Forum Replies Created

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 44 total)

  • ThomasCox
    Participant

    She looked incredulous and said it was ridiculous they didn’t put it in when the planes were built. I couldn’t help but smile when I said, I don’t think that internet was invented when this plan

    I’m reminded of the charming American gentleman sat next to me in 1F coming into LHR from FCO a year or two back. On passing Windsor Castle he turned and asked me, ‘Why did they build it so close to Heathrow?’


    ThomasCox
    Participant

    BT is the only social forum I ever post on, mainly because business (and leisure) travel has for a very long time now been an ever-present, often weekly part of my life.

    For what it’s worth, I don’t think I’ve ever witnessed ‘bullying’ on here per se.

    Also, I don’t think anyone is browbeating anyone else. Certain people have bigger mouths than others, that’s for sure, and being so convinced of one’s own point of view must be very comforting indeed. I’m sure I have been accused of similar things in my life.

    For those of us who can occasionally reserve judgement, listen to arguments, and then be persuaded one way or another, I find the BT forum most refreshing in that regard. Some views I agree with, others I don’t, all I find interesting. If I didn’t I would simply shut the web-page, roll my eyes and get on with my day, giving it not a second thought.

    So to that end @PhilipHart, I welcome your contribution and I respectfully and politely disagree with you :).


    ThomasCox
    Participant

    Morning @FDOS

    In the interests of fairness to some of the very good BA crews that are out there, I was referring only to my experiences of travelling as a family.

    I have no doubt that service is patchy, and when it’s bad it’s terrible as Chris’ original post describes.

    I’m also a Gold card holder of many years and we travel long haul as a family twice a year, Club Europe again, twice or three times a year. And always on Club World / Europe. I have always found the crew and ground-staff to be at best charming and helpful, and at worst disinterested. We’ve never been split up or off-loaded or had any issues with seating. I like to think this is because I’m fortunate enough to be able to travel business class and do enough work travel to maintain my Gold status. It shouldn’t be the case though that simply because you pay for the lowest cost ticket you get treated with anything other than professionalism, courtesy and respect.

    Sadly FDOS I think you’re correct – as an organisation BA’s culture has been transformed to the point where revenue / profit / cost-cutting is prioritised well above customer service and basic hospitality.


    ThomasCox
    Participant

    Hi Chris. Sounds like a truly dreadful experience and as a regular short and long-haul traveller with a 3-year old you have my sympathies. Key thing here is the safety issue. If they pushed back knowingly before securing the cabin for take-off (which involves you being in your seat and a visual inspection having been made by cabin crew) then they in breach of both their own SOP’s and CAA regulations. CAA reporting and other media outlets the way to proceed on this one. Hopefully you have the captain’s name along with the senior flight crew member on board.

    With regards to it being just a generally pi*s-poor performance on BA’s part and a genuinely miserable, stressful customer experience on yours, you’re options about how to proceed here, or how to avoid it in the future, are limited. My personal opinion is that for BA, as an occasional customer with no status, your business is essentially of very limited value. As Edski777 says, BA will always fall back on the fact that they ‘have gotten you and your children, at least in their view, from A to B in relative safety and comfort’.

    Sadly, you’ll need to either pay for Club Europe or achieve (at least) Silver status for your booking preferences to be a priority in the future.

    Vote with your credit card and go EasyJet in future. And pay for EasyJet plus membership with allocated seating and no issue about the flight being a codeshare with Iberia, or the confusion of economy vs business class.

    Again – very sorry to hear of your experiences. May I also recommend somewhere nice in the New Forest next time as well 🙂 and spend the money you save on a decent meal at The Pig (where they’re lovely with kids)


    ThomasCox
    Participant

    Completely agree. The web channel is now a truly disastrous user experience and has been getting progressively worse ever since BA’s in-house IT was effectively outsourced to IAG’s offshore provider. Yet another example of IAG leadership mistaking all-out cost-cutting with coherent corporate strategy. As long as the Euros keep rolling in though no one in Leadership, least of all Mr Cruz, is going to care.

    in reply to: BA's appalling website

    ThomasCox
    Participant

    ThomasCox
    Participant

    Hi Esselle.

    Sadly I didn’t take a photo of it. Could have sworn it was a Grosset although a quick scan around their website confirms they don’t appear to make one. Strange. Will investigate further as whatever it was, it was rather tasty!

    **Turns our it’s a Petaluma Croser (not Grosset). I grabbed a glance at it before it was poured and squirrelled away beneath the counter**


    ThomasCox
    Participant

    Was in the US (JFK) last week and flew AA to a) mix things up and keep life interesting and b) because I was terminally bored with BA (as I’ve been doing it weekly for a few months now). 777-300 on the way out w Flagship Business and a 200 on the way back. Both are great hard products. V comfortable, loads of space to sleep, recline and stash my kit. F&B was also v good, as we’re the staff. Of more interest though we’re the lounges at both LHR T3 and JFK T8 (dedicated AA terminal).

    As I’m OW Emerald I thought I’d try the new Qantas lounge alongside the BA First and AA Flagship lounges (didn’t have time for CX – next week maybe!). Qantas in particular was a very pleasant space. Wide, airy, nice circular bar at the top, dining room on the ground floor. Grosset sparkling wine (v good – love his Polish Hill Riesling’s) and other decent Aussie reds and whites on offer along with some interesting cocktails (Laurent P on offer for Qantas First passengers which is daft and embarrassing for the bar staff). Good selection of hot buffet food before the restaurant opened at 17:30. Was quiet and felt new and special, especially with all the wood, brass and leather fittings – reminded me of The Delaunay in London. BA F lounge is now tired, dated, crowded and noisy with the industrial fridges. AA lounge is probably the least inviting but it had Moet on free pour, sit-down Pre flight dining and power points literally everywhere.

