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BA adds extra crew to fool ‘mystery’ reviewers

BA adds extra crew to fool ‘mystery’ reviewers

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Old Nov 8, 18, 6:53 pm
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BA adds extra crew to fool ‘mystery’ reviewers

So there’s a vicious rumour circling Heathrow today... that an oft-cited flight review website has this week been out in force to assess its ratings for the next edition. Only for some unknown reason they decided to tell BA which flights they’d be on, allowing them to respond by putting additional crew on those flights in a vain attempt to blind the reviewers into thinking everything is always rosy. So if you think your flight seems over-crewed, enjoy while it lasts!
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Old Nov 8, 18, 7:08 pm
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What is the source of this alleged rumour?
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Old Nov 8, 18, 7:50 pm
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And what is the unnamed website?
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Old Nov 8, 18, 9:41 pm
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Originally Posted by Confus View Post
So there’s a vicious rumour circling Heathrow today... that an oft-cited flight review website has this week been out in force to assess its ratings for the next edition. Only for some unknown reason they decided to tell BA which flights they’d be on, allowing them to respond by putting additional crew on those flights in a vain attempt to blind the reviewers into thinking everything is always rosy. So if you think your flight seems over-crewed, enjoy while it lasts!
AAA does this, they always tip their hand when they inspect a hotel, and the hotel will always have a few preselected rooms for them to inspect.

Forbes is more rigorous, but hotels are good about alerting each other if they think the inspector is in house.
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Old Nov 9, 18, 1:25 am
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What a pityful attempt if true!
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Old Nov 9, 18, 1:26 am
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...sounds like Fawlty Towers....
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Old Nov 9, 18, 1:56 am
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If true (which I doubt), this reflects more poorly on the flight review website than on BA.
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Old Nov 9, 18, 2:12 am
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Originally Posted by Tobias-UK View Post
What is the source of this alleged rumour?
Indeed.
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Old Nov 9, 18, 2:12 am
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Heisenberg's uncertainty principle in action (kind of)… Anything that knows it is being measured cannot be measured accurately.
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Old Nov 9, 18, 2:22 am
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So today we are resorting to rumours to bash BA.
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Old Nov 9, 18, 2:25 am
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Originally Posted by Confus View Post
So there’s a vicious rumour circling Heathrow today... that an oft-cited flight review website has this week been out in force to assess its ratings for the next edition. Only for some unknown reason they decided to tell BA which flights they’d be on, allowing them to respond by putting additional crew on those flights in a vain attempt to blind the reviewers into thinking everything is always rosy. So if you think your flight seems over-crewed, enjoy while it lasts!
Great time to be flying BA, I'm off to Hannvoer (Club) on Sunday morning. I'm not sure what putting more crew onboard will do, In my opinion the service is pretty damn good already (which is why I always fly with BA) but maybe a lot of that is the staff making up for shortfalls in the passenger to crew ratio. What do I know, I just knows it's great product at a good price.
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Old Nov 9, 18, 2:27 am
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This has the hallmarks of Galley FM: some crew have noticed that some flights have gone out with an extra crew member (so have I, incidentally), whereas in the past the airline has been fairly assiduous in running crew levels as tight as possible. The crew then speculate the cause and this rumour is the outcome. They have added crew in the past to support the CE food relaunch and head off BoB complaints on individual flights such as LHR-BHD. I can't think of one consumer review website that BA management could even accurately remember the name of, let alone worry about. Skytrax is the one semi-household name but that is held in as much esteem in Waterside as it is held in by the more grizzled members of Flyertalk. I don't think Skytrax does mystery shopping, unless of course the airline concerned specifically pays for it - which would be an avoidable circle if BA had gone down this logic. Even Business Traveller has to scrounge around to get reviews done. BA is a big airline with 42 million passenger plus, I don't think it has the focus nor the need for this sort of granularity.

On the other hand, it is usually mid November that crew flying hours - which have among other components an annual cap - start to surface. In the past BA have had to cancel quiet flights at this part of the year in order to have capacity for the Christmas period. More recently, Ryanair hit a huge problem when they realised they hadn't done their maths correctly and that a big section of their crew were running low on available hours and high on untaken annual leave, leading to an emergency timetable. So speculating here, perhaps the boffins in Waterside have done their calculations and worked out they are actually OK or even comfortable just at the moment, and are therefore using slightly more resource than would be typical in mid November?
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Old Nov 9, 18, 2:32 am
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Coming back from Glasgow last night on a 321, I was surprised to see 5 crew. 2 dedicated CE crew meant service was top dollar.
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Old Nov 9, 18, 2:36 am
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Originally Posted by HarryHolden68 View Post
Coming back from Glasgow last night on a 321, I was surprised to see 5 crew. 2 dedicated CE crew meant service was top dollar.
That is the norm on GLA on a 321, you need to factor in the CE loads as to whether 2 crew end up in CE. 6 crew would edge my eyebrows upwards. The way I see it is 3 crew minimum on A319, 4 on A320 and 5 on A321 (though it can be 4 I think if loads in both directions are low and CE is empty).
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Old Nov 9, 18, 2:37 am
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Originally Posted by HarryHolden68 View Post
Coming back from Glasgow last night on a 321, I was surprised to see 5 crew. 2 dedicated CE crew meant service was top dollar.
5 is the minimum requirement on a 321 anyway.
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