British Airways ITBack to Forum
No. it’s a different one – a Brit – the other was French.
If you knew who I was and what I do, you would understand why I have a very large international network of colleagues and they do tend to send me messages about things like this, as they know I advised BA for nearly a year at one stage and (for some strange reason) think I am an evangelist for the company.
Of course, this may not be true, but then again, I could be a moggy in Manchester
PS, just looked at a booking in June and I’ve been ejected from the exit row to the row after. No email to let me know. Sweet.13 Apr 2016
Now see, that was hilarious! Good to see you can see the lighter side as well. As I lose my Gold at the end of the year, it sounds like I’m in for a rough ride when I’m silver!13 Apr 2016
It’s disappointing to see a thread which was highlighting the on going problems of BA IT closed.
There has been a long history in this forum of pro-BA posters starting an argument in threads that express negativity about BA in order to see them off while at the same time these posters advocate free speech, presumably as long as they agree with it.
This has happened again today where a poster who has been around for several years has once again successfully started an argument with the usual result.
Over the years I’ve read this board I have not seen a positive comment from this poster about anything and certainly nothing of a trip review about an airline they seem hell-bent on defending.
It’s a trait that has gone on a long time here and though the handle may have changed the behaviour is the same.
Perhaps for the benefit of those who fly BA the IT issues could continue to be highlighted here – but don’t respond to the argumentative posts – I think all regulars will know who I’m referring to.28 Apr 2016
Just to chime in about the specifics of the other thread. BA have now said internally –
– the situation where some customers were/are unable to select exit row seats arose from the introduction of variable prices for seating. The system is powered by Amadeus and the Amadeus system had to also be updated. Somehow this hasn’t gone to plan in the software link with the BA systems which has impacted on seat selection and BA is working with Amadeus to resolve it.
Not quite sure why this couldn’t have just been stated by BA from the outset.
Ill feeling also seems to be arising from some BA staff in the call centre notifying passengers calling in with problems that the benefit of silvers being able to choose exit row seats has now gone and this has happened to bring the policy in line with long haul (this is not correct).
Apart from this specific seat selection issue, BA being a total IT nightmare though, I totally disagree. Some airlines websites i’ve recently used to try and modify or alter my bookings have been horrific with some simply allowing you to ‘view’ your booking and thats it. Qatar Airways, MH, JAL. Whilst SK and QF are better their websites are still poor in terms of navigating through your booking and making alterations or selections. The apps are useless. And this is the same for many other airlines. Although ba.com definitely has it’s blips I think the level of control, options and functionality it offers from both the website and app version is generally ahead of the competition. I’m sure there are airlines that offer more out there and do it better. But IMHO there are a LOT worse. Ironically it seems the higher regarded the airline the worse their website are for managing bookings.
**My personal opinions only**28 Apr 2016
JohnHarper get over yourself – you sound like a conspiracy theorist. I am no BA defender and most certainly not a poster who is a reincarnation. Your relentless negatively and snipes are tiresome. Don’t judge my posts and I won’t judge yours.
Thank you rferguson for that excellent update.28 Apr 2016
As much as I agree the problem of securing exit row seats (which are a benefit of elite tiers in BAEC) is a problem to be discussed, in particular if it is a benefit being removed by BA, or an IT glitch, BT was right to close that thread as it became a tit-for-tat argument for two posters and there was never anything new, just a longing to continually bash BA on one side, and on another side to bash the basher! Glad it is closed.28 Apr 2016
@rferguson – fully agree with you there.
The whole thing came about as BA was a) lacking in honesty and b) had no communication strategy for dealing with it.
After many weeks the BA lurker on FT finally came clean and gave a full explanation which when given was entirely understandable and it seems a solution has been found.
Ironically a FT member soon afterwards took to Twitter and was told by the Twitter team that the explanation given on FT could not be true as BA did not post on FT!!! Left hand, right hand and all that.
If BA had a process of employing contact staff who actually listened to customers instead of fobbing them off with a standard letter or the first half baked thing to enter their head then half the problems wouldn’t arise. Penny-wise, pound-foolish I believe the saying is.28 Apr 2016
SimonS1 – i’ve been with BA for over twenty years. I’ve seen senior level managers come and go. They all come to BA with the same ideas – to get departments to talk to each other. To rectify problems quicker. To make decisions quicker. To implement change quicker. For people to take accountability. They’ve come from other customer focused companies – Jumeriah Hotels for example or John Lewis. They usually last in the job a year or two before they realise they have hit a brick wall and really are up against a lumbering beast.
