comorin
Posts: 3857
Joined: Sun May 29, 2005 5:52 am

BA Club World To Chennai, And Jet To Bangalore

Sat Jan 07, 2006 10:04 am

Encouraged by kind words from Nimish and BA319-131 on my last trip report (Transcon...), I'll continue my report on the next two legs of my 11-leg trip:

LHR-MAA BA35 'J' Seat 62K 747-400 about $1,500 this leg:

Spent the night at the Paddington Hilton since I wanted to get to LHR on time for my 9.40 am flight, and I'm really a big fan of the Heathrow Express (why can't we have one in NYC?) The Hilton was just right, quite an experience walking straight out into the station from the Lobby!

Got up next day at the crack of dawn, and charged off to T4 to catch the flight. Searched for Gobstoppers for my 2-year-old niece on the way, but no luck. Once at T4, check-in was fast and automated, and had time to catch up on last-minute gift shopping. I've grown to really like T4, and wondered how it'd stack up against Changi, where I'd end up in my next trip report...

Stopped by the Terraces Lounge for a cup of tea. Wonder why tea in the UK, like coffee in India, always tastes just right.

Boarding was pleasant and ontime. The agent who took my boarding pass had the same name as my niece, and the flight attendant who greeted me had the same name as my niece's mother - a good omen for the trip ahead indeed.

Comfortably esconced in my favorite cabin (B747 Upper Deck), I settled in to enjoy the long flight. The cabin crew were not as fantastic as to be expected from BA, and I wonder what's going on. A few years ago, BA flights were 95% fantastic, and this has dropped to about 50% for me. I wonder if BA is switching from a Flying as Hospitality vs. Flying as Transportation business model (horrors!), having just read about the 600 managers recently sacked by the new CEO.

Nice lunch, wines and finally tea before landing. They had sandwiches wrapped in cellophane - cellophane finally arrives in Club World. The old reception sandwiches were a lot better. I was really looking forward to the scones as the clotted cream and jam was dispensed, only to be cruelly told that they had forgotten to load the scones in LHR. I guess one of the fired managers must have been the VP in charge of Scones.

Finally landed in MAA, walking past a glass wall separating passengers and crew waiting to board the flight back to LHR. Wonder how I'd feel when it was my turn ten days from now.

Cleared Immigration, bags already arriving on the carousel. Not all bags however. After waiting an hour, I asked the BA baggage agent why it was taking so long. The Young Thing tried to look surprised, but broke down and confessed that the pallet had been sent off to another destination. Fortunately someone noticed, got the pallet back and the bags finally arrived.

I's say overall a nice flight, but the Club World product is getting a little predictable, and it's time for something new. Also, might be nice to have the local cabin crew help out in the premium classes too, and add a little 'spice' to the service.


MAA-BLR 9W B737NG Y Seat 26F $95 one-way:

Checked in at MAA - efficient and pleasant. Cleared security, proceeded to Gate 4 - had to climb stairs as the one escalator was out of order, as indicated by a red scrawl from the Airports Authority of India. Gate 4 was an actual Jetway, so I missed the usual bus ride on the tarmac to the aircraft.

Boarded, greeted by a young and energetic cabin crew, working their tails off. Newspapers, Candy, Cold Towels, Water - all before take-off. It is a tradition on Indian domestic flights for passengers to hit the call button upon being seated, usually for water. They have eithered wandered in from the desert, or were hydrating themselves for the long, 32-minute journey ahead. Anyway, 9W should stop spoiling their passengers and are overdoing the service to a fault.

A decent flight to BLR, clean aircraft, nice to see the VT-xxx markings on the wings like in the 60's. Even 9W's logotype is reminiscent of Pan American World Airways. We land in BLR on a curved final, (hoped the pilot had judged it right) and stop at the end, Turn around 360, and then taxi off to the terminal. I thought that happened only at airstrips...

Picked up my bags, rented an a/c taxi, still got bitten to death by mosquitoes on the way, and then settled in for a ten-day stay in the outsourcing capital of the world, soon to be quaintly renamed Bangalooru.

Summarizing the flight: 9W's formidable service is based on young, energetic FA's and plenty of food and drink. Seems to work, though it'd be really cool if they wore Indian-style uniforms and evolved to a more restrained style...
 
ba319-131
Posts: 8133
Joined: Sat Jan 13, 2001 1:27 pm

RE: BA Club World To Chennai, And Jet To Bangalore

Sat Jan 07, 2006 12:59 pm

Ah, another segment, excellent!

Quoting Comorin (Thread starter):
Searched for Gobstoppers for my 2-year-old niece on the way, but no luck

-Thinking about it, I can't recall the last time I saw any myself.

