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-   -   In (partial) defense of CW (https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/british-airways-executive-club/1833118-partial-defense-cw.html)

cbyrne92 Mar 31, 17 1:18 am

In (partial) defense of CW
 
Hi all,

With the negativity we have seen recently I wanted to list some (of what I view as) positives with regards to CW (vs QR J, having taken a trip on both products recently).

- The CW seating arrangement in A / K feels very private once airborne, more so than the 2-2-2 layout on the equivalent QR J product (777).
- The CW seating arrangement in E / F in the bassinet rows is great for traveling with young kids since when the seats are in the upright position you can allow them some floor space of their own to sit / play / crawl without getting in anyone's way and without being able to 'escape' easily.
- The Club Kitchen is reliably stocked with 'proper' food items (Sandwiches, salads, etc.) in addition to the standard crisps, chocolate and fruit, this is great if you just fancy a light snack rather than a full blown hot meal.
- I have found that the BA crews tend to be reliably more welcoming with a greater freedom to express their personalities and employ 'outside of the box' thinking to improve the customer experience (although I do understand the poor treatment and working conditions suffered by the QR staff so this is not to be unexpected).
- For me, as a fussy eater, the ability to peruse the menu for my flight a couple of weeks in advance and secure my first choice is a nice touch and to date I have always been offered the choice to change this on board should I wish.

To be clear, I am not saying that the product is better or that I expect others with different requirements / standards to agree, only that despite Cruz's best efforts, the product offered still has positives on which to draw.

Now, here's to hoping he doesn't read this and use it as his 'cost cutting ideas' for the next 5 days ;)

CB

cysyuen Mar 31, 17 2:07 am


Originally Posted by cbyrne92 (Post 28109778)
Hi all,

With the negativity we have seen recently I wanted to list some (of what I view as) positives with regards to CW (vs QR J, having taken a trip on both products recently).

- The CW seating arrangement in A / K feels very private once airborne, more so than the 2-2-2 layout on the equivalent QR J product (777).
- The CW seating arrangement in E / F in the bassinet rows is great for traveling with young kids since when the seats are in the upright position you can allow them some floor space of their own to sit / play / crawl without getting in anyone's way and without being able to 'escape' easily.
- The Club Kitchen is reliably stocked with 'proper' food items (Sandwiches, salads, etc.) in addition to the standard crisps, chocolate and fruit, this is great if you just fancy a light snack rather than a full blown hot meal.
- I have found that the BA crews tend to be reliably more welcoming with a greater freedom to express their personalities and employ 'outside of the box' thinking to improve the customer experience (although I do understand the poor treatment and working conditions suffered by the QR staff so this is not to be unexpected).
- For me, as a fussy eater, the ability to peruse the menu for my flight a couple of weeks in advance and secure my first choice is a nice touch and to date I have always been offered the choice to change this on board should I wish.

To be clear, I am not saying that the product is better or that I expect others with different requirements / standards to agree, only that despite Cruz's best efforts, the product offered still has positives on which to draw.

Now, here's to hoping he doesn't read this and use it as his 'cost cutting ideas' for the next 5 days ;)

CB

The 10A/K sears are quite good indeed as it feels like you are in a mini suite.

Club kitchen is good? You must be joking. There were almost nothing on my HKG-LHR earlier this week. Just few pack of crisps and a pack of mini popcorn with some drinks. Not good in my view.

smokie36 Mar 31, 17 2:12 am


Originally Posted by cysyuen (Post 28109891)
The 10A/K sears are quite good indeed as it feels like you are in a mini suite.

Club kitchen is good? You must be joking. There were almost nothing on my HKG-LHR earlier this week. Just few pack of crisps and a pack of mini popcorn with some drinks. Not good in my view.

Yes experience has taught me to go to the kitchen early and grab a sandwich and some crisps since they never load enough for everyone.

BobOnBA Mar 31, 17 2:17 am

I agree.

Recently tried Finnair A350 & Qantas 744 in business on the same trip and BA compared favourably with both. The food was better than each, seat (specifically for sleeping) was better than each and other areas were similar or close in quality.

