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"Mission A380": Disappointing Legs On BA/BD/EI  
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6944 posts, RR: 77
Posted (5 years 7 months 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 25510 times:

"Mission A380": The Disappointing Euro Legs
on British Airways, bmi and Aer Lingus



Intro
The third and final part of my latest report series about a trip to Doha ("Mission A380") covers the European sectors to and from London/Heathrow: MUC-LHR on British Airways (A319), LHR-DUB on bmi (A319) and DUB-MUC on Aer Lingus (A320).
All those who have missed parts 1 (including Emirates' A380) and 2 or want to read more about the background simply need to click here:

A380 Really a Step Forward? LHR-DXB-DOH On EK
Delights Of Doha, 773 & 77W: DOH-DXB-LHR On EK




Sunday, 15 March 2009
Munich (MUC) - London (LHR)
British Airways, BA953
16:05-17:15 (16:03-16:58)
Flying time: 01:35 (hrs)

Airbus A319-131
G-EUPY (MSN 1466), delivered in 04/2001
Economy Class, Seat 21F



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Photo © Stefan Sjogren - Stockholm Arlanda Photography
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Photo © Fredrik Granberg



Aircraft & Cabin Comfort
Checking in online on BA had been convenient on the day before, but unfortunately a dedicated counter at MUC didn't exist. So I had to wait in queue like all other passengers. 20 minutes later I passed through security and took a seat by the gate area window front. G-EUPY, an A319 delivered in April 2001, arrived on time.



The flight attendant in the back apparently wasn't in the mood for a greeting when I was heading to my seat. Anyway, the cabin was in good shape and the leather seats were quite comfortable:



Seat pitch was sufficient for a European short-haul service:




Still painted in LTU colors: A330-200 D-ALPD:




Flight
We left the gate on time and soon broke through the gray clouds...






BA's A32X fleet is equipped with overhead screens - always nice to have an airshow on European flights:






Some years ago BA served rich sandwiches and even big dinner trays on European services, but all that has been replaced by cookies and muesli bars. While the other passengers in my row could choose between those two mentioned items, I was just given a bar (raisin & hazelnut):




White fuselage, red belly and red tail: Kingfisher A330-200 enroute to Heathrow:




Who can identify that harbor?




The approach to Heathrow's runways 27L and R is always enjoyable - if you are seated on the right side:










I arrived at the new Terminal 5 for the first time - it's definitely an impressive construction:





Spotting from the Jurys Inn
After grabbing my luggage I took a short subway ride to Hatton Cross and walked to the Jurys Inn, a hotel which I can only recommend: modern building, clean rooms, friendly staff and low rates.



I asked for airport view and got a room facing runway 27L. It was becoming dark soon...



...but I could see the registrations of most departing aircraft in the morning. This is VT-JEG, one of four Jet Airways 777-300ERs leased to Gulf Air:



British Airways backyard:





Thursday, 19 March 2009
London (LHR) - Dublin (DUB)
bmi, BD121
07:00-08:20 (07:06-08:37)
Flying time: 00:51 (hrs)

Airbus A319-131
G-DBCA (MSN 2098), built in 12/2003 and delivered in 02/2004
Economy Class, Seat 21E



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Photo © Guy Daems - Brussels Aviation Photography
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Photo © John Higgins - AirTeamImages



No More Window Seats
After a short return trip to Doha and another night at the Jurys Inn Heathrow it was time to fly back home to MUC (via DUB). I didn't check in online on the evening before from the hotel - I had decided to show up at the airport early. However, my plan didn't work out. When I entered my data into a check-in kiosk at about 05:20 in the morning - more than 100 minutes prior to departure - I couldn't believe what I saw: no window seats left in the whole cabin!   So I picked a middle seat over an aisle seat - because the chances would be a bit higher to see some more aircraft during taxiing.

Aircraft & Cabin Comfort
After passing security and several boarding pass checks, including a biometric face scan, as well as a long walk I finally arrived at the cramped Terminal 1 gate area. I hadn't paid attention to the number of rows during check-in so I was positively surprised to see that the originally scheduled A320 had been replaced by an A319. G-DBCA, the first A319 delivered to bmi, would operate the flight to Dublin:



One flight attendant in the middle section didn't greet at all and looked quite grumpy when I passed. Probably I should have told her: I'm so sorry that I picked the airline which pays your salary!"  
The leather seats were quite comfortable...



