in the lounge then why not?
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Old Dec 2, 16, 5:24 pm
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Over all other arguments, let's look at the difference in fares from ET to CE.

Yep.

Now the cost of small bottles of fizz?

Right.

Slippery slope to target premium cabins. Over-consumption, sure, on safety grounds. But a couple of small bottles for everyone who'd like to drink champagne is totally reasonable at those fares.
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Old Dec 2, 16, 5:33 pm
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On the other hand isn't Champagne mainly seen as an apéritif beverage? I know that some airlines who offer Champagne in Economy and Premium Economy (Air France and Singapore Airlines are the only two to come to mind) limit the consumption by serving it as an apéritif only. Also perhaps BA shouldn't advertise the availability of Champagne in Club Europe as a product feature, not necessarily because people outside of FT base their airline choice on whether or not they serve Champagne or not, but rather to keep it as a "hidden" feature. I'm sure they could market it as "a complimentary glass of Champagne before the meal".
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Old Dec 2, 16, 5:45 pm
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Originally Posted by LH4116 View Post
On the other hand isn't Champagne mainly seen as an apéritif beverage? I know that some airlines who offer Champagne in Economy and Premium Economy (Air France and Singapore Airlines are the only two to come to mind) limit the consumption by serving it as an apéritif only. Also perhaps BA shouldn't advertise the availability of Champagne in Club Europe as a product feature, not necessarily because people outside of FT base their airline choice on whether or not they serve Champagne or not, but rather to keep it as a "hidden" feature. I'm sure they could market it as "a complimentary glass of Champagne before the meal".
I don't understand a word of this. What is the correlation between AF LH economy and BA CE? Why are you are trying to rationalize an unsubstantiated rumor? Why the aperitif assumption? What's next? No red wine before the meal? Since when is BA an arbiter of taste and social correctness?

Its either available or it is not. What the punter decides to do with it and in what quantity, is a matter for the punter.
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