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Forums Frequent flyer programs British Airways Executive Club More evidence of Avios pax being treated differently?

  • NorthernLass 8,220 posts

    I booked our BOS trip with a 241 as soon as the seats in F and CW were released last year. This bit is important!

    We travelled home yesterday on the day flight, and had breakfast in the nice BOS lounge, so didn’t want it again on the plane. When it came to afternoon tea/light meal time we were pretty hungry again. We asked for 2 meat options and a veggie one. So far, so uneventful. While the crew were serving the food, I noticed they served every other passenger before us, regardless of where they were sitting. I was in an aisle seat so had a good view of this, but the cabin was only half full, so no big deal. Anyway, a flight attendant then presented us with 3 cheese croissants and said that the meat option had run out. OH and son hate cheese so I asked if there was anything else, as otherwise they would not be having anything to eat at all on the flight. This is where it gets weird. The FA replied, “You were all upgraded at the last minute so we didn’t have time to load enough food.” What? Granted I only booked my son’s ticket 10 days ago but even so there should have been time to adjust the catering arrangements. I am now wondering whether they mixed us up with 3 completely different pax or they were just too embarrassed to admit that they give people on avios bookings the leftovers!!

    The Savage Squirrel 595 posts

    The FA replied, “You were all upgraded at the last minute so we didn’t have time to load enough food.”

    When you said “no we weren’t!” then what was their reply?

    Andrew J 776 posts

    What a premium business class experience – a cheese croissant or nothing.

    To dare is to do 133 posts

    Anna you aren’t a shrinking violent so what did they say when you put them straight? So if someone booked a last minute flight and paid full price they wouldn’t pull that crap so why should you put up with it. Best you fire of a complaint email and keep up with it till you are satisfied.

    NorthernLass 8,220 posts

    I was mortified because it sounded as though the FA was saying that we’d been upgraded so should be grateful for anything we got! I did politely say that the trip had been arranged in that particular format for many months but obviously that can’t make them magic up more food and also it’s never a good idea to get into a confrontation with anyone on a plane (like trying to move your nanny into CE 😂). BOS-LHR is actually a fairly short flight so by the time they had served us we weren’t far off landing so we ate the other bits on the tray and had something in Galleries North while we waited for our delayed MAN connection!

    @SavageSquirell – he sidestepped the question and asked us if we’d had a good trip!

    BuildBackBetter 705 posts

    Atleast they are being consistent. A few years ago I was upgraded to WTP and was the last to be served. Am sure there’s some identifier in the passenger list. But likely they mistook avios bookings for an upgrade.

    Jill Kinkell 163 posts

    I did notice on one trip the cc had an iPad display of pax and their status. This was on the drinks trolley propped up in front of one of them. I shone like a shining gold star amongst the blue! It may well also state type of booking but if so wasn’t obvious.

    NorthernLass 8,220 posts

    Yes, I have read previously that they don’t actually know how you booked BUT we were on 2 separate bookings and they still definitely treated us as a party of 3 and we were the only ones who didn’t get a choice.

    But anyway, our fight out in F was amazing, very good F & B both in the CCR and on board and crew couldn’t do enough for us. I bumped into a former colleague at MAN, she has been recovering from cancer so I guested her into the CCR which she really enjoyed, it was nice to be able to do that for someone who deserves a treat.

    I would have thought that actual complimentary upgrades are as rare as unicorn sightings at the moment which was another reason I was a bit floored by the comment!

    • This reply was modified 54 years, 5 months ago by .
    dougzz99 628 posts

    At the moment who really knows what’s happening with BA. The ‘more evidence’ title is quite a stretch. This sounds a lot more like crew error or BS to cover some other mess up.

    Lady London 2,139 posts

    You were 100% discriminated against Anna.

    Even if you had been upgraded, done UUA or complete avios booking, as you say this would have been 10 days before.

    In an efficient airline 5-24 hours should be sufficient to load sufficient food for seats in all classes. In BA’s case, 48-72 hours. So you were deliberately and obviously discriminated against. I’d not accept under 25,000 avios per seat, I’d put that in my complaint email stating not just how obvious it was and how crew could provide no answer although the discrimination was very obvious, state the dietary issues, also state the humiliation you all felt at being singled out.