..and seat pitch was sufficient, probably even slightly better than on BA's A319:




Lavatory Locked
The restrooms had been quite far away from our gate, so I decided to use the plane's rear lavatory during boarding. However, the door was locked. The flight attendant working the galley, another not-so-friendly one, told me that the lavatories would remain locked during refueling. A few moments later an announcement by the captain followed: passengers should not fasten the seatbelts until refueling would be finished. I had never heard that on a plane before.

No Photos!
While waiting back there I tried to take some more seat pictures. However, a man in a dark suit, standing in the aisle, too, and facing the second last row on the left side, immediately said: "No photos!" In the first moment I thought he would also be a flight attendant and I asked whether I should stop taking pictures due to the refueling. "No, just not into this direction", he replied. Now I realized the guy didn't belong to the flight crew. I had a look at the two other passengers in that very row - a big guy, also wearing a suit, was sitting in the window seat, next to a relatively young and small guy in the middle. The last row behind them remained empty, as well as the last row on the other side. However, these seats hadn't been available during check-in. I can only guess - probably these two guys in suits were cops accompanying a criminal?   

Sandwiches Not Available
Even though I had had a small breakfast at the airport, I wanted to try what bmi had to offer. Shortly after takeoff I had a look at the menu...



...and decided to order a breakfast panini for 5 Euro (GBP 3,50). All those who are interested can have a look at all the offerings here: www.flybmi.com/downloads/bmi/mainline_menu.pdf
I ordered a panini, but the (once) grumpy flight attendant explained that those weren't available any more. So I asked for the sandwiches, but believe it or not, the flight attendants didn't have a single one left, either.   I had been watching the flight attendants while they were moving down the aisle with their trolley and I can tell they really didn't sell much stuff. So it's very odd that no more breakfast items were available on a flight departing at 07:00 in the morning - quite ridiculous actually. My table remained empty...




Fog, Fog, Fog
While still at the gate in Heathrow the captain had already informed us about delays at Dublin due to heavy fog - and the situation hadn't changed meanwhile. The fog during approach became so dense that I couldn't even see the wingtip any more. No exact landing time was given by the flight crew, so it was hard to determine when we would touch down. After a while the plane suddenly touched the ground and it was still impossible to see anything outside, except for the wing and the grass next to the runway.



We left the runway and suddenly stopped for a while on the taxiway. The captain then announced that all the operations at the airport were being affected by the heavy fog. ”Everybody is moving very slowly", he said. We finally arrived at the gate no less than 17 minutes after landing.
Btw - what I also found interesting was an announcement earlier during the flight, promoting bmi's A330 services to Tel Aviv and Cairo as well as "the famous Business Class".



Spotting at Dublin
I had to spend about seven hours at Dublin, but the conditions for spotting weren't good. First of all, it was hard to find a spot in the public area. There are some large windows in a bar, but you can't permanently stand around there with binoculars. I finally found a spot by a window in a passage between some restaurants and a restroom area. However, people were passing there all the time. The heavy fog was another problem - the situation didn't change significantly during the following hours. Anyway, I still got numerous new registrations.



Thursday, 19 March 2009
Dublin (DUB) - Munich (MUC)
Aer Lingus, EI356
15:30-18:55 (15:48-19:10)
Flying time: 02:02 (hrs)

Airbus A320-214
EI-EDS "St Malachy / Maolmhaodhóg" (MSN 3755), built in 12/2008 and delivered in 02/2009
Economy Class, Seat 28A



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Photo © Borut Smrdelj
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Photo © Mark Willis



The Ultimate Self Check-in
I had hoped to be able to enter the gate area much sooner, but it was not possible to check in for the EI flight more than two hours before departure. After the check-in kiosk had finally accepted my data and printed a boarding pass I had to get rid of my luggage - and I was surprised about finding another set of machines, equipped with scales, for luggage-self-check-in.   I put my luggage on the scale, entered my data and the machine printed my luggage tags. However, the process wasn't finished yet. While I was trying to add the tags to my bag, an impatient man waiting behind me touched the screen and somehow interrupted the process. Then I got an error message and the request to contact a ground staff member. What a joke!  
So I had to go to a counter - surprisingly staffed with human beings in Aer Lingus uniform - and explained the problem. At least they were friendly and immediately helped. But the whole "simplified" check-in process had taken much longer than a usual bag-drop check-in with assistance. What comes next, Aer Lingus? Self-loading of luggage into the aircraft’s belly?  

I passed security and could finally proceed to the gate area. The weather was still bad, but at least I could take a seat by a large window front. I got more than 40 new registrations at DUB on that day, not bad at all.




