No F cabin staff?

Old Sep 25, 03, 9:23 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: PHX/SFO/LAX
Programs: AA-EXP (1.7MM), BA-Slvr, HH-Diamond
Posts: 7,784
No F cabin staff?

I know Pucci spoke about this recently, but for an airline that only wants premium flyers, this sure seems like some serious mismanagement.

BA closes first-class cabins


[This message has been edited by ByrdluvsAWACO (edited 09-25-2003).]
ByrdluvsAWACO is offline  
Old Sep 25, 03, 9:51 pm
  #2  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Posts: 37,486
Who said they only want premium passengers? Their Coach fares are among the markets lowest.

It's a sad state of affairs and I hope they resolve it SOON.
ScottC is offline  
Old Sep 26, 03, 2:08 am
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,775
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

From 24/9/03 Daily Telegraph

"Welcome aboard British Airways' flight to Miami. Please turn right sir, you're holding everyone up. Yes, that is a 6,000 first-class ticket, but the first-class cabin is closed today due to staff shortages. A flying bed? They're for the management, sir, who are once again asleep on the job. For your convenience we have found you a seat with extra leg room just by the queue for the loo. Do enjoy the flight.

Having managed to turn Heathrow airport into something resembling a refugee camp over the summer, BA is at it again. This time, it's been downgrading its most profitable passengers - those in first-class. These are the people willing to pay silly prices, often with someone else's money, for a Kelly Hoppen-designed cabin, complete with "stylish grey fleece sleeper suits", personal video player, and an amenity pack, featuring Aroma Therapeutics' Oxygen Mist and Elgydium toothpaste.

Such are these creature comforts that BA was yesterday named the best airline for both First and Business class at the Business Traveller awards, which shows how important timing is in the showbiz world of international aviation. These passengers are the people who keep BA's business model flying, so it looks like a PR gaffe of jumbo proportions to force them into the cheaper seats. Having too few staff to look after them is worse than careless, especially with the airline in the middle of a painful redundancy programme.

BA says just five flights have recently been affected, involving 37 first-class passengers. The cause? Staff sickness. BA is now recruiting 300 more cabin crew. Even so, it's proof again that chief executive Rod Eddington still has plenty to do. He should dip into his amenity pack and try a bit of Wake Up gel."



Unfortunately, the "New" Cabin Crew will also be on "New" contracts. At a salary of 9,250 and 500 per month "allowances" I don't expect to be killed in the rush for applications from those of high-calibre!

[This message has been edited by bealine (edited 09-26-2003).]
bealine is offline  
Old Sep 26, 03, 3:20 am
  #4  
Fontaine d'honneur du Flyertalk
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Alicante. Spain
Programs: Reine des Muccis de Pucci; Foreign Elitist (according to others)
Posts: 15,217
Bealine, there I am afraid that you are wrong. I have been involved in the selection process, and I assure you that there is no lack of good applicants.The big problem that we have is getting linguists. Language tuition is abysmal in this country. Some person wrote on these pages (I hope as a joke) to the effect that learning French was an utter waste of time. That has pervaded British culture since the time of the Raj. Speaking a foreign language was always seen as an accomplishment, now it seems a bore and a chore.

You are right about the pay and conditions once the people get through training and start life at the rough end of the travelling public. Yes, people are leaving in droves because they have had enough of the rudeness and abuse. Unless you develop a tough skin very quickly you will never ever cope. You have to learn that you must take nothing personally. Flying with its attendant stress and fear (an oft forgotten factor) brings out the aggressiveness in people and it does get to you. Naturally management want the older higher paid staff to leave so that they can lower costs. Donot think that I am condoning this situation, it is deplorable but I am certain that it is reflected in most airlines, particularly in the USA. Here they cannot fire you, but they can make it miserable to carry on. Demographics are the same at BA as they are elsewhere, a lot of people are going to hit compulsory retirement at 55. To my mind, people who are fit and competent to dontinue should be allowed to go on until 60 if they want to. Enough triaing has been invested in these people. I will stick out my neck and say that some of the best service I have ever seen given in any airline is by the older crew members. They have learnt how to look after people, and that with safety is all that the job is about.

