Negligent crew management at BA?

Old Mar 6, 20, 3:27 am
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2020
Posts: 1
Negligent crew management at BA?

I was on a flight back from San Francisco the other day and experienced probably the worst service (based on money paid) I have ever seen on any airline. I would’ve preferred if they’d just set up a buffet!


In the terminal I knew something was wrong when we were offered food vouchers. This might have been useful if it wasn’t 5-10 minutes prior to boarding and the chaos that ensued.


It was a 787-900 aircraft with 216 seats (8F/42C/39P/127E) somewhere between half full and full, so maybe circa 150 passengers. The problem was there were only THREE CABIN CREW to serve the whole aircraft.


The service took a LONG time - the crew were highly embarrassed and as fast as they could offered all the cold food they had. No hot food was served as they didn’t feel it was safe to operate the cookers, I assume in case there was a fire. 2 crew served from 1 trolley in economy leaving 1 other to serve all of Club and First.


I asked a crew friend after I got back how this was even possible and got some more info from the grapevine. The crew has been sent out via Los Angeles and over the course of 2 nights had their rest interrupted repeatedly including having to move hotels. They were going to be bussed up (!!!) but eventually were put on a flight, by the time they made it to San Francisco they were down to 5 which is the legal minimum to fly back home.


Because of how long their working day was from leaving LA and going straight to work they had to take turns in shifts of 2 sleeping right after takeoff on the flight to ensure they were still legal.


In retrospect this was quite worrying - it’s a big long-haul aircraft, 8 exits, up to 220 passengers - if there was a fire or medical emergency or disruptive passenger (or combination) god knows how 3 crew could have safely managed the situation.


Obviously I have no issue with the crew - they did an outstanding job given the circumstances and still delivered with charm and a smile.


What is atrocious however is instead of being commended for coming to work knackered and avoiding cancelling a flight I hear they were hauled over the coals in disciplinary action when they got back for not cooking all the meals and doing a normal service.


I’m not sure I want to fly on an airline that bullies it’s staff like that when it comes to safety. I hope it’s a short-sighted on-off.


Beyond appalled.
tuffnelpark is offline  
Old Mar 6, 20, 4:12 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Programs: Sir CT-UK - Streaker pour les autres.
Posts: 5,549
Are you sure it left with only 3 crew? Did you actually count them?

I would be amazed if was allowed to fly,
CT-UK is offline  
Old Mar 6, 20, 4:20 am
  #3  
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: London, UK
Programs: BAEC GGL/CCR, HH Diamond, BW Diamond, Blue Peter Badge Holder
Posts: 3,517
Originally Posted by CT-UK View Post
Are you sure it left with only 3 crew? Did you actually count them?

I would be amazed if was allowed to fly,
they wouldn’t be, indeed I’m amazed how the OP managed to see the Service in all cabins

Minimum CC



Last edited by navylad; Mar 6, 20 at 4:28 am
navylad is offline  
Old Mar 6, 20, 4:23 am
  #4  
Ambassador: World of Hyatt
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: UK - the nearest airport is named after a motorway !
Posts: 3,990
Originally Posted by CT-UK View Post
Are you sure it left with only 3 crew? Did you actually count them?

I would be amazed if was allowed to fly,
The OP said that it left with 5 crew. Did you actually read his post?
Stewie Mac is offline  
Old Mar 6, 20, 4:24 am
  #5  
Ambassador: Emirates Airlines
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Manchester, UK
Posts: 15,445
It clearly says 5 cabin crew in the OP, and that 2 were resting.

Is 5 legal for 150ish passengers? I assume it must be.

Something doesn't add up though.
DYKWIA is offline  
Old Mar 6, 20, 4:29 am
  #6  
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: London, UK
Programs: BAEC GGL/CCR, HH Diamond, BW Diamond, Blue Peter Badge Holder
Posts: 3,517
Originally Posted by DYKWIA View Post
It clearly says 5 cabin crew in the OP, and that 2 were resting.

