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Good/Bad/Ugly BA Experiences, CE OPO -> LGW.

Good/Bad/Ugly BA Experiences, CE OPO -> LGW.

Old Jun 26, 17, 11:22 am
  #1  
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Good/Bad/Ugly BA Experiences, CE OPO -> LGW.

Me and MrsPumplekin flew back from OPO yesterday to LGW.

Things didn't get off a great start as we checked the BA app around lunchtime and found our flight was delayed by about 90mins. This varied up and down over the course of the day, but eventually got down to around 65mins.

Because of this, we decided to get to the airport a little later than we normally would (the fact BA won't pay for a lounge at OPO was also somewhat persuasive in that regard. When offered the option of a nice riverside cafe and some good Portuguese wine vs the delights of OPO's terminal we opt'd for the river. Last time we opted for the terminal we ended up both getting food poisoning from a dirty burger king anyway).

Sadly, those plans went quite wrong for us as the tram taking us to the airport decided it would be a fine time to develop a mechanical fault, which delayed us by an hour getting to the airport. We arrived just in time to watch them closing the checkin desk (although we still had ~90 mins to go to actual plane departure time).

It took some considerable begging, but after numerous "it is your fault" (which to an extent it was), the blank wall of refusal meant we decided to go with the hail Mary DYKWIA play (as being nice just wasn't getting us anywhere). We both pulled our our gold cards and our 1A/1C boarding passes, and explained it would be exceptionally frustrating to have to leave our considerable wine haul behind.

Surprisingly this worked !. The woman (with a TAP badge) behind the checkin desk made a phone call, and seemed surprised when she was obviously told things were good. She then took our bags, hand wrote them and sent us to the excess baggage. Then we handed over our bags and were on our way. After clearing security, and saying hi again to some other family members who were over 4 hours late (ergh) on the U2 flight to MAN, we were waiting at the gate for our flight.

We boarded via a bus (with the usual joke that priority boarding to a bus is), struggled to find some overheard baggage space (now there is even less space with the LGW planes losing the front bulkhead) and were on our way.

The crew however were excellent. They were far from technically perfect, they had at least 3 technical mistakes but I doubt any would have been noticed by a non-FT'er. However, what they did have was a lot of humanity. They were fun, chatty (although the aforementioned lack of bulkhead does somewhat force this to 1A and 1C) and generally made the flight a lot more fun than you would have had with more robotic crew.

Despite all the difficulties with the service cuts on BA, the changes, and the penny pinching. When BA crews are good, they really can be very good. I don't think crews from any other airlines I've got regular experience with (so AA and CX mostly) are able to add so much to a flight through personality alone.
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Old Jun 26, 17, 11:41 am
  #2  
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Not sure there's too much that's ugly or even that bad here, really.

You were probably lucky to get on still - unless told otherwise by BA in the event of delays you're still expected to turn up, check in etc as if the flight was departing on time. A non-status passenger in economy might not have been so lucky and could have risked being a no-show on the hook for a new ticket home, even with the delayed tram as they'd not have shown up in time for the scheduled departure.

I'll agree that boarding by bus is inevitably going to be crap.

In CE you do get to benefit from a good crew, but this is rather less of a consideration in euro traveller now where you only get interaction with the crew if you're buying on board.
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Old Jun 26, 17, 12:24 pm
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If you really are both Gold card holders, then you surely know that you must still arrive and check in for the original scheduled time for your flight unless told otherwise. Delayed flights often make up the lost time and substitute aircraft are not unknown.

I would personally think yourself very lucky that you were allowed on at all.

Last edited by NWIFlyer; Jun 26, 17 at 11:47 pm Reason: Remove off topic side discussion
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Old Jun 26, 17, 12:44 pm
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For goodness sake why didnt you just hand over your gold cards and BPs when you started your interraction at the desk instead of acting DYKWIA at the end??

You were extreamly lucky to be allowed to check-in at all and should be very thankfull that you were.

I hope you have learned your lesson and unless specifically told otherwise to check-in at the scheduled time.
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Old Jun 26, 17, 1:37 pm
  #5  
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Originally Posted by UKtravelbear View Post
For goodness sake why didnt you just hand over your gold cards and BPs when you started your interraction at the desk instead of acting DYKWIA at the end??
Because I've generally found DYKWIA'ing gets you less rather than more, particularly when you know you are at fault for being late. However, when you are going to get nothing then you may as well try it !. I was honestly surprised it worked (or maybe just persistence was what worked).

Originally Posted by UKtravelbear View Post
You were extreamly lucky to be allowed to check-in at all and should be very thankfull that you were.
Totally am !. Normally we turn up about 2 hours checkin closes, but as I said the combo of no OPO lounge and the delayed flight made me instead aim for an hour before checkin closed, only to run into an hour delay due to the failing tram.

