Large CE Cabins

Old Jun 23, 19, 4:46 am
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Large CE Cabins

Ive had a run of excellent BA flights recently and have generally been enjoying my experiences but returning from AGP this weekend in a 12 row CE cabin was dreadful - I have experienced a few of these larger CE cabins recently (I think there was another thread about this recently) and cant understand the inconsistency - sometimes delivered seamlessly but on this occasion it felt like the Purser had already accepted defeat before we set off - absolutely miserable on boarding , not hot towels , no pre dinner drinks - over an hour to get food and heard him loudly complaining in the galley about the large CE cabins and how impossible it is to deliver any kind of service. Also never seen this happen before but a passenger was removed from 1D to make space for an extra crew member and displaced back to row 8 away from their partner - a member of the crew then took the seat for take off - assuming not a new recruit as it was Eurofleet.

The tone and attitude of the senior crew members always sets the tone for the entire flight - certainly not a rant rant but just sharing the observations - this route is surely long enough to allow a fairly steady , organised service delivery - Ive seen it done so on much shorter sectors. My days of flying in 3 row CE cabins seems like a distant memory - sweet spot feels like 4-8 rows.
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Old Jun 23, 19, 4:50 am
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I seem to recall it being mentioned that cabin crew sits in 1D if a jump seat is inoperative- or are you saying this person was not a working member of the crew?
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Old Jun 23, 19, 4:54 am
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The 1D bit I can explain. Under BA's SOP that seat is the designated seat for cabin crew if they are formally deployed by door 1L and there is no jump seat available or working. The crew need to be in the vicinity of 1D for safety compliance, and 1D is the designated seat for this, then (I think) 1C. That's just the way it is and it's a small risk if you select 1D. It's not clear from your post, but that should have been just for take off and landing.

The rest isn't good. There are union agreements to maximise CE numbers against crew numbers, there's a formula involved. Still I've had first rate 12 row, solo SCCM service from LHR to EDI, she banished the extra staff member to ET, and even did a pre meal drink round on one of BA's shortest sectors. Watching her doing it was astonishing. On the AGP sector I presume there was a second crew member (it's not clear from your post), so I would complain to BA about that, ideally mentioning the missed items of service and spelling out your concerns on the SCCM - it's possible the SCCM has form in the area and that may need management attention.
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Old Jun 23, 19, 5:18 am
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Originally Posted by corporate-wage-slave View Post
The 1D bit I can explain. Under BA's SOP that seat is the designated seat for cabin crew if they are formally deployed by door 1L and there is no jump seat available or working. The crew need to be in the vicinity of 1D for safety compliance, and 1D is the designated seat for this, then (I think) 1C. That's just the way it is and it's a small risk if you select 1D. It's not clear from your post, but that should have been just for take off and landing.

The rest isn't good. There are union agreements to maximise CE numbers against crew numbers, there's a formula involved. Still I've had first rate 12 row, solo SCCM service from LHR to EDI, she banished the extra staff member to ET, and even did a pre meal drink round on one of BA's shortest sectors. Watching her doing it was astonishing. On the AGP sector I presume there was a second crew member (it's not clear from your post), so I would complain to BA about that, ideally mentioning the missed items of service and spelling out your concerns on the SCCM - it's possible the SCCM has form in the area and that may need management attention.
Agreed I might submit some feedback - Ive also seen some very speedy / efficient / friendly 12 rows completed a breeze on much shorter sectors. In total 7 cabin crew members were on board and 3 working CE (A321) - the crew member who took 1D was a working crew member - he took the seat for take off but sat in the flight deck for landing.
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Old Jun 23, 19, 5:58 am
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Could have been a large CE cabin due to TP run positioning flights there and back, taking advantage of the AY J Class cheap fare AGP-HEL-DEL/BOM earning 560 TP.

Just a guess 😊
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Old Jun 23, 19, 7:33 am
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FAO-LGW 10 days ago was also 9 rows in CE, the largest I have seen on this route and the 2 crew members were woefully overstretched. First drinks round was 45 minutes after wheels up. Meal trays were still being cleared away on approach. The crew seemed professional and friendly and no real reason to complain except for the late start to service and slowness.
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Old Jun 23, 19, 7:45 am
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A real shame to read of the attitude and lack of organisation on your flight; one point is worth clarifying though.

Malaga is Band 3 and as such, if the CE load is equal to or exceeds 33, then the SCCM can dispense with the pre dinner bar round and go straight to meal delivery (with a colleague following closely behind with a drinks trolley).