Is 5 legal for 150ish passengers? I assume it must be.

Something doesn't add up though.
negative according to the EASA documentation that lists the minimum number from aircraft certification.
navylad is offline  
Old Mar 6, 20, 4:32 am
  #7  
Moderator, Iberia Airlines, Airport Lounges, and Ambassador, British Airways Executive Club
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Programs: BA Lifetime Gold; Flying Blue Life Platinum; LH Sen.; Hilton Diamond; Kemal Kebabs Prized Customer
Posts: 46,055
Welcome to Flyertalk tuffnelpark, welcome also to the BA forum. It does sound quite an extraordinary turn of events, it's difficult to judge this because on the one hand full markts for getting everyone home, on the other hand this sounds like a below minimum viable product.

I'd just highlight that unless I am much mistaken, your complaint is mainly about the way that the crew got told off by their management for not completing the service is with 3 cabin crew rotating out of 5 on board.
corporate-wage-slave is online now  
Old Mar 6, 20, 4:38 am
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Programs: BA Exec Club Gold, *G, EK Skywards Silver
Posts: 525
Originally Posted by tuffnelpark View Post
I was on a flight back from San Francisco the other day and experienced probably the worst service (based on money paid) I have ever seen on any airline. I would’ve preferred if they’d just set up a buffet!


In the terminal I knew something was wrong when we were offered food vouchers. This might have been useful if it wasn’t 5-10 minutes prior to boarding and the chaos that ensued.


It was a 787-900 aircraft with 216 seats (8F/42C/39P/127E) somewhere between half full and full, so maybe circa 150 passengers. The problem was there were only THREE CABIN CREW to serve the whole aircraft.


The service took a LONG time - the crew were highly embarrassed and as fast as they could offered all the cold food they had. No hot food was served as they didn’t feel it was safe to operate the cookers, I assume in case there was a fire. 2 crew served from 1 trolley in economy leaving 1 other to serve all of Club and First.


I asked a crew friend after I got back how this was even possible and got some more info from the grapevine. The crew has been sent out via Los Angeles and over the course of 2 nights had their rest interrupted repeatedly including having to move hotels. They were going to be bussed up (!!!) but eventually were put on a flight, by the time they made it to San Francisco they were down to 5 which is the legal minimum to fly back home.


Because of how long their working day was from leaving LA and going straight to work they had to take turns in shifts of 2 sleeping right after takeoff on the flight to ensure they were still legal.


In retrospect this was quite worrying - it’s a big long-haul aircraft, 8 exits, up to 220 passengers - if there was a fire or medical emergency or disruptive passenger (or combination) god knows how 3 crew could have safely managed the situation.


Obviously I have no issue with the crew - they did an outstanding job given the circumstances and still delivered with charm and a smile.


What is atrocious however is instead of being commended for coming to work knackered and avoiding cancelling a flight I hear they were hauled over the coals in disciplinary action when they got back for not cooking all the meals and doing a normal service.


I’m not sure I want to fly on an airline that bullies it’s staff like that when it comes to safety. I hope it’s a short-sighted on-off.


Beyond appalled.
did your ‘crew friend’ not tell you the the 787 doesn’t operate from SFO?
surryson is offline  
Old Mar 6, 20, 4:47 am
  #9  
Ambassador: World of Hyatt
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: UK - the nearest airport is named after a motorway !
Posts: 3,990
Originally Posted by navylad View Post
negative according to the EASA documentation that lists the minimum number from aircraft certification.
But as with all these things there's a get out:
Originally Posted by EASA website, Regulation (EU) No 965/2012 Air Operations
The minimum number of cabin crew required in the passenger compartment may be reduced under conditions stated in ORO.CC.205 incl. AMC1 ORO.CC.205 (c)(1). Procedures must be established in the operations manual; it has to be ensured that an equivalent level of safety is achieved with the reduced number of cabin crew, in particular for evacuation of passengers.


