WARNING TRAVELER REVIEWS DANGER ATTENTION AVOID BRITISH AIRWAYS – THERE ARE BETTER AIRLINES

Written by Your VIPTRIP Team on February 18th, 2012

TRAVELER REVIEWS FOR BRITISH AIRWAYS

(source traveler reviews 2012-2013 / external information…)

Awful First Class from LHR to Phoenix: really a basic business class experience on any reasonable airline, just with worse food and dirty. Dirty seats and compartments, a TV screen that would make most Economy travelers unhappy. Had not used BA in years, partly because of my current location (Rio de Janeiro) and partly because there were usually better options, and I am reminded why. The only decent (actually nice) part of the trip was the Concorde Lounge.

My husband and I travelled with this airline from Warsaw to London, from London to Newark and then back. I have to say that I really expected more. The most disappointing matter was cleanliness. I had old food on my table, windows and screens were dirty and hazy. At the end of the trip from Newark do London litter was almost everywhere. Moreover chairs, screens and everything in cabin looked really worn. My TV screen was messed up so I barely could see the movie.

Travelled from Antigua to LGW. Tired, old aircraft with an extremely poor entertainment system. The flight was overbooked and two business class passengers spent the flight sitting on crew take off and landing seats. The only good thing about the flight was its punctuality. Food served was inedible, more fat than meat. Breakfast was yoghurt or fruit and a microwaved sausage in a bap. BA really need to up their game

Flight Gatwick – St Lucia return, upgraded to Premium Economy, good leg room and that’s where it ends. Gone are the days, staff smile, helpful, there to please, paying extra one thought we would get some extra attention, but we may as well have been in economy. Boarded offered a paper, 1 cold drink, (my son requested a coke, no was the answer) then came a very poor meal, one hot drink, then the staff totally disappear, for 4+ hours to appear 1 hour before landing with a cardboard sandwich going, muffin returning, ONE hot drink. No hot towel. The word service does not appear to exist where BA are concerned.

On my first leg my first choice for dinner was out, so I had to eat what was left, that is OK in economy, but not in business. But it was still acceptable. Service was OK although a little unfriendly. They came and starting talking although I had my headphones on. My way back was a nightmare, no space for my trolley so I had to give it to them for the leg San Diego to Los Angeles. Because our flight was late we almost missed our connecting flight in LA. Our luggage was booked out and as were we. After the dinner there was no more service. They were sitting in front of the minibar and chatted the whole time. They blocked the access so you only could grab fruits, no access to drinks, snacks and fridge. Back in Frankfurt my luggage was gone, both my checked suitcase and my trolley I had to give them in San Diego. A week has passed now and still my suitcases remain lost.

Economy return London to Phoenix out 12th return 25th Oct. Not having travelled BA long haul for some time I was shocked at the decline in standards of this airline. On complaining to the cabin staff on the standard of the food service I was surprised when they agreed with me. The food on both legs was awful, little choice, poor drinks service, stale bread etc. On asking for a top-up of coffee, I was told it was ‘all gone’. I am over 6ft tall, the seats were extremely cramped and uncomfortable, and painful if the person in front chooses to recline. The only good comment I have is that the flights were more or less on time in both directions

LIS-LHR on A320. Seat 3A. Extremely worn out plane, leather in bad shape, lack of painting in many parts of the plane. Departure at 11.20am arrival at 2.00 pm, Business Class, and mini croissant as a snack with an ugly mini piece of ham. Unacceptable

Unbelievably poor service. Checked into business class lounge, only to learn as I went to my flight that I had to take a train to another terminal for my gate. The lounge was loud, messy and over crowded. Don’t normally care to watch movies but this time I did watch one. Except the movie system was reset no more than six consecutive times because it wasn’t working on other seats. Finally I fell asleep, then woke up to start the movie again. Then it was interrupted with a 10 minute British Airways advertisement. Hoping I could see the end before I landed, the “steward” walked by and closed the TV screen without saying a word, then kept walking. This is the service they apparently provide for an $8k business class ticket.

