Bad experience or the norm in BA F?

Old Nov 26, 18, 11:10 pm
  #1  
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Bad experience or the norm in BA F?

Had my first BA First Class flight this weekend, after I was offered to buy up from CW. I was incredibly underwhelmed. I expected it to be at least on par with past experiences in FC on AA and UA but it was worse by far. The seat was as comfortable as expected although fraying at the edges.

The lowlights:
Meal was kicked off with a bite size ďpopoverĒ to start which was basically a bread puff the size of a 2 euro coin.

Starter was a choice of a few things and I got some sort of pie. No separate soup or salad course offered. I asked the FA to if I could have a salad to which he grudgingly replied heíd add some greens to my main.

Main was a disgusting looking cannelloni plopped in the middle of the plate with no presentation, it tasted like it looked. Promised salad was a few greens thrown on the side of the plate.

Dessert was choice of cheese or some cakes. No option to have both.

Drinks werenít refilled when empty, which was surprising to me as BA has always been good about this in CW.

Empty water and wine glasses werenít collected while I slept for 5 hours.

No WiFi at all. One usb socket and one universal outlet both in an inconvenient location.

Hurting TV and Movie selection compared to almost anyone except the Mainland Chinese airlines.

General uncaring attitude from the staff onboard who were chatting it up in the galley by the cockpit.

The ďpleasureĒ of connecting through LHR.

All in all my worst First class experience amongst the 7 or 8 airlines Iíve been lucky enough to sample. Even CA, UA and AA are better.

Iíve got the return flight coming up later this week so I hope it was just a one off but if these are really the levels of service then frequent BA FC travelers are getting ripped off.
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Old Nov 26, 18, 11:29 pm
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What route was this? How full was the cabin?
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Old Nov 26, 18, 11:31 pm
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Originally Posted by travelinmanS View Post
Had my first BA First Class flight this weekend, after I was offered to buy up from CW. I was incredibly underwhelmed. I expected it to be at least on par with past experiences in FC on AA and UA but it was worse by far. The seat was as comfortable as expected although fraying at the edges.

The lowlights:
Meal was kicked off with a bite size ďpopoverĒ to start which was basically a bread puff the size of a 2 euro coin.

Starter was a choice of a few things and I got some sort of pie. No separate soup or salad course offered. I asked the FA to if I could have a salad to which he grudgingly replied heíd add some greens to my main.

Main was a disgusting looking cannelloni plopped in the middle of the plate with no presentation, it tasted like it looked. Promised salad was a few greens thrown on the side of the plate.

Dessert was choice of cheese or some cakes. No option to have both.

Drinks werenít refilled when empty, which was surprising to me as BA has always been good about this in CW.

Empty water and wine glasses werenít collected while I slept for 5 hours.

No WiFi at all. One usb socket and one universal outlet both in an inconvenient location.

Hurting TV and Movie selection compared to almost anyone except the Mainland Chinese airlines.

General uncaring attitude from the staff onboard who were chatting it up in the galley by the cockpit.

The ďpleasureĒ of connecting through LHR.

All in all my worst First class experience amongst the 7 or 8 airlines Iíve been lucky enough to sample. Even CA, UA and AA are better.

Iíve got the return flight coming up later this week so I hope it was just a one off but if these are really the levels of service then frequent BA FC travelers are getting ripped off.
Where were you flying to/from?
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Old Nov 27, 18, 12:19 am
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Certainly doesnít sound like the norm - Iíve had bad ones for sure but many more where the crew have been outstanding. Sounds like you had old IFE which can be a bit of a pain but on the newer / refurbed aircraft this is no longer a problem - achieving consistency on the size of BAs fleet will always be a challenge.

Iíve had experiences that range from totally outstanding, proactive and friendly > a bit forgetful at times but friendly > actively rude and not proactive. Generally itís at the better end although by far mixed fleet are far less polished in First delivery.
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Old Nov 27, 18, 12:45 am
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Originally Posted by SQTraveller View Post
Where were you flying to/from?
pvg-lhr with a full cabin
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Old Nov 27, 18, 2:51 am
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This is very unusual in my opinion and I’m very sorry to hear it.
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Old Nov 27, 18, 3:27 am
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Originally Posted by Can I help you View Post
This is very unusual in my opinion and Iím very sorry to hear it.
Absolutely. This is a disheartening read. Such a sorry state of affairs for a F crew to be like this. What a shame.

travelinmans please do complain, BA need to know about instances like this.
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Old Nov 27, 18, 3:35 am
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I have had some of these disappointments at some point on an F sector - but generally not all together and I have certainly not had the issues with food described. There is definitely a different feeling between the crews who believe that their whole purpose is to look after their customers and those who will just deliver the service in its basic form. You tend to get a relatively early indication of which of these you'll get, sadly.