Looking forward to my flight to OAK tomorrow in Club :)

BobOnBA Mar 31, 17 2:18 am

Also I think the Club Kitchen is one of the great parts of CW. I often grab a Waitrose yogurt and/or bag of crisps on a flight to America.

KMPete Mar 31, 17 3:31 am

I generally like the CW seating too, though some of my recent flights have had a bit less cleaning than I would have liked. I think they are comfortable and have a decent amount of storage, this is especially true when you have upper deck seats. I like the window seat because of the added privacy and I'm tall so stepping over someone's legs isn't a big issue for me.

The Club Kitchen used to be really great and a total asset to BA CW. Unfortunately, on my last couple of flights the treats there have been scaled back considerably and weren't as nice (as far as brands and types) as on previous flights.

Cymro Mar 31, 17 3:35 am

If you find the Club Kitchen is "reliably stocked" you must be the one who's emptying it before I ever get there!

That said, my main aim on most of my CW flights (which tend to be overnight) is to sleep, so it doesn't really bother me - my main reason for being there is to get horizontal and pass out for as long as possible. I do find that I sleep very well in CW even if the experience isn't always as good as others when you're awake.

Foltan Mar 31, 17 3:37 am

I always chuckle at the general vitriol thrown at BA's yin yang seating and the fact you 'don't have direct aisle access' because when I'm travelling alone I really like being able to cosy away in a corner where literally nobody can see me. I hate trying to sleep in an aisle, knowing that people can just walk past and look at me...

navylad Mar 31, 17 3:50 am

Thanks for posting OP, saddened to subsequently hear that it appears that the range in the kitchen has been reduced, but glad some people still find benefit in it. I still like a CW rear view window seat myself too and I know what the OP is saying about the QR 777 seats, although their dreamliner seats show improvement.

Tiffywren Mar 31, 17 3:59 am


Originally Posted by Foltan (Post 28110075)
I always chuckle at the general vitriol thrown at BA's yin yang seating and the fact you 'don't have direct aisle access' because when I'm travelling alone I really like being able to cosy away in a corner where literally nobody can see me. I hate trying to sleep in an aisle, knowing that people can just walk past and look at me...

I feel the same, I like being tucked away in my own private space.

mgiarc Mar 31, 17 4:02 am

I sleep on my front and I like being able to put my feet over the end of the "bed" in Club World, which isn't possible in most other business seats. I also like that it is square and not narrow around the feet and shoulders. With a bit more padding (which is on its way?) it would be a good night's sleep. I recently flew LHR-SYD on SQ to try out some alternative carriers and the seat looked great, but in practice was not as comfortable as it promised, either as a seat or as a bed.

ratypus Mar 31, 17 4:06 am

I agree with other posters here - I really like the BA seating for the excellent privacy you can get in some seats: like a mini-cabin / mini-suite if you get the right spot. Works both as a solo traveller, and also as a couple the middle E/F seats are fantastic, in my view: you can have some really private space to have a meal, watch a film and sleep - without really noticing any passengers other than your partner...


I don't tend to get up and move around that much on a long flight, so perhaps the "climbing over legs" to get out annoys me less than most, but I 100% agree that some CW seats afford excellent privacy. The rare times I have an aisle seat, I enjoy it much less.

Wong Jnr Mar 31, 17 4:35 am

I too still like the CW seats.
It's the freedom around the ottoman that I like in comparison to other products where your feet is restricted in a foot well.
Stepping over someone's feet is such a small price to pay for the great privacy you get in the middle pair or window seats.
Small things such as the general cleanliness of the seats and the very limited club kitchen let the experience down.
All the seats need is a quick vacuum to get rid of the crumbs that are inevitably always there...

kt74 Mar 31, 17 4:54 am

Yes, yes, we get it. The A and K seats are amazing, especially on the upper deck. Well done! 1 in 4 seats.