Flew to Mumbai and back on BA. Seems to have become a budget airline since I last flew long-haul with them – seats not comfortable, meals mediocre and service almost non-existent. Not even a pair of in-flight socks supplied. Once cabin attendants had completed their meal round, nothing was seen of them for hours. Got me there and back safely which was the main thing but in minimal comfort and service.

No frills standard – cheap service

LCY-SNN-JFK. I was looking forward to this trip but was sorely disappointed. The only plus point was an on time arrival. The three cabin crew members were the worst I’ve encountered in all the years I have flown BA. Absolutely no smiles, totally cold and indifferent. They did the bare minimum. No wine top up offered. Ran out of beer – no apology. After the main meal service there was no crew presence in the cabin for over two hours. Remember – this is a 32 seat A318! Awful IFE on an ipad and the “healthy” club kitchen offering was chocolate, crisps and some oranges. Having flown business class on Asiana and Air New Zealand in the last year the difference was striking. How BA expects repeat business with this standard of crew service is beyond me. The one way fare on this route is over £4700! My next business class trip to the US east coast will be Aer Lingus. All the benefits of clearing US immigration in Ireland and warm, friendly crews.

London to Boston on 747-400, Return on 777. My biggest gripe is after booking these flights 9 months in advance, I could not reserve my seats (unless paying extra) until 24hrs before departure. Seat configuration is poor when you have to climb over next passengers foot rest to exit. Hot beverages were warm and white wine unchilled. Overall fairly unsatisfactory.

My first taste of BA was decidedly mediocre. Staff and food were fine but the seating configuration is dreadful and the ‘lie flat’ bed is merely a reclining seat with a foot rest – not very comfortable. They should also rethink their plans for seating in their new A380s. I hear that they are going with the current design – big mistake!

BA really needs to up its standards. First class from London to Hong Kong. New styled cabin with comfortable beds. Where were the hot towels that other airlines offer in Economy? No water bottle in the compartment (had to be requested), dinner was poor – very overcooked and tough steak – inedible, could only eat the vegetables. Breakfast not much better – eggs very hard and served on a tough piece of bread, no offer of jams/marmalade/bread rolls. Business class Middle Eastern/Asian airlines so much better. I’m just so glad I didn’t have to pay the return fare of £6,000 this fare would have cost me. No complaints about the crew – friendly and attentive.

Flew economy LHR to CPT. The rows of seats were so close together that my knees were touching the back of the seat in front of me and I’m only 5’5″. Staff unconcerned and didn’t seem to want to be there. Return flight delayed 12 hours (overnight) with no reason given and no local telephone numbers operating on the weekend. A phone call to the London customer service number took 30 minutes and yielded no viable assistance. Return flight was ok, with larger space between the rows but will not be flying BA long haul again.

LED-LHR in Club Europe then LHR-SFO in Club World. There were maintenance issues that caused 1 hour delays on both legs. The Airbus business class cabin on the first leg was a joke. The seats are regular width and there’s a one-seat-width (useless) empty space between aisle and window. On the international leg, there was not even so much as a cup of water offered between meals. Passengers are expected to make their way to the galley to help themselves to the pantry. Flight attendants sat off to the side and didn’t look up from their reading. In-flight movie selection was dire – less than 20 movies. Food was excellent but weird face-to-face seating arrangement and lazy crew make me regret my decision to incur extra cost to travel in Business. BA disappointed traveler Shitstorm.

LHR-Newark return: The new 1st was a huge disappointment. I find it amazing there is no adjustable (independent) foot rest. This is a feature of many airlines premium economy foot rest! I have travelled with several Middle Eastern and Far Eastern airlines in 1st and BA is way off the mark. I would agree the windows blinds and general ambience is classy – but it ends there. There really is no “class” at all, in the food and wines – and so on, I am grateful I did not pay the £8,000 – top of the range fare.

