Tale of two halves BA LGW -FARO-LGW

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This topic contains 15 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  mkcol74 4 Mar 2018
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  • norbert2008
    Participant

    LGW – FARO Club Europe 4A

    Newish BA lounge very crowded but plenty of room and meal offer was just ok but sandwiches did come early.

    Boarding was quick and efficient, full flight.

    One very experienced CSD just called in from standby it later proved. As the flight is not short (2.5hours) plenty of time for drinks service but they started both starter plate and bar service at the same time they clashed, I may be no expert but, one could take bar orders first, then tray up and serve. Then no trolley in the way…also no rush to start meal service?

    Folded down tray table, mine covered in last flights coffee, asked for a cloth then set the whole cabin off, my neighbour, the people behind, etc. Answer from crew ‘we have just changed cleaner contractors at Gatwick’.
    Bar crew didn’t really know the wines but the full bottles seem to work. But did say
    ‘you we would think as we were going to Portugal we would have Portugues wine?’. She was told 3 times what the wines were! Ended up with saying the one with the green label. Menus given out.

    Then total surprise a starter tray of the most tasty smoked salmon I have had on ground or air, creme fraiche and dill sauce, warm bread. On the side very good cheese and that jam stuff, good quality sourdough biscuits and a choc pud I ate! After salmon some people declined main course but tasty hot creamy chicken and tarragon with proper veg. Nice snooze and woke up just before landing. Thanked the team as they did 32 people just two of them.

    A tail of to halves part 2.

    Having been rescued by BA First class check in on my outward journey from 8a Siberia to 4a, looking at availability I did book 1A for the outrageous fee of £35.
    Check in was quick at Faro and fast track in the part ‘new’ airport is indeed that but somewhat embarrassing as just bypasses everyone to head of the security line! Then the task of finding the lounge. There are no signs after security but someone had said it was now on the first floor, I went through shops, gates and still no signs, I ended up asking airport helpers (more later) complicated trip but finally a sign of no use at bottom of escalator. The lounge is a little better than before as it now has views over the apron (not sure this will remain its home). Same old fiercely clingfilmed sandwiches and a few assorted buns. Full bottles of wine in chiller, including the RED! Joy as I saw our BA plane arrive just feet from the window

    I heeded boarding notice and as I know there is passport control before the gate as ever at Faro, tried in vain with two ‘new friends’ to find the gate, we were really stumped, again ended up in a gate area the wrong one. Found yellow shirted ‘helper’ who took us on vast journey far from the plane to passport control but no sign for gates, at last hidden behind temporary walls we found an escalator to the gate some 50 feet from the lounge as the crow would fly! As ever the sign for boarding just means join a line. Boarding was conducted well with strict rules for Club. There were even 8 babies on the flight that were not boarded first. Once on board I then had the ‘joy’ of watching everyone else be greeted in different ways by the crew, I almost felt part of the fun as I was so near the door! My foot was only run over twice by wheelie cases.

    Push back on time and having full plane very well conducted by the crew. Then menus, nice touch.

    First damp towel service, damp as I saw the crew put some hot water on some towels. As I was aware of possible dirt on my tray table I opened it just in case, yes coffee stains, so I used my towel to clean it as did my companion in 1C. The calmy clothes do have a new use now.

    Bar service (no nibbles/nuts where have they gone?) very well done, with two very experienced crew members, I was even asked if I wanted to taste the wine and do I always prefer my champagne in a tumbler (I do) less bubbles. Sadly then started the invasion……NO curtain it seems between Club and economy on this flight! At one point we had 3 people standing in the way of the crew all from economy waiting to use the toilets. CSD apologised later but said she could do nothing. They were also there watching me during the starter tray service.
    A great BA improvement, nicely presented.

    Orders taken for main meal. I personally don’t like tomato and mozzarella salad and would happily had the wonderful smoked salmon on outward flight, not sure what BA could have done instead Pate or Prawns not pc and difficult I suppose?

    Main meal of beef was, great, tasty filling and hot, other option was pasta bake that looked nice and my fellow passenger finished it all, the cheese was very good quality and I even had my the chocolate pud, all of it!

    After everyone had settled I ventured to the back of the plane, knowing I would be writing this I wanted to know how things were. Met with two young cabin crew and asked them how BOB was going, I told them I was not from BA or secret shopper. They both said how sad it was that they could not provide a proper service to all for the customers in economy, they ran out halfway through the cabin of most of the sandwich choices and ended up with none in last few rows, they were also really concerned about all the 8 babies on board.

    I asked if they still did cointreau in Club, they said they would find out. On my return to my seat there was a glass of cointreau with ice. That is service.

    I know I was in Club but I paid less than some of the fares quoted in economy for my trip. I upgraded for £85.00 later after my booking.

    If this is Club going forward, well done BA, but scrap BOB as a bad idea gone wrong (like Swiss did) and please M.Cruz put a curtain or bulkhead in front of row 1 and do not even think of doing this to your fleet at LHR.


