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BA -Undrinkable wine in Club Europe!

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Infidel - 19/03/2012 18:33 BST

I have just completed another return CE trip and have to say that the quality of wine was dire. When paying a premium to travel in this cabin I would expect, or better still insist on a decent selection of wine. No wonder BA scored poorly in the recent cellar in the sky ratings. The selection on this flight ( which I understand was also shared with the euro traveller cabin) was a disgrace. Why can't BA smarten up and follow Qantas' lead, who in domestic business class, continually offer a choice of decent, drinkable wine from renowned vineyards served with a smile from 750ml bottles which invariably always tastes good.

edi-traveller - 19/03/2012 21:44 BST

Agree it's bad the same wine is used in ET - was it the Argento?

I remember back when GBAirways ran a BA franchise they led the way by serving wine from full sized bottles - and it was okay stuff. They should at least do that in CE now.

Bucksnet - 19/03/2012 22:29 BST

The CE wine should certainly be better, and not the same as economy!

flier74 - 20/03/2012 00:04 BST

Whilst I understand your frustration and obviously you did not like the wine, I would not call it in drinkable myself. I can only talk for wines ex LHR and do not know whether you flew out of LGW or LHR, but the wines in CE are ok, not great, I agree but they are certainly different to the Eurotraveller wines. Club Europe ex Heathrow currently offers champagne, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay as whites, a Spanish Carinena and an Australian Shiraz. Eurotraveller and Domestics have a Pinot Grigio and Merlot. The only times I have seen a Club bar used in Traveller was one very low Club configuration and a very full Traveller Cabin. When I queried this, I was told by the CSD or Purser this is due to limited numbers of Bars in Eurotraveller.

I was lucky enough to chat to one of the wine suppliers once and the problem Airlines like BA and many others face, is getting an order whee they can secure enough stock for a certain time, which must be challenging for all large carriers.

However I do agree wholly that wines served from large bottles in Club Erope would be a massive improvement. Have you put this to BA as a suggestion?

Stowage222 - 20/03/2012 08:51 BST

Hey Flier74 - the CE wines ex LHR you mention above are in fact the same ones served in WT+ & WT on longhaul! BA is only now starting to look at wine offerings in the premium cabins but I'm afraid for the "back of plane" brigade it's not good news. I guess, as it's "free", we should be grateful what they throw at us when in that cabin.

I still shudder at the undrinkablity of that Spannish red, 'El Muro'. I guess it was bought as a bulk load along with Iberia - one of the lesser joys of the joint operation.

Bucksnet - 20/03/2012 09:03 BST

The premium I pay for CE should entitle me to better wine, so it is not exactly free.

Stowage222 - 20/03/2012 09:28 BST

Hence the inverted commas Bucksnet - exactly my point.

StephenLondon - 20/03/2012 10:13 BST

In chatting with crew on a recent CE flight, I asked why they served CE wine not only in small bottles, but plastic ones at that, as they always used to be glass bottles. The response came with a weight / fuel issue, and also a time issue. Many of the "band 1 and band 2" (domestic and nearer Euro flights) are so short, and given some of the CE loads, they don't have time to pour from full bottles. The smaller bottles offer two-ish glasses per bottle, whereas the crew wouldn't have time to pour top-ups on such short flights. I would be in favour of a) larger wine glasses and b) better quality wine from large bottles on some of the Band 3 and Band 4 flights, as the flight time would certainly permit a better quality service. Wonder what the unions would say to this idea, however.

Infidel - 21/03/2012 09:52 BST

StephenLondon - I find it laughable that the crew on your recent flight claimed "they wouldn't have time to pour top-ups on such short flights" - if they had to pour wine from 750ml bottles, laziness springs to mind! The crew seem to be able to manage top ups from large water bottle to customers with no timing issues. The point of the thread remains - why are we subjected to the poor inferior wine in CE? I have seen Qantas crew on a full 767 on an hour flight, manage to offer choices of 2 premium white and reds on domestic flights. They seem to have the time. BA seem to be treating premium passengers with contempt in CE.

StephenLondon - 21/03/2012 10:05 BST

Perhaps QF have the time on an hour long-flight, with a max of 30 pax and the crewing levels that they have. Try the same with more pax, on a single aisle aircraft on a flight time of less than an hour (band 1 - AMS, BRU, CDG, ORY, etc.) and it becomes a different story. I understand that. Take a look at QF finances, and then have a look at BA's...different world. That said, I agree with your point on wine quality - but realistically it would have to be on longer Euro flights were it to come from larger bottles.

NTarrant - 21/03/2012 11:18 BST

I can't comment on the wine in CE as I never drink it, but would say that QF are a slightly different world to BA on staffing etc. Don't forget that business class on a typical MEL-SYD flight of just under 90 minutes has a maximum of 12 business class passengers to serve by usually the senior crew member.

On a 737-800 that they use on that route there are more crew than BA would have on a simular distant or shorter distant route

Infidel - 21/03/2012 14:09 BST

NTarrant, A typical Mel-Syd flight on a QF 767 typically has a maximum of 30 passengers. My point is if QF take wine seriously why can't BA? Serving the small bottles of dire red and white wine in CE, which is also shared and served in Euro Traveller is not acceptable for an alleged premium cabin.

- 21/03/2012 14:25 BST

Given that the seating is poor, there is no in seat power and no ife in airbus CE flights, I have a long list before worrying about wine. Not saying you should not expect quality just that are many sub par priorities for me on CE.

flier74 - 21/03/2012 14:50 BST

Stowage 222 thanks for clarifying this I thought you meant CE v.v Eurotraveller and as I can not comment on world traveller (thank god) I did not know they serves these here.
I agree el murp was rubbish but the current offering is miles better and hopefully we see full bottles in Club Europe, incl shorter flights soon :-)

NTarrant - 21/03/2012 14:58 BST

Infidel - I can't comment on QF 767 MEL-SYD as all my recent flights have been on the 737-800, also for comparison BA don't operate 767 generally on the short flights to places like Northern Europe. The wine surved in CE should be different to Y.

Try the Champers, I'm told its good (Pommery)

[email protected] - 21/03/2012 14:58 BST

On my 40 minute flight from Doha to Dubai next week on Qatar Airways, I will be able to choose from 2 (full bottle) reds and 2 (full bottle) whites. Both colours of which will be premium (the selection seems to change monthly so it will be interesting to see what is on offer in March).

The champagne on offer has remained constant on this route over the past couple of years, Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame, which retails at LHR dutyfree for roughly 80 GBP per bottle.

The wine offer on this route does not change, regardless of the (size of) aircraft operated or number of premium pax. For example, my 2 flights on this route in February consisted of an A320 (12 pax) and a 777 (42 pax).

I am fully aware of the differing cost bases for some of the Gulf carriers - vs European ones - but an interesting comparison in itself.

LeTigre - 21/03/2012 15:46 BST

I agree with Rich, I would not waste money on CE flights, regardless of beverages, cause the hard product is lame! Why can't BA just shove some WTP seats on board (new ones). Surely with the whole slim design it wouldn't take much more space? Anyway, I often lament that airlines do not install enough AVOD systems- they should learn from Virgin America, and Fly Dubai who both earn a fortune from charging for movies etc.

LeTigre - 21/03/2012 17:20 BST

Anyone else enjoy a spot of bumping?

LeTigre - 21/03/2012 17:21 BST

Anyone else enjoy a spot of bumping?

Bucksnet - 21/03/2012 18:58 BST

As I have said before, old WTP seats that are being removed from some of the long haul fleet, fitted 2x2, would be a major improvement!

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