BA upgrading after boarding

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This topic contains 92 replies, has 42 voices, and was last updated by  globaltraveller 7 Oct 2009
at 15:09

Viewing 15 posts - 76 through 90 (of 93 total)

  • Expat_Consultant

    Martin Priestnall

    I believe that Airpocket is referring the case of Ayo Omotade, who was acquited of charges in a recent court case.

    If you google his name, you will find plenty of articles.

    I am not taking a side over the argument, just providing a reference for you, should you wish to read about the case and acquital.


    Yes and why was this gentlemen offloaded? Because he disrupted Passengers, the Aircraft and Crew onboard this flight as he was disagreeing with the deportation of another Passenger who was escorted by Security.
    BA has no say in carrying deportees they have to do so, so do other Airlines by order of their respective governments. He was not offloaded because he was Nigerian, any other Passenger regardless of origin, gender, sexuality bla bla bla would have been off loaded as well. When I travel I rather have disruptive Passengers offloaded before we go than having to watch a potential handcuffing etc, which I had the misfortune to witness, its not pretty and far more distressing than offloading a disruptive Passenger on the Ground before you fly off.
    I can only talk for BA, but with them its not the Check in Staff upgrading Passengers, they physically can not do it, what the story is with other Airlines I can’t comment….


    According to the article, he was acquited of the charges.

    Be very careful what you write.

    Still not taking sides, but aware of the libel laws of the UK.


    Can we also remember that it’s not just BA staff who can be brusque.

    Just flown Thai today, KUL-BKK in Economy. Legroom fine, 2-4-2 seating on a spotless A340, choice of two hot meals (food better than most short-haul Business Class flights in Europe). Anyway, the whole experience was wrecked by an incredibly stroppy cabin attendant.

    A guy who had diabetes asked to be moved to a bulkhead seat, which had more legroom (he’d arranged for this at check-in but it wasn’t delivered when he got on board). Although, shall we say, I’d have been a bit more polite, this seemed to really wind her up. She then treated everyone in her aisle (including myself and my family) as if we’d also offended her.

    The last straw was when she succeeded in accidentally tipping the meal tray leftovers over the guy over the aisle from me, because she snatched at the tray. She then said it was his fault. The couple behind me had asked for a vegetarian meal, and this was coded on their boarding pass. Her response was ‘There aren’t any left.’ No apology.

    In the end, I asked her, extremely politely, to remember that none of us had done anything to offend her (perhaps apart from boarding the plane in the first place), and that although I could see she’d had a hard time from one passenger, it wasn’t fair to take it out on the rest of us.

    To cut a long post short, this did no good at all, and we ended up complaining en bloc to the purser. He took her into the galley, presumably bollocked her, and then got her to apologise formally to all of us. NOT the way to do it, especially with an hour or so of flying time left. We certainly didn’t ask for more drinks……

    Point is, we’re giving BA a singularly hard time with this thread, but cabin crew and pax are all human beings (mostly), and as others have said, a smile and quiet, patient words can help defuse situations from both sides. Good manners should be exercised by all.

    Nothwithstanding this, the attendant today really was utterly out of order!


    Interesting Simon.TG, usually, are famous for their inflight service.
    Anyway, I think we need to point out that if a passenger is rude first then he can very well expect the attendants to get stroppy in return.However, what if the passenger is the very epitome of politeness and the crew are unprovokedly rude?Really no need for that, is there?I mean, why should a passenger have to be an emotional punch bag if the attendant got dumped earlier in the day or realised that she/he is in “negative equity”?Flying long haul is a stressful excercise at the best of times and there really is no need for the crew to show their attitude.I think the reason why people seem to be “picking on” BA here disproportionately is perhaps they have suffered rudeness at the hands of BA staff more than they have at the hands of other airlines.Personally, I think BA check-in staff at LHR have a bit of a problem.


    Cheers, Airpocket. I totally agree with you. Problem is, I tend to agree with most people’s views on this, to some extent or another. Probably the result of working for years with politicians of all parties and being utterly apolitical myself (which is why VK can PO me sometimes!). I should add, great politicians of all parties, and also ‘scrimshanking hounds’ of all parties, as my old English teacher would say.

    Anyway, back to the point. Passengers really can be a pain in the butt. I get so racked off at pax who take their seat belts off the moment they land, and then stand up the moment we’re “at” the stand, despite the fact that the light is still on and the bridge isn’t attached yet.

    I nearly lost it at Kuching a few days ago on MAS when a guy did precisely this, started getting his (massive) carry-on bag from the overhead locker, the plane then moved forward a few metres to align with the airbridge, juddered badly, and he dropped the bag, missing my nine-year old son’s head by a few centimetres. He was then oblivious to why I should want to put his lights out (which, shamefully, I must admit I nearly did).

