New First soft product: your experiences

Old Jun 14, 19, 11:23 am
  #451  
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No main courses automatically come with sides, all customers ordering a main course should be ask which sides they would like.
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Old Jun 14, 19, 11:30 am
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Carfield Beautiful and "educational " photos. Although I do not eat any of this stuff, it will help most readers.
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Old Jun 14, 19, 4:06 pm
  #453  
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Thanks for all your kind comments!
I don't realize that JFK is a special route. Well I have another two BA round trip first class flights - SAN/BOS/SFO/LAX and I will see if there are any different.
My LHR-BOS flight is almost identical to BA 173 in terms of schedules.
I will ask for the slippers next time.

For the side dishes, they never asked me about my choices... they just automatically brought me this mixture of all three listed in the menu.

They also forgot to serve me the scones, but I sort of let the F/As off the hook. They were all wonderful given that one of the VIP passengers was having a major meltdown over the lack of WIFI onboard, despite promised by Special services the day before. However, I have long seen the flight being operated by CIVG at least two days in advance. Someone at Special Services are not doing their jobs. It is just demoralizing that a passenger keeps on telling you that I will never fly BA again. Yet, you still have to escort him and make sure he deplanes first.

The F/As were under much stress throughout the flight. They kept on apologizing but honestly there was nothing much they can do!

I haven't flown CX F for a long time, but have flown SQ F a bit. It is still not SQ, but at least better than AA F.

Carfield

Last edited by Carfield; Jun 14, 19 at 9:53 pm
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Old Jun 14, 19, 9:20 pm
  #454  
 
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Originally Posted by Carfield View Post
...
For the side dishes, they never asked me about my choices... they just automatically brought me this mixture of all three listed in the menu.
...
This is what I was asking about - 50% of the time I get the vegetable side without asking, and 50% of the time I don't (although my sample side is rather small.) And 100% of the time I have not been asked. But it seems there is no logic and this should not be happening.

rb211.
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Old Jun 14, 19, 9:34 pm
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Originally Posted by RB211 View Post
This is what I was asking about - 50% of the time I get the vegetable side without asking, and 50% of the time I don't (although my sample side is rather small.) And 100% of the time I have not been asked. But it seems there is no logic and this should not be happening.

rb211.
Yes just like your business or mine...hiring, training, supervising , feedback and counselling when required. We are humans, allowed t o get away with small deficiencies in our delivery and we will become complacent, making it "normal".
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Old Jun 14, 19, 10:00 pm
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Originally Posted by HMPS View Post
Yes just like your business or mine...hiring, training, supervising , feedback and counselling when required. We are humans, allowed t o get away with small deficiencies in our delivery and we will become complacent, making it "normal".
Indeed. What is the process by which someone (who?) notices that service is deficient/not meeting standards, can provide feedback, and then the appropriate personnel are counselled accordingly?

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Old Jun 14, 19, 10:15 pm
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Originally Posted by RB211 View Post
Indeed. What is the process by which someone (who?) notices that service is deficient/not meeting standards, can provide feedback, and then the appropriate personnel are counselled accordingly?

rb211.
Sources of feedback / reports ? Immediate supervisor, CUSTOMERS, colleagues, etc. Isn't that why everyone and his brother have CUSTOMER Satisfaction Surveys ?
The process is simple " See or hear something, say something ".
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Old Jun 16, 19, 9:52 am
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Small point but I find the socks are now more comfy.
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Old Jun 16, 19, 11:33 am
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Having now done five F flights since the new soft product arrived (2 x long day flights, 1 x shortish day flight, and 2 x short night flights), I’m going to weigh in. My comparisons are against the old BA F product unless another carrier is specifically mentioned, this isn’t a BA vs others comparison.

Pyjamas & amenity kit - nice to have a change of scene, but no major difference for me. The men’s bag feels like a poor relation to the Anya Hindmarch bags of old. Contents seem nice enough, though I rarely use eyeshades and I do lament the passing of the previous F pen...Mrs O was quite pleased with the female version on the one flight we shared. The pyjamas do come in 3 sizes now, which may be helpful, and you can mix sizes where available. Slippers are an improvement and being offered proactively more often, though I don’t generally use them.

