Inexperienced crew on BA – not a warm fuzzy feelingBack to Forum
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at 15:02 by FDOS.
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As those of you who know will be aware, I used to travel to the Middle East quite regularly. but Covid stopped that dead in its tracks.
The business is just starting to pick up again, so group numbers (and margins) are tight and for the first time in years, I used BA in economy. Interestingly enough, the client (who bought the ticket) said BA was £630 and Qatar £1059 for the same route, even though BA was a direct flight, which one would expect to command a premium.
Economy is what it is and I’ll make no further comment about the product, apart from sharing what happened on the return flight – to set the scene, I was in a bulkhead aisle seat, where there is a slight dogleg in the aisle, as the 2-3-2 premium eco seats transform to 3-4-3 on the 777. This meant that the bulkhead stopped short of my seat space and there was a curtain between the classes.
Imagine my surprise when a female cc member pushed a trolley through the curtain and hit my left leg! I received a half hearted apology, almost as it it was my fault that my legs were in the way (of course, the idea should be that one pushes the trolley around the dogleg, not straight ahead! Two further near misses happened, with the seat stopping the trolley, when it hit it – I became quite careful to keep out of the line of attack, when the crew were in service mode.
The woman, frankly, seemed a little dim and certainly did not learn quickly from experience. I also saw the team leader in economy demonstrating to another, how to work the drop down extension that is locked up underneath the blanket bin in the overhead and the recipient of the training took a while to get it.
I know that young crew can excel, having seen a very young Ryanair crew react impeccably to a serious illness on board a flight I was on, but must admit to beginning to wonder how these particular cabin crew members would have fared under similar circumstances – having had a few hours to contemplate this, on balance, I do not feel that the displayed gaucheness makes me to confident in them reacting well – if they have not been trained well enough to avoid collisions with pax when in command of a trolley and were not aware of how to stow a simple fold down flap, how would they react to a real emergency?
Adult education is my business and I am very well aware that the purpose of training is to create the knowledge, skills and motor responses to recognise a set of inputs and react accordingly, e.g. coming to the curtain where the aisle doglegs, take care going through the curtain.
I won’t say I was fightened, that would be overstating matters by several orders of magnitude, however I did feel a slight sense of cognitive dissonance for the rest of the flight.
FDOS….absolutely right. Totally agree with you.
I’ve flown several times with BA Euroflyer from and to LGW recently. It’s very noticeable how differently the new young IFMs at Euroflyer demonstrate their lack of experience and confidence. They really don’t have a clue in BA service standards. I have written to BA but needless to say it’s useless response, or nothing.
I flew from LGW yesterday and as usual the LGW aircraft was devoid of usb sockets…the lovely crew member reminded me that “at LGW we are the poor relation”. They are of course, with the fleet of very old E-Bay A320s that BA procured for £1 each!! Again on yesterdays flight the senior crew member, Mark, showed no interest in the passengers…we were definitely spoiling his day! Not the first time.
LHR BA crew outshine their LGW cousins…thank goodness…but that’s not saying a lot!
When I joined BA many moons ago, I did comment on the speed at that the training was conducted. I was told that “we hired you because you have GCSEs, so you should be able to pick it up quickly”. This was 30 minutes around a 777. I was also told by the person at the time who wrote the course that “I have a serious problem with people who have been through the door 5 minutes criticising my course”—told to shut up!
Based on service standards, training and the age and upkeep of the aircraft, I avoid BA wherever possible.
“I have a serious problem with people who have been through the door 5 minutes criticising my course”
As an experienced instructional designer, that is exactly the audience you wish to give you feedback, as you check the effectiveness of your course – you didn’t write it for people who already knew the topic.
That statement strikes me as verging towards the arrogant and totally inappropriate from an educator.
To Fly. To Swerve.
That should be basic training.
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