I hope you have learned your lesson and unless specifically told otherwise to check-in at the scheduled time.
Pretty much, will be back to the "aim for 2 hours", no matter what is going on.

Originally Posted by FrancisA
If you really are both Gold card holders, then you surely know that you must still arrive and check in for the original scheduled time for your flight unless told otherwise. Delayed flights often make up the lost time and substitute aircraft are not unknown.
Nice to see some random doubt about our claims to both be GCH's ...

And yes, we did know. As stated above we aimed to be at the airport about an hour before the checkin desk closed (instead of our usual 2 hours).

Flights are indeed known to make up time, but unless little airbuses have suddenly developed supersonic capabilities, then I don't seem them bring much back in when they have left LGW nearly 2 hours late. Also I think we can also all agree a replacement aircraft at OPO is pretty unlikely !
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Old Jun 26, 17, 2:09 pm
  #6  
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Classic FT. OP posts a reasonable description of his BA CE experience. Is flamed. Responses doubt the OP's bona fides, etc. OP returns to give reasonable explanations for his reasonable descriptions.

A wonder anyone posts.....

Last edited by NWIFlyer; Jun 26, 17 at 11:48 pm Reason: Remove reference to off-topic side discussion
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Old Jun 26, 17, 2:56 pm
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I would never have imagined flashing a 1A/C BP in CE would carry so much clout.
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Old Jun 26, 17, 5:47 pm
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I didn't think it would either, which is why I didn't start out with that move.

Turns out it did though and that turned out to be much better than having to leave a few hundred quid of wine behind.
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Old Jun 26, 17, 10:04 pm
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Originally Posted by Purim View Post
Classic FT. OP posts a reasonable description of his BA CE experience. Is flamed. Responses doubt the OP's bona fides, etc. OP returns to give reasonable explanations for his reasonable descriptions.

A wonder anyone posts.....
^

Last edited by NWIFlyer; Jun 26, 17 at 11:49 pm Reason: Align quoted post with mod edit
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Old Jun 26, 17, 11:53 pm
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A number of posts have been removed which were leading into an off-topic side discussion on taking legal action for contracting food poisoning. Please stick to the core issues raised in the OP's post.

/mod
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Old Jun 27, 17, 1:23 am
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Genuine question and not a criticism: Why didn't you get a taxi or Uber? Especially when the tram broke down.
Taxis are so cheap in Portugal (compared to the UK) and I just didn't see the point in the tram once there was more than one of you travelling!
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Old Jun 27, 17, 5:51 am
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Originally Posted by Pumplekin View Post
Because I've generally found DYKWIA'ing gets you less rather than more, particularly when you know you are at fault for being late. However, when you are going to get nothing then you may as well try it !. I was honestly surprised it worked (or maybe just persistence was what worked).
Handing over your gold card with ticket / passport etc is not doing a DYKWIA.

It's an early indication of your status and could have got you sorted out much sooner.

It's when people start (and I'm certainly not saying you did this but we all know some do!) shouting 'But I'm Gold AND a friend of Alex Cruz' that's a full DYKWIA!
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Old Jun 27, 17, 6:32 am
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Originally Posted by UKtravelbear View Post
Handing over your gold card with ticket / passport etc is not doing a DYKWIA.

It's an early indication of your status and could have got you sorted out much sooner.

It's when people start (and I'm certainly not saying you did this but we all know some do!) shouting 'But I'm Gold AND a friend of Alex Cruz' that's a full DYKWIA!
I think getting your card out is a bit DKNWIA, but most people would consider it in order, if done politely. I agree that it's those that wave the Gold card (or worse, Silver or Bronze) loudly proclaiming their entitlement and generally being rude and obnoxious that really grate, so I suppose you could say there's a distinction between a "soft" DYKWIA and a "Hard" DYKWIA

As for the OP, it sounds as though he was fortunate to make the flight, but he handled it well and the report is balanced. I agree that the crew in CE can often make up for what is sometimes a mediocre experience.
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Old Jun 27, 17, 6:59 am
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Originally Posted by Foltan View Post
Genuine question and not a criticism: Why didn't you get a taxi or Uber? Especially when the tram broke down.
Taxis are so cheap in Portugal (compared to the UK) and I just didn't see the point in the tram once there was more than one of you travelling!
We were on the tram when it broke down and it was between stops.

Didn't really have much option.
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Old Jun 27, 17, 7:13 am
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Originally Posted by Purim View Post
Classic FT. OP posts a reasonable description of his BA CE experience. Is flamed. Responses doubt the OP's bona fides, etc. OP returns to give reasonable explanations for his reasonable descriptions.

A wonder anyone posts.....

^
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