Headphones - a definite step up from the previous version. Still not true noise cancelling and not as good as the Bose cans on AA, but happy with this change. I haven’t suffered from the hot ears that others have reported.

Glassware, crockery - again, a significant improvement, especially the full size glasses. I quite like the new plate design.

Food - overall a positive step. I like the plate with a trio of canapés. Not a fan of the merging of salad into one of the starters on the menu, but of course nothing to stop one asking for a starter and salad (as long as you know you can). I’ve enjoyed most of the dishes I’ve had so far (only ate on 3 of the flights, I generally don’t eat at all onboard short night flights). The quality does seem improved from before, though it’s not a massive step. The main course accompaniments can be a bit hit and miss. Mrs O was very happy with the vegetarian pasta dish she had. Presentation of dishes has varied somewhat between crews.

The “anytime” snack menu varies by duration of flight, and the shorter flights do get a bit short-changed here, with some hot dishes (eg trio of sliders) missing. Second meals were good when not afternoon tea, interestingly on one flight the second meal option I chose (Thai style prawn curry) was a main menu choice in CW on the same flight.

Drinks - although I haven’t indulged, the introduction of the featured cocktails is a nice touch, Mrs O enjoyed a couple. The wine list hasn’t seen any noticeable improvement that I can discern (not claiming to be an expert), and it has been quite annoying that on the 3 flights when I drank wine, either the most expensive red or white had not been loaded. I’m not a big believer in coincidence when it happens three times over a shortish period...that’s not good enough BA, especially when there is a significant drop (in quality as well as price) to the other wines on the list. Not that those other wines are all bad, but I want to be able to drink what I choose from the list. In all cases those flights were ex-LHR, so no excuse. Also saw a Chilean white listed as being from New Zealand on one list, and I’ve seen the same error with this wine on other menus posted on FT recently. However, a big thumbs up again for decent wine glasses.

Bedding etc - not a big user of day blankets myself, but the family enjoyed them. Haven’t noticed much difference with the bedding, but got decent (if short due to flight duration) sleep on both night flights.

Service - the crews seem genuinely happy to have something better to offer customers. The first few flights were slightly chaotic, since the crews were often on their first or second flight with the new service, and I had the distinct feeling that training had been scant. This applied to both MF and WW, though as I say, enthusiasm for the improvements went a long way towards mitigating this, and I got fed and watered when requested. I guess it might be more challenging on the short night flights, but I so rarely eat on those, so hard to comment. The last couple of flights felt a lot smoother in service, I guess they are getting used to it, but training should be more comprehensive.

Overall, I think all of this is a pretty decent step up fro the previous F product, and a greater differentiator from CW. Whether it is enough to bring BA much closer to other F products is (for me) a discussion for another day.
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Old Jun 16, 19, 6:12 pm
  #460  
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Originally Posted by Can I help you View Post
Slippers should be offered, all main courses can be served with sides.
Am I the only person who read this as

Slippers should be offered with all main courses......

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Old Jun 17, 19, 1:05 am
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Originally Posted by lost_in_translation View Post
This looks very good, thanks for sharing. Note that LHR-JFK has better catering than a lot of the rest of the network so this is not necessarily representative of the quality you'd get elsewhere, but looks to me that at least on that route BA have come on absolute leaps and bounds in F.

You spend a lot of the time flying CX, right? At the risk of rocking the boat a little here, CX F catering is a very low bar to beat to me. I find it pretty poor (basically it's caviar then a load of stuff you'd get in J on other carriers apart from the Kaiseki service to/from TYO) and would say BA F catering is better on average.
I totally agree with you on this, on two fronts, food and service, with my recent experience on BA and CX F.

Comparing HKG-LHR vs LHR-JFK on BA F, LHR-JFK was significantly better on the food front. Service was very good on all flights, echoing many others comments.