Some things have changed for the better – slowly. But still – as you put it – the left hand does not know what the right hand is doing. People and departments are not taking ownership or accountability for things. And implementing change just takes far too long. Too many customers have been p**sed off royally about an issue before those that have the authority to step in and make a contingency are even aware of it.
Taking my ’employee’ hat off though I still think BA is a good airline. It definitely has it’s faults. It is definitely far from the premier league. I’ve said in many threads where I think they are poor – Club World seating. The general state of the interiors of many of their aircraft (although this is at least being addressed). But when I fly them I feel safe. I feel the hard product is consistent (although average). And in my experiences as a paying customer i’ve found BA more flexible than many others I have used.
The new CEO has said he wants BA to be back ‘at the top’ and ‘innovating’. Tbh talk is cheap and i’ve heard these words so so many times. It’s difficult to quite understand how he intends to do this when in the next breath he talks about reducing costs. But hey….
There is an online tool we have available to staff called ‘operational dashboard’. It allows us to look at every single flight of the day and how it is performing. Scrolling down the list you see it predominantly listing flights to North America. Eight flights to JFK today – every one with load factors in the high 90%. Every other flight to a north american city through out the day with a load factor of over 80%. Obviously this does not necessarily reflect the yield – but this is the kind of ‘information’ the leadership team are obsessed by. The money coming in and the money going out.
I really do hope that BA get to grips with some of the areas where it really is falling short and at times feels like it takes it’s customers for granted in what it promises versus what it offers. As a gentleman said to me in Club World on my flight the other day ‘CLUB? There is nothing ‘Club like’ about it at all. It is soulless and clinical’. I could not help but smile demurely and nod. I have a vested interest in BA being successful – obviously. I probably have another twenty years service ahead of me and I want to be employed by a strong performing company (which financially it is). But I do fear what will happen if they stand still for much longer in terms of the product.
By the same token threads such as ‘BA are a third world airline’ I just find completely unreasonable and tiresome. Especially when the justifications are stupid and ill informed things like ‘any airline that serves biscuits in first class wrapped in cellophane deserves third world status’. Errrm biscuits are never served in cellophane in First. And ‘Any airline that thinks 31″ seat pitch in european business is acceptable is a third world airline’. So firstly – Why is there no ‘Lufthansa is a third world airline’ thread? They offer the same pitch in european J. The information is all out there – buy the product you want to pay for. Would I pay for Club Europe? Not a chance! All the benefits I find of any value (fast track/lounges) I get anyway with FF status. Would I if I was travelling to Rome on an anniversary and have no status for £500 one way? No! What about if I was offered an upgrade for £89 and have no FF status? Well if it gives me premium check in, Fast Track and lounge access I very well may.
Anyway apologies I realise i’ve got WAYYYY off thread.
**My personal opinions only**28 Apr 2016
R-Ferguson, very well put. I am likely known as one of the BA defenders, and have no issue with it. I think on the whole it is a good airline, and like any large complex organisation has its challenges, failures and likely a few in the company who do not like change. The Rail industry is simpler, but no less problematic when it comes to getting staff to embrace change.
I think the reason BA gets a stronger response on here than any other airline is geographic. Most posters on here are I think based or have been based in the UK and are thus more likely to use BA than any other carrier. I imagine German forums talk about LH and French ones AF, and no doubt there are a wide range of views on those.
I am regular on BA/IB and am an IAG shareholder. I invested because love or loath him I have confidence that WW runs a tight ship and adds considerable value to the IAG brand. I do not agree for a variety of reasons everything he does, and IT is a great example. Interesting that your experience of other airlines is not always good, and that BA are perhaps not the best, but by no means the worst either.28 Apr 2016
RFerguson, yoiu wrote ‘By the same token threads such as ‘BA are a third world airline’ I just find completely unreasonable and tiresome’.
With all due respect, that thread was started by me, to illustrate the ludicrous nature of that claim and, if you read the first post, you will find that I said very clearly that I did not agree with that statement.
I think the subsequent comments were in the region of 1 for and 25 against the statement, so that thread supported BA very strongly.28 Apr 2016
rferguson, when I see a viewpoint as well articulated as yours it makes me think a) how many other BA staff can also provide balanced insight and b) does the leadership actually seek you out and engage with you and likeminded colleagues to get much needed insight. On two recent long haul flights both CSD’s who were long time employees lamented the change they had seen from being a pioneering and innovative airline to one driven by numbers.28 Apr 2016
“Apart from this specific seat selection issue, BA being a total IT nightmare though, I totally disagree.”
Can’t agree with you, on that; a week or two ago, Tim Fitzgerald posted a list of fairly serious IT problems that he’s encountered recently.
The website may be fine, when it works, but it is too unreliable.28 Apr 2016