Iím giving up my GGL status.

Old Dec 4, 21, 10:18 am
  #1  
formerly rxfleming
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Iím giving up my GGL status.

Iím giving up CCR/GGL.

Earlier this week I met with (not for the first time) Ceri Davies (Premium Customer Manager) and another colleague from BA to let them know I wonít be renewing GGL after 2023 (funnily enough Iíve just requalified this year so didnít need an extension!). Iím just a small fish in a big pond and BA probably donít give a toss - but I wanted to explain my reasons.

This pains me because Iíve been communicating closely with these teams and they do seem genuine in their pursuit of customer service and they have really helped me this year on various issues, but I canít remain loyal to an airline that doesnít seem to change and seems to be going backwards despite consistent feedback from customers like ourselves.

Iíve thought long and hard about this. And being a customer based outside London for the last 6 years hasnít made it easy to retain CCR/GGL status but I have. Iíve watched BA go through good times and bad. But things are just so bad now I canít keep spending money with this airline. I think we are all starting to see as the traveling public get back to the air on this forum the number of complaints is, worryingly, increasing.

Things started From last August when I was involuntarily denied boarding to my flight to DXB (and ended up flying EK instead); and subsequently got my flights fully refunded and compensation paid things have just gone down hill from there.

Iíve flown 16 times during the pandemic, most of them long haul, and the service on board has been more miss than hit. Iím getting tired, so very tired, of having the same conversations with BA leadership on (and bear with me, this is a long list)Ö

Öbadly trained crew, crew who donít understand J or F standards; the same menus for months, abysmal wine offerings; F seats that are tired, frayed and damaged (Iím looking at you 787-9), the same menus at the CCR for years and the same poor attention from staff working there; poor outstation support and lounges; toilets and showers at the CCR that remind me of an NHS bathroom with a needle bin (!); horrible queues for check in or immigration with seemingly little to no support for GGLs and higher flying in F or J; call bells going unanswered; check in staff not knowing the rules on travel and denying boarding; WT+ passengers using CW Kitchen on every flight with zero crew intervention, PDBs on some flights and not others; Öthe list goes on and this list is usually on every flight Iím on.

I canít just spend my money blindly anymore. And I wonít. I have flown LX J, EK F, and AA/AS J/F this year and Iíve been encouraged by the differences Iíve seen.

I know BA arenít perfect but the consistent inconsistencies have broke this camels back. And the lack of customer recognition for REAL improvements has too. The only real benefit I see now is their Exec Club for Avios; it does have some real value but I can always take advantage of that by flying other OW carriers who actually do remain consistent with GOOD to EXCELLENT service in the air and on the ground.

Iíll be looking to CX, EY, SQ, QR, and WY for my travel needs instead after my final purposely booked trip on BA tomorrow.

So as I sit in the CCR tonight I raise a glass of LPGS to the airline that I used to love flying - and toast to the year ahead of, what I hope to be, better flights.

Goodbye BA!
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Old Dec 4, 21, 10:22 am
  #2  
Formerly known as linzbh
 
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I too am questioning if GGL is worth it and more so worth renewing. Iíve flown Ethiopian business class 6 times around Africa in there last 2 weeks and would say their service in both lounge and on board is equivalent to Qatar airways. So begs the question why canít BA do the same in F that an African carrier can do in J :í)
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Old Dec 4, 21, 10:26 am
  #3  
 
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Well if you are sat in the CCR tonight then you are giving cash to BA so this is a bit of a pointless post...
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Old Dec 4, 21, 10:28 am
  #4  
 
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Fully agree with BAGGL. The only improvement BA have made in the last 5 years is the new Club World.

Absolutely everything else, both on board and in the lounges, has been seriously downgraded.

Once travel gets back to normal, the premium flight market is going to be ultra competitive. BA have let their standards slip so far, they will suffer badly.
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Old Dec 4, 21, 10:29 am
  #5  
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First of all, a warm welcome to Flyertalk! Sometimes, leaving a place is also arriving in another and hopefully you won't be disappointed by the welcome over here! Doesn't address your question, but I saw Ceri in big conversation on the CCR terrace on Friday morning so now just wondering if that was you!

