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[rant] Is BAís LHR boarding a weird experiment now?

[rant] Is BAís LHR boarding a weird experiment now?

Old Mar 3, 23, 1:14 pm
  #1  
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[rant] Is BAís LHR boarding a weird experiment now?

(Mods, feel free to merge with a recent thread on topic if relevant)

Iím beginning to think that flying out of LHR on BA is some sort of experiment to see how much rubbish people will put up with.

Maybe itís just me being a middle-aged grouch (and proud!) but they must be working really hard to be as bad as they are!

Latest experience (on top of usual approach of announcing groups 1, 2 and 3 about 30 seconds after group 1 - while thereís about 40 people milling around the tensabarrier entrance) was leaving a family of tourists struggling to get through the automated gates (not all of them working, of course!)

Maybe the barely organised scrum would be excusable if there were proactive (or even reactive) staff but they seem to be complete jobsworths.

anyway, this is something of a rant into the void but might be more productive than a rant into BAís complaints process.

Time to find out if Iím normal or a miserable outlier with unrealistic expectations
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Old Mar 3, 23, 1:21 pm
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Originally Posted by lorcancoyle
(Mods, feel free to merge with a recent thread on topic if relevant)

Iím beginning to think that flying out of LHR on BA is some sort of experiment to see how much rubbish people will put up with.

Maybe itís just me being a middle-aged grouch (and proud!) but they must be working really hard to be as bad as they are!

Latest experience (on top of usual approach of announcing groups 1, 2 and 3 about 30 seconds after group 1 - while thereís about 40 people milling around the tensabarrier entrance) was leaving a family of tourists struggling to get through the automated gates (not all of them working, of course!)

Maybe the barely organised scrum would be excusable if there were proactive (or even reactive) staff but they seem to be complete jobsworths.

anyway, this is something of a rant into the void but might be more productive than a rant into BAís complaints process.

Time to find out if Iím normal or a miserable outlier with unrealistic expectations
I FULLY agree, itís an absolute shambles at the moment, and something that needs sorting out. Flying on AY earlier this week, I saw how they managed to run boarding so smoothly, and I wondered why BA canít observe and learn a thing or seven from their Finnish neighbours.

Iím glad others are noticing how rubbish itís become, and calling it out a lot more; Iím seeing posts on various social channels recently - I just hope itís getting back to BA as well
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Old Mar 3, 23, 1:29 pm
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Go to the US and fly on AA. Apparently it is possible to run a smooth boarding process. Who knew?
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Old Mar 3, 23, 1:41 pm
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AA's boarding process is extraordinarily smooth, and they make it look so easy. They don't even need the Tensa mazes that BA is so fond of.
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Old Mar 3, 23, 1:46 pm
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As I've mentioned before on here, it's been awful since they re-introduced priority boarding post covid.

When boarding a flight last year, I made a comment to the gate agent about what a scrum it was. They didn't seem overly bothered though and brushed me off. In fact I'm not even sure they really paid all that much attention to me.
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Old Mar 3, 23, 2:20 pm
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An annoying part is that beyond the general incompetence -- and a boarding system which ignores that the psychology of the average stressed out British passenger means that (s)he will feel an urge to queue - and then fiercely stick to their position in the queue even if they were supposed to "please remain in the sitting area until your group number is called", thereby blocking or overtaking anyone behind them who should have really been boarding before them -- BA insists on using priority boarding as a universal bribing currency (just like cigarettes in gloomier contexts?). So people will board first if they check their hand luggage, board first if they use the biometric pilot, and probably board first if they accept to laugh at the next safety video... And then of course, the more people board first, the more people who aren't are persuaded that everybody is boarding anyway and surely they must have missed the call and must rush to board now in case there aren't enough seats on board for all passengers or something.

Pretty useless to be honest.
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Old Mar 3, 23, 3:05 pm
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The group system is poor, and the implementation of it yet poorer still. BA donít give a crap.

As I said in another thread if you determine who goes in which group via status and class of booking you end up with completely imbalanced group sizes. Groups need to be a pre-determined proportion of the total passengers, if that means golds in G3 so be it.

Regardless, none of that matters if you donít enforce the system.

Every time you hear your group called you end up balancing assertively trying to board with DYKWIA behaviour as you try to determine if people loitering near the gate are in a called group and waiting their turn, or just gate lice.
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Old Mar 3, 23, 3:12 pm
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Originally Posted by thomasd21
I FULLY agree, itís an absolute shambles at the moment, and something that needs sorting out. Flying on AY earlier this week, I saw how they managed to run boarding so smoothly, and I wondered why BA canít observe and learn a thing or seven from their Finnish neighbours.

Iím glad others are noticing how rubbish itís become, and calling it out a lot more; Iím seeing posts on various social channels recently - I just hope itís getting back to BA as well

I find a stark contrast with the (almost) same airline over at London city where boarding seems to always be smooth Ė or at least a great deal smoother experience than at Heathrow. Surely such discrepancy within (almost)the same airline could be ironed out.
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Old Mar 3, 23, 3:27 pm
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Has it ever been good? Or at least consistently competent? I think not.

AA, CX are the two airlines that really stand out in my mind as able to execute this well. Even in tricky airports like LHR.
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Old Mar 3, 23, 3:33 pm
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Originally Posted by Misco60
AA's boarding process is extraordinarily smooth, and they make it look so easy. They don't even need the Tensa mazes that BA is so fond of.
Is this not in part a case of people 'knowing their place'? I find people in the US know their Boarding number, know their 'lane' and are generally 'in the know of where to go'. However, so many times I see Group 7's trying to get in on Group 1 and being turned away!
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Old Mar 3, 23, 3:49 pm
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Originally Posted by Neil Scrivener
Is this not in part a case of people 'knowing their place'? I find people in the US know their Boarding number, know their 'lane' and are generally 'in the know of where to go'. However, so many times I see Group 7's trying to get in on Group 1 and being turned away!
I think the difference with US airlines is that most people realise they'll get refused and told to come back when their group is called, so don't even bother trying.

And it only really takes one or two people to be noticeably refused, which will then make it obvious to everyone nearby that it's pointless to try.

Whereas if you're in Group 7 and notice someone else in Group 7 board unchallenged with Group 1, then you might figure it's ok for you to follow their lead and do the same.
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Old Mar 3, 23, 3:59 pm
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It was generally quite poor pre pandemic as well. Part of the problem is the tendency of passengers to congregate by tensa barriers, but in fairness to some of those passengers, there isn't always much other space to go wait in.

I remember boarding an A380 at T5 C last year, at the same time as a BA Sao Paulo flight was departing from the neighbouring gate, and in both cases the tensa barriers had not been opebed yet. It was actually impossible to make it to my gate with the amount of passengers blocking the space next to the adjacent gate. Two heavies boarding at the same time and it was utter utter carnage, and with each incremental increase in the carnage, passengers' behaviour, rather than to move away and stop crowding the gate area, was to move in a crowd even more. Madness.
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Old Mar 3, 23, 5:01 pm
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My Goodness! We have a winner. A valid complaint which doesnít immediately bring out the apologists.
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Old Mar 3, 23, 6:23 pm
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Originally Posted by lhrsfo
My Goodness! We have a winner. A valid complaint which doesnít immediately bring out the apologists.
Or one that doesn't say how much better it is on Qatar. (though give it time).
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Old Mar 3, 23, 6:34 pm
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Originally Posted by Saladman
Or one that doesn't say how much better it is on Qatar. (though give it time).
No need to go that far since even AA is much better at this ;-)
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