Bits: 7,200 Avios with any Dyson product, random thoughts on BA cabin crew

More news in brief:

7,200 Avios with any Dyson product

(EDIT: this glitch was fixed overnight. All of the Dyson products are now offering 2,000 Tesco points – 4,800 Avios – which is still a decent deal.)

Due to a glitch, Tesco Direct is accidentally giving away 3,000 Clubcard points on Dyson products until tomorrow (Wednesday).   It will drop down to 2,000 Clubcard points after that.

If you are interested in getting 7,200 Avios from a £199 Dyson vacuum cleaner, check out this Shopper Points article today.

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British Airways BA 787

A few thoughts on BA cabin crew

We flew back from Dubai in First Class on a BA 777 yesterday.  I won’t be reviewing that flight although I will be covering the new Dubai lounge and Concorde Room bar later in the week.

I don’t normally write about cabin crew when I review flights, because it is easy to get a disproportionately good or bad one.  You can review a seat based on one flight but I don’t believe that you can fairly critique cabin crew on the same basis.

What I did realise yesterday, however, is that the Britishness of the BA crew is a key part of the appeal of the airline.  I have done a lot of flying on Qatar, Etihad, Turkish and Emirates over the past year and the multinational crews have generally been very good – although you are never 100% confident that you will receive what you request!

However, yesterday my 4-year old and I had a woman called Georgia looking after us.  She was mid-20’s, Home Counties accent but with the additional ‘yeah’ and ‘gonna’s of her generation, and genuinely good at her job.  There was a marked difference between her and the average Middle Eastern airline cabin crew member – mainly because she was able to be herself.

I would never choose an airline primarily on the basis of its crew, but I did realise yesterday that BA and Virgin do still have the ability to gain a competitive advantage if they recruit the right people and train them well.

Bits: £20 Pizza Express Amex cashback, more uses for Avios as Alaska buys Virgin America
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Comments

  1. I’ve not really flown any mixed fleet routes to my knowledge, but the crew are usually pretty good on my main routes – Sometimes you feel you have to ‘draw out’ the service a bit from the crew. They seem to like my main European route as it gives them a 24 hr stopover in the sunshine!

    ‘Britishness’ of BA is perhaps more appealing to non-Brits e.g. Afternoon Tea!

  2. I also find this to be true about BA pilots. They are always very relaxed and give you a lot of information on what is going on (if there’s a short delay for example). I believe this makes you feel more at ease and safer.

    I have flown quite a few Asian carriers where the pilot does not even introduce him/herself.

  3. I’m sitting in the Crowne Plaza at SIN waiting for my QR flight back tonight. I do understand what you mean; my QR is back to FRA then BA back to LHR.

    The flight out from FRA caused me real problems as they had swapped the QR 787 for a 777 with the old configuration (we all had window seats with a child !!). The Chinese cabin crew could not really understand why I was annoyed and wanted my daughter to be sitting at least next to my wife, until I threatened to get off an make a hoohaa about it all. A Filipino crew member sorted it all out very well. To say I wasn’t happy about the change was an understatement.

    BA crew can however be over familiar in the business cabin at be very loud at discussing personal issues between the passenger, I had this on a flight to YYC.

  4. Tim Millea says:

    In terms of the customer experience of flying, and being aware that the airport experience can be very stressful these days, the cabin crew have a huge importance. My least favourite airline, Thomas Cook, have a standard announcement saying that due to the shortness of today’s flight there will be only one drinks service – on flights of over four hours to Greece and Turkey. They then draw the curtains and spend the rest of the flight gossiping banalities at the tops of their voices. Upon entering the aircraft their bodies are there to greet but they are usually too engrossed in conversation even to make eye contact. All the BA cabin crew I have encountered are just the opposite – customer-focussed and well-trained in customer service, even in casttle class.

  5. Sussex Bantam says:

    I have to say I couldn’t agree more. Getting on a long haul BA flight to be greeted by BA cabin crew and pilot is always a lovely experience. Travelling is always fun – but going home is nice too !

  6. Kinkell says:

    Well, Artolo, as a ‘yellow toothed’ frequent-ish travelling ‘pensioner’ ( 50?.. You are obviously still at the acne stage! and have a long way to go) I have experienced wonderful BA crew of all ages: professional, well presented and all exuding a sense of calm. Our recent trip to South America in F was extremely pleasant , made so by wonderful cabin crew,., but equally, no complaints about recent LHR-EDI staff. I fact, ground staff were so good, I need to go to the ‘BA/welldone’site. I LIKE travelling BA ( long haul on redemptions) as it gives me a feeling of security, safety and home coming. Sounds naff, but you just don’t get that with other carriers.

    • Me too! Don’t care if it is naff. I feel exactly the same – the journey home can be made much easier by feeling as if you are back home already!

  7. Scallder says:

    Having flown BA First and Club in the past 6 months as well as AA business (albeit an overnight flight from LIM-DFW), the BA staff were lovely and the AA cabin crew were so rude. I believe that a lot of the US carriers (legacy ones at least) due to union agreements, only have longer serving staff members serving the premium cabins. We had 1 male and one female flight attendant in business who were probably both 40+ but it always seemed that asking for a drink (let alone anything else) was of a great imposition to them.

    However flying BA was a sheer delight – the First flight (one and only time) was ex-LHR as part of our honeymoon and the cabin crew (happened to be older attendants in the first cabin) were fantastic. Have no status with any OW airline, and was referred to by name. Then on a recent return CW trip to Vancouver the staff were great. On the ex-LHR leg asked for a Baileys over ice after dinner and kindly requested another one about 30 mins later. As my wife and I were both watching films for most of the flight, almost like clockwork every 30 mins or so the flight attendant would bring us over a new Baileys and pace it on our tray tables without asking – it was positively delightful!