Meanwhile my recent CX F experience was a FRA-HKG flight, so maybe not as prime a route, and resulting in my relatively worse experience.

Comparing CX/BA on the food front, other than the Caviar and the Chinese soup offered by CX, I'd say everything else I had on BA LHR-JFK was at a significantly higher bar, though BA HKG-LHR was a closer comparison. BA plating was significantly better.
On the service front, I felt the service / attitude of the FAs on BA to be at a much higher level than CX as well, across all flights. BA was always smiling and cheerful, and proactive in serving me. They always made sure I was full, gave me more food and wine than I asked for, and my glass was also basically never empty.
Meanwhile, CX took a very passive approach. As an example, after my main course, they would ask me "Sir, are you done with your meal?", almost as if they didn't want me to order Cheese/Dessert (even though I had specifically mentioned I wanted to order these later when ordering my app/main). The IFM also basically seemed like she was uninterested (but forced) to talk to me.

I was really looking forward to my CX flight, after all it is highly reviewed and seems that generally people rate it at a higher level than BA's F offering. So can't help but feel a bit disappointed with CX (and pleasantly surprised with BA).

On a side note, I think the BA JFK terminal is really run down (given its serving the top BA route). Maybe it was just my luck, I arrived at 6pm looking to get some dinner pre-flight, and the Concorde room was shut down for the day due to flooding. We were directed to the Galleries First lounge (where the food offering is a joke), and there was 30-45 minutes where the fire alarm went off across the whole terminal. There were super bright flashing lights, and very loud alarm noises which we couldn't escape from. Gave me a headache for 2 hrs. In the Elemis Spa, the showers were very old with exposed rusty steel (probably the shampoo dispenser fell off or something), and the only spa treatment available was the massage chair offering (how is that an offering.....?) as "the other therapist had something come up". Maybe just my luck?

Last edited by sparkj; Jun 17, 19 at 3:39 am
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Old Jun 17, 19, 3:24 am
  #462  
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Hi,

Just to chime in with me latest F flight from LHR-JNB on the A380 comparing this to my last 2 F flights since the introduction - giving a high level overview.

Crew: have noticed that always one of the FA was always better than the other (and I always had the luck of getting the lesser one). Although not bad, they miss the small touches. As for the CSM - best one so far was the one down to CPT (a young chap whom seems to like his job). The latest one (quite an elderly guy), was OK at best.

Food: Further improvement seen - mainly this time olive oil was offered without asking (the last 2 F flights, the plate for the oil was empty). Presentation seems much better and taste was good. This category seems to be the one that is rather consistent now or even improving.

Plane: Sadly it seems that either BA is not taking care of their planes or just my luck - on my last A380, 1 toilet was not usable (which is not acceptable for First). This time, the power outlets were not working (for both mine and my travel companion). The aforementioned CSM did a soft and hard reset, but it still did not work. Luckily he was kind enough to let me use his outlet at his desk (I had a turbo power charger, so it was done in less than 2 hours).

All in all a good way forward for BA - however much more improvement can be done especially from crew point of view to bring it up to the level of a true F cabin.

Cheers!
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Old Jun 17, 19, 6:19 am
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Having taken a few trips in the upgraded service in First I'll add a couple of comments.

Overall love the new service. The new crockery and glassware makes for a more distinctive and special experience. My regret is that on departure from London, bottles (white wine in particular) have not been adequately chilled. Better from outstations where I presume drink is remaining on board.

I dislike the new PJs; both Mrs P and I felt that the tops were cut low and rather revealing.

As mentioned earlier, the staff seem genuinely proud of the new offering and shows how a little investment can change the staff as well as the passenger experience.
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Old Jun 17, 19, 10:05 am
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Originally Posted by Jimmie76 View Post
Am I the only person who read this as

Slippers should be offered with all main courses......

Surely slippers should be offered after the cheese and port?!
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Old Jun 17, 19, 11:21 am
  #465  
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Originally Posted by EDIwanderer View Post


Surely slippers should be offered after the cheese and port?!
And passed to.the left?
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