BA2042, MLE-LGW, 29th Oct. Efficient embarkation aircraft departed on time. Offered to pay for upgrade to business, no seats available so settled down in World Traveller Plus. Quite why BA charges so much for world traveller is beyond me as the benefits, seat and service are just not worth it, my wife stayed in world traveller, economy had a mass of empty seats so moved astern and laid across a row which made for a much more bearable flight. Crew serving in our cabin were abrupt, surely and intent on serving and clearing at best possible speed, no eye contact no regard for service or dialogue only one alcoholic drink offered, only one cabin trip with fruit juice/water during an eleven hour flight. Food was abysmal, my usual special meal was a disaster, on arrival food trays were full of plastic bits requiring to be broken open, when collected the trays and surrounding floor looked like a rubbish tip. Will travel BA again but never in World Traveller Plus with this crew.

Travelled to and from Cancun. Outward journey on BA2203 on 02/10/12. Flight delayed 1 3/4 hrs mechanical problem, otherwise OK, seating not good, food poor, staff quite attentive. Ran out of spirits. Return flight BA2202 on 16/10/12. Delayed 3 hours due to mechanical problem, so we were informed. Most uncomfortable flight I have been on, seating comfort was absolutely appalling for a long haul flight, left the flight with backache. The actual aircraft looked tired and shabby, worn carpets and shabby seating. The food served was inedible. My wife and I are frequent fliers on BA, we travel to Cancun and the Caribbean regularly and as BA have started the Cancun route this year we have been with them twice so far (May and October). I must say that I am not at all impressed with the service. The aircraft’s are old and look it, very tired looking and scruffy. I think that they have put there oldest fleet on this route. Thomson and Thomas Cook also used this route and they have a larger seating pitch and newer aircraft, with Thomson using their new dreamliner from next year. It is not worth paying the extra to fly BA, as all one gets is a complimentary bar. My wife and I shall be travelling again next year on this route but will think again before travelling with BA.

LHR – Toronto. No electrics to seat (except for seat controls) so no reading light, call button or entertainment. Tear in carpet over which I fell on entering seat, footrest broken and unusable. Cabin lights were dimmed after take-off so I spent 6.5 hours in darkness unable to read with no entertainment (as we were due to arrive in Toronto at 9.00pm I certainly didn’t want to sleep). I complained 4 times and got nowhere (staff disappeared after lights out). We’ve both been Executive Club members for 18 years but that’s the end of our relationship with BA. We’ve watched standards – particularly staff attitudes gradually decline over that period.

Business class, LGW-BDA, July 2011. Very disappointing. The seats were uncomfortable and the layout means that the only way you can sit together is by facing backwards in the centre of the aircraft. The food was reasonable, but when paying £2,500 for a return ticket it is reasonable to expect adequate meals to be loaded on the flight to provide a choice. This was not the case in either direction.

LHR to BCN in Business class. Very disappointing and unsatisfactory inflight catering, 11.30am departure, served a cold plate of 1 slice of ham, salami, sliced hard boiled egg and 2 slices of tomato, nothing else! I was seated in row 3, there were about 15 pax in Business cabin, by the time the bread-basket was offered to me there was no longer any bread available which is completely unacceptable. Only alternative was soggy croissants. Service was average, nothing special; the only positive was the good customer service at check- in and in the South Lounge. BA Club Europe is hit and miss, sometimes very good, in this case poor.

Heathrow to Vancouver. Being nearly 2m tall and on a tight budget I was prepared to pay an extra £50 for an exit seat as opposed to an extra £1000 for an upgrade. Checking my booking the day before I left I had noticed that my seat had been changed back to a regular economy seat. I had to travel to Gatwick first and then make my own way to Heathrow as to fly Glasgow-Heathrow was almost double the price. Seat comfort in economy is pathetic. Seats are far to tight, and leg room is pathetic. However, staff are always nice, food and drinks are always nice enough and entertainment is always good enough to make the time pass. I can not recommend BA to anyone.

