Outstanding BA Club World ServiceBack to Forum
Anonymous7 Jan 2011
My faith has been restored in BA after outstanding service on my return Club World flight from LAX.
The check in was excellent with no queues and the lady at the check in desk was very friendly and chatted for about 15 minutes about the UK and the weather and where I would recommend in London (I was a few hours early for the flight and so was not in a rush). It made such a change from the T5 robots, although they have to deal with far more people.
I quite enjoy the LAX one world lounge where I gave in to an excellent lobster bisque soup and some steak and green beans (despite knowing dinner would be served on board soon). The lounge is very efficient and seems to be run by qantas.
The service on board was impecabble. I was shown to my seat upstairs (62k) after a nice welcome from the CSD,I was then promptly offered the usual pre take off selection, and offered an additional glass of champagne. The food orders were taken pre take off with preference to frequent travellers.
A few drinks services were quickly offered and the food was served very efficiently and regularly checking everything was ok and if any top ups were required. The service was very friendly.
Whilst I prefer the upper deck, the lower deck was quite quiet and I asked the CSD if I could sleep in two of the middle club world seats to stretch out and she said that was not a problem and that she would make other crew aware in case they thought I was trying to occupy the seat from a different class as apparently people try to do so at times. I then returned to the upper deck for breakfast. When I was awake, the crew seemed to be frequently walking through checking everything was ok. Additionally, the CSD in particular stopped WTP passengers from walking through the club cabin.
The flight was in direct contrast to my outbound one to Las Vegas and like two different airlines (apart from the seat). The crew were outstanding, friendly and nothing was too much trouble. It certainly reminded me why I choose to fly BA with their excellent club world seat, lounges and mostly outstanding crew. I actually think that the introduction of mixed fleet on other routes has forced the original crew to “up their game” to prove that they are better as this was one of the best crew I had throughout.
As a side point, I did use the arrivals lounge and the lady at the desk was very friendly and asked how my flight was, although the food offerings were extremely limited at 1230 (no breakfast items), although the main reason for entering was for a shower and to access the internet.
Overall a great offering from BA which prompted me to book several more club world flights for easter and summer. BA will remain my preferred choice, although I will avoid the mixed fleet routes until they have more experience as the service just does not compare.7 Jan 2011
I am pleased you had a good flight back.
Sounds as if you had a top team there, we had four in NCW on 31/12-1/1 who were also very similar in approach, although the CSD didn’t speak to me at all (I’m not that bothered, the service is what makes the flight.)
I’ve had the same experience as you in the arrivals lounge, after a middle eastern flight – they do not manage food expectations very well, as they stop the hot food at about 1130 or 1200, to start winding down.7 Jan 2011
They do clear away the buffet, but you can still request a hot breakfast from the staff right until just prior to closing at 2pm.7 Jan 2011
I recently experienced quite the opposite on a return CW flight to BOM. Outbound, flight was full, nice service, lovely chatty crew like u had… the return however was absolutely disgusting!! Only 8 club passengers on a 777 and i have never encountered such a rude, disinterested crew in my life. The food, as it alwyas seems to be out of india was not even suitable for my pet dog… next time out of india might go back to Jet Airways….8 Jan 2011
I have only ever travelled long haul on North America routes and on the whole always received good service. I do tend to go on routes with a 747 and I do seem to get better service than on the 777’s, although I tend to go on the upper deck. I have always found the food to be adequate, though tend to eat in the lounge beforehand (certainly ex LHR). I guess on any airline there is the chance of bad crew as a few years back I had this on a Denver flight where the crew had little interest, but I think this is the exception.8 Jan 2011
Nice to see some happy folk.
Have to say, working on the upper deck , it is much easier to give a smooth attentive service. Since the well debated removal of a crew member that led to all the internal troubles, the main Club cabin crew have to work with one less, on both 747 and 777, meaning one crew member has to run the galley and work in the cabin, running back and forth to check ovens, restock, prepare for the next part of the service etc. The CSD (chief crew member) is now ‘hands-on’ in the Club cabin but they still have to deal with their own duties, namely sorting out the IFE that continues to cause headaches on the majority of flights. This can mean the service doesn’t flow as well.
Note, due to the removal of another crewmember the year before, the Economy cabin can’t spare a crewmember as they are working on minimum too.
Some travellers may see disinterested crew right now as morale is at absolute rock bottom. Even though it is not the fault of the customers, it is extremely tough for us to do our best when our own company has such little respect for the job we do. It’s a long, touchy subject. Too complicated to go in to here.
I hope when things eventually are settled the cabin crew will all be back to their best.13 Jan 2011
I must agree with BATraveller 2, first post above, regarding BA’s ground staff at LAX.
I routinely book on 282, and everything from check-in to lounge service is operated with an efficiency and friendliness that seems sadly lacking at LHR. One BA agent supervisor, an English expat who has been at LAX for many years, is exemplary in his professionalism.
Agreed, the new lounge is a pleasant and normally uncrowded oasis, but I rather preferred the old one, which was run by Cathay Pacific. Nowadays, it’s a joint oneworld venture, I think – though AA operates out of its own terminal round the corner from Bradley.
In flight service, especially on the Upper Deck, is usually as good as it gets, though I have come across a couple of dragons. The only time I’ve had disappointing service on 282 or 269 was, sad to say, when I’ve used miles to upgrade to First.
Maybe I should try the New First..
If, however, I had to endure some of the stress that Cabin Crew routinely undergo, I’d probably have to be restrained from emulating that JetBlue flight attendant who expressed his feelings so spectacularily a few months back.
Great news about hot brekkers on request at T5 arrivals lounge. 282 usually gets me there right at 12h30, when the bangers are whisked away to reappear, one assumes, as the Deal of the Day at Burger King.16 Jan 2011
maxmcgeorge – glad you have shared the same experience at LAX – its sounds as if maybe you have had the same expat BA agent as me as the attitude was outstanding.
I flew out to Las Vegas in mid December. After mixed fleet get more experience it may get better but will never be the same as the usual outstanding service of club world on LAX routes etc..16 Jan 2011
I don’t see any reason whatsoever that Mixed Fleet will not become at least as good as the service delivered by regular cabin crew.
The LAS experience referred to was within two weeks of the commencement of longhaul operations by this group of crew (so would have been the very first time delivering Club World Service for most MF crew); while I am not happy that BA is exposing its best customers to a “training on the job” scenario, which is plain wrong, many Mixed Fleet crew have many years experience either at BA or other airlines, and in the long run will be able to deliver service innovations previously blocked by BASSA.
I am a huge fan of existing BA cabin crew; their professionalism, personality and good humour are the reason I fly BA more than the available alternatives, to the tune of tens of thousands of pounds per annum. But they are not the only reason, and I do exercise choice as evidenced by my Star Alliance Gold card.
Sometimes BA service is not as good as it could be; proper control of service protocols by BA management rather than BASSA, and proper performance management will improve the customer facing experience in the long term, and free up investment to address those niggles in the soft and hard product which have existed for too long.
Hot towel, anyone?16 Jan 2011