    The Flagship lounge at JFK T8 is an entirely different proposition. It serves all domestic and international AA First class flights as well as Qatar by the looks of it, so it was very busy. That said, it never felt crowded. Wine selection was excellent (Ornellia’s Le Volte as a red, great chewy Malbec from Argentina as well as a very tangy Chablis and a great grassy, Californian Sauv Blanc). Comfy lounge chairs by the huge floor to ceiling angled windows and plenty of other nooks and crannies to get comfy. I’m sure some folk dislike the American lounges but this one actually really impressed me. There’s also a separate (dark and far plusher) First dining room if you had a genuine First Class ticket. May upgrade next time and give it a try!


    ThomasCox
    Participant

    Photo of tonight’s wines in the JFK CCR attached.

    Attachments:

    ThomasCox
    Participant

    To ThomasCox: A quick question please re CCR at JFK – when did you visit and enjoy the Taittinger Comte de Champagne?
    I was there in July 2015, and the champagne was non vintage something and the wines were very ordinary.

    They had some in early Dec last year (2017), although I’m in here again now, waiting for the BA114 and it seems Laurent Perrier NV is the pick of the bunch. Not even the Grand Siecle sadly. Hopefully they have something better onboard.


    ThomasCox
    Participant

    For what it’s worth, here’s my two-penn’th:

    1 – The old Concorde Room at LHR Terminal 4 – I flew Concorde once, aged 25, just before BA announced its retirement and I took my brother to NY for his 21st Birthday. Maybe I have rose-tinted memories but this was the pinnacle of luxury for me, with free-flowing vintage champagne (Alfred Gratien Cuvee Paradis) and canapes with caviar. Not to mention a view of Concorde and direct access to the plane. Heaven.
    2 – Qantas First Lounge Sydney – hands down most comfortable, most spacious lounge with a great view, the best / friendliest service and the tastiest food courtesy of Mr Neil Perry.
    3 – Cathay Pacific First, The Wing, Lounge HKG – Whilst the Pier is cosier this one has the private cabanas with baths. Repeat, baths. This alone wins if for me 🙂
    4 – Virgin Clubhouse LHR T3 – Private entrance, private check-in and security, then a short walk to the lounge which is still bonkers / lovely, and one of the few lounges I know of where you can get a properly made cocktail by bar staff who know what they’re doing!
    5 – BA Concorde Room at JFK – comfortable, exclusive, spacious with friendly staff and excellent wine / Champagne selection (vintage Taittinger Comte de Champagne last time I was there). And it’s far nicer than the Concorde room at LHR which is sadly always underwhelming.

    Honourable mentions to
    1 – BA’s First lounge in Chicago which, whilst small, has lovely staff who invariably upgrade me. There’s also a decent view of the piers / runway and you can access the plane direct from the lounge
    2 – BA’s First lounge in Houston where staff escort you the short walk to the plane and ensure you’re first to board.


    ThomasCox
    Participant

    “We’re not satisfied until you’re not satisfied” [post: IanfromHKG #838567
    I have just disgraced myself in a silent area of an academic library by laughing out loud at this! Nice one Mr Ian.

    Classic quote. For more like it check out the Demotivators at https://despair.com/collections/demotivators/2018

    I’m convinced certain tiers of IAG management bought a job lot and actually don’t recognise them as being ‘ironic’…


    ThomasCox
    Participant

    This is an eminently sensible clarification to an existing policy that – if handled appropriately and consistently – will ensure smoother departures driving improvements to the doors-closed ARTG metric, and ultimately improving the overall customer experience (welcome news indeed!).

    What made me laugh over the weekend is the ridiculous notion that this is somehow a ‘class’ issue, or that BA should be doing it’s bit to ‘make society fairer and more equal’ (this last comment coming from an interview with ‘An Exec Club Blue card holder in The Independent’ – a stunningly pointless piece of journalistic fluff if ever there was one).

    Leaving the argument over BA’s general declining service standards aside, they are a commercial organisation that should be prioritising value creation first and foremost (increasing revenue, improving profit, reducing risk and deploying capital more effectively). They’re not a flag carrier and they are not a public-owned entity. They have no ‘social’ obligations other than the usual CSR-related ones like Change-for-Good.

    Plenty of other airlines operate this system and no-one has batted an eyelid. And to state the utterly obvious, if you pay more, are a high-tiered frequent flyer, or travel in a premium cabin, you are directly contributing to BA’s bottom line. And as such OF COURSE you should get preferential treatment in terms of boarding and service. For those on cheapo hand-baggage only fairs whining about being put at the back of the queue, the simple answer is pay more, or fly more frequently. Otherwise, you get a seat, and a safe flight. And nothing else for your £39.99 return to Lisbon. Much like on any of the other budget carriers.


    ThomasCox
    Participant

    Break out the yellow tabards…

    in reply to: ba.com down again?

    ThomasCox
    Participant

    Not knocking BA – just having a light-hearted dig at management’s historical responses to these sort of things. Besides, as far as I’m aware, BA technically doesn’t have any IT anymore as it all resides in IAG’s Group Business Services division now. I guess this also explains why the BAEC gold line was down this morning.

    in reply to: ba.com down again?
Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 44 total)
BTUK October 2018 issue
BTUK October 2018 issue
Be up-to-date
Magazine Subscription
To see our latest subscription offers for Business Traveller editions worldwide, click on the Subscribe & Save link below
Polls