    I will take a wild guess that BA passenger lists haven’t been updated on their computer for 10 or more days. So when food was loaded the caterer received instructions based on old frozen passenger lists. The final collation of the passenger list now being done manually on the day or 24hrs before due to the failure of BA’s computer systems.

    What a $hitty airline to humiliate people like this especially when this can leave people starving on longhaul at risk to their health if they have specific dietary needs – such as intolerance to the fat in cheese, or cannot let blood sugar go too low and also can’t eat things like chocolate bars or crisps, as the resultant blood sugar spikes or salt overloads could also not be able to be coped with by the individuals they select to be denied a proper meal. This is particularly important on long haul flight where the pasenger is dependent on the airline for food due to practicality and hand baggage contents and weight restrictions.

    Cabin crew definitely know who’s an award seat, over the years this has always been clear to me.

    I’d have told them to take the trays back untouched, quietly told them that the discrimination they’d practised had been obvious and was hurtful and harmful from a dietary point of view and told them not to insult you by claiming they hadn’t deliberately selected your party as for several reasons it was obvious and that you would be complaining.

    Don’t let them get away with it, demand a written apology and the reasons, and not less than 25 000 avios per seat or the cash cost equivalent to 3 meals on the ground.

    Harry T 101 posts

    Sounds more like incompetence than malice.

    PGW 94 posts

    At the moment who really knows what’s happening with BA. The ‘more evidence’ title is quite a stretch. This sounds a lot more like crew error or BS to cover some other mess up.

    I would agree. It’s a all too typical poor showing from BA here and I can readily sympathise but there are several alternative explanations for what happened that aren’t related to a distinction being made between cash and avios passengers.

    Lady London 2,139 posts

    HarryT and PGW I wish that were the case but there are just too many reports.

    NorthernLass 8,220 posts

    What actual other explanations are there, then? I watched them serve every other passenger first, both in front and behind us. My son was sitting across the aisle from us in the middle of the cabin (and on a separate booking), so should have been served with that block of seated pax, as normally happens in CW. Yet they came to us at the very end with the 3 left over meals.

    I’m not even that bothered about the actual food – we’d eaten in the lounge and it was only a 6 hour flight. If we had allergies or other needs we would have selected a special meal as this is still an option. My concern is that there is more and more evidence (and it is evidence) of reward pax being singled out for worse treatment. Rob himself has concluded that people on avios/241 bookings are more likely to be chosen for downgrades and there was a reader who posted recently that she had been moved from the seat she had paid for on several occasions.

    Most tellingly – the FA confirmed that we had been deliberately left until last – it was the reason he gave that was rubbish and rather annoying!

    @HarryT, I don’t think it was malicious, either, the crew were all lovely otherwise and we certainly didn’t feel disadvantaged up till that moment. I don’t think they’d do it deliberately, either, I am just wondering if BA management has instructed them to keep (fully) paying passengers happy at all costs!

    • This reply was modified 54 years, 5 months ago by .
    AJA 1,125 posts

    Do you know who the caterer in BOS is? I think it is Do&Co but it might not be. I am not sure how catering works these days but back in 2007 I used to work for LSG Sky Chefs and catering on a long haul flight was confirmed 6 hours before flight departs. The airline could add or reduce numbers up to that point. They could even cancel the entire flight at t-6 hours. After that point the catering is provided and must be paid for. Even if the flight is cancelled the caterer should still be paid.

    Therefore for the FA to claim you were a last minute upgrade they would have to assume that you were not on the manifest at t-6hours. If you checked in for your flight the day before then you should have clearly been on the manifest for the flight and counted in the numbers to be catered for.

    When the FA side-stepped the question I hope you replied “yes it was lovely until this moment when BA have failed to provide the service I was expecting”

    I agree it is never a good idea to be confrontational or be rude to crew but that does not mean you should not complain or be assertive.