This is is designed to ensure the service flows smoothly with higher CE loads, and avoids rushing at the end .
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Old Jun 23, 19, 8:10 am
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IME the quality of service in CE is entirely down to the quality of the crew. Ive had terrible service with 5 rows and amazing service with 12.
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Old Jun 23, 19, 8:48 am
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I think the OP has been unfortunate, and I've been seated in the CE cabin before when the CSM's attitude has let the whole flight down, but I find it's rare. Worst was 5 years ago to LPA. He hid in the galley and sent one member out to do the pre-dinner drinks alone (10 rows CE). She struggled, was under stress and even accidentally smashed a glass on the trolley opposite me (row 5).

I flew LHR - AGP last October on a 321. There were 13 rows of Club (near max) and the service was the opposite of this unfortunate incident - superb and worked like a dream. Sorry for those who paid for such poor service on this flight
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Old Jun 23, 19, 9:50 am
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Originally Posted by Dicksbits View Post
I think the OP has been unfortunate, and I've been seated in the CE cabin before when the CSM's attitude has let the whole flight down, but I find it's rare. Worst was 5 years ago to LPA. He hid in the galley and sent one member out to do the pre-dinner drinks alone (10 rows CE). She struggled, was under stress and even accidentally smashed a glass on the trolley opposite me (row 5).

I flew LHR - AGP last October on a 321. There were 13 rows of Club (near max) and the service was the opposite of this unfortunate incident - superb and worked like a dream. Sorry for those who paid for such poor service on this flight
I agree its rare and many of my CE flights over the last few weeks have been outstanding - normally defined by a great SCCM and pro active crew. I genuinely think on this occasion it was the senior crew members attitude that then set the tone for everyone else.
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Old Jun 23, 19, 11:02 pm
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Originally Posted by Bar Operator View Post
A real shame to read of the attitude and lack of organisation on your flight; one point is worth clarifying though.

Malaga is Band 3 and as such, if the CE load is equal to or exceeds 33, then the SCCM can dispense with the pre dinner bar round and go straight to meal delivery (with a colleague following closely behind with a drinks trolley).



So is Rome a Band 3, flew back June 10th, no drinks after take off, rang the bell after 45 mins, one of the 3 Ladies who were chatting and watching the oven heat up informed me that the drink cart would follow the meal cart and clearly disapproved of me asking for drinks. We did get drinks, finally.
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Last edited by Prospero; Jun 24, 19 at 1:30 am Reason: Repair quotation frame
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Old Jun 24, 19, 2:50 am
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Originally Posted by PC44 View Post
So is Rome a Band 3, flew back June 10th, no drinks after take off, rang the bell after 45 mins, one of the 3 Ladies who were chatting and watching the oven heat up informed me that the drink cart would follow the meal cart and clearly disapproved of me asking for drinks. We did get drinks, finally.
Yes it is.

Given that giving drinks to you would have also led to "quick flag her down, she's giving drinks out to those people" mentality from other passengers, I can see why she wouldn't be keen to move from the service standard given you were already 45mins in to a 2hr flight with a healthy Club load and they were still setting up the service. Sometimes you need to see the greater picture and that in reality it' was for the good of providing everyone with the same level of service and wasn't being directed at you specifically to take personally or negatively.

Last edited by 1Aturnleft; Jun 24, 19 at 3:01 am
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Old Jun 24, 19, 3:29 am
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There were 10 rows of CE on an A319 to EDI last night om a completely full flight. I was back in row 10 and was impressed with how well they handled it. Service was good and very efficient.
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Old Jun 24, 19, 4:04 am
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Originally Posted by 1Aturnleft View Post
Yes it is.

Given that giving drinks to you would have also led to "quick flag her down, she's giving drinks out to those people" mentality from other passengers, I can see why she wouldn't be keen to move from the service standard given you were already 45mins in to a 2hr flight with a healthy Club load and they were still setting up the service. Sometimes you need to see the greater picture and that in reality it' was for the good of providing everyone with the same level of service and wasn't being directed at you specifically to take personally or negatively.
But if you haven't got a drink 45 mins into a 2 hour flight what's the point of CE? I understand the explanations offered here and the wealth of knowledge of BA is staggering, but I just don't get why they couldn't get a drink. How much setting up can 3 people do in that space? I agree others would have asked for a drink, but isn't that because it's a reasonable expectation that far into a flight?
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Old Jun 24, 19, 4:11 am
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I was quite surprised to see 8 rows of CE on Sunday morning's LHR - MAN sector... I understand that quite a few will be connecting but that seems large for that short a sector at 8am.
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