Now try being a Gold, paying full fare for a last minute ticket (i.e. the most profitable ticket that BA could possibly sell), and finding an A or K seat on the Friday night flight back from JFK, Sunday night from LHR to JNB/DXB, etc

Basically, it's lovely if you can book early and nab one of the good seats, and I don't mind it for leisure travel where I can book it well in advance

But for last minute business, I can't guarantee a good night's sleep if I'm stuck next to a snoring stranger in an E or F (why isn't there a divider like on Every Other Airline), or if people are padding up and down next to an aisle seat, but maybe you lot don't mind that?

obduro Mar 31, 17 5:16 am


Originally Posted by kt74 (Post 28110205)
Yes, yes, we get it. The A and K seats are amazing, especially on the upper deck. Well done! 1 in 4 seats.

Now try being a Gold, paying full fare for a last minute ticket (i.e. the most profitable ticket that BA could possibly sell), and finding an A or K seat on the Friday night flight back from JFK, Sunday night from LHR to JNB/DXB, etc

Basically, it's lovely if you can book early and nab one of the good seats, and I don't mind it for leisure travel where I can book it well in advance

But for last minute business, I can't guarantee a good night's sleep if I'm stuck next to a snoring stranger in an E or F (why isn't there a divider like on Every Other Airline), or if people are padding up and down next to an aisle seat, but maybe you lot don't mind that?

People have different preferences, wants and needs. There's not really a need to chastise them for saying CW as a product is perfectly fine but limited.

As for the buying a ticket last minute...well that's not really got anything to do with the product has it?

ratypus Mar 31, 17 5:33 am

maybe I'm just lucky with my routings, but I have never had a problem getting a decent enough CW seat even on tickets booked 2-3 days before travel...the occasional run I have had to do in an aisle seat back from JFK is, I agree, a much inferior experience - but I can generally get a seat that's OK even at short notice...


I should probably say that, for the real short notice ones, I often end up in First as the fares can be lower than Club...which also helps

lost_in_translation Mar 31, 17 6:10 am


Originally Posted by obduro (Post 28110255)
As for the buying a ticket last minute...well that's not really got anything to do with the product has it?

I'm steering clear of commenting on BA's products generally these days, but this point in particular has *everything* to do with the product.

The point is a last minute traveler facing, say, a reverse herringbone layout doesn't really have a *bad* seat to be put in, missing the window seat is unfortunate but not the end of the world. The same traveler flying in CW is potentially in for a totally different experience, with definite seats to avoid which will be largely what's left at the last minute on popular (and therefore expensive) routes.

cysyuen Mar 31, 17 6:15 am


Originally Posted by smokie36 (Post 28109906)
Yes experience has taught me to go to the kitchen early and grab a sandwich and some crisps since they never load enough for everyone.

It's not quite possible with HKG-LHR for example as one may sleep for hours before heading to the kitchen.

bafan Mar 31, 17 6:34 am

I used to love CW when I first started flying long haul, about 15 years ago. The upgrade to new CW seemed like a major step up and 'Raiding the larder' was always a treat - in every sense of the word.

Howeber, since I've flown AnotherAirline in business, I just don't think the CW seat compares any more. And the AA equivalent of the CW kitchen is far superior.

That said, the service in CW is generally still better and the main courses (but only the main courses) are probably also better.

Overall tho, I'm afraid I'm no longer as excited about flying CW as the OP, or as I used to be.

Jimmie76 Mar 31, 17 6:38 am


Originally Posted by lost_in_translation (Post 28110348)
I'm steering clear of commenting on BA's products generally these days, but this point in particular has *everything* to do with the product.

The point is a last minute traveler facing, say, a reverse herringbone layout doesn't really have a *bad* seat to be put in, missing the window seat is unfortunate but not the end of the world. The same traveler flying in CW is potentially in for a totally different experience, with definite seats to avoid which will be largely what's left at the last minute on popular (and therefore expensive) routes.

Well yes except that they tend to have foot coffins in the reverse herringbone formation which some people (myself included) absolutely hate. So on that score every seat is a *bad* seat. ;) YMMV

elitetraveler Mar 31, 17 6:49 am

On the 744s 14AK and 62/64AK are outstanding -- you don't need F if you have those seats.

In terms of Club Kitchen, my flights to and from EWR/JFK - I don't think there is anything other than chips and chocolates anymore Eastbound, and Westbound I thought it was about the same. I was told westbound Club Kitchen only has sandwiches to NYC at certain times of day. I think the hot food was removed along time ago.

