Delta777Jet
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British Airways Goes No-Frills

Sat Oct 15, 2005 3:57 pm

I just came back from Australia and enjoyed the very good British Airways First Class product. Once in Heathrow Lounge arrived to wait for my european connection flight a BA lady gave me a meal voucher for 10 Pounds to get some food since there is no catering on most of the european flights.

And really the business class was almost empty in the A 321 and only tea, coffee and water from the fresh water tanks and a small biscuit was served. The purser told me that this service is offered already since almost a month.

Can somebody tell me if BA is knowing what they doing ? If I book a 12.500 EUR ticket I expect at least mineral water from a bottle and not from the fresh water tanks.

Unbelieveable, does anybody know if also other airlines are effected from the GateGourmet staff shortfall and why they can not get catering inbound instead of outbound LHR ?

all the best
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laca773
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RE: British Airways Goes No-Frills

Sat Oct 15, 2005 4:05 pm

From what I understand, BA's catering is still not back up to normal standards/levels since the big fiasco/walkout by Gate Gourment @ LHR and it will take a while for them to catch up.

LACA773
 
777ER
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RE: British Airways Goes No-Frills

Sat Oct 15, 2005 4:06 pm

When NZ changed trans-tasman operation a few years ago to help reduce costs many business class passengers got angry and complained and NZ lost many loyal customers because their meal was served in a card board box with plastic knives and forkes. After many complaints and lossing many customers NZ axed the plastic boxes and plastic knives and forkes.

Maybe BA will have to learn the very hard way, just like NZ did
 
Delta777Jet
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RE: British Airways Goes No-Frills

Sat Oct 15, 2005 4:29 pm

The plastic knife I found also in F-Class  Wink
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HS748
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RE: British Airways Goes No-Frills

Sat Oct 15, 2005 4:34 pm

BA's catering problems have been common knowledge for weeks so you, with a greater interest in aviation than most passengers, should have been fully aware of what to expect. I can't believe you were surprised!
 
BA0284
Posts: 266
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RE: British Airways Goes No-Frills

Sat Oct 15, 2005 6:06 pm

Yeah they've worst than this, I travelled first class this summer, and received a cold sandwich for my main meal!! Only Tea and Coffee served!!

It is improving though..

BA0284  Smile
 
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garpd
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RE: British Airways Goes No-Frills

Sat Oct 15, 2005 6:11 pm

Quoting Delta777Jet (Thread starter):
I just came back from Australia and enjoyed the very good British Airways First Class product. Once in Heathrow Lounge arrived to wait for my european connection flight a BA lady gave me a meal voucher for 10 Pounds to get some food since there is no catering on most of the european flights.

And really the business class was almost empty in the A 321 and only tea, coffee and water from the fresh water tanks and a small biscuit was served. The purser told me that this service is offered already since almost a month.

Can somebody tell me if BA is knowing what they doing ? If I book a 12.500 EUR ticket I expect at least mineral water from a bottle and not from the fresh water tanks.

Unbelieveable, does anybody know if also other airlines are effected from the GateGourmet staff shortfall and why they can not get catering inbound instead of outbound LHR ?

all the best

After all the discussion on these board and in ther media about BA's issues with catering, you were still surprised?
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carduelis
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RE: British Airways Goes No-Frills

Sat Oct 15, 2005 6:12 pm

BA0284

Quoting BA0284 (Reply 5):
I travelled first class this summer

What date, and what route did you travel?
Per Ardua ad Astra! ........ Honi Soit Qui Mal y Pense!
 
BA0284
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RE: British Airways Goes No-Frills

Sat Oct 15, 2005 6:16 pm

Quoting Carduelis (Reply 7):
What date, and what route did you travel

It was just after the walk out of BA staff. I went on the BA285 to SFO on the 19/8/05.

Got 10,000 miles as a bit of a refund so cant complain!!

BA0284  Smile
 
monkeyboi
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RE: British Airways Goes No-Frills

Sat Oct 15, 2005 6:58 pm

Catering has returned to normal on all BA long haul flights and longer ('Band 4') european flights - DME, OTP, ATH, LCA, SOF, IST, KBP.