Flight from New York to Vienna though London Heathrow on New Years Eve. Very boring celebration, one line from the captain around midnight, no sparkling wine, no nice food. Very poor customer care when you need to handle anything about the luggage. I will never again book a flight with British Airways.

We travelled to Rome via Heathrow and it is not surprise we couldn’t make our connecting flight. Terminal 5 is a very poor airport design, passengers on connecting flights need to go through multiple floor levels and an air train to get to the gate and that’s after going through a security check point. Our luggage didn’t arrive and British Airways claimed zero accountability.

Flight from Barbados to Gatwick 30th September in World Trav plus. Cabin staff mostly unsmiling, when asked for coffee it seemed as if I was an inconvenience to them, but it came 25 minutes later. The seats were ok but tired and not great. The entertainment was about 12 years old, with a TV screen that was marked! The food – for the money paid – extremely poor, we were told it’s a continental breakfast before we land, sounds good I thought until it arrived, poor tea or coffee and a sickly blueberry muffin – no other option. My first experience with BA, I will avoid at all costs in the future.

We flew from Paris (CDG) to Heathrow on 30 Dec 2012 after flying SriLankan Airlines from Colombo. The most striking feature was the poor staff service. Stewardesses on the BA flight looked scruffy, unkempt and unforgivably – irritated with passengers. I even had one stewardess click her fingers at me to switch off my iPad although I had it on the ‘flight’ mode. More like prison officers patrolling – no smiles, just misery! We usually fly long haul on BA and sit in Club World and usually have such good service – such a disappointment!

Gatwick – Orlando, return, 777 – 200. I normally travel on Asian and Middle East Airlines so this return trip on BA was a real shock. Worn out old aircraft with a miserable crew doing the absolute minimum, truly horrible food, AVOD which only worked part of the time, dirty washrooms which were the smallest I have ever seen. Forced to pay an extra 260 Pounds to secure the middle two seats over and above the full Biz fare, seat itself was hard and very narrow, nowhere to put any personal items except on the flimsy fold down table. Avoid if you can.

SYD-LHR return Economy Dec 2012/Jan2013. Could not choose seats or check in online. Qantas Club not recognised at BA Lounge. Some partnership/codeshare. No wonder Qantas have dumped BA. Ageing 747-400. Surly service in the main. Dreadful food. Will not be flying Long haul with BA again

Sydney to Heathrow via Singapore. We flew Premium Economy with British Airways from Sydney on 12 January 2013. Never again. Firstly, they had a problem with the air conditioning which meant that the cabins were hot until take off. Secondly the entertainment system was not working. We were told an engineer would be looking at the system in Singapore but this was not the case, so we had a 24 hour flight without any entertainment. The cabin crew handed round pre-printed cards apologising for the loss of entertainment. The crew also mentioned that this was a fairly common problem on their larger planes! The overhead lights in the premium economy cabin kept flickering even when the cabin crew switched the lights off they came back on and flickered throughout the whole time making sleep an impossibility. So in all we definitely would not recommend British Airways to anyone.

My husband and I flew to Jo’burg and returned from Cape Town. Check-in staff at Heathrow all had long faces and the man who checked us in made no effort at all to be pleasant and we actually felt an imposition to him! Food was dreadful on the return journey-looked like slop and tasted as bad as it looked. The plane was old and it took half an hour of trying to tune in the screens before we were eventually moved. I felt sorry for the staff on the flight as they were embarrassed and two of them actually agreed that the food was dreadful and said it was throughout the plane, and not just in cattle class. Over the years I must have flown with BA about 20 times and have noticed a steady decline. BA is the flag carrier but it made me feel ashamed to be British.

Flew down from LHR to Jo’burg BA 57 last night in business. Disappointed with the service, it was cold and perfunctory. No charm, humour or warmth. The food was very poor and took ages to serve on what is a late flight. I have flown BA for years but I am still amazed about the variability in service. Sometimes it’s excellent and then it can be a real stinker. I am beginning to give up on them. They charge high prices so I expect premium service every time. Cabins are looking grey and old now. However the decor blended perfectly with the crew. Sorry BA you have to try harder.

