BA Gatwick to Fort Lauderdale – First seating fiasco.

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This topic contains 25 replies, has 13 voices, and was last updated by  MartynSinclair 13 Feb 2018
at 23:47
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Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 26 total)

  • Zinzan
    Participant

    Travelling on BA 2169 1/2/17 in club – I had noted from trip reports the slightly odd practice of not selling the First cabin on this flight – but occasionally opening it up to gold card holders – a nicer seat but same service. Having asked a couple of times prior to the flight I was assured that this was unlikely,due to low load Levels in club ( maybe 2/3 full).

    At the airport on dropping baggage I asked again and was told that despite the low load, the First cabin had been opened up and all seats were reassigned already. I thought I may have had a chance as a lifetime Gold card holder with a decent score ( staff are often open as to your level). Not so it seemed. Onboard however the cabin service director – seemingly not impressed that Gatwick ground services had opened up the First cabin when the club cabin was by no means full on this flight – showed me the seat allocation on her I pad. Some higher scoring Gold holders and family members yes – but in seat 3K a blue card holder travelling solo and elsewhere some dubious assignments- clearly it helps some to be a friend or family of the BA ground team at Gatwick or perhaps one of the cruise lines has cut a deal with BA?

    Shabby though and hardly endearing on top of a ride in BA club seat with antiquated IFE and generally tier two hard product. BA exec club don’t want to know , when quizzed on this practice- data protection and all that but for my money a spectacular own goal and just a really odd way to service this sector. It reminded me of,travelling in Asia many years ago when seating assignment was totally subject to change at the the airport due to patronage and staff travel.


    DerekVH
    Participant

    Given you have stated the flight date I suspect some poor CSM (no CSD’s on Gatwick fleet) is now likely to be hauled into a disciplinary by BA for divulging passenger details to you!


    FDOS_UK
    Participant

    Travelling on BA 2169 1/2/17 in club – I had noted from trip reports the slightly odd practice of not selling the First cabin on this flight – but occasionally opening it up to gold card holders – a nicer seat but same service. Having asked a couple of times prior to the flight I was assured that this was unlikely,due to low load Levels in club ( maybe 2/3 full).
    At the airport on dropping baggage I asked again and was told that despite the low load, the First cabin had been opened up and all seats were reassigned already. I thought I may have had a chance as a lifetime Gold card holder with a decent score ( staff are often open as to your level). Not so it seemed. Onboard however the cabin service director – seemingly not impressed that Gatwick ground services had opened up the First cabin when the club cabin was by no means full on this flight – showed me the seat allocation on her I pad. Some higher scoring Gold holders and family members yes – but in seat 3K a blue card holder travelling solo and elsewhere some dubious assignments- clearly it helps some to be a friend or family of the BA ground team at Gatwick or perhaps one of the cruise lines has cut a deal with BA?
    Shabby though and hardly endearing on top of a ride in BA club seat with antiquated IFE and generally tier two hard product. BA exec club don’t want to know , when quizzed on this practice- data protection and all that but for my money a spectacular own goal and just a really odd way to service this sector. It reminded me of,travelling in Asia many years ago when seating assignment was totally subject to change at the the airport due to patronage and staff travel.

    Sorry, what is your problem here?

    You paid for a club seat and got a club seat. If the airline chose to offer some passengers another seat, that is their business and it is neither a published nor unpublished benefit of having a higher tier in the Exec club.

    I agree that BA’s Gatwick fleet is geriatric, but the answer to this is to choose another airlinee.


    FDOS_UK
    Participant

    Given you have stated the flight date I suspect some poor CSM (no CSD’s on Gatwick fleet) is now likely to be hauled into a disciplinary by BA for divulging passenger details to you!

    Derek, she deserves to be (if she revealed any personal data). No ‘poor’ about it, when we give our personal data to BA we do not consent to release it to other passengers.


    DerekVH
    Participant

    Hi FDOS, sorry I did not think of that angle but you are probably correct!


    NNoah16
    Participant

    The same had happened to me. I knew there was a First cabin but no First product on sale so I enquired multiple times prior to the flight and was told it would be kept empty (I knew it was not correct).
    Even at check in, arriving early was told it would be kept empty as there were no staff to service it.
    When I was entering the aircraft I asked if I could sit there and was told it was full as it had been already assigned!

    I just wanted more space. Even as a higher tier Gold card holder, it did not make a difference. I would have flown AA business anytime over club.

    Hey ho. Lovely Gatwick..


    AlanOrton1
    Participant

    I experienced something very similar when flying FLL-LGW last last month in J, where the aircraft scheduled to operate the flight was a 4 cabin 777.

    The TC I use, who I think I number of posters also use, mentioned BA may open up the F cabin on this 3 class route nearer the time. I stored this to the back of my mind thinking it would be nice if it happened, however unlikely.

