British airways first class

Old Nov 25, 19, 12:28 pm
  #1  
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British airways first class

We purchased 2 First tickets on BA (return) from YVR to LYS via LHR.
We flew outbound on Nov 23.

This was our third time in First on BA and the worst one.

1) The food was meh and worse. While nicely presented, our fish was bone-dry, other passengers who took beef described it as "horrible".
The asparagus "cream" soup was a watery, tasteless beige colour liquid.
breakfast service (despite 3 crew serving only 11 passengers) was so poor that passengers had to go to the galley and repeatedly demand something to eat.
And some of them didn't get what they ordered anyway!

Perhaps BA should look into giving its business to a different catering company in Vancouver and giving more training to the crew?

2) despite demanding the gender of every passenger during booking, BA run out of ladies pyjamas. While my tall husband was fine in Men's large, I was offered also Men's large with my sleeves up to my knees and pants rolled up 3 times.
A simple calculation could prevent this problem, no?

3) we booked a cabana in CCR 2 months before our trip and were given written confirmation by email.
to our disappointment, "YOU FIRST" service managed to book us on the previous day, (the day of departure from YVR instead the day of arrival to LHR)
and with the horrid waiting times for Elemis showers (for business lounge) we ended up with no shower at all on a 24 hours journey.
The food in CCR was the only redeeming feature.

we did follow up the cabana mishap by calling "YOU FIRST" and were met with lukewarm response "we can only apologize", and there was no interest to make things right. We were basically brushed off.
we felt that "YOU FIRST" is interpreted by BA as "you first give us your money and then we don't have to care about you".

4) our brand new XL suitcase arrived to the final destination completely crushed, with busted locks. And, was the last one to show up on the carousel, too.
So much for the first class luggage being treated better.
We were offered a cheap, heavy and half-size replacement by the ground agent, which we politely declined. A compensation for it is still debatable.

CONCLUSION:
With this sort of FIRST class experience, it is a small wonder that we decided to spend our money with AA and other carriers.
While despite it we are on the way to become GGL, we can't help but notice that BA overall is on a downward spiral in terms of catering, lounges, service, equipment condition and pretty much everything else.

Soon, RyanAir will be considered Luxury experience comparing to BA
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Last edited by arrow2fast; Nov 25, 19 at 12:31 pm Reason: typo
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Old Nov 25, 19, 12:36 pm
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But apart from that, everything was OK?
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Old Nov 25, 19, 12:47 pm
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That really doesn’t sound good at all. But at least you’ve now made the switch, so lesson learnt.


I personally don’t believe that (these days) even BA management sets itself much in the way of aspirational quality standards where their F class product is concerned.

I’m sure you’ll get a range of reactions (including, perhaps, one or two of the “this is very much the exception ..... all my BA flights in First have been outstanding .....” variety)


Thanks for bringing a big wry smile with your particular definition of ‘You First
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Last edited by subject2load; Nov 25, 19 at 3:29 pm Reason: missing the word ‘smile’
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Old Nov 25, 19, 1:01 pm
  #4  
 
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Originally Posted by arrow2fast View Post
We purchased 2 First tickets on BA (return) from YVR to LYS via LHR.
We flew outbound on Nov 23.

This was our third time in First on BA and the worst one.

1) The food was meh and worse. While nicely presented, our fish was bone-dry, other passengers who took beef described it as "horrible".
The asparagus "cream" soup was a watery, tasteless beige colour liquid.
breakfast service (despite 3 crew serving only 11 passengers) was so poor that passengers had to go to the galley and repeatedly demand something to eat.
And some of them didn't get what they ordered anyway!

Perhaps BA should look into giving its business to a different catering company in Vancouver and giving more training to the crew?

2) despite demanding the gender of every passenger during booking, BA run out of ladies pyjamas. While my tall husband was fine in Men's large, I was offered also Men's large with my sleeves up to my knees and pants rolled up 3 times.
A simple calculation could prevent this problem, no?

3) we booked a cabana in CCR 2 months before our trip and were given written confirmation by email.
to our disappointment, "YOU FIRST" service managed to book us on the previous day, (the day of departure from YVR instead the day of arrival to LHR)
and with the horrid waiting times for Elemis showers (for business lounge) we ended up with no shower at all on a 24 hours journey.
The food in CCR was the only redeeming feature.

we did follow up the cabana mishap by calling "YOU FIRST" and were met with lukewarm response "we can only apologize", and there was no interest to make things right. We were basically brushed off.
we felt that "YOU FIRST" is interpreted by BA as "you first give us your money and then we don't have to care about you".

4) our brand new XL suitcase arrived to the final destination completely crushed, with busted locks. And, was the last one to show up on the carousel, too.
So much for the first class luggage being treated better.
We were offered a cheap, heavy and half-size replacement by the ground agent, which we politely declined. A compensation for it is still debatable.

CONCLUSION:
With this sort of FIRST class experience, it is a small wonder that we decided to spend our money with AA and other carriers.
While despite it we are on the way to become GGL, we can't help but notice that BA overall is on a downward spiral in terms of catering, lounges, service, equipment condition and pretty much everything else.

