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When will long haul economy service be restored?

When will long haul economy service be restored?

Old Mar 29, 2022, 6:34 am
  #1  
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When will long haul economy service be restored?

Not everyone on this forum flies Club all the time. With prices where they are (and the lower service standards there too) I canít imagine travelling Club much if at all in the coming months on long haul.

As my username suggests, Iím here for the backbenches

I recently had two similar trips in premium economy, one outbound with BA World Traveller Plus, and the other out in Americanís Premium Economy. It gave the opportunity to compare both products.

Whilst the hard products are quite good (although the 2010-era touchscreens are looking long in the tooth. The yet-to-be refurbished 777-300ERs are the new mid-J 747s..) the gap in service quality is enormous.

The BA flights were all packed-to-the-gills full.

BA85 LHR-YVR March 2022
Also, BA84 YVR-LHR and BA268 LAX-LHR in March 2022
  • Understaffed (the return they announced they needed to do the safety briefing twice since ďnot everyone could see itĒ)
  • No pre-departure drinks or mid flight water runs.
  • No menus
  • Meal was the supermarket quality chicken pie (It felt economy standard, but I saw it being mentioned in the Club menus in another thread). But, I think the salad starter is larger than the ramekins in Club.
  • Second service was a single finger of tasty chicken Caesar and lettuce sandwich + a small Kit Kat in a brown paper bag. On the return, a finger sized ham & cheese croissant (or cream cheese bread roll from LAX), yoghurt, and granola bar.
  • Gold welcome in the early climb ~6000ft both ways. Seems rushed.
  • 75-minute wait to open the door after landing back at Heathrow for a stand, buses, and stairs to become available.





AA155 LHR-SEA March 2022
  • Casper blankets/pillows on seat, noise cancelling headphones etc
  • Smaller cabins.
  • No pre-departure drink, or drinks before meal (although they added pretzels to the meal trays after 25m after the meal was delivered. Perhaps they forgot?)
  • 3x full bar services (main meal, mid flight ice cream, pre-arrival meal) + proactive drinks. Much more generous than BA on drinks. Full cans and cups of water, juice, even wine (benefit of pouring from Magnums into standard sized cups. As much Pinot Grigio as a serving of coke!)
  • Full tray of fresh food prior to arrival. No choice, all vegetarian, and not great to look at, but a deliciously fresh and filling pesto pasta with mixed leaves and roasted veg. Together with the fresh fruit, it was perhaps the most refreshing pre-arrival meal on any long haul in any class of travel on any airline.





American have some inconsistencies in onboard service delivery, but the quality and quantity of what they are serving is quite dramatically more than BA (and often at a lower price for London point of sale as the BA inventory seems to go quicker).

Rumours on this forum about Club World service being restored later in the year due to crewing requirements, but I canít see how crewing would be a problem for the traveller cabins.

With prices as they are (£1500+ typically to the West Coast on Monday/Fridays) and full planes, itís not good enough to hold back the advertised service

Peeking back at the main World Traveller cabins, servings on trays seem even more limited. I returned from LAX and that had the same small 2nd service as YVR, despite previously getting a larger cooked breakfast nose-to-tail.

Does anyone have any indication when service will be restored?

In the meantime, a combo of self-catering and AA where routes make sense. Otherwise, the status match to Virgin (who appear to have a proper service) seems like the most sensible option for the same money.
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Old Mar 29, 2022, 6:36 am
  #2  
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Good to see "Enjoy your menu" is still around !
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Old Mar 29, 2022, 8:08 am
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Haven't you answered your own question? If the fares are high and the planes are full then what incentive is there for BA to improve things? Especially when the airline seems to be managed on a "let's just make the next quarter's results" basis.

Personally, for my next TATL I'm giving up on BA WTP and giving VS PE a try. Using their status match helps.
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Old Mar 29, 2022, 8:32 am
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Originally Posted by BahrainLad

Personally, for my next TATL I'm giving up on BA WTP and giving VS PE a try.
After my abysmal experience of BA WTP on my recent LHR-DXB-LHR flights, I'm also giving up on BA and taking my business elsewhere. Not quite decided where yet!
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Old Mar 29, 2022, 8:49 am
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Originally Posted by Southern_Northerner
After my abysmal experience of BA WTP on my recent LHR-DXB-LHR flights, I'm also giving up on BA and taking my business elsewhere. Not quite decided where yet!
EK is bringing Premium Economy on the DXB-LHR route later this year. QF Premium was a dream on the LHR-DXB route too for the short time they flew it.
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Old Mar 29, 2022, 10:53 am
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I've had delayed disembarkation at LHR four times in the last month, short and long haul, all due to being at a remote stand. Every time, the baggage truck and buses are there ready and waiting, but the guy with the steps is somewhere else (last time he was at T5 while we were at T3...)

To BA's credit, each time we've landed 30 minutes early - just a shame that only some of the airport ground staff are informed!
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Old Mar 29, 2022, 1:21 pm
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Originally Posted by World Traveller Fuss
Not everyone on this forum flies Club all the time. With prices where they are (and the lower service standards there too) I canít imagine travelling Club much if at all in the coming months on long haul.