    At the time of booking there were no window seats left, which I think are the best option given you get a little privacy, versus none in any of the other J seats. So I took 12D, over the front row as its right by the galley.

    At online check in I noticed rows 1-4 had opened up, so I selected 2A. Splendid.

    However, on arrival at FLL, at the check in desk I was promptly given a boarding pass for 10D (front row by the galley). Having heard the pax in front of me querying the revised seat he was given, I suspected something was up. Sure enough it was, BA having decided to go back to seating J pax purely in the J cabin. Entirely their right to do so, as I was in a J ticketed seat, though annoying as having checked in and been able to select 2D, I was looking forward to a little more space / privacy.
    What I was little miffed about was now not having the seat I had originally selected. In querying this, the agent turned their computer screen around and said, look, there are no other aisle (or window) seats available. The supervisor was hovering, so I mentioned this was a little poor, and she tapped a few things into the computer, and lo and behold I was given a boarding pass for my original seat 12D.
    The F cabin was kept dark and empty for the flight.

    Having flown to EWR a few days earlier in WTP on a 789, all I can say is the AVOD is light years better than the pathetic offering in terms of screen size, picture quality and selection of programmes on the LGW 777.


    MartynSinclair
    Participant

    One of my last direct trips to BKK on a 777, I was pushed from my booked window seat to a mid section seat for no apparent reason at the gate. I was just told it could have been a change of aircraft and the flight was now full.

    Once on board I took a walk to where i had meant to have been seated and noticed 2 passengers with crew tags on their hand luggage getting comfortable.. I had also noticed them prior to boarding as being “hoverers” by the check in desk.

    I asked to speak to the red cap and the CSD privately and whilst they would not admit to some staff travellers arranging a seat swop – they did look suitably embarrassed and I was moved up to the empty F section.

    One of the best night flights ever, (when it was a night flight). The seats were mainly used for crew rest seats (there were a couple of other pax) but best of all, no one was opening and slamming shut the overheads, no elephants were walking up and down the aisles, no pinnging of call buttons, and generally the crew kept noise down to an absolute silence……. slept like a log.

    I think BA bring these issues upon themselves. I agree with FDoS that passengers generally get what they pay for, but never the less it is times when an airline has the opportunity to reward loyal passengers and they choose to miss the opportunity that doesn’t make sense…


    openfly
    Participant

    In the old days, when humans had an input, lots of changes could be sensibly made. But the work experience kid that designed the FLY software didn’t realise that a little customer service goes a long way. The whole of the checkin programme allows no personal input whatsoever. So seats changes are a difficult process.


    capetonianm
    Participant

    I’ve commented on another thread about upgrades and how different it was when I worked for an airline and humans had input and were allowed to make decisions. I also allowed my staff to make decisions, and on the odd occasion they’d come to me and ask what I thought, and I’d ask them what they thought was best, and 9 times out of 10 I’d agree with their decision.

    As openfly says, the people who designed the ALTEA software have no idea what the airline business is about and how it works in the real world, it’s nothing more than a programming project to them.


    DavidArnold
    Participant

    Having read the initial letter from Zinzan l must say that if you pay for Club World you should expect Club World. I normally travel First and Club and enjoy the service in the cabin l pay for and if booked in Club and receive an upgrade (never happened yet but would not make a song and dance if never received) l would be delighted. I have seen on many occasions passengers literally beg for upgrades when travelling Club and they are normally passengers who woild never pay for the cost of travel anyway. You see these self important types with Gold Cards quite often and my advice is relax, enjoy the ticket class that has been paid by your employer and enjoy the Lounge facilities provided. Chill!!!


    DerekVH
    Participant

    I have never quite understood why BA don’t sell an upgrade to First seating, with J class service, when operating a 4 class aircraft on a route which is normally 3 class?


    CHARLES
    Participant

    TRAVEL Gatwick-Tampa-Gatwick a few times a year and for the past few months have often seen a four class 777 operating the route. Selected CW passengers frequently moved to the front in order (I’ve told) to accommodate more J customers.

    Also told that the Gatwick based triple 7s are being fitted with updated economy seating and while they are out of service are more often than not replaced by a four class aircraft.


    SimonS1
    Participant

    Like others I’m struggling to see what the OP’s issue is.

    Paid for CW, got CW. I don’t see any fiasco there, just a bunch of sour grapes that someone else got to sit in the F seats.


    capetonianm
    Participant

    The problem is about creating an expectation and not delivering.

    If I pay business class I expect to travel business class, but if an airline employee led me to believe that I would be ‘upgraded’ and that did not come about, I would be disappointed.

    The moral is to exceed customer expectations, not to deliver short.

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