Compared to QR 777s - they J seems much wider - and if you don't have somebody next to you, it's nice.

QR's food service - quality and quantity - as well as snacks are far ahead of BA from my experience - but perhaps they have a different offering on US-DOH flights than shorter flights to the UK.

Overall, the CW seats for many years with far ahead of anything else -- it is only recently that other airlines have caught up and in cases passed the CW seating by. CW is not state of the art - it's also not bad. That said, BA could do a better job cleaning its cabins.

JonV Mar 31, 17 9:30 am

I've tried to express my love for the CW seat (in particular the 747 UD A/K seats) in various threads on the topic before, stating that the superior seat is why I always choose BA over AA on transatlantic night flights. I've always been met with disbelief, because everyone seems to love the AA business seats, but for me there's no contest - on AA the seats are too firm, the footwell is too narrow, and there's no privacy.

henkybaby Mar 31, 17 10:12 am

I actually like the *good* seats on CW. The seat is not the problem. I may even prefer the privacy of CW to F or other airline's reverse herringbone.

The issue is the inconsistency of the service, the decline of the soft product and the des-integration of customer service when things go south. The 'we do not really apologise' culture is the latest incarnation of the loss of focus on the customer for me. To be honest, QR is 10x worse at CS but they have less to apologise for.

It may look like I will do about 6 commutes per year to (or rather from) Sydney soon-ish but there is no way I will choose BA as my carrier of choice. It will probably be CX as they seem to understand CS.

PS: I agree that this part of FT has become very adversarial, hence I don't post very much anymore (OMNI/PR is almost friendlier) and my post is not to be understood as either supportive of BA or bashing BA. We all have a choice and we choose what we love.

libertyuk Mar 31, 17 10:27 am

My main route the past year and a half is London-Australia/NZ in business roughly every 3 months and so I've done quite a few options beyond CW, including CX, QR, QF, TG, SQ, NZ, VS/NZ as well as mixed AY/BA, OS/TG, LX/QF or CX.

CW is not the best, but it is definitely not the worst. QF A380 "flat" Skybeds, TG's angle lie flat seats on 747s and 777s (and the grim lounges at BKK) and the very mixed service on QR all rank below CW. CX seats and lounges are better, but on board catering is poor recently. SQ is generally excellent, but I much prefer the BA and QF lounges at SIN over the tired crowded Silver Kris lounges. NZ is good too, but to go all the way means LAX transit and it is generally pricey.

CW is ok, its strength is consistency, its weakness is hard product that means many seats are undesirable (aisle seats are very exposed, middle seats are too close to others except upper deck A380), and storage is poor. I can sleep in CW which is the main point in my view. Working is ok, but basically I choose on price. I have a limit in budget for long haul business on this route (sometimes it means going ex.EU) so I go CW if it is competitive. However, I'll generally make the trade-off on price and schedule, and if I can't get seats 16A/K on LHR-SYD on 777s, then I'll probably not bother.

cysyuen Mar 31, 17 10:44 am

**removed reply as I reply to the wrong thread, lol** :D

carrotjuice Mar 31, 17 10:56 am

Isn't having an aisle seat much better than being wedged mid-row between the seat next to you and the curvature of the fusilage of a 777, where you have to step over someone sleeping flat just to use the washroom?

carrotjuice Mar 31, 17 10:58 am

Club kitchen is "well stocked"? I remember when it used to be and the onboard menu even invited guests to "raid the larder". Now there's absolutely nothing to raid!

All I find are crisps, fruit, popcorn and chocs. And yes an occasional uneaten cold appetiser or salad from the earlier meal serving.

nk15 Mar 31, 17 11:23 am

I agree with the general comments, AK seats are great, the rest suck. Club kitchen always disappears towards the end of the flight. Crew I have mixed feelings about, sometimes very slow to serve meals, sometimes talk amongst themselves and seem annoyed if I interrupt to ask for something, sometimes lack common sense to leave the bottle of water in my seat when I am in the lav and have to track them down, and other minor annoyances.
My latest company pet peeve is asking me "IF" I want the amenity kit...I am guessing another great cost-cutting move? I expect the next iteration to be "You don't really need the amenity kit, do you?", followed by "Please tell me how you will benefit from an amenity kit and you may get one", lol...