The next in line to be catered are the Italian/Spanish routes.

Catering is hoped to return to all routes by 11 November.

Only short-haul flights into/out of LHR are affected. LGW/MAN/GLA/EDI/LCY/BHX as normal.
 
wrighbrothers
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RE: British Airways Goes No-Frills

Sat Oct 15, 2005 7:09 pm

Quoting BA0284 (Reply 8):
was just after the walk out of BA staff. I went on the BA285 to SFO on the 19/8/05.

I went to LAX on BA279 in first class on that same day  scared  ( small world eh ?), and got a ham and cheese sandwich , and I must say , the cabin crew made up double fold for that, they were great , I must have spent 3/4's of the flight talking to them about their job and how I wanted to be cabin crew, they did truly love their airline. all I can say is .....GREAT JOB

Wrighbrothers
Always stand up for what is right, even if it means standing alone..
 
carduelis
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RE: British Airways Goes No-Frills

Sat Oct 15, 2005 10:30 pm

Isn't it wonderful - and we can only hear it on a.net!

Two teenage students fortunate enough to both travel BA First Class on the same day.
Per Ardua ad Astra! ........ Honi Soit Qui Mal y Pense!
 
DavidT
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RE: British Airways Goes No-Frills

Sat Oct 15, 2005 10:39 pm

It really does annoy me when people judge BA by the experience they've had when the food problems have been on  Sad

I flew Club World LHR-YVR-LHR a week before the strikes started - the food was great. Talk about a lucky escape Big grin
 
AEROFAN
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RE: British Airways Goes No-Frills

Sat Oct 15, 2005 11:23 pm

David T.

You are not serious, surely???! You expect people to judge when every thing is perfect?
 
BA0284
Posts: 266
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RE: British Airways Goes No-Frills

Sat Oct 15, 2005 11:53 pm

Quoting Wrighbrothers (Reply 10):
I went to LAX on BA279 in first class on that same day

Wow! I actually saw that flight board! Big grin major coincidence there!! Ham and cheese sounded nice, I got a red onion sandwich.  yuck  The crew really made up for it though, fantastic.

Quoting DavidT (Reply 12):
It really does annoy me when people judge BA by the experience they've had when the food problems

Yeah I agree, it wasn't at all BA's fault, it was just unlikely that BA was the airline to be affected. Although I received bad food, the flight was still brilliant, and I an still going to use them.

BA0284  Smile
 
Simong
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RE: British Airways Goes No-Frills

Sun Oct 16, 2005 12:10 am

Quoting Delta777Jet (Reply 3):
The plastic knife I found also in F-Class

The plastic knife is not the choice of BA .... it is the law !
BA all the way !!!
 
fbgdavidson
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RE: British Airways Goes No-Frills

Sun Oct 16, 2005 12:25 am

Err I didn't get a plastic knife in First a couple of weeks back...
BA First: London Heathrow-Washington (with Pics) (by Fbgdavidson Oct 4 2005 in Trip Reports)

Quoting BA0284 (Reply 8):
Got 10,000 miles as a bit of a refund so cant complain!!

Not bad for an upgrade  

And to the OP, if you feel the need for full service in Club Europe fly from LGW. I flew to AMS from LGW three weeks ago in CE and got the full nine yards.

Also didn't you get an email from Martin George informing you of the catering situation out of LHR? I got one telling me my flights were not affected!

[Edited 2005-10-15 17:28:46]
"My first job was selling doors, door to door, that's a tough job innit" - Bill Bailey
 
Baexecutive
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RE: British Airways Goes No-Frills

Sun Oct 16, 2005 1:30 am

I had a similar experience in August when I travelled Club, I kicked up enough stink and managed to get a heck of a lot of BA miles. I'm going back to NY next month but will be giving Virgin a go.

 Wink
 
wrighbrothers
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RE: British Airways Goes No-Frills

Sun Oct 16, 2005 1:40 am

Quoting BA0284 (Reply 14):
Wow! I actually saw that flight board! major coincidence there!!

