Evidence of Cost Cutting – fact or fiction?

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This topic contains 9 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  Binman62 1 Dec 2009
at 08:24

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  • Anonymous


    Was reading this interesting article yesterday returning from China on BA….

    Essentially, the author suggests that the most demanding customers are middle management who see anything less than perfect service as being evidence of either cost cutting or crew ‘sabotage’ as a precursor to formal industrial action.

    “And yet “middle managers in club class”, according to crew, are the ones complaining most, even going so far as to suggest, when a napkin was not picked up quickly enough, that it constituted a form of wilful “dirty protest”. “

    You can read the full article at:

    Given some of the comments recently, I was expecting the worse from my Club World experience – but I wasn’t aware of food or wine running out – far from it in fact. 2 full services of hot food. It was an excellent flight with excellent staff.

    As he goes on to say…” It’s the great irony of air travel that the posher the seats are, the nicer the crew but the more horrid the passengers. Just hours ago, heading for my economy seat through the club cabin, I noticed how the club customers — about to enjoy a lovely pampered few hours — were the ones who simply wouldn’t move to let one by without a huge tut and grumble. They have a sense of themselves as highly important individuals doing highly important things, and no sense of themselves as members of a wider community. No wonder they’re the ones who complain. They have the fat, indolent sense of entitlement of aristocrats in pre-Revolutionary France. Off with their heads, I say.”

    I’d second that!

    Tom Otley

    It’s an interesting one, and every generalisation ends up being inaccurate to some degree, but from expereince, I’d agree with you.

    In the most recent flight check on BA I wrote

    “THE FLIGHT A word on the service on this flight. I thought the crew in the Club World cabin were excellent, because if you listen to how many passengers (predominantly middle-aged men) treat them it’s amazing they come out of the galley at all.

    Two examples: While the Flight attendant (FA) was pushing my boarding pass stub over the coat hanger so he’d be able to identify my jacket at the end of the trip, a passenger who’d just got on thrust his own jacket at him and accompanied the movement with a request for a newspaper.

    “I’ll be with you in a moment just as soon as I’ve finished attending to this passenger” was the smooth response.

    Or the passenger who assumed that Club World meant he could have all his luggage with him at all times including take off and then refused to put it into the overhead cabin, expecting the FA to do it for him.

    Since common courtesy isn’t going to be persuasive, look at it this way:
    Club World is expensive, but if you want to get value for money, the best way is to smile when asking for something and not treat the crew as if they have unaccountably forgotten they were born into servitude and need reminding of the fact.”



    Hi Everyone,

    I agree with both the posters to this thread so far. I do not claim to be the perfect passenger always smiling and in the best of moods. I do however always treat the cabin crew with respect and not as if they were my personal servants and in doing so have yet to have a bad experience as a result of the way that the crew behave towards me.

    For example, I almost never use the call button, unless I desperately need something when the seatbelt sign is on. If there is no crew member in the cabin when I need something, I prefer to go into the galley and politely request whatever it is that i need. This approach has never met with anything other than a positive response and a thank you from the crew member concerned for approaching them.

    As was said by a contributor in a previous thread, people will generally behave towards you in the way that you behave towards them.

    I would be interested to hear other contributors views on this topic.

    Safe travels,



    It appears that Club World’s passengers’ manners are inversely proportionate to their salaries!
    Shame the Club cabin tends to be full of nouveau-riche boys from the Estuary these days. A few years ago these were probably the same passengers drinking themselves into a stupor on long-haul flights to SE Asia.


    Doesn’t surprise me that BA have maintained a modicum of service on the Chinese routes as this is going to be a high-revenue earler for the airline in the coming years. Indeed, BA’s decision is a microcosm of what awaits the UK in general; we’ll be looking to the Chinese to buy our factories, send their students to our universities, and, of course, to buy our bonds.


    I am finding on routes to Asia, Australia that there are more premium cabin customers, paying for their own tickets, & NOT travelling on business.
    It certainly appears the loudest person on the phone in the lounge, the rudest on Board, are not [paying for their own tickets.

    However, Courtesy & manners are commonly taught, it is a question of whether your own attitudes & perceptions, you choose to behave & use them.
    Generally, the cultural behaviour on Board an Aircraft, is influenced by the culture of the National Airline & its values.
    EG KLM / Dutch are always very swift, practical, courteous, openly friendly, where-as the Asian Airlines, have a wonderful reputation of welcome & service, reflecting their home Countries.
    The US Airlines…well…
    BA? well they reflect many of the negative British Attitudes, so perhaps we all choose the Airline that reflects our style & attitudes best…!

    I choose KLM for the EU, & SQ, EY, for Long haul.

    The statements of cuts for BA are listed on BT here clearly, food luggage, extra charges,by Walsh, BT Articles & have been in all the National press, alongside the Profit deficits from IATA, The Pension liabilities etc from many Sources!
    This in addition to the BA customers that are leaving in droves!


    Agree, many premium customers, and in my view generally the ones who have their tickets paid for and arrive at airports on buses or 10 year old cars, are trully horrid. I think BA crew are generally terific but I have noticed a downgrading of the provision, most notably on short haul. The removal of food in economy was not a big deal if there was access to the lounge but around Europe lounge food has deteriorated in my experience. A recent upgrade to Club Europe still resulted in champagne and really good service, but the food quality was poor with what was effectively a small sandwhich served on a china plate. The cabins are looking tired on shorthaul and F on long haul is in dire need of change yet it is still a very long way off.


    The idea of airlines evolving to changing needs is interesting. I travel a lot on the BA domestic routes to Scotland where, until the recent cuts, you were given a small salad and dessert (after 5pm) in a sort of club presentation (glass bowl for salad etc) – but many pax – id say 50% – declined, and of the rest, few ate everything on the tray. Thats a lot of waste, and I dont believe this is a reflection of the quality of food provided at all – it was generally very good.

    In these changing times its right for an airline to be rigorous about what frills are valued, and what can be cut without massive impact. I’m glad the free G&Ts live on, but havent really missed the salad.

    On the other hand, for evening flights from Europe, partiualrly around 2 hours, it nice to get somethign to eat. But I guess that’s what Club is for. Even in Club though, at other times, why waste food through proving substantial meals at times when people arent likely to be hungy? A small snack is fine.

    Binman – I cant agree on tired cabins. The few remaining 737s & 757s aside, the A319s and A321s are only a couple of years old at most. As for First – Dire is a bit harsh?!I’ll look forward to the new seats and cabins of course, but I had a fantastic trip in First last week, and would defy anyone to suggest there was evidence of cost cutting.


    Have to agree with you that I have not experienced any decline in service in F but the cabins are looking very tired and the inflight entertainment is poor. BA often excel in this section of the aircraft, especially the crew, but the seat and the hard product are not a patch on the competition, especially CX and those operating the A380. SQ always had a better hard product in my view, but may have overdown it with the individual cabin. Friends tell me the club seat is very big but not very comfortable and in my experience their crew let them down with robotic service.

    My A319 to/from Germnay last weekend was pretty awful. Sitting in row behind the curtain revealed torn seats, worn leather and food stuffs in the mechanism of the seats directly in front. The toilets were awful with no drain in the sink. On shorthaul there has certainly been a serious decline in standards.

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