LHR-HND on 22 Dec 2012 on 777-200 return to BA Club World after 7 years to utter dismay. I am a Skywards gold member and chose BA because of the direct flight. Firstly the flight was 1.5 hrs delayed to 9.30am. On board the seats were narrow, compare having 8 seats across on this aircraft to 4 across on Emirates A380. Did not bother to switch on the small TV. Two meals were served on this 10+ hr flight. The only plus point was the professional cabin crew and the pilots. Return NRT-LHR 27 Dec on 777-300 with at least one member of the Club World cabin crew very rude.

The worst flight experience I’ve had in 30+ years in traveling. There was a snowstorm that didn’t seem to bother Gatwick or City Airport much, but virtually shut down Heathrow and most of British Airways. BA’s response was appalling. No employees to be found, people left standing for hours in the airport, told to go one place, then another, then a PA announcement to vacate the premises and that BA could not help anyone with hotels or transportation, but they could not stay in the airport. When a couple of employees were found, they could not offer any information. People were left to stand outside in freezing temperatures to wait for taxis to whatever lodgings they could find – at 1am. Their website said you had to rebook and deal with all details on the phone – which then they did not answer. I will never use this airline again. Once my flight was finally rebooked, the food was some of the worst I’ve had on a flight, the special diet meal they promised me was not available, my seat was supposed to be economy-plus but was straight economy and they wouldn’t rectify this – despite many empty seats in the other classes – and the seat had absolutely no leg room, very uncomfortable.

Manchester to Dar Es Saalam via Heathrow in an upgraded class – premium. On arrival, there were very few people queuing and only 2 desks open. One for first / business and one for economy plus. 4 BA staff were chatting at what we later found out to be the check in / info desk. After a 10 min wait we reached bag drop desk only to be told that the flight was not open for another 10/15 mins. We consequently stayed at the head of the queue and let people on earlier flights go through. Others were approaching the desk only to be turned away with conflicting info about when bag drop would be open. The 4 staff had now disappeared to be replaced by one inexperienced BA staff who decided to tell people that they now had to wait for one hour for bag drop. The queue was now outside the barriers and it was chaos as some flights were still allowed to use the bag drop. Staff unhelpful and abrupt. Witnessed a total inconsistency re allowed hand luggage. No one even looked at ours when we eventually could drop our bags. Having travelled in premium class before with Qantas, we were surprised at the below par service for an expensive upgrade. No drinks were offered on boarding, no welcome, and the seats were uncomfortable. If you were on the left hand side of the plane you had to use toilets in the rear of economy. There was one toilet for all premium passengers. Our flight crew also had to service at least half of economy. They were excellent. Inflight entertainment was also very good. Manchester needs to review procedures and how they treat their customers and look at training in communication and more effective customer service.

BA World Class Traveller (Premium Economy) from London Heathrow to Singapore was extremely disappointing. Cabin was old and shabby. My seat was broken. Food was unpleasant. Some cabin staff were friendly, others just couldn’t be bothered. On return journey from Singapore to Heathrow, the toilets were dirty right from departure and the cabin stank of dirty toilets. The second leg of my journey on Qantas Premium Economy (Singapore/Brisbane) was so much better – much more like Business Class. I will never travel BA again and paying extra for World Class Traveller was a waste of money.