Let's not be so quick to bash the OP, please.
Stewie Mac is offline  
Old Mar 6, 20, 4:52 am
  #10  
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Programs: BA, Hilton
Posts: 1,390
Originally Posted by surryson View Post
did your ‘crew friend’ not tell you the the 787 doesn’t operate from SFO?
But the 789 does currently operate SJC which many people use as an airport for San Francisco the city. As far I can tell, the OP only talks in terms of the city not SFO the airport.
rickg523 and nancypants like this.
BertieBadger is online now  
Old Mar 6, 20, 4:55 am
  #11  
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 2,244
Five crews is, if I remember well, the minimum amount of crew that can fly on the 787-9. As per the manual.

As for the flight, OP are you sure you left from SFO? I think SFO only sees 747s and 380s, to my knowledge and memory there hasn't been a 787 flight there in a long time (at least for BA) if ever. Wasn't it perhaps a flight out of SJC?

As for the performance management, I've no doubts that the poor crew will have negative feedback on that flight and that it'll affect their performance (although the bonuses aren't being paid as far as I understand it). I work in a company with a pretty crappy performance management system, although our ways of working is still miles ahead the 'dashboard' implemented with Mixed Fleet. My other half is MF and has plenty of cases when situations outside of their control - e.g. badly cleaned planes, or tatty cabins such as the three-class 77Es - trigger low scores and of course low ratings. Management response is of a level of stupidity and obtuseness such that you'd expect them to have worked in the office issuing visas for Turkmenistan.

Last edited by 13901; Mar 6, 20 at 5:00 am
13901 is online now  
Old Mar 6, 20, 4:56 am
  #12  
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: 5 miles from EMA
Programs: BD, BAEC Pleb, VS Pleb, Accor Gold, HHonors Silver, Big White Season Pass
Posts: 5,569
Originally Posted by BertieBadger View Post
But the 789 does currently operate SJC which many people use as an airport for San Francisco the city. As far I can tell, the OP only talks in terms of the city not SFO the airport.
Beat me to it. I’d be willing to bet that this was SJC from the description of the cabin config
Tiger_lily is offline  
Old Mar 6, 20, 5:02 am
  #13  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Programs: Sir CT-UK - Streaker pour les autres.
Posts: 5,549
Originally Posted by Stewie Mac View Post
The OP said that it left with 5 crew. Did you actually read his post?
sorry teacher will do better next time.....
CT-UK is offline  
Old Mar 6, 20, 5:44 am
  #14  
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Surrey, UK
Programs: BA
Posts: 1,151
I think the OP's misplaced creative writing exercise has everyone hook line and sinker. Perhaps if he writes in to BA with my Exec Club number they'll palm me off with some Avios as a gesture of good will for having wasted my time reading this rubbish. I don't believe a word of it.
argonath likes this.
1Aturnleft is offline  
Old Mar 6, 20, 6:55 am
  #15  
Suspended
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 266
Originally Posted by 1Aturnleft View Post
I think the OP's misplaced creative writing exercise has everyone hook line and sinker. Perhaps if he writes in to BA with my Exec Club number they'll palm me off with some Avios as a gesture of good will for having wasted my time reading this rubbish. I don't believe a word of it.
It all seems pretty concise and accurate in all details from what I can see. Maybe you’d prefer bullet points of a few syllables easier to digest.

Minimum crew on a 787-9 is 6 from base or 5 from outstation. SJC is essentially San Francisco and the 787-9 operates from there - the OP doesn’t mention SFO airport specifically.

We know crew need breaks on long flights anyway - and the rest flows naturally. Would you want to be on a flight with such minimum staffing, especially if paid for F or J? I believe you need 2 crew to run the type of trolleys they use in economy for safety reasons - so that leaves only 1 crew spare.

Goodness know where all this bile and negativity comes from especially to new members. I’m surprised it doesn’t start with the usual apology for daring to register and write a post in fear of retribution.

Can we remember this is webpage on the internet not something of any gravity worth getting worked up over?
FlyerTalker6823123456 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: