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More inconsistency from BA FIRST: short trip report

More inconsistency from BA FIRST: short trip report

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Old Feb 19, 19, 12:20 am
  #31  
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Originally Posted by cosmo74 View Post
I had similar experiences on my recent F flights to and from Cape Town, although the crew on the return were more attentive than on the outbound, we were in 1AK and seemed to get forgotten about quite a bit - eg they didn't bother to take my food order, they started with the person in 2A and just worked backwards, so i had to ask someone if they would take it when i went to the loo. I enjoyed the food on the way out, but inbound it was very poor - avoid the lamb if you are flying in Feb - a minute portion of meat surrounded (although surrounded by a lot of fat) which was seriously over-cooked, the cheese was also very poor compared to that served from LHR. I too thought it was a shame that there was no South African wine served.
I just completed my first First from CPT-LHR and totally agree with the lamb dish. When I first saw it, I was about to call back the FA to enquire what was that on my plate, however after cutting through it, I was OMG. Well, I did finish it (sans the fat) - never seen such fatty lamb before on board planes nor at mid-level restaurants on the ground. There was a couple of green beans which they did try and make it elegant, but it was clearly not the most elegant beans I've had especially for First.

Lamb dish on BA First

As for the service, it was OK at best - but as have been said so many times, BA First is basically a sort of J-class, however still one step down from quite a number of other J-service out there, e.g. Qatar J and even dare I say DL's or AA's J.
What I find really funny was that it seems like BA is living in some kind of parallel universe when it comes down to thinking that they can be an elegant airline
- most of the glasses, wine and champagne flutes - had the BA First words on them - however the glasses were so not elegant - thick and just not suitable for a First service. Even Aeroflot has much better champagne flutes.
- Not sure why they cannot address guests by name in such a small cabin - and each side only 5-6 guests to serve, is that so difficult?
- at least on my flight - I believe the CSM was doing his round when I was off to the toilet - but basically after seeing him once (twice including during boarding) - never saw a glimpse of him during the whole flight.
- yes in general the catering was not the most interesting catering out there especially for First - including the options, very unflattered with the options.
- is it normal for First not to get a single round of hot towels? None was presented at all (or unless they did it when I was in the toilet - but on even an average airline I would have been asked if I was missed during the service).

My travel companion left a day earlier and although not some one picky at all, had negative comments especially for the crew - I guess this is expected with the mix fleet crew.

I really hope that the improvement promised for the different cabins will bring some true improvement rather than some lipstick on a pig type of improvements.

Cheers!
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Old Feb 19, 19, 1:52 am
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hmmm heading to JNB in F next week.. Mrs Y has pre-ordered the lamb and having looked at the photo above I'm wondering if I should advise her to re-think. Is that really the main course? And is it usual for mixed fleet to operate this route?
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Old Feb 19, 19, 1:53 am
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Originally Posted by HIDDY View Post
I'm seeing some incredible cash price examples for F on this thread.

Changed days. When I was young only VIP's, the Upper Class and Chairman of Blue Chip companies seemed to fly F. Now it's within the reach of everyone armed with the relevant knowledge.
When paying cash for tickets; I frequently come across options where the BC tickets were more expensive than the FC tickets.
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Old Feb 19, 19, 3:30 am
  #34  
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Originally Posted by Yeoman5 View Post
hmmm heading to JNB in F next week.. Mrs Y has pre-ordered the lamb and having looked at the photo above I'm wondering if I should advise her to re-think. Is that really the main course? And is it usual for mixed fleet to operate this route?
It's always important to note the direction of travel. Longhaul food is prepared in local kitchens, with a few exceptions, so what you will get from London will be different since there is a completely different supply chain, and cooking process behind it. JNB is currently Mixed Fleet.
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Old Feb 19, 19, 3:58 am
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If there's a main course pre-order thread which is ex-UK - is there not one for inbound F and J food where people can post the menus and photos of the food. I'm flying J to HKG and F on the return and would be good to know what to expect on the return.
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Old Feb 19, 19, 4:01 am
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Does BA ever send round reminder notes to CSMs for them to be made aware of important service notes? Basic training I know, but Hot towels and treating passengers attentively in F are the basics...
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Old Feb 19, 19, 4:56 am
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Originally Posted by Yeoman5 View Post
hmmm heading to JNB in F next week.. Mrs Y has pre-ordered the lamb and having looked at the photo above I'm wondering if I should advise her to re-think. Is that really the main course? And is it usual for mixed fleet to operate this route?
Assuming it's the same menu as CPT, the lamb on the way out (a rack and braised neck with freekah if i remember correctly) was tasty and i enjoyed it. That picture looks like it is of the lamb on the way back and is best avoided.
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Old Feb 19, 19, 5:01 am
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Originally Posted by simons1 View Post
I always find it hard to tell from such threads whether some posters have exceptional good/bad luck, or whether it is just a question of calibrating one's expectations.

