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Problems With BA Catering At LHR?  
User currently offlineManxATP From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2003, 37 posts, RR: 0
Posted (9 years 1 week 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 5244 times:

Does anybody know anything about the 'catering disruption' today at LHR and what they're planning to do for long haul flights? Apparently staff at Gate Gourmet has gone on unofficial industrial action.

35 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineGoAround From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2003, 616 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (9 years 1 week 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 5218 times:

Gate Gourmet is planning to make roughly 700 redundant following losing the catering contract for Virgin Atlantic. Today, several hundred new staff started work to 'help with the summer rush', but the intention appears to be to sack the 700 in a few weeks' time once the new team has been trained up. Their purpose is actually to cover in case of the anticipated industrial action.


GoAround
User currently offlineAa777jr From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (9 years 1 week 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 5107 times:

http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/050810/britain_british_airways.html?.v=1

User currently offlinePlanenutz From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (9 years 1 week 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 5082 times:

"A British Airways spokesman said 41 flights had left Heathrow with just water, tea and coffee on board, and there had been only minimal delays to services"

Those FA's must have been pretty bored. Especially those who would normally work the F cabin.


User currently offlineLapper From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2002, 1564 posts, RR: 7
Reply 4, posted (9 years 1 week 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 5070 times:

BBC reports that 500 staff have been sacked following the unofficial strike.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/4139582.stm


User currently offlineGoAround From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2003, 616 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (9 years 1 week 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 5020 times:

Sounds plotted... they needed to get rid of this lot after using the Virgin contract. A strike has been anticipated for ages as you can tell by the huge increases in security. This gave them the perfect excuse.


GoAround
User currently offlineTrekster From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (9 years 1 week 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 4924 times:

We only heard of this half way thru the afternoon when a message came on the boards looking for overtime today and in the morning. Then we got told to look at our comms policy page and ba.com where it told us what was goingon. Poor passengers is all i can say. There was not much i could say to em except buy food and take it. God knows what the First passengers are goin to think. Had 1 call. All i could say was we cant do anything. They striked with no warning, and have left us with little chance. We either send the planes, or cancel them. Sending is a lot cheaper, but i havea feeling customer realtions are goin to get very very busy in the next couple of days

Have a feeling it will be more busy tomorrow as its meant to effect some morning, lunchtime departures as well. I dont start till 1345 though so might miss most of the rush.

Dan


User currently offlineBritPilot777 From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2004, 1075 posts, RR: 2
Reply 7, posted (9 years 1 week 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 4871 times:

Man it was a nightmare in T4 today!! There were lines coming out of every restaurant and shop. Eventually restaurants ran out of food so people moved onto WH Smith and Boots to buy as many packets of crisps as they could. Was really hard to calm people down as well.

Trekster your lucky you start at 1345, i'll be there in 6 hrs starting at 0545!!

BP777



Forever Flight
User currently offlineZarniwoop From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2005, 265 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (9 years 1 week 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 4812 times:

I just got an email from BA executive club saying that all flights flying out of and INTO LHR on 11 Aug will have no catering. I am flying SIN - LHR tonight and just phoned BA who confirmed that there will be no catering on the flight. To be honest i'm pretty dissapointed with BA, I pay my money and expect a certain level of service, especially on a 13hr flight. I'm gonna stock pile pringles or something......

User currently offlineZarniwoop From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2005, 265 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (9 years 1 week 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 4802 times:

So I phone the number for Singapore Executive Club contact (which sounds suspiciously like the call is routed to Australia). They havent heard anything about it and I get put on hold for a few minutes. They then tell me there won't be any catering on the SIN - LHR flight tonight. For a "second opinion" I phone the local BA office in Singapore who say there will be catering on the flight. I'm still going to stock pile pringles just incase  Smile

User currently onlineSpeedbird2155 From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2005, 871 posts, RR: 5
Reply 10, posted (9 years 1 week 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 4691 times:

Quoting Zarniwoop (Reply 8):
To be honest i'm pretty dissapointed with BA, I pay my money and expect a certain level of service

Please note that the catering firm is affected by industrial action that occurred with no notification to BA and so there was nothing that BA could have done to immediately solve the problem it was handed. BA has been trying to handle this situation as best as possible, but it isn't just a case of calling another catering firm and having approximately 300 flights serviced. Thankfully most passengers have and will continue to understand that there was nothing BA could do.