The F connections experience at LHR however remains a real low point - especially between terminals.

For me the bigger seat and some choice of better food tends to be the F selling point for me. Wifi is either available on the whole plane or not at all and the IFE isn't much better in F unless on a 789 where the screen is a good size.
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Old Nov 27, 18, 3:40 am
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I’ve always been a very strong advocate of telling it how it is to an airline (or indeed any for-profit organisation) which fails a customer ; all the more so where a high-priced premium product is involved.

However, when things are so very bad as described here, you can’t help wonder just how much merit there is in complaining ........ or whether it’s better simply to move your custom elsewhere.
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Old Nov 27, 18, 3:57 am
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This does sound like a bit of a one-off xtravelinmanS
Sounds like you were very unlucky with the crew.
But even a good BA F crew seriously have to make up for a worn out hard product in a lot of cases.
I came back from NBO in F a few days ago in an older 747 with WT+ behind F. The quality of the
movie screen was so poor compared to what you get on board Qatar's planes or the BA 380 / 787s,
but the crew were very good and made sure I had a quick bite to eat and was then off to sleep
only to be woken for coffee and a croissant 40 mins before landing. In these cases, the sense of
privacy, pyjamas and more comfortable bed / bedding make a valuable difference for me over
CW... but IMHO it's only worth it on a corporate fare or upgrade etc.
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Old Nov 27, 18, 4:07 am
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I've had similar experiences on recent F trips. By far the most consistently disappointing aspect is the crew. Overly casual, snide, slapdash, and unprofessional. BUT on my last F flight (ORD-LHR on a 380) I had some of the best food I've ever had on a plane. All of it was absolutely delicious, including some of the best lamb chops I've had on land or in the air. The physical product is what it is - it's not great compared to many other carriers but it's orders of magnitude better than the J product - but I've only ever had one decent F crew and that was 4 years ago. The frustrating things is I can't figure out WHY they're so bad. Is it culture? Training? Resentment towards their employer? Whatever the root cause, BA need to address it asap because it's letting down what is otherwise a steadily improving product.

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Old Nov 27, 18, 4:07 am
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Norm, last F was LHR to SFO, 777 they didnít bother to offer to get pillows and blankets out. (Itís a day flight). I got so sick of unanswered bells I went into the cupboard and got myself a set. The rest of the cabin looked forlorn.

The time before that LHR-LAX 380 the F steward was in his words Ďhanging from last night and did not want to be there, heís so bored of it theyíve sent him to LA three times this monthí, hassle to eat later, that will take 20mins, no drink or anything offered while we wait, meal choice requested before departure not available, the first bread goes rock hard after we heat it up so hereís some equallly chewy rubber tasting CW bread, ignored for the rest of the flight.

My only up to standard F class flight of about 10 in the last year was an LHR-SFO 747 that was actually an op-up. Lovely crew, greeted at start and thanked at the end, name and a personal message written inside menu, addressed by name, offered to make bed without asking, plenty of refills, crew appeared within minutes of waking up offering drinks, super friendly we heated up everything we have left what would you like, remembered what I drank earlier.

If if I got half of that on my regular F flights, Iíd be satisfied.
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Old Nov 27, 18, 4:39 am
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I'd say "underwhelming experience" is the norm, although sometimes you come across an outstanding crew that will make the difference. Is the product worse than AA F - I'm not sure, I don't really see much difference between AA J and F and still prefer BA F to AA F. Is it worse than EK F on the A380? Yes, they're playing in a different league.
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Old Nov 27, 18, 4:57 am
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PEK-LHR couple of weeks ago in F was very disappointing led by an totally apathetic crew. Food was poor and entertainment limited (personal taste granted).
No intention of letting BA know - I just went back to CX/QR for my next batch of flights as my 4 BA sectors complete for another year.
Will return to BA on a regular basis whenever the seat is rolled out in CW. So about 2028.
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Old Nov 27, 18, 5:15 am
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F experiences on any airline for me is always memorable or not based on crew attitude - if BA can nail this in First I would choose them every time. Had dreadful (and amazing) experiences elsewhere - even in Etihad apartments with a totally underwhelming crew. Singapore are the the only ones who seem to be able to achieve more consistency in crew delivery of service for F.

Some people have hard product as deciding factor - for me personally itís the crew that make or break it - with an often regarded inferior product Iím suprised BA donít invest in achieving more consistency with cabin crew (although Iím not sure what they could do).

Next F flight in a couple of weeks to Abu Dhabi on the 787-9 F but itís mixed fleet so hopes arent hugely high based on a recent ORD disaster in terms of service delivery.
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