    It’s both sides, Airpocket, as you suggest. The problem is that we, as pax, have a public forum to criticise cabin crew. I don’t think they have the same right of reply. Equally, we shouldn’t put up with unsolicited stroppiness either.

    I was interested in your comment about LHR check-in staff. I’ve not experienced that myself, being fortunate to tend to use BHX, but I defer to your experience. I would say that at BHX the SK and LH ground staff know me by name and treat me extremely well. Perhaps it’s because I don’t overreact when there are delays (I only overreact to idiots nearly damaging my son!) or other unavoidable operational issues. Again, a smile works wonders (and no, I’m far from perfect, before you say owt, VK!). Don’t know about upgrades at BHX as I always fly in J (I own the company) but I understand that there the ground staff have a fair bit of influence, from what they’ve said, although I also understand that the current economic climate has reduced upgrades on LH and SK from BHX. I also understand that they will not upgrade if they have not already got enough Business Class meals on board, which means that it tends not to happen unless a J-class pax is a no-show.

    There we are, I knew I’d get back to the original topic of this thread at last!

    Regards and a happy Bank Holiday to all, Simon


    Just another couple of thoughts.

    Are we ‘picking on’ BA because they’re our ‘national carrier’ and therefore ‘we’ tend to use them most (unless we’ve actively boycotted them,like some postees)?

    The upgrade issue does work both ways too. HEL-BKK a couple of weeks ago in J on AY. An hour before the flight, there were few in Business Class. Suddenly, the cabin was filled with upgrades. These were the sort of people who had their iPods on (audibly) or kept their reading lights on overnight (even when asleep!).

    I had a guy sitting next to me who boasted that he’d only paid €400 for his flight (I’d paid almost GBP 3 grand round trip and also used loads of AY points to upgrade my family). He then got utterly ratted on the gratis pop and spent the remainder of the night passing wind audibly and olefactorily, whilst snoring. Perhaps it’s the long summer days in Finland…..

    The plane was Finnair’s sole remaining MD11, with no personal IFE (we all had to borrow DVD players from the cabin crew) and no Airshow (which I personally love) – this has nothing to do with upgrades but is a general gripe! However, we also missed out on our preferred meal choices because upgraded pax were sitting in rows in front of us. Bluntly, we suffered because of upgrades – as I say, it works both ways, which is something some of you spoiled children out there may not be capable of fully grasping. Instead of you guys not getting something for nothing and winging about it, we paid for something we were promised and never received it, because of exactly those people getting something for nothing. As other postees have said, it works BOTH ways. Capice?

    The crew were great and tried their best to make a silk purse from a sow’s ear.

    The points – SFU can sometimes be a reasonable assessment; sometimes people who are upgraded can be a total pain and detract from the reason you chose that cabin in the first place; the cabin crew then bear the brunt although they didn’t make the decision; sometimes upgraded passengers expect more from the crew than those who actually bought the ticket and abuse things like an open bar (missing the whole point of travelling in J) and treat the crew like dirt, thus perhaps resulting in a form of prejudice from the crew against upgrades, based on their extensive experience of this sort of behaviour.

    At the end of the day, simply don’t upgrade at all, give passengers what they’ve paid for, everyone will be happy (and no-one will be disappointed), everyone is racially and ethnically happy (as per HBHLondon) and we won’t have bloody long threads like this!


    I rarely fly BA internationally these days, so imagine my surprise when a few years ago, I took my parents who were in their late seventies to see the fall in New England, their lifetime ambition, and it happened.

    I am 6ft4 and so try hard to get seats with legroom travelling transatlantic, hence my allegiance is to American Airlines. To maximise my chance of a seat with legroom, I checked in separately from my parents, so imagine my surprise when instead of giving me an exit row seats as requested, I was upgraded to business. I was too embarrased to tell them, so I just got quietly on the plane without mentioning my good fortune, and dreading the moment that my mother came looking for me, although I had decided to let her have the seat at that time if she wanted it. Anyway, I was even more dumfounded when on boarding she waved to me as she boarded saying dad and she had been upgraded to first class.

    I was only a blue member at that time and they had never flown BA before, so there was no logic to it all, but I was grateful to BA and wrote and thanked them upon my safe return home


    I had actually dismissed this thread.

    But in light of the continuing debate, I thought I should tell about my recent experience. Travelling OSL -LHR -LAX. I checked in at OSL, the flight to LHR was the night before, so I enjoyed a nice night at the Sofitel.

    Anyways, I was not in contact with BA staff until I got to the gate. When my boarding card were scanned, the reader dismissed it and the clerk turned around and picked another one, preprinted, with my name on it, saying First…

    I, standing there, in worn jeans, T shirt and what not but casual. Got an upgrade to first.

