Disappointing Cityflyer

Old Dec 10, 19, 5:39 am
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Disappointing Cityflyer

Used to be a great fan of BA Cityflyer but a few recent experiences have really put me off.

Coming back from Faro in the summer with my daughter (2.5), told only after takeoff that there were no CE meals - only popcorn and crisps - due to a catering cockup at STN. It would have been really helpful if they'd told us that in the terminal so we could provision before the three hour flight...obviously these flights don't even have BoB so no option of getting something from ET either.

Coming back from FRA to LCY yesterday - got to the front of the J queue and had a beep (despite already being booked in CE) and told to "see my colleague." Unfortunately colleague then directed me to the back of the economy queue. As I waited I noticed there had been loads of magic beeps and everyone was being upgraded, but then told there was no meal for them. Fair enough, standard policy I thought. I got to the front after about 10 minutes - and was told "the system asks me if you're OK to sit in the emergency exit row?" I just replied...."yes...is that it?" Quite ridiculous a) to ask that at the gate and b) 2D on an E190 isn't even an emergency exit!!! (despite BA's seat map saying it is, it is actually a bulkhead). Of course, then I boarded very late and no overhead space (limited above row 2 on an E190 anyway).

Then got on board and after take off - "sorry we have no main meal for anyone, only snacks." Turns out that because of the previous flight being cancelled, 6 meals had been loaded for 4 booked passengers and 18 had ended up in CE. So the purser had taken the decision to not serve any food other than crisps, presumably to stop a riot. Is this policy?

All in all a succession of crap little service failures add up to a big overall minus experience.
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Old Dec 10, 19, 5:52 am
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I find the 'not serving meals' due to upgrades to be very strange...pax who have booked and paid should get the full service regardless. I've been on CityFlyer when a pax with a broken leg was accommodated in two CE seats and he had no issue receiving the Y service since that is what he paid for. Silly to 'upgrade' people to a different cabin if the only service differential is the meal and then not having it to offer. Very strange.
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Old Dec 10, 19, 6:03 am
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I would report to BA your FRA flight as it is a very poor decision. So the CSM decided to throw in the bin 6 CE meal just because he/she canít manage some issues on board?
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Old Dec 10, 19, 6:17 am
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The double mishap on catering on two flights isn't great, the FRA one should have been avoidable, it's a route with a high level of catering declines anyway, so by leaving out the upgrades and explaining it to the other CE passengers, there should have been a half way acceptable outcome there. I guess the route is a bit short, but I would certainly encourage you to write in for a part refund on your ticket, you simply didn't get what you paid for there, and I'm disappointed the CSM didn't at least have a go at keeping everyone happy. In my experience passengers tend to almost go overboard to help out if the CSM pitches it properly: "no, you have it, I'm not hungry", "no, no, I'm too fat anyway, you must have it" etc.

2D is an emergency exit on the 190s. The reason being that with just two crew members, who could be down the back of the aircraft / held up with an injured passenger / injured themselves, in an emergency it would thereby fall to you to operate the front exit door, and therefore the usual tests/questions need to be posed.

This happens every single time if sat in 2D/2F, so since 2D/2F is usually occupied by regular flyers / status holders generally they would know the drill. Therefore if there is a double gate process flow, one gate agent with just the scanner without a terminal (or an e-gate), the other with access to the scanner, FLY terminal and keyboard, you best select the latter queue. You can also clear down the flag at some places in the lounge, or before boarding starts.
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Old Dec 10, 19, 6:25 am
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I agree with CWS at locations with a BA lounge they can clear this flag to stop you getting asked at the gate.

The iPad tells the CSM who was Op Upped and who was supposed to be in CE anyway so there should have been no reason to not serve any of the food on the FRA LCY flight as it should have simply went to the people who are supposed to be there.

Sounds an unfortunate chain of events.
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Old Dec 10, 19, 6:30 am
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Sounds very poor. I'm surprised that the other booked CE passengers did not complain vociferously although this may be because they were all minded to decline anyway, as per CWS post above. If I was upgraded to CE I would fully expect the booked pax to be prioritised, regardless of status.
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Old Dec 10, 19, 6:40 am
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Originally Posted by corporate-wage-slave View Post
This happens every single time if sat in 2D/2F, so since 2D/2F is usually occupied by regular flyers / status holders generally they would know the drill. Therefore if there is a double gate process flow, one gate agent with just the scanner without a terminal (or an e-gate), the other with access to the scanner, FLY terminal and keyboard, you best select the latter queue. You can also clear down the flag at some places in the lounge, or before boarding starts.
Is this recent, I have sat in 2D many times over the years and have never had a flag pop up. I have also never had it as an exit row pax on Mainline.
I also wonder why this is classed as an exit row, surely in a situation where the door would need to be opened there should be a CC in the position at 1L?
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Old Dec 10, 19, 6:46 am
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Originally Posted by BahrainLad View Post
Is this recent, I have sat in 2D many times over the years and have never had a flag pop up. I have also never had it as an exit row pax on Mainline.
I also wonder why this is classed as an exit row, surely in a situation where the door would need to be opened there should be a CC in the position at 1L?
It's not an exit rown on mainline, they have at least 3 cabin crew members. With only 2 cabin crew, 6 doors, with 1 crew member injured, what happens next?