Aircraft & Cabin Comfort
The aircraft arrived on time and I was glad to see it was EI-EDS, the newest A320 in the fleet at that time. It had been completed in December 2008, but neither Iberia, nor Comoro Islands Airlines nor AREF Logistics took delivery of the aircraft. Finally it was added to the Aer Lingus fleet in mid-February. (The combination of dirty windows and (suddenly) bright sunlight prevented me from taking a reasonable picture)
Friendly flight attendants welcomed me on board and I took my seat in row 28. The gray slimline leather seats were less comfortable than on BA and BD...



...and seat pitch was low, too:




Departure
After every single seat in the cabin had been taken, we left the gate slightly late. One of Aer Lingus' A330-300s was being prepared for the late afternoon departure to JFK:



DUB's Terminal 2 will open in April 2010:



Cityjet's dull livery belongs to the worst in the industry...



One last turn...



...and takeoff:





Hole in the clouds:




Snack Check, Volume II
After the disappointment on bmi I tried my luck again with the on-board sale of food. I had a look at EI's menu...



...and decided to order a ham and mozzarella panini for 5 Euro (online version of menu not available). This time the flight attendant accepted my order and soon handed out the panini - and yes, it tasted quite good, definitely better than it looked.  




After I had finished eating it was time for a short walk. Packed cabin:




Beautiful light show during sunset:



The remaining flight was uneventful and we touched down at 19:02, arriving at the gate eight minutes later. Time to go home after an exciting trip.



Conclusion
Of course my expectations had not been very high prior to these standard European short-haul flights, but in the end I was still disappointed. Seating comfort on British Airways and bmi was good, and I liked the video screens on BA. However, the catering and the service on BA used to be better than on Lufthansa a few years ago - times have changed. On similar LH flights you still get a sandwich - and whatever drink you choose (hot or cold), if there’s enough time flight attendants usually ask whether you also want to get an additional (cold or hot) drink.
The flight attendants on BA weren't great, but still acceptable. However, I found the grumpy and unmotivated cabin crew on bmi annoying. It’s also disappointing to see that another Star Alliance member has stopped offering free drinks on international services. And it's ridiculous that an airline which has switched to the on-board sale of drinks and food cannot even provide sandwiches on a morning flight.
Aer Lingus more or less operates as a full-scale low-cost carrier on European routes - cramped seating, drinks and food for sale only, "ultimate self-check-in" and annoying charges, e.g. for luggage and seat reservation. What I also found ridiculous was a kind of "handling fee" (5 Euro) which was added late during the booking process. At least the flight attendants were charming and motivated.
Which carrier would I choose again? Well, I will fly British Airways again, but I'm not keen on flying bmi and Aer Lingus again anytime soon.



Best Regards,
PlaneHunter

[Edited 2009-05-30 06:01:45]


Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
27 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently onlineBrianDromey From Ireland, joined Dec 2006, 3930 posts, RR: 9
Reply 1, posted (5 years 7 months 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 25460 times:



Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Aer Lingus more or less operates as a full-scale low-cost carrier - cramped seating, drinks and food for sale only, "ultimate self-check-in" and annoying charges, e.g. for luggage and seat reservation.

Thanks for an interesting report. Just a few things on the EI side of things. I assume you were checking-in downstaris at Area 14 where there are both self service check-in and manned desks. You could have chosen to use either! This system is becoming common throughout Europe, LH and SK defiantly do it, LH even has 'ticket barriers' installed at some gates and so no human contact is required at all!
The seating on that aircraft is not the standard EI seating and is apparently much more cramped in the last rows as there is additional legroom in rows 1-7, as this is where J class is found on IB. Standard EI seating matches BA's seating almost exactly, being the same seat type and pitch - just for comparison.

BD is pretty patchy at the minute. Shame to see such a once great airline fall so far.

Brian.



Next flights: MAN-ORK-LHR(EI)-MAN(BD); MAN-LHR(BD)-ORK (EI); DUB-ZRH-LAX (LX) LAX-YYZ (AC) YYZ-YHZ-LHR(AC)-DUB(BD)
User currently offlineJetboy From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 184 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (5 years 7 months 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 25395 times:

On meal time flights BA still offers a choice of two sandwiches, unfortunately due to your flight time a "refreshment" was only served. On longer European sectors there is always a sandwich/hotmeal... come to think of it MUC must be the longest route the muesli bar appears!

User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6944 posts, RR: 77
Reply 3, posted (5 years 7 months 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 25302 times:

Thanks for your comments, Brian and Jetboy!

Quoting BrianDromey (Reply 1):
I assume you were checking-in downstaris at Area 14 where there are both self service check-in and manned desks. You could have chosen to use either! This system is becoming common throughout Europe, LH and SK defiantly do it, LH even has 'ticket barriers' installed at some gates and so no human contact is required at all!