WorldClub Mar 31, 17 11:32 am


Originally Posted by carrotjuice (Post 28111435)
Club kitchen is "well stocked"? I remember when it used to be and the onboard menu even invited guests to "raid the larder". Now there's absolutely nothing to raid!

All I find are crisps, fruit, popcorn and chocs. And yes an occasional uneaten cold appetiser or salad from the earlier meal serving.

I totally agree with this, used to be good but not anymore now in my opinion.

Also the seat comparison with a Qatar 777 is fair and I guess I would prefer CW but not over the Dreamliner, A350 or A380.

Additionaly I find QR staff very friendly (I had several wonderful chats with them) and they did a personal welcome each flight.

My experience differs from the OP.

HIDDY Mar 31, 17 1:35 pm

I agree there's still plenty shelf life in the CW seat. AA are still sending 2-3-2 config sloping J seats down to S America last I heard and across the Atlantic on certain routes as well many years after BA had all lie flat.

I don't like the middle middle CW seats but my wife does as will many others no doubt.

smokie36 Mar 31, 17 2:06 pm

Last time I flew business with CX from HKG to LHR I had a cradle seat for 13 hours so on reflection I will always take BA on this route.

Consistency works better for me.

Gig103 Mar 31, 17 2:28 pm

I like the CW seating and would add the following benefits to your list:
1) The folding & sliding tray table so you can exit the seat with it out
2) The footrest (I think this is personal preference but I like the Z-seating
3) With another person, facing each other during the flight for conversation
4) on the 747 UD (for now) the passenger:crew ratio and overall calm/quiet of the cabin can't be beat

My wife likes the privacy of the windows but that was already addressed

I don't like paying for J and being asked for money to choose seats. Especially since OW Sapphire is not typical for me, and in the past I haven't even been OW Ruby. Seat assignment fees are obnoxious in the premium cabin.

I get that some couples or families can find benefit in the inside pair, but it would be nice if those were only every other row, so that business/solo travelers don't have to pay extra to be sure and avoid them. My opinion (not that Cruz asked!) it would go like this
2-4-2 (current)
2-3-2 (Dreamliner seat config)
2-4-2
2-3-2
etc.etc.

But obviously cutting so many seats wouldn't happen, especially as long as they are filling up.

stevehh Mar 31, 17 2:49 pm


Originally Posted by kt74 (Post 28110205)
Yes, yes, we get it. The A and K seats are amazing, especially on the upper deck. Well done! 1 in 4 seats.

Now try being a Gold, paying full fare for a last minute ticket (i.e. the most profitable ticket that BA could possibly sell), and finding an A or K seat on the Friday night flight back from JFK, Sunday night from LHR to JNB/DXB, etc

Basically, it's lovely if you can book early and nab one of the good seats, and I don't mind it for leisure travel where I can book it well in advance

But for last minute business, I can't guarantee a good night's sleep if I'm stuck next to a snoring stranger in an E or F (why isn't there a divider like on Every Other Airline), or if people are padding up and down next to an aisle seat, but maybe you lot don't mind that?

I am perfectly happy in a B or a J aisle seat. Even better when my wife is in the A or K next to me.

smokie36 Mar 31, 17 3:02 pm


Originally Posted by Gig103 (Post 28112445)
I like the CW seating and would add the following benefits to your list:
1) The folding & sliding tray table so you can exit the seat with it out
2) The footrest (I think this is personal preference but I like the Z-seating
3) With another person, facing each other during the flight for conversation
4) on the 747 UD (for now) the passenger:crew ratio and overall calm/quiet of the cabin can't be beat

My wife likes the privacy of the windows but that was already addressed

I don't like paying for J and being asked for money to choose seats. Especially since OW Sapphire is not typical for me, and in the past I haven't even been OW Ruby. Seat assignment fees are obnoxious in the premium cabin.