User currently offlineSkidmarks From UK - England, joined Dec 2004, 7121 posts, RR: 55
Reply 11, posted (9 years 1 week 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 4681 times:

Unfortunatewly this is what happens when you contract out essential services, you are trapped by the balls if your contractor has problems.

If airlines did everything "in-house" the likelyhood of this sort of thing happening would be remote.

But, that's the modern way. Anything for a cheaper service and save money. Sometimes it jumps up and bites!! Big grin

Andy  old 



Growing old is compulsory, growing up is optional
User currently offlineZarniwoop From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2005, 265 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (9 years 1 week 4 days ago) and read 4619 times:

Hi Speedbird2155
I understand that it is not BA's fault. (BTW, BA called me to confirm that there will not be any catering, just water)
I do, however have 2 points.
1) I got the email telling me about the problem at 3:37am, the flight is a 23:55. That is enough time to put some sort of contingency in place rather than just handing out meal vouchers before the flight.
2) The strike is at LHR, my flight is leaving SIN, so how come my flight is affected?


User currently offlineTrekster From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (9 years 1 week 4 days ago) and read 4605 times:

Quoting Zarniwoop (Reply 12):
1) I got the email telling me about the problem at 3:37am, the flight is a 23:55. That is enough time to put some sort of contingency in place rather than just handing out meal vouchers before the fligh

I dont know why/how catering from other countries is getting involved, but i do know that having to suddenly get catering for god knows how many flights/passengers is not that easy. You cant just call another catering firm as there is no way they will have that much spare food and still be able to cope with delivering to there own airlines. We all know what can happen sometimes. Food not delivered etc etc etc.

This could happen to any airline that contracts out the work.

BA had no say adn no warning in what has happend, and has been left in the doghouse for something that could not be stopped. BA will get the blame for it from passengers, but there is nothing that can be done. All that can be done is what has been done. They were even trying to get off duty staff in to the airports to help hand out food in the departure areas. BA seems to be handling this in the best possable way. Dont have a go at the airline. Its Gategourmet u should shout at


User currently offlineAIR MALTA From Malta, joined Sep 2001, 2497 posts, RR: 1
Reply 14, posted (9 years 1 week 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 4562 times:

Why can't BA use the catering of other stations for flights out of LHR. A LHR-CDG-LHR-BRU-LHR flight could order more food at CDG to cater the remaining flights of the day (I talk here about a minimum service)?


Next flights : BRU-ZRH-CAI (LX)/ BRU-FCO-TLV (AZ)
User currently offlineApuneger From Belgium, joined Sep 2000, 3032 posts, RR: 11
Reply 15, posted (9 years 1 week 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 4545 times:

Wow, what a bad news indeed for all those pax. I sure hope it will be solved by November 11th, when I fly to SYD.

Greets,
Ivan



Ivan Coninx - Brussels Aviation Photography
User currently offlineZonky From New Zealand, joined Nov 2004, 432 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (9 years 1 week 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 4539 times:

Quoting Trekster (Reply 13):
BA had no say adn no warning in what has happend, and has been left in the doghouse for something that could not be stopped.

to an extent- perhaps. However, BA has freedom of choice over it's catering suppliers, and workplace discord is certainly one criteria they should be assessing at decision time.

It bit them, and the decision to use GG was certainly theirs- i'm not sure why BA are deserving any sympthay, personally. I'd expect compensation if i was inbound/outbound.


User currently offlineZonky From New Zealand, joined Nov 2004, 432 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (9 years 1 week 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 4530 times:

Quoting Zarniwoop (Reply 12):
2) The strike is at LHR, my flight is leaving SIN, so how come my flight is affected?

At a guess, there is no one at the LHR to offload all the food trays....


User currently offline777236ER From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (9 years 1 week 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 4510 times:

Wonder how long it is before GG lose another big contract...

Idiots. Did they really think a wildcat strike would help them?


User currently offlineMidnightMike From United States of America, joined Mar 2003, 2892 posts, RR: 14
Reply 19, posted (9 years 1 week 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 4477 times:

BA is doing all possible to lessen the impact to its customers.....

