BA's CE Pluses & MinusesBack to Forum
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Recently flew KEF-LHR in CE on BA on a A320. Surprising sight was extent of CE for that flight. 43 premium bums on seats, could barely see the curtain so far down the aisle. A similar AA A320 would have 12 seats in the equivalent with no chance for more. Of the 43 20 were in transit according to the flight crew, mainly to E. or S. Asia. While disliked, the flexibility of CE in terms of revenue generation and ability to keep on selling CE tickets/transit to real Business class options, is dramatically highlighted on a surprising route. KEF is no FRA, ZRH or CDG, but numbers speak and pay volumes.
On a different note I still struggle to see why BA do not offer the option to pre-select meals in CE. Of the 43 souls in CE, 13 ordered specials thus leaving 30 potential lunchtime punters. Three options on the menu card; lamb shank, gnocchi as vegetarian option, and smoked salmon. The three options were loaded for this leg (KEF-LHR) at 18-15-4 respectively. As a result 11 of the 30 did not get their first choice and the salmon option was only enjoyed as far back as 3A.
Forgive my ignorance but why give a choice if the likelihood of enjoying that choice are slim? Talking to the crew all salmon and gnocchi went, 9 lamb shanks were left over. Had there been the option to pre-select would this not have meant that customers would have got what they liked, the crew would not have to go through the process of telling customers their preferred option was not available, and BA would not have wasted 9 meals. Flight crews would certainly be delighted, let alone the customers.
If a BA “lurker” exists on this website (aka BA employee monitoring feedback) perhaps they could send this up the BA foodchain….30 Jun 2019
The three options were loaded for this leg (KEF-LHR) at 18-15-4 respectively.
I might be a ignorant of the Icelandic diet , but playing the stereotype card I’d have thought that fish would have been at least as popular as the red meat dish.
Sounds like poor profiling management by BA’s caterers. Would hate to see what they load on the flights to Tel Aviv and Jeddah : )
1 user thanked author for this post.1 Jul 2019
Have a look at https://www.telegraph.co.uk/health-fitness/nutrition/diet/eat-like-icelander-healthy-alternative-mediterranean-diet/ – seafood yes but also lamb so maybe BA were not as dumb as you would like to think?1 Jul 2019
I would be interested to know if CC give feedback to BA catering about what the actual requests were, so that they can compile statistics of passenger first choice by route and day, and the ability to fulfil those requests. This could lead to less wastage, and also to happier passengers. It would certainly help if there was the ability to pre-order meals in CE.
I must also say that CC normally ask BAEC Gold cards what their choice is, before the general service.1 Jul 2019
Unsurprisingly cod is the staple Icelandic food, but as a result some adult Icelanders refuse to eat it, having been fed industrial quantities as children. The Icelandic lamb is quite superb as the sheep roam free for the summer months but, sadly, like much else in Iceland, the resultant meat is very expensive. Less savoury food types (rotten shark in particular) tends to be only eaten in February at the Thorrablot dinner (similar to Burns Night in Scotland). For a hilarious oversight of this watch Tony Bourdain on Iceland, with hakarl (the decomposing shark meat) rivalling only Namibian warthog rectum as a challenger for the most disgusting thing Tony B. ever ate!
Back to BA catering options, the lamb shank on the ex-KEF flight was Welsh and the salmon was farmed on Loch Fyne (supposedly), all part of the “showcasing the best of the British Isles”. Interesting that the food options include Ireland. Welsh lamb does not compare to its Icelandic counterpart and Icelanders would not rush to eat it. But I am still baffled as to why the ability to pre-select meals is not an option, especially with both legs being catered from Heathrow (at least on the LHR-KEF flights). Is it not both cost-saving and an easy way to enhance customer experience in CE?1 Jul 2019
What were the pluses?
I got the meal I wanted sitting at the front (at least BAEC Gold members do ok) and BA made tons of cash from selling 43 CE tickets on an A320. Also an interesting exercise talking to the CC and getting all the stats. They would love to see pre-flight ordering and gave me a bottle of champagne for pushing a cause dear to their hearts.1 Jul 2019
I would be interested to know if CC give feedback to BA catering about what the actual requests were, so that they can compile statistics of passenger first choice by route and day, and the ability to fulfil those requests. This could lead to less wastage, and also to happier passengers.
I asked the CC on the flight exactly that question about feedback. Their response was that it appeared to have little effect, with shocking levels of food going to waste on some SH flights.1 Jul 2019
I would have thought that a pre-order facility would save BA a shed load of wasted food, time and cash plus improve their customer satisfaction rating. But that might involve BA in finally getting the IT upgraded to the modern world. Possibly a tall order when their iPhone app repeatedly fails to reflect/incorporate existing bookings – even though the issue has been known about for months.
Beyond that, as we are now having regularly to commute to the Netherlands, Snr Management and I rather like the offerings onboard the late morning-early afternoon LCY-RTM-LCY services when we are frequently the only two up front and it’s a bit of a gulp to manage lunch and a drink during a 25 minute window between ascent and descent. But, as pointed out elsewhere, the onboard offerings out of LCY need to be better owing to the lack of a lounge (at either end in this case).2 Jul 2019
What were the pluses?
I got the meal I wanted sitting at the front (at least BAEC Gold members do ok) and BA made tons of cash from selling 43 CE tickets on an A320. Also an interesting exercise talking to the CC and getting all the stats. They would love to see pre-flight ordering and gave me a bottle of champagne for pushing a cause dear to their hearts.
I wonder about the tons of money. I saw in the recent promotion BA were knocking out lots of CE seats in the £220-£250 return range. Cheap.2 Jul 2019
For me being in a smaller cabin, generally with OK service, while the space is not terrific, row 1 is fine. The catering tends to be hit and miss, but it’s nice being able to access drinks promptly and without restrictions.
Though I really like the Qantas domestic business cabin, depending on the aircraft cabin it’s limited to 12 seats which are quite nice for short flights. Service tends to be friendly and attentive, making an overall good experience, sometimes with IFE.3 Jul 2019
No doubt TelAviv would have many kosher & vegetarian options, and whilst you mention Jeddah, no doubt many destinations through out the Muslim world would have many Halal requests.3 Jul 2019
No doubt TelAviv would have many kosher & vegetarian options, and whilst you mention Jeddah, no doubt many destinations through out the Muslim world would have many Halal requests.
Not necessarily Bullfrog, in relation to TLV.
I pre-order Kosher on my frequent trips to TLV and usually am ok. However, on one recent trip I received an apology from the onboard personnel – they had accidentally dropped my main course on the floor and do not carry additional meals as spares. They also did not carry any spare veggie meals to offer me. However, they then returned with the captain’s veggie meal – he said he was not hungry and so they gave it to me !
They told me that they were frequently asked for a Kosher or veggie meal on that route by passengers who had not pre-booked one, but they cannot assist as no extras are carried. I know (from talking to friends) that El Al pick up many frequent flyers because last minute travellers know they will always get a Kosher meal.4 Jul 2019