This has been the situation since FLY was introduced, I presume on other occasions you were either checking in a bag, or unfortunately some outsourced staff take one look at you and decide they know the answer without asking. But 100% of times, the flag is there on 190s, to the best of my knowledge.
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Old Dec 10, 19, 6:48 am
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Originally Posted by BahrainLad View Post
Is this recent, I have sat in 2D many times over the years and have never had a flag pop up. I have also never had it as an exit row pax on Mainline.
I also wonder why this is classed as an exit row, surely in a situation where the door would need to be opened there should be a CC in the position at 1L?

**Edited as CWS pretty much said what I had in my reply **
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Old Dec 10, 19, 7:00 am
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Originally Posted by corporate-wage-slave View Post
It's not an exit rown on mainline, they have at least 3 cabin crew members. With only 2 cabin crew, 6 doors, with 1 crew member injured, what happens next?

This has been the situation since FLY was introduced, I presume on other occasions you were either checking in a bag, or unfortunately some outsourced staff take one look at you and decide they know the answer without asking. But 100% of times, the flag is there on 190s, to the best of my knowledge.
Thanks, but when I say "mainline" I'm talking about, for example, A319/320/321 from LHR (AFAIK only CF operate the E190 in BA colours). I am 99% certain I've flown in an exit row on those aircraft since FLY and have never been asked other than at MMB or on board (during the briefing) about whether I'm happy to sit there. I'm happy to concede the point about 2 crew making 2D an exit seat, but I'm just wondering why it requires this additional step (when it's already highlighted on the seat map and gives the tick-box when you select it).
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Old Dec 10, 19, 7:07 am
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Originally Posted by BahrainLad View Post
Thanks, but when I say "mainline" I'm talking about, for example, A319/320/321 from LHR (AFAIK only CF operate the E190 in BA colours). I am 99% certain I've flown in an exit row on those aircraft since FLY and have never been asked other than at MMB or on board (during the briefing) about whether I'm happy to sit there.
I can't really explain it, unless you tend to check in at a desk, use locations without FLY, the ground agents can't be bothered, or have checked luggage. Pretty much consistently for me if you are in an exit row at a FLY station there is a double bleep at the gate (if not already cleared down) and usually the gate staff will say "You're ok for an exit row", or "you're aware you're in an exit row". This applies on A319,320,321 and 190s.

Previously on Flyertalk:
Gate BP bleep for exit row: but not consistent?

Boarding question - double beep at gate?

"Inhibited" with emergency exit row

(there are about 11 threads on the topic).
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Old Dec 10, 19, 7:15 am
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Here's the response that you'll get from BA:
- I'm sorry to hear you were disappointed
- unfortunately, we can never guarantee that your first choice of meal will be available [but that's not the point...!]
- thank you for being Silver [incorrect...]
- our crews are working very hard blah blah
- here's 10,000 Avios
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Old Dec 10, 19, 7:35 am
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Am I missing something about the FRA flight?

They "upgraded" a whole load of people but without a meal. But on CityFlyer there is no difference in seating between CE and ET. So the "upgrade" in fact meant nothing more than sitting in front of the curtain.

So instead of "upgrading" all these people, why didn't they just move the curtain to create space for them in ET whilst maintaining a proper CE segregation (and service) for those who had paid for it?
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Old Dec 10, 19, 7:40 am
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Originally Posted by nd100 View Post
Am I missing something about the FRA flight?

They "upgraded" a whole load of people but without a meal. But on CityFlyer there is no difference in seating between CE and ET. So the "upgrade" in fact meant nothing more than sitting in front of the curtain.

So instead of "upgrading" all these people, why didn't they just move the curtain to create space for them in ET whilst maintaining a proper CE segregation (and service) for those who had paid for it?
No doubt CWS will be along shortly but it was always my understanding that the curtain can only be moved at home base, not an outstation.
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Old Dec 10, 19, 7:47 am
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Originally Posted by BahrainLad View Post
No doubt CWS will be along shortly but it was always my understanding that the curtain can only be moved at home base, not an outstation.
Yes, that's right, though if necessary the flight crew can change the location, that's by exception only and on a swift turnaround the usual protocol is to upgrade to fill up seats, rather than move curtains around. Those upgraded at the desk or who refreshed their app at the right time may have got lounge access (but I bet not many found out in time).

There may have been a trim issue too, but by putting people in CE then they do have access to better drinks arrangement. On a short flight the SCCM member would have had that to contend with, along with the food issue and therefore threw in the towel.
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