On the broader point, sorry for you that you are feeling so disappointed as to want to give them up. To be honest, with the pandemic, I have become used to giving a much higher importance to convenience/direct flights (in many ways, U2 has been the biggest beneficiary when it comes to my travel) so I'll admit that from my specific point of view, I have relatively little scope to even consider quality trajectory at the moment, and in my view, BA has had both significant improvements (e.g. Club Suites) and issues (e.g. Covid catering) but I think it is entirely understandable to follow one's instinct on those things, and if one of the things that you mentioned was the straw that broke your specific camel's back, and even without being convinced that the grass is always greener on the other side (I say that as someone who regularly flies on nearly 50 different airlines, including on the three main alliances, "unaligned", and low cost), I think you have done what you should for now and hope that the move will feel like a successful and beneficial one, at least for a period of time.
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Last edited by orbitmic; Dec 5, 21 at 1:23 pm
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Old Dec 4, 21, 10:29 am
  #6  
 
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Originally Posted by BAGGL
; toilets and showers at the CCR that remind me of an NHS bathroom with a needle bin (!);
I agree with you general point about the bathrooms, but isnít the needle bin needed for diabetics who need to inject insulin? Donít all airlines/airports provide this?
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Old Dec 4, 21, 10:48 am
  #7  
 
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Agree with these points. Was flying club world recently and the seat was not fully functional - wouldnít recline more than half way. Cabin was almost full but not 100% and BA crew first offer was to move me to WTP. I had to actually walk around and notice other CW seats were open and asked to be moved. Simple thing really that should have been super easy.
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Old Dec 4, 21, 11:30 am
  #8  
 
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My second to last BA flight, I don't believe I saw the crew for more than 5-10 mins the whole 10hr flight (+ 2-3 times someone walked through the cabin carrying a tray towards the rear of the aircraft).
Considerably better on the following flight.

To me, management asking GGLs in the CCR their opinions is akin to going into, say, a Tory or Labour stronghold and asking if they're going to vote Tory or Labour. You've pretty much got a captive market so there's little incentive to improve things for someone who keeps coming back for the same.
CW was pretty full, if not full on my last two flights, and half to 2/3rds full down the back. Obviously something is still encouraging people to fly BA regardless of its failings, and pay top dollar for it.
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Old Dec 4, 21, 11:42 am
  #9  
 
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completely agree with your issues save for the needle bins (common) and the CCR staff. otherwise nothing you said can be argued and while i have taken 28 of 32 segments on BA in the last two months, having finally resumed my typical travel life, i cannot help but agree to the feeling that we, the customers are back! BA has sadly not shown up to play and if anything, show a poor sad version of who they were pre-pandemic in every aspect you describe.
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Old Dec 4, 21, 11:44 am
  #10  
 
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Originally Posted by xenole
CW was pretty full, if not full on my last two flights, and half to 2/3rds full down the back. Obviously something is still encouraging people to fly BA regardless of its failings, and pay top dollar for it.
I think current loads are rather distorted. Capacity is still substantially down. There is pent up demand. People are sitting on BA vouchers. And shifting sands of travel restrictions put a bigger premium on flying direct. BA canít afford to think that will be the case in the medium term. Other than weakening Virgin I canít see that the pandemic has changed the long haul competitive situation much. The ME3, Delta, United, AF/KLM and LH group will all still be pushing in BAs key markets.
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Old Dec 4, 21, 12:08 pm
  #11  
 
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BA’s transformation into the fourth US major carrier is sadly almost complete. BA’s longhaul business model these days is about doing just enough to win on TATL routes and no more, which makes them wildly uncompetitive on basically every other longhaul route. I agree standards have slipped further post-COVID and will also not be going out of my way to renew GGL (although dropping the CCR requirements is nice). It is sad to see that BA F is genuinely pitched below quite a few other airlines in J at the moment.
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Old Dec 4, 21, 12:09 pm
  #12  
 
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Originally Posted by lcylocal
I think current loads are rather distorted. Capacity is still substantially down. There is pent up demand. People are sitting on BA vouchers. And shifting sands of travel restrictions put a bigger premium on flying direct. BA can’t afford to think that will be the case in the medium term. Other than weakening Virgin I can’t see that the pandemic has changed the long haul competitive situation much. The ME3, Delta, United, AF/KLM and LH group will all still be pushing in BAs key markets.
I've got a few vouchers with BA and AA that I want to use, but things unpredictable at present.
I will give BA credit that they have been fairly good with bookings, offering FTVs, e-vouchers etc. rather than saying "Tough...not our fault you booked this and couldn't fly. Kiss goodbye to your cash". Extensions have been helpful to many - even if I chose not to fly with them next year at all, I'd still be a GCH for that year (and silver the year after). A chance there to try to opposition and see if the grass is greener.
Perhaps not phone wise. Haven't had any issues getting through in under an hour and did have one excellent agent. AA on the other hand answered quickly, first agent wasn't clued up, second excellent.
Ground staff wise, AA were very helpful in IRROPS. BA seemed lost.