Quoting Comorin (Thread starter):
Stopped by the Terraces Lounge for a cup of tea

-The Terraces are one of BA's strong points, an excellent way to rest or work prior to a flight.

Quoting Comorin (Thread starter):
They had sandwiches wrapped in cellophane - cellophane finally arrives in Club World

-Hm, not impressive!

Quoting Comorin (Thread starter):
I was really looking forward to the scones as the clotted cream and jam was dispensed, only to be cruelly told that they had forgotten to load the scones in LHR

-That is rather poor, the catering should have been cross checked when loaded onto the plane.


Nice report, look forward to the next sector(s)

Rgds & thanks

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
 
comorin
Posts: 3857
Joined: Sun May 29, 2005 5:52 am

RE: BA Club World To Chennai, And Jet To Bangalore

Sun Jan 08, 2006 10:03 am

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 1):

Thanks! I'm working on the final segment now...
 
Nimish
Posts: 2890
Joined: Mon Feb 14, 2005 6:46 pm

RE: BA Club World To Chennai, And Jet To Bangalore

Sun Jan 08, 2006 5:51 pm

Quoting Comorin (Thread starter):
Encouraged by kind words from Nimish

Thanks!

Quoting Comorin (Thread starter):
LHR-MAA

Was the new LHR-BLR direct flight not an option? That would have saved you the hassle of changing flights at Chennai.

Nice report - hope you enjoy your stay in BLR. Feel free to ping me if you need any local information/assistance - call at 9845034001.

Great report - enjoyed reading it.

Quoting Comorin (Thread starter):
It is a tradition on Indian domestic flights for passengers to hit the call button upon being seated, usually for water. They have eithered wandered in from the desert, or were hydrating themselves for the long, 32-minute journey ahead

And it's a tradition that's essential in a country like India - where average temperatures can be around 45C in the summer. Besides - Indians typically don't guzzle quite as much juice/soda/wine as is the tradition in the west, and hence there's a large focus on water.
Latest Trip Report - GoAir BLR-BOM-BLR
 
comorin
Posts: 3857
Joined: Sun May 29, 2005 5:52 am

RE: BA Club World To Chennai, And Jet To Bangalore

Mon Jan 09, 2006 2:31 am

Quoting Nimish (Reply 3):

Many thanks for your offer! I'm back safe and sound now in NYC.

Quoting Comorin (Reply 2):
Was the new LHR-BLR direct flight not an option? That would have saved you the hassle of changing flights at Chennai

I couldn't get a seat on the LHR-BLR flight, which was why I had to go to MAA.

Based on your recent trip report, I may try VS next time!
 
Nimish
Posts: 2890
Joined: Mon Feb 14, 2005 6:46 pm

RE: BA Club World To Chennai, And Jet To Bangalore

Mon Jan 09, 2006 7:04 pm

Quoting Comorin (Reply 4):
I couldn't get a seat on the LHR-BLR flight, which was why I had to go to MAA.

Wow - this is a brand new service, and seems to be already running full in J. Good for BA!
Latest Trip Report - GoAir BLR-BOM-BLR
 
Stretch 8
Posts: 2468
Joined: Fri May 28, 1999 4:00 am

RE: BA Club World To Chennai, And Jet To Bangalore

Tue Jan 10, 2006 4:30 am

I appreciated your interesting perspective on the CW product. I have tried it a few times across the Atlantic, and found it to be top notch. I wonder, however, if it is slipping for the reasons you cited (and also if the CW product on routes other than from LHR to the USA and return are less scrutinized by the company).
Maggs swings, it's a drive deep to left! The Tigers are going to the World Series!!!
 
irelayer
Posts: 929
Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2005 4:34 pm

RE: BA Club World To Chennai, And Jet To Bangalore

Tue Jan 10, 2006 5:58 am

Quoting Comorin (Thread starter):
Stopped by the Terraces Lounge for a cup of tea. Wonder why tea in the UK, like coffee in India, always tastes just right.

Do you have to ask? I have met very few British people but all of them are deadly serious about their tea.  Smile

Great report...have fun on the rest of your journey. We are all very jealous.

-IR
 
comorin
Posts: 3857
Joined: Sun May 29, 2005 5:52 am

RE: BA Club World To Chennai, And Jet To Bangalore

Tue Jan 10, 2006 10:16 am

Quoting Stretch 8 (Reply 6):

I did have one more trip on CW in my follow-up report (Final episode...) which was really excellent. Consistency seems to be the problem...

Quoting IRelayer (Reply 7):

Thanks for reading! Hope it's not too opinionated...

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