Somehow I have avoided mixed fleet flights up until today. I just arrived (well a few hours ago) in St. Petersburg off of BA 878. Flight was uneventful, bang on schedule, rather full, and the cabin crew I assume were mixed fleet. Why do I say this. 1) The Hats! I actually like the hats, reminds one of the more glamorous days of travel. 2) Average age of the crew was 24. 3) All female crew, all wearing more make up than what would be required for an entire horror film’s cast, including incredibly bright red lipstick, and horrible pink nail polish that was chipping on one young lady). 4) Service was confused. There was a choice of three items for breakfast, and as the FA set up each tray, on top of the cart were ten dishes, which she preceeded to pour the metal ‘plate’ into the plastic holding plate, making the item upsidedown and quite a mess. Once she realised this was wrong, by getting to my row (row 2), she did leave the aluminum dish in the plastic dish. She completely forgot the bread basket. A lady in 1F asked for a glass of champagne, and the answer she received was will sparkling wine be OK, it is a good one, and you wont notice the difference. When asked why she said this route didnt serve champagne. She then arrives with a split of Pommery, not even realising what Pommery is. 5) Landing cards were handed out along with currency declarations, with instructions that if you are carrying more than 3000 dollars you must declare this. The passenger in 1D asked if pounds counted to which she said actually it only applied to local currency. I then interrupted as I didnt want the man in 1D (his wife drinking the Pommery ‘sparkling wine’) to have any problems at customs and advised him that it was only necessary to declare amounts above 10, 000 euro or equivalent. The FA said no, she was told it was 3000, but then she came to me to assist others to fill in their landing cards as she didnt understand the questions. 6) Finally, and I am sorry to write this as I am not what one would call small, but has BA completely thrown out the weight in proportion to height rule? The amount of times I was bumped by two of the FA’s was incredible, and one FA in particular (the bright spark re: the Sparkling Wine, Bread, Visa, Customs) was so tight in her uniform I was worried I would get an imprint of a button that blows off her blouse of blazer.
All in all, the girls were friendly, and the flight did the most important things being getting me to LED on time safely. But the difference between mixed crew and legacy crew, especially on this flight, was very clear, and there was a severe lack of professionalisim with only one exception being the CSM. I do believe however that on a route that has high ticket prices, the least one can expect is that the crew actually are able to explain procedures accurately regarding entry requirements, and that service is professional.