Wear and tear

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This topic contains 9 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  VintageKrug 17 May 2009
at 13:19

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  • Anonymous


    When I flew from LHR to LAX with BA this week, I could not help notice once again the wear and tear on the aircraft. Some places parts have been glued, other places parts are missing, in general the good old 747 appears as just that, old.

    I realize that the interiors of an airplane is not important for its flying capability, however I have to admit that I think about wear and tear elsewhere too…

    Anyone know how old these 747s of BA is?


    According to http://www.airfleets.net, the average age of BA’s 747 fleet is 14.2 years. They were delivered between 1989 and 1999. The average age of the whole fleet including other types of plane is 11 years.
    In a way, the age of a plane is not so relevant because many parts would have been replaced at regular interval. I do not know how frequent they check the interior.


    BA is the largest operator of 747s in the world, with a fleet of 55, though two of these aircraft are in storage at Cardiff due to the economic downturn.

    I seem to recall some of the older 747s will be retired soon, replaced by a brand new sub fleet of 777ERs four of which will be coming on stream later this year (2009) with a further four options for delivery in 2010.

    Following that is a large investment in aircraft, including 12 A380s delivered from 2012 and 24 787 Dreamliners starting delivery in 2014.

    The Club World cabins have received a thorough interior refresh over the past two years, with the entire 777 and 747 fleet being completed by the end of May 2009.

    Given the plans to retire some of the aircraft in the near future, it would seem that some interior work has perhaps been let slip; certainly the First cabins are notoriously “sellotape and string”.

    What a shame you flew on one of the more tatty aircraft. Right now, BA is operating an older longhaul fleet, but does continue to invest in the onboard product (www.newclubworld.com) and has made changes such as the introduction of Video on Demand (AVOD) in all longhaul classes, and will be formally announcing a new improved First Cabin imminently.

    I would however have total confidence that interior fittings do not reflect the high standard of engineering and technical maintenance of which BA is justifiably proud.


    What a shame someone has to post about a shabby First Class cabin with any airline – one would think it would be the proud mascot of BA, the ultimate of the product line. Was it not BA who replaced the aisle carpets on Concorde with some alarming regularity – every fortnight or every month?
    My recent few First Class experiences on BA echo that of the original post – aircraft have been dirty (crumbs everywhere, old boarding passes left in seat pockets, greasy fingermarks on video screens). Compare that with flying on a Qantas 747, with an equally old product / aircraft, but with an immaculate interior that was welcoming and made you feel at home. Ditto Emirates, who had us on a plane so new I doubt anyone had sat in the seats to date. So with carriers like Qantas and Emirates, and now Etihad unveiling a stunning new First Class, where is the incentive to fly BA First? It seems to me BA management have turned BA First into a mileage / upgrade zone like the US carriers, not a true premium zone that it once was. Sad.


    I flying regularly on BA on short haul out of Gatwick. There has been a marked reduction in the cleanliness of the aircraft interior over the last two years. It’s not so much the wear and tear, as the dirt which has built up. Especially on the backs of seats and on the metal parts between seats. Dust and dried liquid stains etc which have obviously been their longer than the previous flight. This includes the business class at the front of the aircraft, and does not seem to be a problem specific to any one aircraft type. This has not been a one off incident, it happens so regularly that I am now surprised when the aircraft is clean.


    FT, I’m sure Vintage Krug is about to vehemently disagree with you and bombard you with minutiae, soap-box hectoring, and other tedious corporate marketing jargon about BA, no doubt lifted verbatim from HQ.


    Oh dear….I’m flying World Traveller Plus SIN-LHR-ATL (return). Any advise? Should I go for another airline? Want to try and stick to oneworld partners. Suggestions?


    M.M…it might be better to fly SIN-LON on SQ,CX (via HKG), MH (via KUL) and then pick up BA on the trans-Atlantic leg.CX are, of course, part of One World.That way, at least you aren’t over-exposed to BA.For what its worth, BA might still prove a better bet on the LON-ATL leg.You surely don’t want to fly DL, UA, AA, or any of the other US carriers!
    Hope that helps.


    M.Moose (does the M stand for Mighty?) I really don’t think you have anything to fear flying in a BA aircraft.

    Personally, I find the World Traveller Plus seat rather hard for my liking.

    The alternatives suggested – Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific and Malaysian – do not offer a Premium Economy cabin (except SQ on its A340-500).

    WT+ is ideal if you are a couple travelling together as you can have your own pair of seats near the window, rather than having to share the row with a third person, as would be the case in World Traveller/economy. WT+ also, uniquely on BA, has a stand alone seat near the emergency exit on the 747 – you can check http://www.seatplans.com to find out which one.

    Apart from the additional personal space, tier points and 125% of miles flown World Traveller Plus (WT+) now has Video on Demand (AVOD) aboard all 747 and most (90%) 777s. As the seats are simpler in design there is much less than can go wrong or become tatty or worn out.

    It would be madness to endure an extra flight via HKG on an already long journey; and keeping the whole ticket with BA is much the best plan to ensure smooth connections and ensure you miles get credited to your oneworld account, rather than running the risk of mixing carriers with non-protected connections and heightened baggage loss risk (note you cannot credit BA transatlantic flights to AAdvantage, the American Airlines scheme).

    Connections within T5 as your planned BA to BA itinerary should be fine.

    Note that WT+ does not get you access to BA’s superb lounges at T5 (unless you have oneworld status) but head up to Gordon Ramsay’s Plane Food for a drink, a meal and enjoy the view of the apron before taking away one of his picnic bags for the sector to ATL and you really will probably eat and drink better than most in Club World:


    The man is unnecessarily foul mouthed, but hats off to him for running a successful business and Plane Food is top notch.

    As long as you bought your tickets at ba.com you can easily upgrade in Manage My Booking (MMB) either the inbound or the outbound flight with BA Miles to Club World’s fully flat beds, subject to award availability.

    You also stand a greater chance of being operationally upgraded (quite rare on BA!) to Club World, whereas buying an economy seat would only usually get you upgraded to WT+.

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