Soon, RyanAir will be considered Luxury experience comparing to BA
I never understand why airlines (and I really do mean this generally) insist on serving food that is just so hard to get right in the air. I mean really, with the incredible options out there in world cuisine why even attempt to serve fish the way BA does or for that matter why would anyone ever think it makes sense to have asparagus soup on an airplane. Just bizarre choice making on the airlines part, maybe the people in charge of menu planning are all stoned as that is the only way I can make sense of it.
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Old Nov 25, 19, 1:05 pm
  #5  
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Originally Posted by arrow2fast View Post
While despite it we are on the way to become GGL, we can't help but notice that BA overall is on a downward spiral in terms of catering, lounges, service, equipment condition and pretty much everything else.
I know it hardly makes things better, but some days, everything just goes wrong. You seem to have had a bad crew, a cabana booking mess, and a pyjama mess. Catering ex-US outstations is generally mediocre to poor on BA and most other European airlines.

Poor F experiences are not rare, good ones are far more frequent. I'll admit that I have never had a cabana booking issue like yours, and whilst pyjama misloads have happened to me, so have they on multiple other airlines including QR, which many of us on this forum consider a very strong airline on that front.

In general, the BA F product remains well below some of its competitors such as AF or even LH and LX, but once you know that whilst top prices are similar to competitors, BA is the only one of the lot to also offer deeply discounted paid F fares for barely more than discounted J and plenty of award seats, many of us adjust expectations accordingly.

That said, however bad your experience, the sentence I quote from your post is simply not accurate, at least for BA F. Whilst, as I said, this is far from a leading product, the product as it exists not only hasn't declined but is actually better now than it has been in the past 10 years or so, with better catering, amenities, and bedding than before. The seats remain average at best.
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Old Nov 25, 19, 1:11 pm
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Originally Posted by orbitmic View Post
I know it hardly makes things better, but some days, everything just goes wrong. You seem to have had a bad crew, a cabana booking mess, and a pyjama mess. Catering ex-US outstations is generally mediocre to poor on BA and most other European airlines.

Poor F experiences are not rare, good ones are far more frequent. I'll admit that I have never had a cabana booking issue like yours, and whilst pyjama misloads have happened to me, so have they on multiple other airlines including QR, which many of us on this forum consider a very strong airline on that front.

In general, the BA F product remains well below some of its competitors such as AF or even LH and LX, but once you know that whilst top prices are similar to competitors, BA is the only one of the lot to also offer deeply discounted paid F fares for barely more than discounted J and plenty of award seats, many of us adjust expectations accordingly.

That said, however bad your experience, the sentence I quote from your post is simply not accurate, at least for BA F. Whilst, as I said, this is far from a leading product, the product as it exists not only hasn't declined but is actually better now than it has been in the past 10 years or so, with better catering, amenities, and bedding than before. The seats remain average at best.
I think this sums it up. Some days things just dont go well. I have had many short connections traveling with BA First and while I would love to have a shower I have made do with a quick wash and change of shirts using the bathroom sinks. At least in the CCR the individual lavs allow for this. I also think that the BA First product is on so many routes it cant possibly have the exclusivity of a more niche product like AF (e.g. personalized lounge experiences). Some of the concerns are also going to be addressed when BA does the planned revamp of the lounge showers which everyone agrees is needed. This is something many airlines have been doing in recent years. I travel a lot with UA and really until the Polaris lounges many of their clubs never even had a shower. I guess my point is that perfect doesn't exist in mass transit but at the end of the day I really think BA First is a decent product and often very very competitively priced.
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Old Nov 25, 19, 2:31 pm
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Your story just confirm what was said about BA F: it is just a super J!
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Old Nov 25, 19, 3:38 pm
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Originally Posted by NA-Flyer View Post
Your story just confirm what was said about BA F: it is just a super J!
Seem to remember (maybe around 12 months or so ago .... ) during a wide-ranging thread on the topic of BA First, one of our very heavy BA flyers suggesting that - for the purpose of passenger expectations - it could perhaps be appropriately described as something like CW Plus or First Lite.
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Old Nov 25, 19, 4:00 pm
  #9  
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I would only add that the cabanas are a great disappointment. They feel like smelly construction cubicles. You didn’t miss anything.
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Old Nov 25, 19, 4:28 pm
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Originally Posted by bisonrav View Post
But apart from that, everything was OK?
Be nice!
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Old Nov 25, 19, 10:54 pm
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FWIW, AA First is just as bad food and the seat is far worse for sleeping.
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Old Nov 26, 19, 2:39 am
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Originally Posted by arrow2fast View Post
the horrid waiting times for Elemis showers (for business lounge) we ended up with no shower at all on a 24 hours journey.
I always go landside and have a shower in the Arrivals Lounge before going back through the First Wing. There seem to be a lot more showers than airside and I've never had to wait, like I have at the Elemis Spa. I know this isn't a lot of help for you now but something to bear in mind if you transit LHR T5 in the future.
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Old Nov 26, 19, 2:44 am
  #13  
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In this case, the people manning the CCR cabanas should have "fast-tracked" the OP to the top of the shower list as there had clearly been a mistake.

Oh, but that would have meant somebody going above and beyond what they are paid to do....
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Old Nov 26, 19, 4:41 am
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I am by no means a frequent flyer but I have never had a problem getting a shower, managed one on a 1hour connection from T5C to T5A on my last trip in September. It's obviously a random event as to how busy they may be at any given time and time of day is maybe relevant also but I always seem to strike it lucky....Obviously this wont be the case next time now I have said that....
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Old Nov 26, 19, 5:27 am
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Originally Posted by Tiffywren View Post
I always go landside and have a shower in the Arrivals Lounge before going back through the First Wing. There seem to be a lot more showers than airside and I've never had to wait, like I have at the Elemis Spa. I know this isn't a lot of help for you now but something to bear in mind if you transit LHR T5 in the future.
Me too, much faster than transfer security, and no waiting for a shower.
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