    This proves that race, clothing, bad looks or what else has nothing to do with a complimentary upgrade. But perhaps my Gold status. Which is fair enough.

    Obviously the flight from LHR to LAX was great, but so were also the rest of the trip. I particularly want to compliment the staff from OSL to LHR, they were in a great mood, playing jokes and having a good time. Of course excellent service. I for one get in a good mood myself when other are.

    I don’t understand why there are so many complaints, either I have been very fortunate with my experiences with BA or others have been very unfortunate (but then, exceptions prove the rule) or…

    I like BA, upgrades or not.


    Just goes to show you’re a lot luckier, when it comes to upgrades on BA, if you’re Caucasian.
    I don’t see any coloured or non-Caucasians coming forward with stories of upgrades on BA.One day perhaps.


    I am of mixed race and I have been upgraded and I’m certain I’ve never been treated poorly because of my perceived ethnic/racial make-up


    You can sometimes get something (an upgrade) for nothing, but it’s not that common.

    Recently travelling to the States on BA miles in J, my daughter and I were upgraded to F, but my wife and son – on a separate BA miles booking – were not, so the family were split. I’m the Silver card holder, the rest are Blue.

    I’m not complaining – I let my wife and daughter take the upgrade and I am still living off the brownie points earned, particularly as it was my birthday on the day of travel! Apparently, all the travellers in F were upgrades on that day.

    There is no God given right to an upgrade even when other members of the party have been upgraded. It’s nice when it happens, but I don’t think that the quality difference between J and F is worth paying the price difference to ensure we travel F.

    And the reason I choose BA over other airlines is that it does feel like coming home when boarding a BA plane. It’s the cabin crew who make the difference. Every airline has good and bad staff, but BA have far more of the genuine and good staff than other airlines.


    Gross generalization. I’ve done 5 round the world trips on OneWorld carriers per year for the last four years including BA, CX, QF, IB and LAN and my favorites are BA and CX, even though I’m Australian. I choose BA regularly over other carriers for the end to end completeness of their offer and their general reliability. Attitude I find to generally be good, if not the extreme of Asian service. SQ is good, but overrated, particularly when you see their ‘regional’ product which they fly SIN-Oz whilst all the other carriers fly their long haul J product.


    HI everyone!!

    I have been travelling around the world in premium cabins for quite a long periode of time now. And in all those years with the different kinds of premium status I onced hold and still hold. I have not experieced any non rev upgrading from my preferred airlines which I hold with premium status. I only experienced onced in all those flown flights —an unheralded upgrading to the next higher class at the gate. I was surprised and happy of course( I was once as QF FF Gold at that moment and it was in LHR T4 –flight to LHR-SYD) I hate to expect an upgrade from the side of the airline unheralded and wanting to get upgraded for such flights desperately and thinking with my status I will be getting it. As I want to plan my comfort for my flights I normally sacrifice my miles for a booked upgrade when flying C or Prem Y ticket.
    I often see other pax being struck by the upgrade fairy or just being bumped up due to overloading by considering their status holding. Generally those who are loyal to their airlines deserve to get such gratitude from time to time–why not?

    Regarding to the topic of this thread–I have not experienced yet that the cabin managers on board my flights will obviously upgrade someone or giving someone the outmost advantage on that flight above others. If such cabin crew do that obviously in full awareness of the other pax on board than I definitely believe this person or these persons do not belong in such positions. They should act professionally and giving( at least trying hard in the eyes of the pax ) their outmost best to comfort every pax’s needs on board. They are responsible for everyone on board !!
    Those airlines ( actually due to peronal experiences ) –mostly US airlines and their cabin crews/cockpit crews/employees tend to favourise their own family/friends etc.. for an upgrade. Personally I care less, if I do not know all the backgrounds. I am content with my seat and flight as long as I do not feel disadvantaged about it and definitely not obviuosly being treated badly or less comparing to other pax on board–than as an honest person (regardless of paid class or loyalty status) I definitely go to the responsible crew and tell him/her in diplomatic tone about the issue. Now it is his/her part to counterpoint my view. And now you will see–how professional those crews are and if they have done their homework in how to deal with these matters successfully!!


    I have been reading about this so called racism on BA, here’s a story for you, flight from cape town to london, man boards aircraft reaches his seat to find a black person is sat beside him,,,,causes merry hell, says no way am i sitting beside that! Crew resolve the situation and move the other person, come back to the complaining passenger who demands to be moved from economy to first to which the crew explain they have moved the other person to the last seat in first so he would have plenty of room. Stop playing the race card!

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