    FDOS_UK
    Participant

    RFerguson or another BA person will confirm, but I think the crew have to provide an abbreviated service when the CE numbers get to circa 30, meaning that drinks and meal runs are combined.


    openfly
    Participant

    If there was no curtain between economy and Club Europe you are due a compensation of 10,000 Avios per passenger.
    On BA.com with its “benefits of Club Europe…your own private cabin”. As Club Europe was not “private” BA acknowledge this with Avios compensation. I have received 10,000 Avios several times on LGW flights. This is a common problem ex-Gatwick whereby obviously the Club Europe passengers matter little and the product suffers. It’s especially annoying when there are rows of economy passengers in the Club area and receiving their BOB from the trolley!


    norbert2008
    Participant

    Thank you so much openfly for that I am STILL waiting for BA team to contact me but 10K is a start….


    norbert2008
    Participant

    Oddly it was 32 on the way back too, perfect service………


    SwissExPat
    Participant

    I was on a SWISS flight in J (GVA to LIS on the new Bonbardier 300) las month and there was no Curtain at all, simply a sign on the back of the last row in J (row 2) that ‘Economy Starts Here’

    I was not impressed.


    norbert2008
    Participant

    Its silly because have had to wait for tech guys to move the curtain before now at LHR before take off……not sure why crew cannot do it? Oh no health and safety maybe…


    openfly
    Participant

    The moving of the dividers on newer short haul BA aircraft requires engineering input due to the weight of the divider and the electrics for the integral lighted signs. Not quite as easy as the old days. At least the seats do not need adjusting as the Club seats are only economy seats!!!


    Montysaurus
    Participant

    Following on from openfly’s comment about being due 10000 Avios for no curtain between CE and Euro Traveller, I have experienced this on 3 occasions. The last one was recently after I had read openfly’s post. I requested my 10000 Avios and, to cut a long email saga short, BA told me I wasn’t getting them and their email said “our answer won’t change and we are unable to respond to any further requests for compensation.” In other words I have to get lost. Any suggestions?


    FDOS_UK
    Participant

    Any suggestions?

    Choose another carrier, next time – you can’t take legal action for a missing curtain, IMO.


    rferguson
    Participant

    There is a crew matrix for shorthaul although it has become a little more complicated these days with BOB as not only are routes divided by v.short/short/medium/long/v.lomg but within those groups there is a matrix for ‘high’ and ‘low’ BOB demand. LGW-FAO-LGW is long/high demand. If the aircraft operating the flight was a 319 it should have had 4 crew members total for over 20 CE passengers. If an A320 it depends how many ET passengers also. So up to 32 CE passengers and up to 119 ET passengers, 4 crew. Over 32 CE passengers 5 crew (regardless of ET load). Under 32 CE passengers but over 119 ET passengers also 5 crew.

    If these provisions are not met i’m not sure what the arrangement is at LGW. I know at LHR the CE cabin MUST be reduced to accommodate the number of operating crew if need be (including downgrading passengers if necessary). Thus, this hardly ever happens and each flight gets its required crew complement (as on longhaul).

    During periods of mass disruption (such as currently with the weather) the unions and BA can agree to implement the ‘disruption agreement’. This would allow flights to operate with less than agreed crew complements and involve an extra payment to individual crew members and sometimes modifications to the service. Note this applies only to the fleets covered by BASSA (WW and EF).

    In regards to aircraft flying with no cabin divider – forget any compensation. You will be pee’ing in the wind. There are some aircraft that have literally been flying around months without one. I agree, it should not happen and it’s poor that it is allowed to. But BA will make the point that they do not promote club europe as a ‘separate cabin’ and the cabin divider does not form part of the Club Europe product. How do I know? Because i’ve been there too in complaining about that very issue (on a revenue ticket) and got nowhere. And that was when BA were relatively generous in dishing out the Avios. Now they have tightened up significantly.


    openfly
    Participant

    When I received my 10,000 Avios in the past it was on the basis that BA.com states quite clearly that “Club Europe is a private area”…and it still does! As I pointed out to them….how can it be private if there is no curtain fitted? To see this “benefit” pick a route and date to get a fare. It will offer economy and CE. Below the CE fare click on “benefits of CE”. Most of these are the same as Y…they have trouble finding the extra benefit of paying all the extra money for CE!
    Mind you, my 10,000 Avios compensations were a year or so ago in the days when Premium pax were respected and considered important. Now it’s a case of who cares.


    norbert2008
    Participant

    Well BA will hate this, but as an ex PR I went to PR team with my complaint and received call and email offering me 10K points the same day.


    mkcol74
    Participant

    Well @norbert2008 thank you for your review as I’ll be experiencing CE back from FAO having spent 6 days on the Algarve recuperating from Eurovision weekend in Lisbon. It’ll be interesting to see if the lounge situation has improved.


    FaroFlyer
    Participant

    Well @norbert2008 thank you for your review as I’ll be experiencing CE back from FAO having spent 6 days on the Algarve recuperating from Eurovision weekend in Lisbon. It’ll be interesting to see if the lounge situation has improved.

    Short answer. No, it is still the same. I spent 7 hours there last Monday waiting for an EZ flight to LGW. The inbound, from NCE, took 6 hours to be de-iced at NCE.

    Next month a new lounge opens in FAO for non-Schengen flights, predominantly to the UK. BA are highly unlikely to ever have their own lounge at FAO. The longe is shared and offered by most airlines as a paid entry, or Priority Pass.

    Security clearance time has improved at FAO as there are now a bank of machines which only require liquids to be removed. These are the bank to the right so ask for those.

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