Shabby old 747’s

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This topic contains 14 replies, has 11 voices, and was last updated by  maxgeorge 13 Jun 2014
at 19:17

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  • Anonymous


    Completed several sectors recently, all featuring tired & shabby 747’s
    LHR to ORD return x 3
    LHR to JFK return
    LHR to MIA return

    The latest, arrived LHR yesterday (9th June), seated in ETplus was bloody awful. Dirty seat, tray table that formed a V shape when opened & almost impossible to use. Sound quality on IFE was shot to pieces – flight full so couldn’t move – attendant suggested to me “it’s due for a refit”

    Honestly not much better in CW although obviously, the seating is much better standard, those seated on the inside have to step over sleeping passengers every time they want to move and the cabin crew have to pass drinks throught the privacy divider whilst leaning right across you at the same time…..

    The Dreamliner route with BA to EWR is very new and so, much better despite my fears of flying this particular aircraft at this time.

    My next trip on 19th June is LHR to MIA seated in CW – I hope the 747 is in better condition than the last one


    Without wishing to be rude, it does raise the question of why you keep flying BA. If people are willing to pay for a shabby service companies will continue to deliver it. On the routes you mention, there are plenty of alternatives, best to vote with your feet.


    @ seasonedtraveller – 10/06/2014 12:56 GMT

    But you will, no doubt, be delighted to learn that BA genuinely has an interiors manager who can be relied upon to run her fingers along the table edges of …erm, entirely new aircraft that ought to be 100% perfect, having arrived fresh off the production line.

    Other than puffing BA’s new fleet additions (entirely understandable) in the BBC’s current infotainment on the airline, one wonders whether she would not be better employed addressing some of the issues across the (ahem) rather “less new” fleet…


    Indeed Harry. Vote with your feet. If you are unhappy with the quality then surely the answer is to choose another carrier.


    Simple age of the aircraft is no excuse – BA seem to be unwilling to do deep cleans and anything much in the way of interior refurbishment of the747 fleet. The non-refurbished long haul 767s are even worse. It will be years before the747s are gone and there really needs to be a project of refurbishment. Even something as minor as upgrading the quality of headphones would have a positive impact on IFE experience. It seems as though BA have no plans for the 747 fleet other than running them into the ground before their final replacement.


    Tirana1 + 1

    Not keeping their aircraft in good condition is simply poor, unprofessional, lazy and uncompetitive.

    Compare BA with Lufthansa. A few years ago a colleague flew LHR-FRA and back on an A300-600. He told me that the aircraft seemed “brand new”, yet a few weeks later the whole fleet was retired.

    The LH A300 had been excellently maintained until its last days and my colleague had been on a few BA 747s at the same time.

    Seasonedtraveller on the ORD route you have United, American (maybe with their new 777-300ERs) and in the summer, Virgin. Miami the same options minus United, and New York you also have Delta. You do have a choice and it seems you main service provider as hoped you had forgotten that you do have one, in fact a few.


    Totally agree Tirana.

    One just has to step on one of Qantas’ 747-400’s to see how an ‘old’ aircraft can appear internally.


    I recently flew a Virgin Atlantic 747 in PE. The toilets were not in great condition but the seats and IFE felt brand new and much better than the my recent BA WT+ experiences.


    If I remember correctly there’s a famous business case study that quotes Jan Carlson ,who took over at a failing SAS many a year ago. It involved him declaring to his workforce that they needed to change their ways.

    This was after he opened a seat back table top and found that it still had the remnants of many a left over meal ,including a piece of very limp lettuce. His view point was basically this,how many passengers had seen the limp lettuce attached to the table and wondered to themselves ” if they can’t be bothered to do a simple thing like maintain the cleanliness of their cabin I wonder how much attention they pay to their engine’s”

    So I wonder if BAs management team realize that one shabby Boeing will undo all the great publicity of new services to Chengdu or sparkly 380’s to Tinseltown.


    Absolutely right canucklad, I had the pleasure of doing business with Jan Carlson back in the 80’s. A brilliant man manager who empowered his staff to make sure the customers expectations were exceeded. Domestic, European, Intercontinental…..made no difference, new plane / old plane, no difference, it had to be right, and it was. SAS are not where they once were, but for me along with BCal were the way to fly back then.



    Don’t worry – Not rude at all.

    Simply a matter of logistics for me for several reasons, not least, it’s far easier for me to fly out of LBA (with BA) & connect via LHR



    Perhaps its possible to fly American for the transatlantic sectors in connection with your LBA flight. From my experience, the quality of AA aircraft has improved significantly recently


    SparksFlyer & HarryMonk

    Thanks for the ‘heads up’ although, of course, I am aware of the competition and do in fact, use them.
    Same as I responded to HarryMonk, it’s the logisics which make it better for me to use BA on certain routes.

    In addition to this, when my annual travel budget is starting to get a little top heavy, BA offer the cheaper option of ‘Premium Economy’ whereas AA and United do not.


    Seasoned – well said.

    Allow me to suggest AA for transatlantic flights. Admittedly the Admiral’s Clubs are a bit sparse with the tucker ( their Flagship Lounges are great, if you qualify ), but the aircraft are trim, Flagship seats on F superb, 180 flats in J, and the cabin crew reliably helpful and friendly.

    Note that their LAX arrivals are still being bussed over to the Bradley terminal, but ICE facilities will eventually be reopened in AA’s terminal, a big advantage.

    BAEC Gold and Silver will get you upgraded drink vouchers for Admirals lounges, which are rarely crowded.

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