ManxATP
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Problems With BA Catering At LHR?

Wed Aug 10, 2005 10:38 pm

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.
 
GoAround
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RE: Problems With BA Catering At LHR?

Wed Aug 10, 2005 10:42 pm

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
 
aa777jr
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RE: Problems With BA Catering At LHR?

Thu Aug 11, 2005 2:37 am

A liberal is a man who is right most of the time, but he's right too soon.
 
planenutz
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RE: Problems With BA Catering At LHR?

Thu Aug 11, 2005 3:32 am

"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.
Not all who wander are lost....
 
lapper
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RE: Problems With BA Catering At LHR?

Thu Aug 11, 2005 3:35 am

BBC reports that 500 staff have been sacked following the unofficial strike.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/4139582.stm
 
GoAround
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RE: Problems With BA Catering At LHR?

Thu Aug 11, 2005 4:20 am

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
 
trekster
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RE: Problems With BA Catering At LHR?

Thu Aug 11, 2005 6:11 am

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
Where does the time go???
 
BritPilot777
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RE: Problems With BA Catering At LHR?

Thu Aug 11, 2005 7:23 am

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
 
zarniwoop
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RE: Problems With BA Catering At LHR?

Thu Aug 11, 2005 10:15 am

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......
 
zarniwoop
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RE: Problems With BA Catering At LHR?

Thu Aug 11, 2005 10:34 am

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
 
Speedbird2155
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RE: Problems With BA Catering At LHR?

Thu Aug 11, 2005 3:08 pm

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.
 
skidmarks
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RE: Problems With BA Catering At LHR?

Thu Aug 11, 2005 3:15 pm

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
 
zarniwoop
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RE: Problems With BA Catering At LHR?

Thu Aug 11, 2005 6:05 pm

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?
 
trekster
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RE: Problems With BA Catering At LHR?

Thu Aug 11, 2005 6:19 pm

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
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AIR MALTA
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RE: Problems With BA Catering At LHR?

Thu Aug 11, 2005 7:39 pm

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)
 
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apuneger
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RE: Problems With BA Catering At LHR?

Thu Aug 11, 2005 7:45 pm

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
 
zonky
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RE: Problems With BA Catering At LHR?

Thu Aug 11, 2005 7:49 pm

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.
 
zonky
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RE: Problems With BA Catering At LHR?

Thu Aug 11, 2005 7:53 pm

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....
 
777236ER
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RE: Problems With BA Catering At LHR?

Thu Aug 11, 2005 8:05 pm

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

Idiots. Did they really think a wildcat strike would help them?
Your bone's got a little machine
 
MidnightMike
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RE: Problems With BA Catering At LHR?

Thu Aug 11, 2005 8:23 pm

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.
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zonky
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RE: Problems With BA Catering At LHR?

Thu Aug 11, 2005 8:24 pm

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.
 
zarniwoop
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RE: Problems With BA Catering At LHR?

Thu Aug 11, 2005 8:33 pm

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
 
carduelis
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RE: Problems With BA Catering At LHR?

Thu Aug 11, 2005 8:48 pm

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)!
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CV747
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RE: Problems With BA Catering At LHR?

Thu Aug 11, 2005 9:11 pm

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
 
ManxATP
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RE: Problems With BA Catering At LHR?

Thu Aug 11, 2005 10:35 pm

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.
 
EurofleetLHR
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RE: Problems With BA Catering At LHR?

Thu Aug 11, 2005 10:50 pm

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).

The problems with no catering on the return BA flights mainly results from there being no equipment on board to re-use and re-stock on the inbound flight (true, the equipment is not used for the same aircraft, but it would leave a shortfall later). There is no way of loading any empty containers or sending more crockery, as guess who has all the supplies - the suppliers ! So there is no way it can get to the aircraft.

Shorthaul flights cannot be catered at the outstation, as all flights are now return catered out of he UK - so overseas catering companies have insufficient stocks for full flights.

It does look as if BA have shot themselves in the foot by no longer doing their own catering - but not many airlines do these days. I would imagine the airlines have saved thousands by doing this; resulting in not having to hike up fares for the customers.

I know most customers will think that air fares are high enough already, but look back over the years and consider how little they have risen in comparison to fuel prices, the cost of aircraft, wages (including yours, not just their employees !!), security costs, landing fees, etc, etc.
 
bkkair
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RE: Problems With BA Catering At LHR?

Thu Aug 11, 2005 11:08 pm

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 paying are keeping the airlines is business.
 
cornish
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RE: Problems With BA Catering At LHR?

Thu Aug 11, 2005 11:13 pm

Hmm a bit like flying with the new BMI service..... Wink
Just when I thought I could see light at the end of the tunnel, it was some B*****d with a torch bringing me more work
 
aireuropeuk733
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RE: Problems With BA Catering At LHR?

Thu Aug 11, 2005 11:56 pm

Quoting Cornish (Reply 27):
Hmm a bit like flying with the new BMI service.....

Saucer of milk for Mr Cornish... Wink

AE733
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carduelis
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RE: Problems With BA Catering At LHR?

Thu Aug 11, 2005 11:57 pm

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
Per Ardua ad Astra! ........ Honi Soit Qui Mal y Pense!
 
Geo772
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RE: Problems With BA Catering At LHR?

Fri Aug 12, 2005 12:01 am

Quoting Planenutz (Reply 3):
Those FA's must have been pretty bored. Especially those who would normally work the F cabin.

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 were only going to the middle east but much further afield and some passengers might be a little less understanding.
Flown on A300B4/600,A319/20/21,A332/3,A343,B727,B732/3/4/5/6/7/8,B741/2/4,B752/3,B762/3,B772/3,DC10,L1011-200,VC10,MD80,
 
Gman94
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RE: Problems With BA Catering At LHR?

Fri Aug 12, 2005 12:05 am

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 my staff if I was BA management, they can't call an illegal strike at short notice like that and not when the dispute is not really to do with BA.
British Airways - The Way To Fly
 
carduelis
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RE: Problems With BA Catering At LHR?

Fri Aug 12, 2005 12:26 am

Interesting that the sackings at Gate Gourmet started as a result of them losing the contract to cater for Virgin Atlantic flights. Ironic!
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GDB
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RE: Problems With BA Catering At LHR?

Fri Aug 12, 2005 2:30 am

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 trucks hitting aircraft and the drivers not reporting it.

Sold off the Engine Overhaul for a sweetheart deal on GE90's, then got and still get, poor service from them (a big part in last years disruption, what with the overhaul facility being shut down due oil contamination).
Now this.

We are far too lax with outsourcing contractors, always have been.
Most pax caught up in this WILL blame BA, they do with problems caused with Heathrow Airport Limited screwing up, they do with the weather.
 
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shamrock350
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RE: Problems With BA Catering At LHR?

Fri Aug 12, 2005 3:02 am

I just saw the outside of T4 on BBC news, the reporter surrounded by passengers walking around looking very annoyed and hungry!!
 
filton216
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RE: Problems With BA Catering At LHR?

Fri Aug 12, 2005 3:19 am

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 only flight to have food back to britain.

filton216
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