BA Club Europe - AWFUL

Old Jan 24, 18, 7:56 am
  #1  
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Thumbs down BA Club Europe - AWFUL

Just returned from a trip ORD/ATH via LHR in Business (Club World) under PNR <personal information redacted>. Missed our connection from BA294 due to late arriving crew although BA reported it as a mechanical. Right! When we got to LHR the airline had rebooked us on a later flight - almost 5 hours. They are paying the 600 Euro compensation because they have to. However, when we got to the LHR/ATH flight it was an old 767-300 - G-BNWZ. Apparently BA has a few still left in their fleet. This one is 20 years old. When we got onboard I thought it was a candid camera moment. Nasty old seats on a nasty old plane that should have been retired years ago. No special meals loaded even though BA misconnected us. No food for 4+ hours. In flight supervisor on outbound flight apologized for the plane, the service, the seats - said she had been flying for the airline for nearly 30 years. She was embarrassed. I do not blame her. Sent tweets to Alex Cruz who has failed to respond. Dealing with <BA representative> who states he is a part of the British Airways Customer Relations team. My request was that I should get what I paid for and in the event I did not then I should get the difference in fare. He rejected that idea stating ...

Whilst I appreciate your reasons for asking, we're unable to offer compensation for the issues you had on board. I’m sure you’ll understand we must apply a consistent approach to situations like this, so we’re fair to all our customers. This means we won’t make an exception. I know this will be disappointing to hear since it’s clear you expected more from us. I understand from your email how strongly you feel about this issue. I want to assure you we’ve taken the matter seriously and done all we can to make changes within the company, so we can try to avoid this happening again.

I reject that idea. BA needs to be competitive with other products out there. This idea of blocking a middle seat out with a semi-permanent tray offers more privacy than a larger, newer and more comfortable seat with a bit of legroom - I am 6'3" - is outrageous. Don't sell what you don't have to sell.

Last edited by Oxon Flyer; Jan 24, 18 at 8:06 am Reason: Remove personal information and BA staff name, as per FT rules
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Old Jan 24, 18, 8:00 am
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Those seats might be old but they’re better than the more modern ones with more legroom.
Blocking off the middle seat is standard for European business class.
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Old Jan 24, 18, 8:02 am
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I would suggest removing your PNR and BAEC number from the post.

Moderator Note :
In accordance with FT Privacy Rules : the OPs BAEC number, PNR and BA staff member name have all been removed.
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Last edited by Oxon Flyer; Jan 24, 18 at 8:40 am
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Old Jan 24, 18, 8:02 am
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Wow. I'd take the 767 over anything else in Club Europe, except the mid-haul 321s! I suspect the OP might be American though where of course business / first class seats on domestics are a big step up from CE (or indeed most European short haul biz).
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Old Jan 24, 18, 8:08 am
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A few thoughts:

1) Remove your booking reference from the post
2) Yes, BA operate older 767s on some routes and they are being retired in the course of the next year.
3) Yes, special meals don't often make it during misconnects such as this. Pretty common knowledge, IMO. If you have specific dietary issues then you had plenty of time to rustle something up in one of the lounges or at one of the many eateries in Terminal 5
4) Yes, welcome to European business class. Pretty much every major airline in Europe operates this way for premium cabin seating on shorthaul flights. A lack of research on your part is not a customer service failing.

Yes, misconnects are annoying, if you fly with any regularity it's bound to happen at some point. It happened to me at LHR recently with an unexpected overnight stop and I made lemonade out of lemons. The OH and I enjoyed a lovely meal at Mr. Todiwala's at the Hilton T5 courtesy of BA and I enjoyed cashing the cheque for 1200 Euros a few weeks later.

If you want to be pissed off you'll be pissed off. If you take it on the chin and recognise what you experienced is what sometimes happens during the often unexpected course of air travel then it makes things a whole lot more palatable. Claim your 1200 Euros, move on and book a different carrier on your next trip to Greece....after having researched what they offer you onboard.
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Old Jan 24, 18, 8:13 am
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Originally Posted by hakadaddy View Post
BA Club Europe - AWFUL
Tell us what we don't know