As my username suggests, Iím here for the backbenches

I recently had two similar trips in premium economy, one outbound with BA World Traveller Plus, and the other out in Americanís Premium Economy. It gave the opportunity to compare both products.
No, most go in F
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Old Mar 29, 2022, 1:44 pm
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It’s very interesting that EK are currently bombarding my Instagram with “You get so much more in Emirates Economy” ads…huge IFE screens, good looking food, food and toys for kids, flexible booking options. At least one airline thinks you can compete on service down the back, rather than just on price.
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Old Mar 29, 2022, 2:05 pm
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Originally Posted by simonkenyon
I've had delayed disembarkation at LHR four times in the last month, short and long haul, all due to being at a remote stand. Every time, the baggage truck and buses are there ready and waiting, but the guy with the steps is somewhere else (last time he was at T5 while we were at T3...)

To BA's credit, each time we've landed 30 minutes early - just a shame that only some of the airport ground staff are informed!

FWIW it happens with other airlines too.
We landed 40 minutes early into DXB with EK last weekend and spent 35 minutes waiting for our allotted stand to free up while others remained empty.
​​​​​​
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Old Mar 29, 2022, 2:13 pm
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Originally Posted by mikeyfly
Good to see "Enjoy your menu" is still around !
Literally the first thing I copped and rolled my eyes!!
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Old Mar 29, 2022, 2:31 pm
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Originally Posted by simonkenyon
ÖTo BA's credit, each time we've landed 30 minutes early - just a shame that only some of the airport ground staff are informed!
But, Iím not sure thereís much point arriving early, if you end up waiting til the scheduled arrival time (or later) to disembarkÖ
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Old Mar 29, 2022, 3:31 pm
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Unfortunately no cabin is good on BA at the moment. Even the CEO has acknowledged that staff and passengers are fed up of the current situation.
I understand quite a few services will be cancelled or consolidated over the coming weeks to allow BA to improve the customer experience on the ground and in the air with the staff they have.

Iím not buying any premium seats on BA for a while due to the high prices and substandard product offering but I think we want them to get back to some level of normal as soon as possible.
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Old Mar 29, 2022, 3:57 pm
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Originally Posted by 1Aturnleft
FWIW it happens with other airlines too.
We landed 40 minutes early into DXB with EK last weekend and spent 35 minutes waiting for our allotted stand to free up while others remained empty.
​​​​​​
For many years now, and still to this day, I’m perplexed how it always seems to completely surprise the ground handling that an aircraft which has been in the air for 7 or 10 or 12 or even 14 hours has, ahem, suddenly arrived!!! And we’re just not ready yet!

I do understand some overcrowded airport scenarios (but that raises the whole other question of, when at an overcrowded airport, why end up sitting with the doors closed up to an hour on the gate after boarding has been completed… sort of a oh, wait, you were actually serious about going…)

My favourite memory like this was a TAM (pre-LATAM merger) flight where it seriously seemed like the captain drove the plane around for 40 minutes in circles the way you would at a busy shopping center looking for a free parking space. All the stands full, we passed the same ones several times over… I wasn’t in a hurry as I had no connection and was coming back from a relaxing trip to Baaaaaaahiiiiiiiiaaaaaaa, so my expectations around timing were very much in that frame of mind.

Clearly the answer to the comment I’m answering, as well as to my own experiences, and even most likely the OP’s query, comes to inadequate staffing levels, something which the last two years has put into the worst case ever almost all over the world.
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Old Mar 30, 2022, 5:29 am
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Originally Posted by Schultzois
For many years now, and still to this day, Iím perplexed how it always seems to completely surprise the ground handling that an aircraft which has been in the air for 7 or 10 or 12 or even 14 hours has, ahem, suddenly arrived!!! And weíre just not ready yet!

I do understand some overcrowded airport scenarios (but that raises the whole other question of, when at an overcrowded airport, why end up sitting with the doors closed up to an hour on the gate after boarding has been completedÖ sort of a oh, wait, you were actually serious about goingÖ)

My favourite memory like this was a TAM (pre-LATAM merger) flight where it seriously seemed like the captain drove the plane around for 40 minutes in circles the way you would at a busy shopping center looking for a free parking space. All the stands full, we passed the same ones several times overÖ I wasnít in a hurry as I had no connection and was coming back from a relaxing trip to Baaaaaaahiiiiiiiiaaaaaaa, so my expectations around timing were very much in that frame of mind.

Clearly the answer to the comment Iím answering, as well as to my own experiences, and even most likely the OPís query, comes to inadequate staffing levels, something which the last two years has put into the worst case ever almost all over the world.
Lack of staff to drive servicing equipment at the allotted arrival time aside, most likely the reason being not all gates are equal. Some are aircraft specific and origin specific depending on where they empty out passengers into the terminal. There may also be immigration constraints at some airports which require airborne or taxiway holds. Some aircraft will be taken off stand after arrival while others will be turned around and off again relatively quickly. There's too many variables afoot which we as passengers aren't necessarily aware of and dont need to be aware of. I accept there needs to be an operational schedule for each gate.

As mentioned above lack of available staff to operate jet-bridges and baggage equipment at the scheduled times isnt acceptable in my experience.
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Old Mar 30, 2022, 8:33 am
  #15  
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Useful report thanks! I guess my only question is why is the title about economy whilst the reports are about premium economy? Not everyone flies w either!
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