Another huge problem is getting people to go for Purser and CSD. What they will do is probably pull more senior staff out of LGW short haul (some of whom are first rate), and move people up. You have to be specially trained for First Class and rightly so. I understand that so far 37 people have been affected by these downgrades. That is utter rubbish as there are at least 12 cases of the F cabin closing that I know of. Sorry but I do not know whether these were award passengers or not. Judging from these pages the split would be about equal. They will not keep a cabin open purely for awards if there are shortages elsewhere on Board. They will not load First Class catering if there are non-revs only. Now I happen to think that is very counter productive, but we live in the bean couner age and that is the reality. Naturally that causes much more indignation here than in the general population as this place is dedicated to earning the means to obtain these rewards. 98-99% of people on Board really haven't a clue about miles, points, and most seem to care less. (Highly subjective opinion obtained from conversations - three of which were yesterday's flights).

Sorry for such a long post. I will ask this again. Why does a cabin that has less than 20 seats attract more concern and consternation here than any other. Does no one travel Club World? Is it seen as "Not-Quite-Our-Class-Dear". I know that SchwisMiss fles there. I know that First is expensive, but I get the distinct feeling that is we shut Club World or WT+ the silence would be deafening!
PUCCI GALORE is offline  
Old Sep 26, 03, 4:04 am
  #5  
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Helsinki, Finland
Programs: BA/VS Gold, Marriott Plat, HH Diamond
Posts: 623
So how about shredding that union contract and doing the next logical step after self-service check-in -- self-service FIRST! Only you, up to 13 other passengers, and a fully stocked galley!

Additionally, you could save a ton of money by ditching those almost-new movies and just install a bunch of cameras in the F cabin. That'd be the IFE for all the other cabins! Every 30 minutes, someone would get voted out...
Markonen is offline  
Old Sep 26, 03, 5:24 am
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jan 1999
Posts: 3,065
Oh come on, this is not even worthy of news or discussion.

How many businesses have not failed in some as a result of staff failures?

If you are BA of course you close the F cabin. What is the alternative, headlines about families with children stranded at a sweletering hot Cairo airport as fat-cat businessmen and BA staff live the high-life in First; I missed my honeymoon because of BA; I missed my daughters wedding; didn't get to my job inteview....

Being bumped from First to Club is not the end of the world, if it matters that much you change airline or get the next flight.

In general paying F passengers are more confortable when delayed, they just book into the nearest 5 star hotel, pay on expenses and then have their secretaries argue for compensation from BA.

Isn't it funny how none of the papers managed to get a F passenger to give a quote of complaint.

Most paying F passengers I know, accept that BA is having a tough time, there are sacrifices, and that in general they are grateful there is a First service at all.

Merry is offline  
Old Sep 26, 03, 7:27 am
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: UK
Programs: BA EC Gold
Posts: 9,234
<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by Merry:
...and that in general they are grateful there is a First service at all.</font>
"We'll give our customers what we want, when we're ready to give it to them, and they're gonna LIKE it!"

Tsk.
ajax is offline  
Old Sep 26, 03, 7:31 am
  #8  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: somewhere north of London, UK
Programs: HH Gold, BA Silver, Accor Silver
Posts: 15,243
<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by Merry:
Isn't it funny how none of the papers managed to get a F passenger to give a quote of complaint.

</font>
Fair point, but I assume the difference between a F-&gt;C bump and a C-&gt;WT+ bump is quite a big deal. I'll be making my first NCW trip next month, and basically, if I got shunted into WT+ because they closed the F cabin, it would indeed be a long time before I flew Long Haul with BA again...
Swiss Tony is offline  
Old Sep 26, 03, 7:45 am
  #9  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Posts: 37,486
<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by Merry:
Oh come on, this is not even worthy of news or discussion.

How many businesses have not failed in some as a result of staff failures?