I suppose in many ways Hiddy is right, the product is relatively cheap and therefore you can have average service and still feel you got VFM. Perhaps the resulting reduction in yield is why F cabins are being downscaled or removed from new aircraft?

The biggest issue for me is that the service is so mixed on board. One side of the plane might get a decent attendant who can't do enough for them, the other, one who really can't be bothered or just doesn't have a clue. This is especially noticeable when you're travelling with someone and they've got their champagne/nuts/wine/food/pyjamas/whatever and you don't and probably makes the experience feel even more sub-standard. I'd love to know from CC if they're supposed to try and co-ordinate service or if that's just too tricky to even think about.
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Old Feb 19, 19, 5:06 am
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Originally Posted by cosmo74 View Post
The biggest issue for me is that the service is so mixed on board. One side of the plane might get a decent attendant who can't do enough for them, the other, one who really can't be bothered or just doesn't have a clue. This is especially noticeable when you're travelling with someone and they've got their champagne/nuts/wine/food/pyjamas/whatever and you don't and probably makes the experience feel even more sub-standard. I'd love to know from CC if they're supposed to try and co-ordinate service or if that's just too tricky to even think about.
This seemed to be the case on our return flight; the guy serving the left-hand side of the cabin was much more proactive and friendly. I even asked him to make up my bed as our attendant had disappeared!
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Old Feb 19, 19, 5:54 am
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I wonder if it's the route? I flew LHR-JNB-LHR a few weeks ago in J and the service outbound was shocking. Two hours to be served a drink after T/O and breakfast so late that there wasn't time to eat it. I initially put it down to experience but the service back was fabulous, so much so that I complained about the outbound and am glad I did.
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Old Feb 19, 19, 6:02 am
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Originally Posted by BA235 View Post


I agree. Though better poor BA service in a First seat that poor BA service in a CW one.
Not when you factor in the cost difference.
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Old Feb 19, 19, 6:10 am
  #42  
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Originally Posted by aristoph View Post
This seemed to be the case on our return flight; the guy serving the left-hand side of the cabin was much more proactive and friendly. I even asked him to make up my bed as our attendant had disappeared!
I noticed this on one of our flights in F when we were seated on either side of the cabin. I had finished my main while the wife was still waiting to be served hers. I just put it down to her crew member having other tasks to do in the galley more than being slow. This was years before MF came along so it's nothing new.
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Old Feb 19, 19, 6:28 am
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Originally Posted by corporate-wage-slave View Post
It's always important to note the direction of travel. Longhaul food is prepared in local kitchens, with a few exceptions, so what you will get from London will be different since there is a completely different supply chain, and cooking process behind it. JNB is currently Mixed Fleet.
I do consider it a service to my fellow travellers to help train the mixed fleet crew when required
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Old Feb 19, 19, 6:44 am
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On our last F trip, Mr W received his main, politely waited some minutes till I urged him to start before it was cold. He did so, and ate leisurely in the hope we could dine together but he'd cleared the plate before mine arrived.

Did I mention we were buddy dining? It was a complete fail.

So.... does that make me one of the people who expects too much? (Straight question - no snark intended).
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Old Feb 19, 19, 7:03 am
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Originally Posted by strickers View Post
I wonder if it's the route? I flew LHR-JNB-LHR a few weeks ago in J and the service outbound was shocking. Two hours to be served a drink after T/O and breakfast so late that there wasn't time to eat it. I initially put it down to experience but the service back was fabulous, so much so that I complained about the outbound and am glad I did.
There is a consistent theme of inconsistency across so many of the reports we see (this thread alone offers several depressing examples), and I’ve certainly experienced similar myself on BA - albeit never quite in the category that you describe as ‘shocking’.

One can understand such dramatic variations in standards from one airline to another ; but quite why this should happen on different sectors but with the very same airline, and hence the same recruitment & training processes, is mystifying, to say the least.

Inconsistency is not unknown in many other consumer sectors - notably in the retail trade where say, different stores belonging to the same chain can sometimes offer wildly differing standards. It’s one of the key reasons why mystery shoppers are used, but of course to make such exercises worthwhile, management need to be sufficiently motivated and focussed to enforce action and change where necessary.

As in all large businesses, the culture is set from the top.

@ windowontheAside - no, it makes you someone who simply expects first class standards of service in return for a first class ticket.
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