I get that some couples or families can find benefit in the inside pair, but it would be nice if those were only every other row, so that business/solo travelers don't have to pay extra to be sure and avoid them. My opinion (not that Cruz asked!) it would go like this
2-4-2 (current)
2-3-2 (Dreamliner seat config)
2-4-2
2-3-2
etc.etc.

But obviously cutting so many seats wouldn't happen, especially as long as they are filling up.


Originally Posted by stevehh (Post 28112541)
I am perfectly happy in a B or a J aisle seat. Even better when my wife is in the A or K next to me.

Yes I have one of those trouser wearers too lol!

elitetraveler Mar 31, 17 3:24 pm


Originally Posted by smokie36 (Post 28112341)
Last time I flew business with CX from HKG to LHR I had a cradle seat for 13 hours so on reflection I will always take BA on this route.

Consistency works better for me.

That must be at least 5 years ago now -- all CX lh J is now reverse herring bone.

I tend to switch when i find something better - for example, BR usually is much cheaper than CX from the US to Asia, essentially the same seat product and better inflight food and drinks.

smokie36 Mar 31, 17 3:27 pm


Originally Posted by elitetraveler (Post 28112682)
That must be at least 5 years ago now -- all CX lh J is now reverse herring bone.

Thanks for confirming that too as I hate those seats as well.

kt74 Mar 31, 17 4:13 pm


Originally Posted by obduro (Post 28110255)
People have different preferences, wants and needs. There's not really a need to chastise them for saying CW as a product is perfectly fine but limited.

As for the buying a ticket last minute...well that's not really got anything to do with the product has it?

Consistency of seating, and therefore whether you reserve first or last, has *everything* to do with the product. Praising CW seats, when you only mean the small handful that you personally approve of, means that you won't mind trading 64A with me, the next time I'm stuck next to a snorer in 13E

With herringbone-type seats, it pretty much doesn't matter when you book or which seat you get, they are all very similar, all private, don't need to step over/be stepped over and you will get a similar, consistently good sleeping experience. That's true of CX, VS, SQ, the new AA seats to JFK. Don't matter if you book first or last, the seats are equally good, and nobody is disappointed

With BA, there are a handful of fantastic seats which are "better than first class" (64A/K), some very good seats (windows), and many, many very bad seats (aisle or middle seats as a solo passenger on overnight flights) on every flight. It would be fine if these were always strictly allocated according to fare paid or status of passenger, but they're not...

IAN-UK Mar 31, 17 4:30 pm


Originally Posted by cbyrne92 (Post 28109778)
- I have found that the BA crews tend to be reliably more welcoming with a greater freedom to express their personalities and employ 'outside of the box' thinking to improve the customer experience (although I do understand the poor treatment and working conditions suffered by the QR staff so this is not to be unexpected).

:confused:

not this old chestnut resurrected !!!

IAN-UK Mar 31, 17 4:37 pm


Originally Posted by kt74 (Post 28112863)
With BA, there are a handful of fantastic seats which are "better than first class" (64A/K), some very good seats (windows), and many, many very bad seats (aisle or middle seats as a solo passenger on overnight flights) on every flight.

spot on



Originally Posted by kt74 (Post 28112863)
would be fine if these were always strictly allocated according to fare paid or status of passenger, but they're not...

but then you spoil it. Bad seats are bad seats: seems you're suggesting they stop being bad seats if they are given to ex-EUs or Bronzers :eek:

Jimmie76 Mar 31, 17 4:40 pm


Originally Posted by kt74 (Post 28112863)
With herringbone-type seats, it pretty much doesn't matter when you book or which seat you get, they are all very similar, all private, don't need to step over/be stepped over and you will get a similar, consistently good sleeping experience. That's true of CX, VS, SQ, the new AA seats to JFK. Don't matter if you book first or last, the seats are equally good, and nobody is disappointed

I'm disappointed if I get on a plane and there's a foot coffin normally with a tapering foot space. That's true of CX, SQ, the new AA seats to JFK. On VS they don't have the foot coffin but the seat is the wrong way round and they do have a seriously tapering seat to the feet area (ottoman). So all of those seats are going to disappoint me. You also seem to be suggesting that the only people who fly are solo travellers. Some people travel as couples and like the E/F seats.


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