Managing a complaint onboard

Old Jun 25, 2023, 2:17 am
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Managing a complaint onboard

A couple of GCH pax in 1D/F on a flight back to LHR yesterday complained vociferously about the food (beef cheeks) and the cabin crew's response was to ply them non-stop with alcohol for the rest of the 4 hr flight. We were in 2D/F and totted up the grand total of four double G&Ts and twelve quarter bottles of wine consumed by the pair. Amazingly, they walked off the plane unaided. I don't want to appear moralistic, but is this really the best way of managing a complaint about food?
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Old Jun 25, 2023, 2:26 am
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Originally Posted by Postdoc
...four double G&Ts and twelve quarter bottles of wine ... this really the best way of managing a complaint about food?
Personally I wouldn't consider the mini-bottles of wine acceptable. Monopole perhaps...
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Old Jun 25, 2023, 2:44 am
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Originally Posted by Postdoc
A couple of GCH pax in 1D/F on a flight back to LHR yesterday complained vociferously about the food (beef cheeks) and the cabin crew's response was to ply them non-stop with alcohol for the rest of the 4 hr flight. We were in 2D/F and totted up the grand total of four double G&Ts and twelve quarter bottles of wine consumed by the pair. Amazingly, they walked off the plane unaided. I don't want to appear moralistic, but is this really the best way of managing a complaint about food?
Please take this as a very friendly rebuttal of your post, OP, and not as a harsh criticisim - for it isn't one - but... it seems to me that you've been awfully nosy on this flight! You noted the type of card the complainants held, the food they didn't like, how many drinks they had, what type of drinks they had... If the complaint was resolved, and if the pair walked off happily, and if their drinking session didn't disturb you or rob you of the tipple of your choosing... then where is the problem?
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Old Jun 25, 2023, 2:56 am
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Originally Posted by 13901
Please take this as a very friendly rebuttal of your post, OP, and not as a harsh criticisim - for it isn't one - but... it seems to me that you've been awfully nosy on this flight! You noted the type of card the complainants held, the food they didn't like, how many drinks they had, what type of drinks they had... If the complaint was resolved, and if the pair walked off happily, and if their drinking session didn't disturb you or rob you of the tipple of your choosing... then where is the problem?
I think the OP Q is not unreasonable. If you have a passenger already getting upset about trivial things is giving them what might be considered to be generous amounts of alcohol likely to improve or worsen their demeanor? It can probably go both ways, and I'd expect crew training on passenger management has some thoughts on it. If correct procedure was followed then good for all.
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Old Jun 25, 2023, 3:10 am
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Sorry to be blunt, but As another poster has said, you have seem to have been incredibly nosy. Maybe mind your own business and move on? - I would trust the crew to handle the situation professionally as they see fit, and provided the pax are not unruly, then providing them with whatever they want might be a way to de-escalate and maybe even recover some of the bad impression the pax had on the food. Some people can handle their drinks better than others, and on a four hour flight - well, I will refrain from judging either for or against.
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Old Jun 25, 2023, 3:11 am
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How did you know they were GCH?
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Old Jun 25, 2023, 3:14 am
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Perhaps this could have been dealt with differently, perhaps this was the perfectly tailored response that these two customers needed. One thing is for sure is that crew actions get scrutinised by passengers in a way that those self same passengers would deem intrusive and Orwellian in their own work space. Every action that someone (of hundreds) thinks is odd, is questioned and judged, often from positions of incredible ignorance; it is not a normal job, thats for sure. Not that anyone is above having their actions questioned but I do wonder if it happens in more traditional employment?

Last edited by Waterhorse; Jun 25, 2023 at 4:39 am
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Old Jun 25, 2023, 3:15 am
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To answer the question, yes it isn't unusual to be given a few drinks after a moan about something onboard.

As to whether this is the best way to manage it, well that really is between the passenger and the cabin crew unless some general disruption is caused by the passenger. Anything beyond that is moralising, which is as you noted something you are trying to avoid.
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Old Jun 25, 2023, 3:20 am
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Originally Posted by SKT-DK
Sorry to be blunt, but As another poster has said, you have seem to have been incredibly nosy. Maybe mind your own business and move on? - I would trust the crew to handle the situation professionally as they see fit, and provided the pax are not unruly, then providing them with whatever they want might be a way to de-escalate and maybe even recover some of the bad impression the pax had on the food. Some people can handle their drinks better than others, and on a four hour flight - well, I will refrain from judging either for or against.
It was difficult not to be nosy given the amount of fuss they created. Although the crew managed to de-escalate the situation, is alcohol really the means that BA would recommend in cabin crew training?
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Old Jun 25, 2023, 3:20 am
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I would add as long as the service to other customers wasn’t compromised it may have been appropriate, as I wasn’t there I will not judge.
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Old Jun 25, 2023, 3:23 am
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Originally Posted by Postdoc
It was difficult not to be nosy given the amount of fuss they created. Although the crew managed to de-escalate the situation, is alcohol really the means that BA would recommend in cabin crew training?
It’s not that alcohol is appropriate it’s the extra attention that is being given to unhappy customers, as said above as long as other customers were also happy.
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Old Jun 25, 2023, 3:23 am
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Had the beef cheeks last week , very tasty.
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Old Jun 25, 2023, 3:23 am
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Originally Posted by Postdoc
It was difficult not to be nosy given the amount of fuss they created. Although the crew managed to de-escalate the situation, is alcohol really the means that BA would recommend in cabin crew training?
Let me flip your question, how many times as cabin crew have you had to deal with complaints onboard, and did it work in this instance?
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Old Jun 25, 2023, 3:27 am
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In many other countries, even Australia, crew are known to refuse any further service and then call the police on loudly complaining passengers, and that probably would have impacted your day a lot more.
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Old Jun 25, 2023, 3:29 am
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I was on this flight & complaned about my cereal bar from row 28.
I received a suitable apology & was allowed to sniff the empties from row 1....
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