Yes, it was the check-in area downstairs. I guess the queues were quite long in front of the two (or maybe three) manned counters, so I tried the machines first. Bad to hear LH and SK also use these kinds of kiosks now.

Quoting BrianDromey (Reply 1):
The seating on that aircraft is not the standard EI seating and is apparently much more cramped in the last rows as there is additional legroom in rows 1-7, as this is where J class is found on IB. Standard EI seating matches BA's seating almost exactly, being the same seat type and pitch - just for comparison.

Interesting to know - I guess it's the same on EI-EDP.

Quoting BrianDromey (Reply 1):
BD is pretty patchy at the minute. Shame to see such a once great airline fall so far.

So true.

Quoting Jetboy (Reply 2):
On meal time flights BA still offers a choice of two sandwiches, unfortunately due to your flight time a "refreshment" was only served. On longer European sectors there is always a sandwich/hotmeal...

That's good to hear.


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineEICVD From Ireland, joined Mar 2008, 2193 posts, RR: 5
Reply 4, posted (5 years 7 months 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 24849 times:

Hi Planehunter
Great trip report, been looking forward to reading it.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
A few moments later an announcement by the captain followed: passengers should not fasten the seatbelts until refueling would be finished. I had never heard that on a plane before.

Heard this before while boarding my flight to DUB on Jetx/Primera @ PMI. I guess it is for safety reasons if the a/c has to be evacuated?

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
We left the runway and suddenly stopped for a while on the taxiway. The captain then announced that all the operations at the airport were being affected by the heavy fog. ”Everybody is moving very slowly", he said. We finally arrived at the gate no less than 17 minutes after landing

Delays between landing & arriving on stand in DUB are quite common, even during days when the weather is good. I have often seen a/c stopped on the taxiway for 20 mins an more at times. This is due to a lack of available stands @ peak times & also departing a/c taxiing out

Thanks for posting.


User currently offlineRichcandy From UK - England, joined Aug 2001, 734 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (5 years 7 months 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 24821 times:

Hi

Great trip report good to read what you thought of 3 different airlines.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
A few moments later an announcement by the captain followed: passengers should not fasten the seatbelts until refueling would be finished. I had never heard that on a plane before.

Really. I have heard that a few times and I don't travel much. However its always been on British carriers. I wonder is that a UK requirement.

BMI- I used to fly BMI from time to time from LHR to BFS. They seam to of lost the plot a bit and gone down the low cost carrier route maybe a bit to much. On some of their lower fares they tell you were to sit so you don't get any choice. The last time I flew with them they put my partner and I five rows apart. I am better of on FR or EZY as at least we get a chance at being seated together.

Alex


User currently offlineB747forever From Sweden, joined May 2007, 17149 posts, RR: 10
Reply 6, posted (5 years 7 months 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 24754 times:

Nice TR

Like the pics


BA seems the better choice of all three.

It was disappointing to see what BA had to offer you, but at least they gave you something for free.



Thank you for sharing

B747forever



Work Hard, Fly Right
User currently offlineAkhmad From Netherlands, joined Sep 2005, 2500 posts, RR: 53
Reply 7, posted (5 years 7 months 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 24700 times:

Hi PlaneHunter,

Great TR! Shame you were disappointed with BA. When I flew BA in Y last year from AMS, we got served a wrap. Definitely better than a muesli bar.

Quoting Richcandy (Reply 5):
I wonder is that a UK requirement.

I would consider it EU requirement since I heard the same thing when flying to Greece with Transavia about seven years ago. Our flight included an intermediate stop in Maastricht where our plane got refueled and we were not allowed to deboard during the stop.

Cheers,
Suryo



Friends forever
User currently offlineSemsem From Israel, joined Jul 2005, 1779 posts, RR: 3
Reply 8, posted (5 years 7 months 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 24670 times:

British Airways do serve sandwiches on lunch time / dinner time flights. It has to be at a specific time. Otherwise you get that granola thingly gig or a delicious biscuit.

I recently flew on AF and got a ham sandwich.Thank goodness I peeked inside. 3/4 of the ham was fat.

On Aer Lingus I bought that panini. It was so hot it stuck to the paper. A mess and I did not like it. However I liked Aer Lingus. The crews at least 2 years ago were a lot of fun. And the seats were OK. Maybe seats are now cramped or it depends on the aircraft. I noticed that on TAP some aircraft have less legroom than others.


User currently offlineCityofAthens From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (5 years 7 months 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 24635 times:

Great report and photos; as always I love reading them , especially those that concern airlines I don't fly that often (and in the case of Aer Lingus, never!)

What I found disappointing was your observation of the crew on BD and BA; it sounds like in both cases they weren't in the mood to greet or even acknowledge their customers. A great shame because I think that people are the most important ingredient in any service industry ... no airline can really afford to allow unmotivated people to come into contact with precious customers!

Regarding the food, I can understand your view; I think to be honest, the days of full meals on flights shorter than 3 hours are mostly over here in Europe. I feel sorry for people that arrive on a plane without having had the chance to sit down and eat before travelling/at an airport, but for shorter European flights there is not much left (for free) in Y.

Thanks again for your report!


User currently onlineBrianDromey From Ireland, joined Dec 2006, 3930 posts, RR: 9
Reply 10, posted (5 years 7 months 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 24635 times:



Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 3):
Interesting to know - I guess it's the same on EI-EDP.

Yes, both EDP and EDS are equipped to IB specifications, Even down to IB carpets and curtains. Currently there are no plans to refit these aircraft to EI standard, which had 3 more seats but less galley space at the front of the aircraft. Along with a more equitable sharing of available space throughout the aircraft!

Brian.



Next flights: MAN-ORK-LHR(EI)-MAN(BD); MAN-LHR(BD)-ORK (EI); DUB-ZRH-LAX (LX) LAX-YYZ (AC) YYZ-YHZ-LHR(AC)-DUB(BD)
User currently offlineShamrock350 From Ireland, joined Mar 2005, 6373 posts, RR: 14
Reply 11, posted (5 years 7 months 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 24515 times:

Very interesting report!

I keep hearing bad things about British Airways catering on domestic and European flights, it seems they've really cut back recently which is a shame as they used to have some very nice snacks available to passengers. It does depend on the length of the flight but I would have expected much more than that bar on a flight from Munich.

It's a shame to hear the cabin crew on your fight with Bmi weren't exactly the friendliest, I know it was an early morning flight but that really is no excuse. Running out of snacks on board is a bit of a surprise for such an early flight.

I'm not a fan of those slimline seats that feature on the two new Aer Lingus aircraft. Thankfully they are not the standard for Aer Lingus and their normal seats and seat pitch are much closer to British Airways with the adjustable headrest, recline and legroom. The Aer Lingus menu is a pretty decent and the panini is a favourite of mine even though a little expensive. Nice to hear the crew were good as they've always been in my experience. I agree with you about the extra charges, I don't mind the seat selection and baggage charges but the "handling fee" is a ripoff in my opinion.

Shamrock350


User currently offlineBMIFlyer From UK - England, joined Feb 2004, 8810 posts, RR: 58
Reply 12, posted (5 years 7 months 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 24354 times:



Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Who can identify that harbor?

Yes Sir, it is Antwerp, Belguim!

Anyways, nice report, and excellent pictures as well.


Lee



Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own
User currently offlineBA319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8596 posts, RR: 54
Reply 13, posted (5 years 7 months 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 24023 times:
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Hi PH,

Great report as always, nice detail & observations.

I have had quite a few BMI fligts in the past year, I can honestly say they are just ok, they get your from A to B, nothing more nothing less, crews tend to be ok, don't recall getting any smiles at all. As a contrast, had some brilliant BA crews recently, really makes a difference.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
seat pitch was sufficient, probably even slightly better than on BA's A319

- Not sure I'd agree, spent quite a bit of time on BMI 319's over the last year, they always seem more crampt, however when on BA I tend to sit nearer the front where legroom is better.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
I ordered a panini, but the (once) grumpy flight attendant explained that those weren't available any more. So I asked for the sandwiches, but believe it or not, the flight attendants didn't have a single one left, either. I had been watching the flight attendants while they were moving down the aisle with their trolley and I can tell they really didn't sell much stuff. So it's very odd that no more breakfast items were available on a flight departing at 07:00 in the morning - quite ridiculous actually

- Not the first time I have hear this problem with BMI.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Spotting at Dublin

- Not as easy as it used to be.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
I got more than 40 new registrations at DUB on that day, not bad at all

- That's pretty good!

Cheers

Mark



111,732,3,4,5,7,8,BBJ,741,742,743,744,752,762,763,764,772,77L,773,77W,L15,D10,30,40,AB3,AB6,A312.313,319,320,321,332,333
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6944 posts, RR: 77
Reply 14, posted (5 years 7 months 17 hours ago) and read 23433 times:



Quoting EICVD (Reply 4):
Great trip report, been looking forward to reading it.

Thanks, Mark!

Quoting EICVD (Reply 4):
Delays between landing & arriving on stand in DUB are quite common, even during days when the weather is good. I have often seen a/c stopped on the taxiway for 20 mins an more at times. This is due to a lack of available stands @ peak times & also departing a/c taxiing out

Interesting to know.

Quoting Richcandy (Reply 5):
Great trip report good to read what you thought of 3 different airlines.

Merci, Alex!

Quoting Richcandy (Reply 5):
Really. I have heard that a few times and I don't travel much. However its always been on British carriers. I wonder is that a UK requirement.

Strange, I had never heard that before during my numerous trips.

Quoting Richcandy (Reply 5):
On some of their lower fares they tell you were to sit so you don't get any choice. The last time I flew with them they put my partner and I five rows apart.

Quite ridiculous. Who knows - probably I couldn't choose between more seats during check-in because I had booked a really low fare?

Quoting B747forever (Reply 6):
Nice TR

Like the pics

Thanks, Gabriel!

Quoting B747forever (Reply 6):
It was disappointing to see what BA had to offer you, but at least they gave you something for free.

Yes, it's still better than nothing.

Quoting Akhmad (Reply 7):
Great TR!

Thanks, Suryo!

Quoting Akhmad (Reply 7):
When I flew BA in Y last year from AMS, we got served a wrap.

That was during meal time, I guess?

Quoting Semsem (Reply 8):
And the seats were OK. Maybe seats are now cramped or it depends on the aircraft. I noticed that on TAP some aircraft have less legroom than others.

Yes, numerous carriers use different configurations on the same type in these days.

Quoting CityofAthens (Reply 9):
Great report and photos; as always I love reading them

Thanks a lot!

Quoting CityofAthens (Reply 9):
A great shame because I think that people are the most important ingredient in any service industry ... no airline can really afford to allow unmotivated people to come into contact with precious customers!

I can only agree.

Quoting CityofAthens (Reply 9):
I think to be honest, the days of full meals on flights shorter than 3 hours are mostly over here in Europe. I feel sorry for people that arrive on a plane without having had the chance to sit down and eat before travelling/at an airport, but for shorter European flights there is not much left (for free) in Y.

Welcome to the European airline industry in 2009...

Quoting BrianDromey (Reply 10):
Even down to IB carpets and curtains.

Interesting.

Quoting BrianDromey (Reply 10):
Currently there are no plans to refit these aircraft to EI standard, which had 3 more seats but less galley space at the front of the aircraft.

How long will these planes remain in the fleet?

Quoting Shamrock350 (Reply 11):
Running out of snacks on board is a bit of a surprise for such an early flight.

Absolutely.

Quoting Shamrock350 (Reply 11):
Thankfully they are not the standard for Aer Lingus and their normal seats and seat pitch are much closer to British Airways with the adjustable headrest, recline and legroom.

That's very good to hear.

Quoting Shamrock350 (Reply 11):
I don't mind the seat selection and baggage charges but the "handling fee" is a ripoff in my opinion.

 checkmark 

Quoting BMIFlyer (Reply 12):
Yes Sir, it is Antwerp, Belguim!

Anyways, nice report, and excellent pictures as well.

Thanks, Lee!

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 13):
Great report as always, nice detail & observations.

Thanks a lot, Mark!

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 13):
- Not sure I'd agree, spent quite a bit of time on BMI 319's over the last year, they always seem more crampt, however when on BA I tend to sit nearer the front where legroom is better.

Interesting. All these differences within one cabin make it difficult to compare.

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 13):
- Not the first time I have hear this problem with BMI.

Quite irritating!


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineAkhmad From Netherlands, joined Sep 2005, 2500 posts, RR: 53
Reply 15, posted (5 years 7 months 16 hours ago) and read 23406 times:



Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 14):
That was during meal time, I guess?

You are right, it was on the flight around 12 o'clock in the afternoon. I think BA should have served those wraps as well outside the meal time. A muesli bar on rather long MUC-LHR leg is just frugal.

Cheers,
Suryo



Friends forever
User currently offlineNZ107 From New Zealand, joined Jul 2005, 6457 posts, RR: 38
Reply 16, posted (5 years 7 months 16 hours ago) and read 23343 times:

Hi PH,

Another nice TR with great detail. Thanks again for another boredom buster!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Some years ago BA served rich sandwiches and even big dinner trays on European services, but all that has been replaced by cookies and muesli bars. While the other passengers in my row could choose between those two mentioned items, I was just given a bar (raisin & hazelnut)

Such a stark contrast to the Club Europe meals I've currently seen on other TRs, that's for sure!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
the lavatories would remain locked during refueling. A few moments later an announcement by the captain followed: passengers should not fasten the seatbelts until refueling would be finished. I had never heard that on a plane before.

That's odd.. Are they afraid that the plane may catch on fire and everyone would need to flee with haste??

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
While I was trying to add the tags to my bag, an impatient man waiting behind me touched the screen and somehow interrupted the process. Then I got an error message and the request to contact a ground staff member. What a joke!

What a useless sytem! Something similar to the Air NZ self-service check in booths - it has 2 screens coming up asking if you have packed your bags yourself and the other asking if you have any dangerous/flammable items in them. They require you to push yes once and no once (respectively) but if you accidentally push yes twice, an error comes up telling you to go to a ground staff to check you in. But the stupid system allows that same person to cancel that check in and start again without having to go to the agent (btw it wasn't me who did this!).

Regards,
Nicholas



It's all about the destination AND the journey.
User currently offlineThe777Man From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 6675 posts, RR: 55
Reply 17, posted (5 years 7 months 15 hours ago) and read 23333 times:

Hi PH!

Very nice report as always; too bad the flights weren't that great.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
passengers should not fasten the seatbelts until refueling would be finished. I had never heard that on a plane before

I've also experienced this in Europe a couple of years ago. I can't remember the airline I was on.

Looking forward to more trip reports from you from your recent trips!

The777Man



Need a Boeing 777 Firing Order....Further to fly....CI, MU, LX and LH 777s
User currently offlineAirbuseric From Netherlands, joined Jan 2005, 4277 posts, RR: 51
Reply 18, posted (5 years 7 months 13 hours ago) and read 23125 times:

Great report PH. And I fully agree with your conclusions. BD isn't that good anymore. I liked the airline in their pre-lowcost era, and they were really good to me always. Nowadays I prefer other carriers.
BA's mueslibar is common to me too, got the same in my last trip. Not enough. In that context, LH's European product is slightly better when it comes to the catering. LH offers a small sandwich & the granola bar, plus coffee/tea. Additionally LH crew always ask if I want one extra drink (juice or water etc.).
EI,... I like the seats (to watch, nice design), but when you say the pitch is bad, I believe you immediately.

On carriers where a changable business class is installed (e.g. BA, KL, AF etc), the forward rows usually offer larger pitch, because they might be used as C class sometimes. And on other flights, they are sold as Y class. It just depends at what row the seperation curtain is. Just keep that in mind when doing seat selection on such airlines, and you'll be fine.

Regards,
Eric



"The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going"
User currently offlineContact Air From Germany, joined Apr 2001, 1154 posts, RR: 13
Reply 19, posted (5 years 6 months 4 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 22164 times:

Hi PH,

thanks for this report - I enjoyed reading about the short sectors of your trip as well, although they didn't meet your expectations in some aspects.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
BA's A32X fleet is equipped with overhead screens - always nice to have an airshow on European flights:

Yes, I like it a lot as well, definitely a nice feature.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Some years ago BA served rich sandwiches and even big dinner trays on European services, but all that has been replaced by cookies and muesli bars.

Really a pity - BA used to have one of the best catering on European flights.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
The approach to Heathrow's runways 27L and R is always enjoyable - if you are seated on the right side

Indeed, the City of London is always a great sight.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
So it's very odd that no more breakfast items were available on a flight departing at 07:00 in the morning - quite ridiculous actually.

Really not the best impression - and definitely not an encouragement to try their buy-on-board-service again if you can't be sure if any breakfast items are available at all.

Regards
Christoph


User currently offlineAbrelosojos From Venezuela, joined May 2005, 5130 posts, RR: 55
Reply 20, posted (5 years 6 months 4 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 21799 times:

Thanks for yet another great trip report.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):

Some years ago BA served rich sandwiches and even big dinner trays on European services, but all that has been replaced by cookies and muesli bars. While the other passengers in my row could choose between those two mentioned items, I was just given a bar (raisin & hazelnut):

= I have been reading quite a few reports of BA service having fallen. Perhaps a sign of tough times? Also, several recent reports do not give BA crew good points. It is rather interesting.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
One flight attendant in the middle section didn't greet at all and looked quite grumpy when I passed. Probably I should have told her: I'm so sorry that I picked the airline which pays your salary!"

= Jaja. Now you sound like me  Smile.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
My table remained empty...

= Excellent shot. A picture captures a 1000 words indeed!

Saludos,
A.



Live, and let live.
User currently offlineStefanPAD From Germany, joined Dec 2005, 282 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (5 years 6 months 4 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 21456 times:

Hi PH,

thanks for the final part of your series. Shocking to see the change of EI. In 1999 I flew them on an AMS-DUB-AMS route with a KL codeshare. Then I got a free meal and beverages. I know, that EI became a LCC and struggled to fly them DUS-DUB-DUS, but after reading your report I will skip this experience.

BA looks quite good. I flew them last year on HAM-LHR-HAM. The snack in Y was only a pack of nibbles, nothing special. But the flight was on time and the crew was friendly, so I would fly them again.

Hm, BMI seems poor as well. I had the plan to check them out, because it is a Star Alliance member and I could earn some miles, but they seem to be very poor as well.

Nevertheless, thanks for the TR and all shared impressions.

Cheers,
Stefan


User currently offlineTaichen From Spain, joined Jul 2001, 219 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (5 years 6 months 3 weeks 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 21205 times:

nice report, but is sad to red how "legacy" carriers are lowering their standards more and more ...

As for refueling, it is standard safety procedure: all pax must be unfastened, doors open , on the pax side and scape slides ready, etc Of coursde no smoking as well, but this just does not apply any more.

I always thought lavatories were NOT to be used while the a/c was on the ground, in any case refueling the plane always includes a special procedure which surely also includes "no using of the lavatory"


User currently offlineCityofAthens From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 23, posted (5 years 6 months 3 weeks 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 21198 times:



Quoting Taichen (Reply 22):
As for refueling, it is standard safety procedure: all pax must be unfastened, doors open , on the pax side and scape slides ready, etc Of coursde no smoking as well, but this just does not apply any more.

I always thought lavatories were NOT to be used while the a/c was on the ground, in any case refueling the plane always includes a special procedure which surely also includes "no using of the lavatory"

I think it varies.... for instance at BA, whilst refuelling seat-belt signs are indeed off but doors are not armed and there is no restriction on use of toilets.

rgds


User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6944 posts, RR: 77
Reply 24, posted (5 years 6 months 3 weeks 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 20517 times:



Quoting Akhmad (Reply 15):
I think BA should have served those wraps as well outside the meal time. A muesli bar on rather long MUC-LHR leg is just frugal.

 checkmark 

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 16):
Another nice TR with great detail. Thanks again for another boredom buster!

Thanks a lot, Nicholas!

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 16):
Something similar to the Air NZ self-service check in booths - it has 2 screens coming up asking if you have packed your bags yourself and the other asking if you have any dangerous/flammable items in them. They require you to push yes once and no once (respectively) but if you accidentally push yes twice, an error comes up telling you to go to a ground staff to check you in.

How lovely...

Quoting The777Man (Reply 17):

Very nice report as always;

Thank you, Lars!

Quoting The777Man (Reply 17):
Looking forward to more trip reports from you from your recent trips!

Well, I really have to start working on the AF/DL/NW/KL trip...the first part should be online soon.

Quoting Airbuseric (Reply 18):
Great report PH.

Thanks, Eric!

Quoting Airbuseric (Reply 18):
In that context, LH's European product is slightly better when it comes to the catering.

I can only agree.

Quoting Contact Air (Reply 19):
thanks for this report - I enjoyed reading about the short sectors of your trip as well,

Thanks, Christoph!

Quoting Contact Air (Reply 19):
Really a pity - BA used to have one of the best catering on European flights.

Good old times...

Quoting Abrelosojos (Reply 20):
Thanks for yet another great trip report.

Thanks, A.!

Quoting Abrelosojos (Reply 20):
Perhaps a sign of tough times?

No doubts about that!

Quoting Abrelosojos (Reply 20):
Jaja. Now you sound like me

:D

Quoting Abrelosojos (Reply 20):
A picture captures a 1000 words indeed!

So true...

Quoting StefanPAD (Reply 21):
Shocking to see the change of EI. In 1999 I flew them on an AMS-DUB-AMS route with a KL codeshare. Then I got a free meal and beverages.

And it was in 1999 when BA used to serve excellent food on the MUC-LHR-MUC runs...

Quoting Taichen (Reply 22):
As for refueling, it is standard safety procedure: all pax must be unfastened, doors open , on the pax side and scape slides ready, etc Of coursde no smoking as well, but this just does not apply any more.

Interesting. I had never noticed that on my numerous flights before.


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
25 FLIEGER67 : Hi, PH, interesting report around your intra european short haul legs. No big differences between all that carriers nowadays, the small things making
26 ClassicLover : Yeah, these seats are the IB seats... I flew on this aircraft a couple of weeks ago, and the seat pitch is rather nice up the front as it would be th
27 PlaneHunter : Thanks, Markus! Really bad. I guess many people check in online in these days. Not surprising... Yes, it wasn't cheap, but it tasted good. PH
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