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How do Air Belgium for BA handle delays? They lie

How do Air Belgium for BA handle delays? They lie

Old Oct 18, 18, 7:56 am
  #1  
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How do Air Belgium for BA handle delays? They lie

Currently sat on the delayed LHR-AUH BA flight operated by Air Belgium. We were initially told we were waiting for passengers to board, only after it became clear an aircraft wouldn't wait did the real reason get announced an engine issue. Apparently now awaiting paperwork before we can push back.

Business seat itself is nice and while crew are friendly they are useless. Drinks were cleared 15-20 mins before departure time and now 70 mins after departure time no further drinks offered and an hour ago when I asked was told we could take off at any time so no more service. More like they couldn't be bothered as was clear we were not going anywhere quickly. They cleared up far to quickly and let's just say they are very conservative on the pours!

Mainly however I don't appreciate being lied to by cabin crew, it is not a way to build confidence and when added to only 2 announcements the entire time and only because passengers started asking them.


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Old Oct 18, 18, 8:00 am
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Sounds pretty sketchy, but is it possible that they were waiting for passengers and only realised there was an engine problem as they were about to push? I'd like to give the CC the benefit of the doubt. Are the cc mainly Belgian, or British, or neither, so far as you can tell?
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Old Oct 18, 18, 8:02 am
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Originally Posted by South London Bon Viveur View Post
Sounds pretty sketchy, but is it possible that they were waiting for passengers and only realised there was an engine problem as they were about to push? I'd like to give the CC the benefit of the doubt. Are the cc mainly Belgian, or British, or neither, so far as you can tell?
Only one door for boarding and no passengers came in or out, just engineers! Also the engineer was in cockpit with laptop already, didn't come on afterwards.

Belgian CC who seem friendly but not sure they are trained in working a business class cabin tbh.
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Old Oct 18, 18, 8:02 am
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To be fair, both statements could be true. There aren't many flights where there are no no-shows I suspect, and that was probably where the crew focus was initially as they were completing boarding.

And it is absolutely the case that when an aircraft is ready to go, no drinks will be served because the captain may be negotiating for a slot and wanting to be in a position to push back as soon as possible.
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Old Oct 18, 18, 8:04 am
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Or is there another reason?

https://www.aviation24.be/airlines/a...ue-or-to-stop/

'An extraordinary general meeting is convened this Thursday afternoon to discuss the situation of the start-up Belgian airline Air Belgium.

According to Belgian newspaper l’Avenir, Air Belgium is today facing financial difficulties due to the defection of its main Chinese client UTour. The question of the continuation of the activities is clearly at stake, but the current shareholders propose not to give up. They demand the increase of ACMI flights operated for third companies and the search for new shareholders.'
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Old Oct 18, 18, 8:04 am
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Originally Posted by bisonrav View Post
To be fair, both statements could be true. There aren't many flights where there are no no-shows I suspect, and that was probably where the crew focus was initially as they were completing boarding.

And it is absolutely the case that when an aircraft is ready to go, no drinks will be served because the captain may be negotiating for a slot and wanting to be in a position to push back as soon as possible.
The engineer was and is still in the cockpit when drink was asked for. We are awaiting paperwork and door still open. As mentioned before and should on reflection have put in original post can see the door and no one came in, engineer was already in flight deck. 2 others joined him and have been coming and going.
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Old Oct 18, 18, 8:21 am
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Paperwork arrived, crew now preparing cabin for pushback so we should be underway shortly!

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Old Oct 18, 18, 8:34 am
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I wasn't impressed with the crew on my recent flight, they seemed young and inexperienced and mostly interested in chatting in the galley. Apart from the set times when they had to go down the cabin, ie to take meal orders or deliver food, they made no attempt to leave the galley and check to see whether anyone needed anything - made even worse by the fact that there was no call bell to try and attract their attention. To be fair, the crew working the other aisle seemed better and i could see them going up and down regularly - shame no-one told the others to do the same. I hope you have better luck.
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Old Oct 18, 18, 8:35 am
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Originally Posted by UKTraveller4Fun View Post
Only one door for boarding and no passengers came in or out, just engineers! Also the engineer was in cockpit with laptop already, didn't come on afterwards.

Belgian CC who seem friendly but not sure they are trained in working a business class cabin tbh.
If boarding from 2L, business class is in front of the door so it is possible that late passengers arrived without you seeing them, especially if they were in economy.
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Old Oct 18, 18, 11:38 am
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I guess a lot also depends on how much they were / are paid by ba & what level of service ba expects of them
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Old Oct 18, 18, 12:18 pm
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This is a good example of why it may be better not to get into the details of delays. It is not only possible, but entirely likely that there are multiple reasons for a delay and the fact is that passengers only need to know that there is a delay. There is certainly no benefit from this apparent underhanded skullduggery because neither or either is an extraordinary circumstance for EC 261/2004 purposes should that tripwire be hit.

It is also the case worldwide that when the Captain tells CC that it may be a "go" at any time that ceasing service is important. Imagine the whinging on FT if your flight loses its departure slot because it is not ready to push because the CC are still in the cabin picking up the trash.

Once upon a time, waiting for "paperwork" was a lengthy process while people ran documents to and from Engineering. Now, it is all transmitted directly to the aircraft, printed out and stuck in a logbook. Whether it takes an extra 3 or 30 minutes is anyone's guess.
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Old Oct 18, 18, 12:19 pm
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I'm not sure a BA crew would have acted any differently in terms of drink service - it seems as if there was maybe up to 20 minutes delay, and I can quite imagine the captain might have been told the time might be shorter and was therefore keen to get the cabin secured as quickly as possible. What would have happened if the first drink had been consumed in 10 minutes, would another have been expected?

That said, it does sound like a seriously sub-par experience overall. I would be inclined to drop BA a note via the website setting down the poor service and lack of announcements, particularly compared to that which you'd expect if you'd had a BA crew. BA needs to know the issues with the subcontract airlines it chooses to use and address them, and it can only do that with the ammunition passengers provide.
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Old Oct 18, 18, 12:43 pm
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Fully agree with NWIFlyer that this does “sound like a seriously sub-par experience overall”, and worthy of suitable feedback to BA, at some point after the flight is completed.

That said - and based on many many reports from aggrieved BA flyers over the years - it would come as no great surprise to hear of a similar incident played out on a conventional BA-metal flight with its own crew.
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Old Oct 18, 18, 1:15 pm
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Hmmm.... I can't think of a single reason why the CC would deliberately lie. Almost any other explanation (multiple reasons for the delay, miscommunication, errors, whatever) is more likely.
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Old Oct 18, 18, 2:30 pm
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It's not possible for the OP to know the veracity of the cabin crew's explanation for the delay. Rather than trotting out the L word perhaps just consider next time that you are perhaps not privy to all the facts surrounding the situation.
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