In seriousness, if you are not on a connecting J itinerary, best to stick to Y on BA shorthaul (with very low expectations) and grabbing an exit row or bulkhead seat (aircraft dependent) and then you will have at least decent leg room and little chance your (low) expectations won't be met. The caveat is that (usually) on a longhaul J journey, you don't get a choice to relocate to an emergency exit or bulkhead seat.
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Old Jan 24, 18, 8:17 am
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Originally Posted by hakadaddy View Post
I reject that idea. BA needs to be competitive with other products out there. This idea of blocking a middle seat out with a semi-permanent tray offers more privacy than a larger, newer and more comfortable seat with a bit of legroom - I am 6'3" - is outrageous. Don't sell what you don't have to sell.
Welcome to the BA forum hakadaddy. Unfortunately from your perspective, BA is a business, a profitable one at that, and the middle seat as the business class seat in shorthaul is the norm in Europe, I would guess 90% plus of business class seats in European shorthaul are configured this way. It allows the cabin to be financially viable since they can increase or decrease the business cabin size accordingly. Only one airline of any size has a 2 by 2 business class cabin, and that's Turkish (and you're not guaranteed to get it to on IST to ATH either). Some Club Europe fares are below US$100 each way, and that's only going to happen on the model that BA uses. If BA went for a fixed two by two arrangement up front - as used in the USA - then we'd end up paying similar (higher) fares as the USA market, which certainly isn't something I would like! By way of example, LHR-ATH is about 1500 miles, so more than JFK-DFW. The cheapest return fares are under US$500 to ATH, and around US$670 to DFW despite being a shorter distance and lower taxes. I'm two inches shorter than you, and I am OK with the leg room (in row 1 in particular), but if you want more legroom and are not BA Gold / oneworld Emerald you best book the exit rows, whether in Club Europe or in EuroTraveller.

I guess the practical alternative is to fly longhaul into Athens direct from the USA, something like Delta from JFK to ATH.
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Old Jan 24, 18, 8:31 am
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EUR600 is plenty compensation.
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Old Jan 24, 18, 8:32 am
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Originally Posted by hakadaddy View Post
No special meals loaded even though BA misconnected us.
There were no special meals loaded because you misconnected, not in spite of.

Due to the 24hr limit on requesting special meals it's currently not possible to get a special meal when an alternative flight is booked within that window.

BA needs to be competitive with other products out there.
Other than TK, which other European shorthaul business class products are you comparing to? Practically all other competitive products are very, very similar…
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Old Jan 24, 18, 8:45 am
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Judging by recent reports you should feel lucky to have a meal at all...
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Old Jan 24, 18, 9:02 am
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Originally Posted by JAXBA View Post
There were no special meals loaded because you misconnected, not in spite of.

Due to the 24hr limit on requesting special meals it's currently not possible to get a special meal when an alternative flight is booked within that window.



Other than TK, which other European shorthaul business class products are you comparing to? Practically all other competitive products are very, very similar…
Agreed, however, OP should be compensated for lack of special meal. It's not his fault that he misconnected. Last time it happened to me I got 3 or 5k avios on BRU flight... On ATH I would be starving.
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Old Jan 24, 18, 9:06 am
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Originally Posted by kingstontoon View Post
Wow. I'd take the 767 over anything else in Club Europe, except the mid-haul 321s! I suspect the OP might be American though where of course business / first class seats on domestics are a big step up from CE (or indeed most European short haul biz).
Yes, indeed - I have an ex-AMS trip to CPT later this year, and - whilst it's not entirely a deliberate choice - am extremely pleased that three out of my four flights (I'm not B2B on the return set) are on a 767 because of the better CE seating in the centre seats for a couple, the better seat padding and the two abreast with more legroom compared to the A320 series in Y for our return.

Many US/North American airlines still run very old 757 & 767 aircraft both domestically and internationally. Age is irrelevant here - it's how the aircraft is looked after. Now, some of BA's 767s are becoming tired, and because of the imminent retirement are not going to be re-furbished, but I'd still take one over the Airbuses any day of the week.

This seems more to be a case of a massive assumption Business Class/First Class is the same the world over. If I were the OP, I'd be grateful for the 1200 Euros and put it down as a lesson learnt.
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Old Jan 24, 18, 9:24 am
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Originally Posted by JAXBA View Post
Due to the 24hr limit on requesting special meals it's currently not possible to get a special meal when an alternative flight is booked within that window.
That's not true, i've had a special meal on a CE flight i was rebooked onto 6hrs before.
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Old Jan 24, 18, 9:32 am
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OP, if you want to fly to ATH from the States, just fly Emirates! Direct flight out of EWR all year long! Don't waste your time arguing with Customer Services, take your 1200 EUR and run!
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Old Jan 24, 18, 9:34 am
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Having received EC261 compensation I'm not sure what it is the OP is looking for. The cost of a CE special meal - that's about £5? The OP is not missing much, my dog would turn its nose up at the food on my CE 2 weeks ago.

Did the OP seriously expect Alex Cruz to reply to a twitter message - get real.

As for the 767, well BA has its share of old and knackered planes but it got the OP from A to B. Perhaps the OP can tell us which other airlines have the bigger seats in European business classes that they are comparing BA to? Or perhaps this thread will be the usual 'drive by' rant.
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