I was the child in a white shirt and tie , did you see me ? If so , i'm leaving the country  

Quoting BA0284 (Reply 14):
got a red onion sandwich.

Ouch !

Quoting DavidT (Reply 12):
It really does annoy me when people judge BA by the experience they've had when the food problems have been on

Yeah , and they ack like it's some sort of big suprise   , as if.

Wrighbrothers

[Edited 2005-10-15 19:00:11]
Always stand up for what is right, even if it means standing alone..
 
petazulu
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RE: British Airways Goes No-Frills

Sun Oct 16, 2005 1:47 am

Guys,
If i am flying on an airline, I don't want excuses. Catering issues are not my problem and reflect poorly on the airline no matter the situation. Imagine going to a restaurant and them not having bread or wine (or something similar) and then telling you it was due to forces out of their control- yet all other restaurants had these things....
Guess what, i would go to another restaurnat next time!
 
carduelis
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RE: British Airways Goes No-Frills

Sun Oct 16, 2005 1:48 am

Quoting Wrighbrothers (Reply 18):
Well I was on staff travell

Excellent - but not yours surely

Who is the staff traveller, and which airline?

Bon voyages!
Per Ardua ad Astra! ........ Honi Soit Qui Mal y Pense!
 
wrighbrothers
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RE: British Airways Goes No-Frills

Sun Oct 16, 2005 1:52 am

Quoting Carduelis (Reply 20):
Who is the staff traveller, and which airline?

Now that would be telling  Wink

Wrighbrothers
Always stand up for what is right, even if it means standing alone..
 
luisca
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RE: British Airways Goes No-Frills

Sun Oct 16, 2005 2:19 am

Quoting Carduelis (Reply 11):
Isn't it wonderful - and we can only hear it on a.net!

Two teenage students fortunate enough to both travel BA First Class on the same day.

I've flown business all my life, because my father is platinum elite at CO and every family vacation we get upgraded, I go coach when I travel alone, I/my family have never paid out of pocket for a first class seat, never. is it so hard for you to believe that some people in this world are fortunate enough to have the money/connections/family/ff status to travel first?
Seems like you are a bit jealous my friend.
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babybus
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RE: British Airways Goes No-Frills

Sun Oct 16, 2005 2:26 am

Can someone explain why BA isn't using another caterer while this debacle with GateGourmet continues?

There is more than one caterer for airlines and it is possible to load food in many airports if needs be.

Is this whole fiasco not just an exercise to see how low they can go and what the public will let them get away with?
and with that..cabin crew, seats for landing please.
 
Lufthansa747
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RE: British Airways Goes No-Frills

Sun Oct 16, 2005 2:33 am

Quoting Luisca (Reply 22):
ff status to travel first

Whatever platinum one is, there are no airlines that upgrade based on status to international first. Save for a few that give a few vouchers that can be used from paid C to F.

Quoting Babybus (Reply 23):
Is this whole fiasco not just an exercise to see how low they can go and what the public will let them get away with?

Even the deli box in the lounge was absolutely pathetic in my opinion. And that was supposed to serve as a CE meal. Glad I booked the connection in AY C instead.
Air Asia Super Elite, Cebu Pacific Titanium
 
carduelis
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RE: British Airways Goes No-Frills

Sun Oct 16, 2005 2:42 am

Quoting Luisca (Reply 22):
Seems like you are a bit jealous my friend.

Hardly, having travelled either Business or First throughout my working, and retired, life!

I just think that two, now three, 'students' or 'living on fresh air' young people are very lucky, or have wealthy families, as to travel in Premium cabins. good luck if you can get it!
Per Ardua ad Astra! ........ Honi Soit Qui Mal y Pense!
 
carduelis
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RE: British Airways Goes No-Frills

Sun Oct 16, 2005 2:59 am

Quoting Babybus (Reply 23):
Can someone explain why BA isn't using another caterer while this debacle with GateGourmet continues?

There is no other caterer at LHR who can produce anywhere near the over 50,000 meals daily that British Airways needs at Heathrow. Let alone deliver them to aircraft, and, not forgetting, the offloading of all the inbound residue, and over 28,000 items of catering equipment!

Quoting Babybus (Reply 23):
Is this whole fiasco not just an exercise to see how low they can go and what the public will let them get away with?

Hardly, I know that no airline, especially British Airways, would wish to be in a position to be unable to provide it's advertised product.

Don't forget that the owner of Gate Gourmet's parent company in the US is a chap called David Bonderman, who has a reported personal wealth of $7 bn! Co-incidentally, he is also Chairman of RyanAir in GB. In my mind it doesn't take much thinking to realise that not only can he bring BA to it's knees for at least 24 hours, in an illegal secondary action strike, he can also bring down BA to the level of Ryanair. Perish the thought!

You may remember that Ryanair proudly reported the they carried more pax than BA in August - the very month when the Gate Gourmet debacle hit it's height!

The airline business can be very competitive!
Per Ardua ad Astra! ........ Honi Soit Qui Mal y Pense!
 
BA0284
Posts: 266
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RE: British Airways Goes No-Frills

Sun Oct 16, 2005 3:13 am

Quoting Babybus (Reply 23):
Can someone explain why BA isn't using another caterer while this debacle with GateGourmet continues?

Another reason is that I suppose BA don't want to change, cause it may mean that GateGourmet will have to lay off a load more people, therefore getting the TGWU angry which could mean that there are more BA strikes, and therefore BA loosing even more money.

I don't think BA dares to change or do anything!!

BA0284  Smile
 
DavidT
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RE: British Airways Goes No-Frills

Sun Oct 16, 2005 3:45 am

Quote:
David T.

You are not serious, surely???! You expect people to judge when every thing is perfect?

You can judge whenever you want, just keep in mind what the current situation is. It's a bit like refuting Africa can be hot because when you went it was a cold day (ok, bad analogy I know :P)

Quoting Babybus (Reply 23):
Can someone explain why BA isn't using another caterer while this debacle with GateGourmet continues?

There is more than one caterer for airlines and it is possible to load food in many airports if needs be.

Same thought occurred to me.

If you look though at Club World / First menus, it seems BA's food needs are very specific. They go as far as having their own chef design meals, lots of different courses / raid the larder etc. and that sort of operation would need a lot of planning - you probably wouldn't be able to just switch from one supplier to another, like charters can do.

And, I suppose, ditching Gate Gourmet entirely during the strike would have probably infuriated the sympathy strikers even more...
 
mhodgson
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RE: British Airways Goes No-Frills

Sun Oct 16, 2005 4:02 am

Quoting Babybus (Reply 23):
There is more than one caterer for airlines and it is possible to load food in many airports if needs be.

Consider the huge number of flights per day as a percentage of LHR total. Gate Gourmet cater ALL these flights, and thus have the fleet of trucks to service them. BA have such a huge volume of flights, and many on large aircraft, that no other caterer could just step in and take over, as it would require them to expand capacities, possibly two to three times more than at their present levels. There really was nothing they could do about it
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ntspelich
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RE: British Airways Goes No-Frills

Sun Oct 16, 2005 5:51 am

Quoting Delta777Jet (Thread starter):
water from the fresh water tanks

And people drank that? I know that it's called potable water, but I really wouldn't recommend anyone drinking it. In fact in our lavs, there's a little sign telling people not to drink it.

NTS
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trekster
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RE: British Airways Goes No-Frills

Sun Oct 16, 2005 6:44 am

Quoting Petazulu (Reply 19):
Guys,
If i am flying on an airline, I don't want excuses. Catering issues are not my problem and reflect poorly on the airline no matter the situation. Imagine going to a restaurant and them not having bread or wine (or something similar) and then telling you it was due to forces out of their control- yet all other restaurants had these things....
Guess what, i would go to another restaurnat next time

Ok, look at it like this. Your the biggest carrier at the airport, handling Hundreds of flts a day, taking thousands away. You have one company doing all your catering to save time and money. They ship to the planes, load unload etc etc. They strike. What do u do. All the supplies are with them. Do you really want food/meal trays and other stuff for other airlines coming from a mix of different suppliers. This has never happened before, and do u REALLY think BA want to be doing this, upsetting the pax, i dont think so. All the airline can do is the best for its customers, and it is. Getting better now, but as GG still has bad staff shortage, there are still some problems. Mainly on the domestic and shorthaul euro flts. Come on, think of yourself in BA's shoes. Were getting planes out on time. The pax have plenty of warning about the problems on which routes they are as well, and premium pax have all been notifed by email about where to pick up there delie boxs from.