    • Danksy says:

      I have to say the BA cabin crew are streets ahead of the American Airlines crews!

      Having flown
      “First” (HNL – LAX-LHR)
      Main Cabin Extra (LHR-LAX) (LAX-LHR)

      “First” staff were terrible on the internal flight, they were gossipping, poor service and didn’t seem that bothered. On the LAX-LHR leg they were very good, but not as attentive or engaging as BA staff.
      Main Cabin Extra on the way to LAX the staff were rude, and anything seemed too much trouble, they never gave out landing cards in MCE which meant we were the last to clear immigration.
      On the way back from LAX Main Cabin Extra staff were good, although pushed for time they struck up conversation and kept us supplied with drinks/snacks as required.

      BA staff – I think I’ve only had one bad experience in the last 10 years and I fly about once a month on average. On the whole they are polite, courteous, respectful and go that little bit further than most cabin crew I have come across.

      Incidentally the worst experience was with Qata from DOH to SLL where the attendants were downright rude!

    • RIccati says:

      See my horror stories above.

      Yes, what Scallder and Danksy describe is common about AA crews who mind me, are much well off with their houses and pensions than those Cathay or Singaporean girls!!

  8. I’m literally on the train home after my flight back from New York, and the BA cabin crew were lovely on all four flights.

    • Hope you had a great trip Kathy!

      • It was fab! I’m definitely going back to see Copenhagen properly – and will take people with me next time! I had a great time in NY – saw 5 plays/shows in 3 days, got into Ellen’s Stardust Diner for breakfast Sunday morning, and did the Morgan library and museum and the Museum of the City of New York. Plus a lovely stroll in Central Park Sunday morning while the sun was (briefly) out.

  9. Scottnothing says:

    Completely agree that flying with cabin crew who are able to “be themselves” makes a marked difference to the in-flight experience. I’ve just returned from OSL-LHR-HGK-SYD-SIN-LHR-OSL and was fortunate to experience excellent crew throughout. Some highlights:

    – The crew on the LHR-OSL positioning flight was the same as our OSL-LHR. They playfully mocked us for being cheapskates (which I loved) and offered tips on things to do on our 24 hour layover.

    – I was bumped from 10A to 1A on the flight from SYD-SIN and had a tight connection between BA16 and BA12 (40 mins) in SIN. The First cabin crew taunted me for having chosen to switch planes (777 to A380) in Singapore whilst at the same time they worked to ensure logistics were in place so that we made the tight connection (including by sending reports to my partner in 10B regarding my state of intoxication). The interaction and attentiveness from the crew and their manager made for a very enjoyable flight (*hic).

    It is experiences like the above that first won my loyalty to BA. The shiny new Gold card that arrived today for the first time will probably help!

  10. Raffles, surprised you’ve not mentioned the free 1st class upgrade on BA…

    http://www.britishairways.com/en-gb/business-travel/offers/upgrade-to-first

  11. george says:

    A bit off topic…I flew from JFK to LHR in CW on BA metal (but ticket issued by AA).
    Do I get avios based on the BA flight or AA flight? The avios calculator implies a substantial difference: 12,103 vs 7,767 avios (for golds, one way). Same tier points.

    • earn as per an AA flight

    • I flew AA J back to LHR on a BA booked ticket and got the lower avios sum – I presumed because of the lighter cabin bonus. I never thought any further about it at the time. On the outbound BA flight I got the higher sum. So to answer your question I presumed you got paid out on whichever airline you actually flew (metal).

      • george says:

        hmm….so which one is it? Raffles? anyone else can chime in?

        • You earn based on the flight number (ie whether it is vowed under the BA or AA code) It doesn’t matter who issued the ticket or which metal you’re on (unlike on Star Alliance). This is particularly important on long flights in the US as using the AA flight number on two class flights will book into F and earn lots more TP than the same flight on the BA flight number which will book into business.

          • george says:

            thanks, alan. this now makes sense.
            Given the intercontinental agreement between BA and AA I am surprised there is so much difference in avios between an AA flight number and BA flight number on the same plane (metal)! Quite ridiculous!

          • Sorry ‘vowed’ should of course have been ‘booked’ 🙂
            Yes, it can be a bit of a difference although, the TP earning can also be far more lucrative with AA than BA code!

          • I agree it does make sense – I’m at a bit of a loss as to what happened to me. Although if my foggy memory serves – I did have an AA flight number although the flight was a BA codeshare. How does this happen when booking both flights on BA? I’d like to avoid that in the future.

          • By default BA would book you onto BA flight numbers but they can definitely book AA ones too (as I say handy for TP purposes). I suppose their search may occasionally through up AA numbers too, I’m not sure.

  12. Chris Jones says:

    I think the BA crew really make a different when flying with children.

    Unfortunate my 3 year old now complains to crew if his traveling coach. Asking for his BA bag and juice!!

  13. Alex W says:

    One thing that annoys me about BA is that flaming “flying start” advert that kicks in and usually means you miss the end if the film you were watching. The day they get rid of that advert I might actually make a donation to the charity.

    • Sussex bantam says:

      +1 to that …

      • My fav bit is when you have your own ear buds in watching said film and they put the volume to 5000% when this or an announcement comes on. Great way to end a flight – burst ear drum

  14. Amtexfly says:

    The closest I’ve come to rude cabin crew was on an AA flight from LAX-LHR when I didn’t understand what was meant when told that beer and wine was free but we would have to pay for ‘cocktails’, he spoke to me like an idiot because I was trying to determine if he meant spirits or spirits with a mixer. I guess he was having a bad day or something because be gave me a couple of bottles of bourbon later in the flight.