Quote:
The airline said it was offering customers -- boarding flights to destinations in North America, Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Australia -- the choice of accepting a refund, rebooking for another day or having a meal before departing. Buffets were set up in departure lounges and passengers were offered vouchers to purchase food at the airport.



NO URLS in signature
User currently offlineZonky From New Zealand, joined Nov 2004, 432 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (9 years 1 week 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 4471 times:

Quoting MidnightMike (Reply 19):
BA is doing all possible to lessen the impact to its customers.....

Quite. Its response has been largely commendable in the circumstance.


User currently offlineZarniwoop From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2005, 265 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (9 years 1 week 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 4458 times:

As someone else mentioned, I was offered the chance to re-book but I have no choice as I have to be at a wedding this weekend. I also appreciate the local BA office calling me back to explain exactly what the situation is.
You would expect that BA would be seeking compensation from GG, so lets hope some of that gets passed down to customers...  Smile
I will do a trip report to give you a glance into the future of what a Ryanair long haul flight will be like  Wink


User currently offlineCarduelis From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2001, 1585 posts, RR: 10
Reply 22, posted (9 years 1 week 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 4435 times:

From:- Catering Excellence ©British Airways.

Picture taken when BA did their own catering!



The picture sums up the enormity of catering numerous very large aircraft every day. The picture caption says:- 'A typical Boeing 747 uplift of 28,000 items, all checked and packed for delivery to aircraft'

It is not only the food that has to be supplied to each aircraft, it is all the ancilliary equipment that goes along with it.

If the 28,000 items are not loaded, then the catering stations down route will soon run out of equipment to exchange and cater for their next aircraft.

Likewise, if there are no catering vehicles available for arrivals at LHR, then any used inbound catering and equipment will not be able to be offloaded!

Small European stations will not have such equipment, not only quantity, but also the specialised large aircraft stowages.

Imagine running such a monster operation 365 days a year (normally)!



Per Ardua ad Astra! ........ Honi Soit Qui Mal y Pense!
User currently offlineCV747 From Iceland, joined Jan 2000, 170 posts, RR: 1
Reply 23, posted (9 years 1 week 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 4387 times:

I would like to be afly on the wall when the stewardess tells one of these snobs in first class who think the world spinns around them: "Sorry Sir only first class water today".... that will be fun for BA.... Big grin

User currently offlineManxATP From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2003, 37 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (9 years 1 week 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 4310 times:

Does anybody know whether BMED and GB Airways (obviously only the LHR flights) are affected? Yesterday it said on the BA website that BMED flights had catering as usual. - Also - how long do you think it is likely to go on for - surely BA must have longer term plans in the instance GG staff don't return to work.

25 EurofleetLHR : As BMed are a franchise carroer, they do not have to use the same catering company as mainline BA (I'm sure they use a different one to Gate Gourmet).
26 Bkkair : CV747 Regarding your post about the "snobs in First Class", don't forget that the outrageous fares the "snobs in First Class" (and Business Class) are
27 Post contains images Cornish : Hmm a bit like flying with the new BMI service.....
28 Post contains images AirEuropeUK733 : Saucer of milk for Mr Cornish... AE733
29 Post contains links Carduelis : It's not on the BA website, but this is from Sky News site:- http://www.sky.com/skynews/article/0,,30000-1191942,00.html
30 Geo772 : I was talking to some crew this morning and they said that it was quite dull but there is always a risk passengers get disruptive without food. They
31 Gman94 : Sounds like a bad situation and looks like the union is trying to use BA to get Gate Gourmet back to the negotiatiing table. I would be furious with m
32 Carduelis : Interesting that the sackings at Gate Gourmet started as a result of them losing the contract to cater for Virgin Atlantic flights. Ironic!
33 GDB : When will they learn? BA once had an excellent catering operation, sold out to cowboys. Better yet, I well remember plenty of incidents of GG catering
34 Shamrock350 : I just saw the outside of T4 on BBC news, the reporter surrounded by passengers walking around looking very annoyed and hungry!!
35 Filton216 : I was lucky coming back from IAD with BA. They found some catering carriers to hold the food (as they normally come from Britain) and we where the onl
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