27 October 2012 from FRA to LHR on BA 0901 (dep. 07.25) connecting to: LHR-EWR on BA 0185 (dep. 10.15). Flight BA 0901 cancelled, due to weather conditions so BA re-booked me onto Lufthansa flight LH900 from FRA to LHR (dep. 07.20). This flight was delayed by a medical incident, and connection to BA 0185 failed. BA then offered me a choice of a flight on BA to New York JFK, or re-booking onto United Airlines UA9 to EWR (dep 12.35). Since my husband had arranged to collect me at Newark, I opted for the latter. This involved a further terminal transfer, and on my arrival at the gate United Airlines staff (in none too courteous manner) told me to wait until the gate agent was open for business. After a wait of around 40 minutes I was informed that UA9 was full. There followed yet a further transfer back to T5, and a final arrival in EWR more than six hours behind schedule on the next BA flight. Finally, the incident led to problems with our return check-in online that denied us use of the business class lounge in BWI for 3 hours prior to the opening of the BA check-in desk). Had not BA re-booked me onto the United Airlines flight that turned out to be full, I would have accepted their offer of a flight to JFK, This would have enabled me to reach New Haven with Amtrak, or be collected by my husband (he could not wait more than three hours at Newark, as he had to collect a rental car at New Haven before Avis closed for business). In short, BA really messed up our trip, and cost us a small packet, through a simple mistake.

Flew to Mexico this month in world traveller plus. I couldn’t believe we had paid to be upgraded. Aside from the extra few centimetres of legroom the only noticeable difference was that we had metal cutlery instead of plastic cutlery. The options ran out, no kids packs and on top of this the seats were dirty with the arm rest on my seat broken. The planes air-conditioning and the toilets were filthy, only 6 for the whole plane – of which 2 were out of action half way into the flight. The staff were ok at first but by mid Atlantic didn’t appear to care.

Cape Town to New York. Seat was broken at the base and had a piece of steel bar running across the backseat rest, when asking to be moved I was told to sit on two cushions! On the second leg the seats only reclined one inch as they were in front of the toilet, the seat in front was broken and over reclined thus leaving 6 inches of space between my face and the seat in front of me. The quality of the inflight entertainment was really poor compared to any other airline I have flown. When calling the customer care, I was told they cannot guarantee a comfortable flight!

An awful experience flying from LHR to CPT on 31 December 2012 (BA59). While the plane was only one third full, the service was well below par. We were made to feel more like nuisance than welcome guests. As with other airlines, the design of the travel cot for the infant we travelled with, had not been given much thought. Our baby could easily get out/fall out and he was not allowed to stay in his cot if the fasten seatbelts sign was on. Surely this can be remedied. It definitely does not allow for uninterrupted sleep, not for the parents, not for the kid, not for fellow passengers. No baby food was onboard, no champagne was offered even though the flight was the night flight on 31 December, no effort was made to get the dinner service organised quickly to allow for our kids to go to bed in time (in fact simply due to our location in the plane, we were served last). The list of minor and major nuisances goes on, but mostly the service was very poor. When I saw the purser in the galley on several occasions, he was each time reading a magazine.

LHR-CDG, Business. Very little that can go wrong on a 40 minute short haul flight however BA proved otherwise on this flight. Flight was one hour delayed due to the severe winter conditions in Europe at this time. When we boarded the flight, all overhead bins were full in the club Europe cabin even though hardly any seats were occupied. Soon found out that the cabin crew had decided to use the bins to stow their own personal belongings. We paying passengers had to find space behind our seats in the last row of the business cabin and even used the first row of economy bins. Seats in club Europe were no different from economy seats with the so called 2×2 seating resulting in a negligibly larger seat all thanks to an odd placement of arm rests that actually waste space by having an empty middle seat which is narrower and could only be occupied by infants. Leg room was tight even for an economy seat. Finally, when it became apparent to the crew that they had a full flight and would need to vacate the bins, they reluctantly did so. Flight took off and the meal served was a ghastly salad with some non-descript bits which no one even dared to eat. Flight purser was chewing gum while serving passengers and was talking loudly with her colleague. Based on this experience I really wonder why BA even bothers having a business class offering on short haul flights. The only aspect of the trip worthy of being associated with business class was the galleries lounge at t5 however that alone cannot justify flying business on BA for short-haul.

…. more to come …..  airline quality

 

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