I suppose at the end of the day, BA might come out of this in a stronger position. Sure they've cut back due to Covid (ok, and before that quite a lot, so not an excuse), but every time you think things are improving, the airline industry has to take a step back. Unless there's an actual light and the end of the tunnel, you can't up your game and it becomes a case of riding things out.
The new CW suites take a lot time to install, and at least if things do improve, they'll be in place at the expense of say catering which could be improved in a shorter space of time.

I'll get back to GGL in the first half of next year with presently booked flights and a few to add naturally - not that it provided that much when I had it for 3-4 years (well, assuming no more cancellations - already lost some flights next month). Some are BA, some are AA, so a bit of a limited mix.

No real desire to go to the ME, so the ME3 don't really both me that much, although I do want to fly QR sometime once more than the US opens up. A lot of Asia is still too risky or awkward to consider at present.

Could have matched my status to *A due their status match a while ago, and/or Virgin. Would have been a nice way of comparing products.

I think BA are akin to BT in the 80s/90s. They sat back replying on their monopoly, name etc. and let Blueyonder / NTL / Virgin Media into the market and they provided cheap 1Mb+ connections whilst BT plodded along with their phonelines and 56k modem speeds before eventually realising they might have to up their game.

Crew wise, a lot seem to come across as someone like a trainee Saturday girl in a shop, leaning against a wall, on social media all day. No real incentive to do anything beyond the bare minimum and even that is putting them out.
I've BA and AA business class transatlantic flights over the next 2 weeks or so, so will be able to compared quite well there.

At the end of the day, BA is my national flag carrier (well, not so much ownership wise). They have a large presence at LHR, and provide multiple options and opportunities for myself. The Avios programme has let me do things beyond my budget (or desire to spend ££££ on an aircraft seat) and there's no really any other airline / alliance that can offer the ease of earning and spending.
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Last edited by xenole; Dec 4, 21 at 12:25 pm
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Old Dec 4, 21, 1:04 pm
  #13  
 
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Plenty of choice

What British Airways seemingly fails to realise is that it is a very competitive world out there and we have plenty of choice. There are many alternatives for passengers, even if it means a change of aircraft at another carrierís hub and adding a little time to our journey, if the overall experience and level of service is greatly improved then I for one think it is worth it. Unable to secure a ticket on BA I found myself aboard Etihad for the first time Ė only in business class but everything about it seems superior to what British Airways have to offer in their So-called first-class cabin. And it cost me no more. In a stroke Ė I resolved never to fly BA on longóhaul again. So many things have gone wrong on my previous few flights with them that I have completely lost patience. As has been mentioned uppost, it is the way that they just bat away any serious customer complaints rather than taking them on board. The cut-and-paste replies they send out are really quite offensive to customers who have paid many thousands of pounds and have high status. This is very sad because I have been travelling with British Airways since 1983 Ė but enough is enough. I empathise with OP entirely.

PS - for the sake of accuracy, some of my earlier Gatwick flights would have been on BCal and DanAir.

Last edited by SxMan; Dec 4, 21 at 1:31 pm
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Old Dec 4, 21, 1:25 pm
  #14  
 
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Yes it is interesting, another poster made comment somewhere yesterday that status is not so useful and better just pay for what you want. I kind of agree with that, as status used to be valuable for me when flying economy or premium economy, but less so last years when all is business or first. So the logical conclusion indeed to just fly whatever airline works / you like for certain route and ignore status.
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Old Dec 4, 21, 2:00 pm
  #15  
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Originally Posted by lost_in_translation
BAís transformation into the fourth US major carrier is sadly almost complete. BAís longhaul business model these days is about doing just enough to win on TATL routes and no more, which makes them wildly uncompetitive on basically every other longhaul route. I agree standards have slipped further post-COVID and will also not be going out of my way to renew GGL (although dropping the CCR requirements is nice). It is sad to see that BA F is genuinely pitched below quite a few other airlines in J at the moment.
Not sure it makes them competitive on TATL routes? Sure, if I can get F, its probably going to be the best way across the Atlantic (from the UK) though still a bit hit or miss in terms of the level of pro activity and polish. BUT in J? Iím happier on UA and AA these days (even with UAís COVID era catering).
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