LONG LIVE BRITISH AIRWAYS
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Byrdluvs747
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RE: British Airways Goes No-Frills

Sun Oct 16, 2005 9:57 am

What about LSG Skychefs? They're a big operation.
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trekster
Posts: 4319
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RE: British Airways Goes No-Frills

Sun Oct 16, 2005 3:55 pm

Quoting Byrdluvs747 (Reply 32):
LSG Skychefs

Yea, they have there own operation, i doubt they could handle the full capacity of BA's and cater for all there needs
Where does the time go???
 
laca773
Posts: 2032
Joined: Sat Nov 06, 2004 7:10 am

RE: British Airways Goes No-Frills

Sun Oct 16, 2005 3:59 pm

Overall, this was a very bad situation for BA and put them on the hot seat and made them look bad. They did the best they could with the resources they had available to them. This looks especially bad for GateGourmet in MY OPINION as they have to behave in such a manner like spoiled brats, and feel they can do that as they have BA in vulnerable situation considering the catering resources available @ LHR. Those GateGourmet UK/EU employees should be lucky they have jobs as all of you know how frugal the US Legacy carriers have gotten and they are not needed much anymore for catering, and what they do put out is slop. At least CO has their own catering, "Chelsea" though I'm not sure how many stations they have it at.

For our BA ANET friends, has BA ever thought about splitting up the catering with different companies or even starting their own catering for their long haul routes as they do have very specific menus and requirements.


LACA773
 
mhodgson
Posts: 4673
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RE: British Airways Goes No-Frills

Sun Oct 16, 2005 7:38 pm

Quoting Byrdluvs747 (Reply 32):
What about LSG Skychefs? They're a big operation.

It's not a case of being a big operation. It's a case of suddenly finding capacity for almost 50% of LHR flights. Simply, no other caterer has the infrastructure to suddenly serve BA, in terms of suppliers, staff, capacity and ability to transport meals to the aircraft. It simply couldn't be done overnight. I'd say even a supplier like LSG would need 12 months to cater for BA in addition to their other clients, as they would need to expand on a massive scale - new buildings, new vehicles (which will have a long lead time - they aren't sitting around waiting for someone to buy them), recruitment drives, re-negotiating with suppliers..
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trekster
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RE: British Airways Goes No-Frills

Sun Oct 16, 2005 8:03 pm

Quoting LACA773 (Reply 34):
starting their own catering for their long haul routes as they do have very specific menus and requirements

BA used to, they sold it, its now know as Gate Gormet Smile
Where does the time go???
 
babybus
Posts: 2379
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RE: British Airways Goes No-Frills

Sun Oct 16, 2005 9:12 pm

I don't believe BA is just being loyal to Gate Gourmet. It's very easy to pick up cheap, temporary, staff these days so any catering company could jump in there and start providing meals for BA as a short term stand-in.

It wouldn't need to be shackled to be just one new caterer but many if necessary.

The meal selection may not be up to normal BA standards but at least pax would get some level of service.

Since when has one company allowed one other company to affect its operations so dramatically and where is the crisis management that should be in place?
and with that..cabin crew, seats for landing please.
 
rdwootty
Posts: 689
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RE: British Airways Goes No-Frills

Mon Oct 17, 2005 5:42 am

I have seen in the Sunday papers today that BA have appointed a new advertising agency....The strapline will be>
Upgrade to BA
No good if they do not have the food/drink organised!!
Maybe they can go for seating or something else but one of the main planks of recent (pregategourmet) is Food and drink,
They really need to get on top of thisd before the advertisiing starts!!