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British Airways - service on the decline? - Raj Wadhwani - Blog

British Airways - service on the decline?

I must write about my recent experiences with BA flying from Toronto to London, then on
to Singapore and back.

I booked business class and expected business class service. You can read what I thought
of the service!

First, the flight over to London. This was on a 747 and I chose the upper deck. Sharon’s seat had no inflight entertainment and my seat kept on adjusting itself without any interference from myself – I would slowly sink down and a few times the flight attendants came just before takeoff and told me to keep my seat upright! Wasn’t my fault! I had the sinking feeling (sorry for the pun) that this was going to be an eventful flight. The seat problem occurred all through the trip – in the end the attendant gave up when we were due to land – hopefully he “snagged” it in the log (jargon for a problem that needs fixing). 4/10 

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Then,  on to cabin service when I was asked what I would like from the menu, I was told “sorry, we have run out” The flight attendant explained that for 16 passengers they only had 3 of the items I wanted – how poor is that? The second option tasted like beef jerky and I left
it. 2/10

Flight attendants – they were great but I felt they were helpless – 8/10 overall

Next, trip to Singapore on BA. Another night flight, my final destination was Brisbane but
BA only took us as far as Singapore then we had to change to Qantas. The check in agent was amazingly good at heathrow – awesome in fact and very patient – we had loads of cases with us. 10/10

The flight over was good – better than first, however do they train flight attendants to literally ‘stomp’ down the aisle when passengers are trying t sleep? Seemed like it – give them slippers and teach them to walk slowly and without stomping – helps us passengers sleep better. 7/10

Flight back to London.  Again, on the upper deck. Was an overnight flight so went for some zzz’s as soon as we got on the plane and missed the meal thinking I could grab some later if needed. Good flight, but at 3am when I woke to grab a snack, was disappointed by the kitchen selection. 7/10

Flight back to Toronto. Upper deck again. Boarding was chaotic – at one point there were 10 staff members waiting to check boarding passes and no one making sure the queues were organized. Then we had two muppets (ask me to explain that one if you don’t know) at the front of the business class queue ignoring the fact we could board and holding up the line. Got on finally and settled in. We were passed the menus etc and saw it was the same menu as the one on the outward bound journey from Toronto a few weeks earlier. Said to Sharon, hope we get the items we want this time! What do you know, nope, I was out of luck! Only 4 for the whole upper deck and 16 total for 52 total business class passengers so I missed out again! The attendant suggested I make a report – glad to!

And what about the amenity packs? Basic – BA execs should fly on some of the other carriers to see what they do – need to know your competition! If you don’t, you will continue to provide second rate service to customers who pay top dollar and soon you will lose that customer to another airline!

Then, when we went to pick up our bags, one was open and spilling stuff onto the baggage
conveyor belt. The case had been damaged and the zip broken – was a new case I purchased in Singapore this January and it was not useless. We collected the rest of the luggage and had to wait for a BA staff member at Toronto to explain what happened. Their comment was that because it’s a zip there is nothing they can do – suggested customer relations! How convenient!

Overall, I am not impressed with BA. It’s not that I don’t like the company – I have
friends who work for them in the US Contact Center  - that’s why I am writing this, because BA used to be great and its slipping fast – come up guys, pull your socks up! I met one of the contact center managers from Emirates at our June conference in London – maybe will try them again – last time I flew with them they were great. I have over 200k miles with BA and am Silver One World member – not sure if that counts for anything, probably not – we will see!

Publish Date: July 28, 2011 9:21 PM

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