If you are BA of course you close the F cabin. What is the alternative, headlines about families with children stranded at a sweletering hot Cairo airport as fat-cat businessmen and BA staff live the high-life in First; I missed my honeymoon because of BA; I missed my daughters wedding; didn't get to my job inteview....

Being bumped from First to Club is not the end of the world, if it matters that much you change airline or get the next flight.

In general paying F passengers are more confortable when delayed, they just book into the nearest 5 star hotel, pay on expenses and then have their secretaries argue for compensation from BA.

Isn't it funny how none of the papers managed to get a F passenger to give a quote of complaint.

Most paying F passengers I know, accept that BA is having a tough time, there are sacrifices, and that in general they are grateful there is a First service at all.

</font>
ScottC is offline  
Old Sep 26, 03, 7:56 am
  #10  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: New York, NY
Programs: BAEC Gold, Hilton Diamond, Marriott Gold, AMEX Platinum (US)
Posts: 18,143
<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by bealine:
stylish grey fleece sleeper suits </font>
LOL!

Never heard them called stylish before!
Fraser is offline  
Old Sep 26, 03, 9:06 am
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Manchester, United Kingdom
Programs: Hilton Gold, Priority Club Blue, SPG Gold, Sofitel Gold, FB Ivory, BA Blue
Posts: 7,701
Does a downgrade from first to biz incur an automatic refund of the difference?

Edited to add: I agree with Merry 100% about what business travellers do when they miss a flight or get delayed. Even flying mostly at the back in my own business travels, I just book myself into reasonably comfortable accomodation and someone else picks up the bill (and Amex does this for me if I'm travelling for leisure).

[This message has been edited by Internaut (edited 09-26-2003).]
Internaut is offline  
Old Sep 26, 03, 9:15 am
  #12  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Programs: Sir CT-UK - Streaker pour les autres.
Posts: 5,463
<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by Internaut:
Does a downgrade from first to biz incur an automatic refund of the difference?
</font>
do a search on palim tree! we had a very long thread on this....
CT-UK is offline  
Old Sep 26, 03, 9:52 am
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Manchester, United Kingdom
Programs: Hilton Gold, Priority Club Blue, SPG Gold, Sofitel Gold, FB Ivory, BA Blue
Posts: 7,701
<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by CT-UK:
do a search on palim tree! we had a very long thread on this....</font>
Apologies if I'm being an idiot but what????? I did a search on that term and only found this thread......

Edited to add - Ah, right, got the spelling mistake. I'm currently reading the thread in question with great interest.

Edited to add - Most excellent (especially the palm tree). I think I would have talked to a lawyer and the credit card company before starting a 12 page long thread on FT though

[This message has been edited by Internaut (edited 09-26-2003).]

[This message has been edited by Internaut (edited 09-26-2003).]
Internaut is offline  
Old Sep 27, 03, 2:36 am
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,775
Oh come on, this is not even worthy of news or discussion.
How many businesses have not failed in some as a result of staff failures?


Somewhere along the way, I am reminded of a certain Roman Emperor - Fiddler on the Roof perhaps?

I, for one, am getting absolutely hacked off with the management style within BA and, as an ex-Area Manager for a blue-chip company in my dim and distant, am beginning to wonder what qualifications or training some of our managers have that enables them to retain their posts!

The likes of Sir Tom Farmer of Kwik-Fit would probably have managed to get the crew to keep the First Class cabins open purely by his own personality and charisma and the crews' knowledge that he "would see them right!" He would probably have paid them a handsome bonus for working harder than usual and everyone - staff, passengers and shareholders would benefit!

This topic is worthy of discussion. It serves a purpose in trying to wake up our masnagement who are saving pennies but squandering millions!!!
bealine is offline  
Old Sep 27, 03, 5:32 am
  #15  
 
Join Date: Jan 1999
Posts: 3,065
It is very easy to criticise a situation when you don't see the full picture.

I tend to trust the people who have a full view, rather than those who don't.

[This message has been edited by Merry (edited 09-27-2003).]
Merry is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread