cambrian
Posts: 566
Joined: Sat Sep 27, 2003 1:45 am

BA Club Europe- Beyond Fixing?

Wed Sep 22, 2004 2:17 am

I have flown the following routes in BA Club Europe over the past 4 months:

LHR- ATH

LHR- GVA

LHR- NCE

LHR- FCO

LHR- BCN

Without exception, each flight offered a poor image of BA for the following reasons:

Hurried and badly organised boarding at LHR

No pre-flight drinks

Frosty cabin crew, who really did not give the impression that they enjoy their work, or give 2 hoots about the passengers who pay their wages.

Nothing resembling customer service

Inconsistency between flights

Tatty and dirty interiors- especially the 767's

Removal of IFE on the LHR-ATH route, and no explanation as to why

No dessert in Club- just cheese

Poorly synchronised catering service

Club baggage not tagged as priority- as I check in early, my bags are usually last off the belt


On each flight I got my meal before my drink- the fact that the Nice and Barcelona flights are fairly short cannot justify this. It drives me crazy to see the drinks trolley following the food- this is Club for God's sake. This even happened ATH-LHR where you have about 3.5 hours to play with...

When I challenged the Cabin Services Director on an LHR-NCE flight, her answer was that there were too many Club passengers on that flight today! Surely cabin crew should be glad to have lots of passengers at the front- as this is where the profits are generated.

Cabin crew faff about at the front for 20 minutes after the seatbelt sign goes off, then throw the food at you, bring coffee almost immediately and clear away, only to spend the rest of the flight chatting in the galley.

Let's face it, flying is not glamorous these days, but BA are doing nothing to differentiate their service from economy. I get off these flights feeling throughly ripped off, having paid x hundreds of pounds for a Club return.

I am so heartily sick of this, that I have now started taking any airline but BA. I have had much better service on Swiss, Iberia, Air France, BMI and even the much-maligned Olympic- so I am giving up on BA in Europe.

My next trip LHR-BCN will be with AF LHR-CDG-BCN


BA are still great in long haul first and pretty good on domestic, but they have totally lost the plot in Europe.

 
jouy31
Posts: 308
Joined: Mon May 05, 2003 4:59 pm

RE: BA Club Europe- Beyond Fixing?

Wed Sep 22, 2004 2:47 am

I am a frequent flyer on AF and somewhat less frequent on BA. I would just like to add a few comments regarding your forthcoming AF flights

1/ Hurried and badly organised boarding at LHR
AF boarding at LHR is strictly by rows from back to front. It always takes me some time to convince the AFSL (local AF subsidiary) staff that as a business class or F+ Rouge flyer I can board when I choose

2/ No pre-flight drinks
BA explains that there are tax or customs issues. You nevertheless always get a pre-flight OJ or glass of Champagne on AF in BC.

3/ Frosty cabin crew, who really did not give the impression that they enjoy their work, or give 2 hoots about the passengers who pay their wages.

Usually no problem with the AF staff.

4/ Nothing resembling customer service
Can't comment

5/ Inconsistency between flights
Rather consistent service on AF

6/ Tatty and dirty interiors- especially the 767's
Usually no problem on AF

7/ Removal of IFE on the LHR-ATH route, and no explanation as to why
Well, I haven't seen any IFE on CDG-ATH over the last five years.

8/ No dessert in Club- just cheese
Catering in Business Class on AF medium-haul flights has gone down since April 2003, when it was just great. You won't get much on your LHR-CDG and CDG-BCN legs : a smallish plastic tray with two canapés and two petits fours.

9/ Poorly synchronised catering service
Except when the AF staff you have onboard wants to maintain its tradition of service and violate standard procedures, they now serve you tea and coffee at the same time as the plastic tray ...

10/ Club baggage not tagged as priority- as I check in early, my bags are usually last off the belt
That is one of my pet peeves with BA. No priority tag either as a business class or a BA Silver passenger

11/ Middle seat !!
I would definitely add the fact that you can end up in a middle seat in Club, even on long flights such as LHR ATH. On AF, the middle seat is always turned into a tray.

Overall, I am quite satisfied with my AF flights in medium-haul, except for the downgrading of the catering. Until last October, you had a hot meal in discounted coach for flights 2hrs and longer, and in business class for flights 1h40 and longer. This is no longer the case. On the other hand, I have also flown LH,BD, OK, AY and OS in business class on medium-haul flights. OS has dreadful catering (including one of the worst Sekt), BD, LH and OK are not as good as BA, while AY is somewhat better than BA.

Hope it helps.

[Edited 2004-09-21 20:12:43]

[Edited 2004-09-21 20:16:41]
 
ba319-131
Posts: 8159
Joined: Sat Jan 13, 2001 1:27 pm

RE: BA Club Europe- Beyond Fixing?

Wed Sep 22, 2004 3:47 am

I i've flown 6 round trip BA Club Europe flights since january,on all the service and food has been just fine.

Boarding is always generally the worst part,but I tend to stay in the lounge until the last minute before heading down to the gate,by that time boarding is pretty much complete. Priority boarding is offered for Club and Silver/Gold Exec members but given the layout of some of the gate areas, it is not really possible to have a 'priority' lane,no biggie though,at least not for me.

Regarding the food,i've found it to be nothing short of excellent,and the menu's have just been re-vamped. I had a lovely beef caserole on my return from ARN on sunday night. All of the meals served in Club had a desert and some had cheese too,no complaints.

Pre-departure drinks would be nice,but given 95% of the flights are on narrowbody aircraft, it's not that easy to offer them whilst boarding is still being carried out,though they could offer them during taxi,though again,that might be quite difficult on a 763 with a large Club layout as the FRA flights often have.Anyway,is it that important?

Priority tags,no comment,carry on only.

I agree about the 763's,they are looking rather dated,though I thinks it's because i've been spoilt by all those nice clean and fresh 319/320's.Apart from looking dated,i've always found the 763 to be clean and comfy.

Overall,i've enjoyed all the flights and not had a single grumble about the cabin crew for service.

They get my money Smile
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
 
cambrian
Posts: 566
Joined: Sat Sep 27, 2003 1:45 am

RE: BA Club Europe- Beyond Fixing?

Thu Sep 23, 2004 12:27 am

JOUY31, Thanks for largely confirming my impressions of Air France. Not really sure why so many people on this site have such a negative view of them and I would chose them over BA any day.

No pre-flight drinks
BA explains that there are tax or customs issues. You nevertheless always get a pre-flight OJ or glass of Champagne on AF in BC.


BA have brilliant excuses for not giving a toss about passengers. My favourite was "There are too many Club class passengers today to allow us to serve you properly..."

Club class bags not being tagged as priority is one of my pet peeves also.

In BA's defence, I would say that the quality of the catering is normally very good- it is a shame that they don't know how to serve it properly.
I am now having nightmares about Austrian sekt...


BA 319-131, as I said, the catering is normally good, but the general product is now very poor value for money. As for pre-flight drinks, how come Swiss, AF etc can do it on A32X aircraft?

On Swiss they manage the following on LHR-GVA flights:

Pre-flight champagne or juice

Another drink after take off

Meal service and dessert

Coffee and liqueurs

Lots of Swiss chocolates- even on final approach.

All of which at least gives the impression of relaxed and unhurried service, even on a relatively short flight. BA have completely lost their way in this area- not sure if it is because of low staff morale, cost cutting, or a combination of the two.
Fly BA on the same route, and you will see how poor they stack up against the competition!

 
DoorsToManual
Posts: 1453
Joined: Sat Apr 19, 2003 12:28 am

RE: BA Club Europe- Beyond Fixing?

Thu Sep 23, 2004 1:16 am

Cambrian, if I were you I'd stick to Economy within Europe and save your money for flying Club longhaul...having flown Business with BA and TAP (purely through upgrades) between LHR and LIS I felt their was absolutely no justification for the massive premium on a simple, discounted economy fare.

Unless someone else is paying your ticket, it's just not worth it. If you need the flexibility you can always get a Y fare.

As you said, if you have the money, Club class on longer flights (outside Europe) is most certainly a more sane investment...
 
aussiestu
Posts: 752
Joined: Tue Mar 20, 2001 7:32 pm

RE: BA Club Europe- Beyond Fixing?

Thu Sep 23, 2004 1:58 am


I have found generally flying BA shorthaul it all depends on the crew on the day. Sometimes they are brilliant and want to do it all and other days i wonder whether they know i am there. But that can be said for a lot of airlines i have flown. Flying within europe then i would certainly be saving the money and flying economy. I say if you want to get to BCN and want to go via CDG and waste all that time when you can go direct with BA and there is no other option then take your money and avoid BA. My times too important to spend changing planes. Just my two cents worth!

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