    I agree with LL that you should definitely complain and I would say in the letter that you would accept 25k Avios each. Whether BA agrees or even pays up that much is another question.

    Jill Kinkell 163 posts

    Just off a domestic flight. In row 1d&f.. best for views over London ( womens boat race snapped!) and avoid being bashed in 1c!
    However cc took ages to serve 1a&c meanwhile the cc at rear of trolley was doling out the drinks and meals at Olympic speed. Whilst we had a choice , most of CE were munching away before us! No malice intended and was OK, but made me think as I’d read Anna’s episode just before boarding.

    NorthernLass 8,220 posts

    Yep, all checked in the day before. OH and I had been booked into that cabin since April 2021, son as of 10 days ago.

    Jill – we were in row 4 on our connecting flight and the meat choice ran out just after we got served! I can’t understand why they would ever think many people would actively opt for quinoa salad, absolutely nobody wanted it and the other option was Coronation Chicken 😂

    Thegasman 202 posts

    It’s BA policy to allocate menu choices based on status so if everyone else was higher status than your party you would be served last if you were an upgrade or had paid full fare.

    The fact BA run their catering allocations so “efficiently” is another issue & deserving of scorn but it’s not a targeting of Avios tickets. It’s actually more of an issue in First as the far bigger J cabin means it’s more likely that predicted choices will match those of the passengers on the day.

    VickyTM 113 posts

    I recently had a flight to Stockholm as an Avios booking. I was flying in economy as I’d rather have the extra legroom of an exit row than be in club on a short haul. I’d pre-ordered and paid for some food off the advance menu. My original flight was then cancelled and I re-booked onto a later flight that day. The food that I’d ordered did not make it onto the new flight, so the very lovely CC brought me a meal from Club and three complimentary bottles of wine…

    Tracey 221 posts

    My last 241 reward flight, we were “upgraded” along with just 2 other passengers into the unused F cabin. UVF-LGW night flight. Certainly no discrimination there.

    SMB 23 posts

    Pre-covid my daughter and I were returning to EDI from PMI on the Cityflyer.We had pre-booked the emergency exit seats but the rumours were passing along the check-in queue about overbooking. They in fact had sent a smaller aircraft than the outbound so were 3 seats short.We had obviously been chosen well in advance to be bumped and having worked at an airport in a previous life for 8 years I was well aware that singletons were chosen first to be bumped.A couple were also selected.Whether they knew we were a reward flight or not I can’t tell but we came home via LHR arriving in EDI 8 hours late.The greatest effort was trying to get EU261. It took weeks with them trying to award to LHR instead of EDI and no return of seat payment and had endless arguments with various promises and accents and it was only sorted when I threatened MCOL. I certainly felt the later part was because it was a rewards flight as they were so dismissive. And I’m no shrinking violet!

    dougzz99 628 posts

    @SMB BA seldom pay EU261 without a battle regardless of how the ticket was bought. Their responses to me in regard of a delay from Miami are little short of fantasy. What really annoys me about this particular case is after the flight delay they took 2+ hours to deliver the first bags.

    Jess 36 posts

    On our flight to Mauritius last month I was told by the CSM that as I had Gold status I would be served first, even though mine was an Avios booking, so it sounds rather like anything goes, depending on who is working in your cabin.
    I have to say that I would have been aggrieved to have been offered a croissant or nothing on a long haul flight. I would definitely be asking for compensation of some manner.

    NorthernLass 8,220 posts

    It’s BA policy to allocate menu choices based on status so if everyone else was higher status than your party you would be served last if you were an upgrade or had paid full fare.

    The fact BA run their catering allocations so “efficiently” is another issue & deserving of scorn but it’s not a targeting of Avios tickets. It’s actually more of an issue in First as the far bigger J cabin means it’s more likely that predicted choices will match those of the passengers on the day.

    Have you got some evidence for that? But OH is Bronze – I can’t believe every other passenger was either Silver or Gold!


    @Tracey
    – that’s happened to us before, it just means that the CW cabin is full, it’s not in any way an upgrade!

    I might put a complaint in – not just because of the food but also because the whole trip was blighted by IT issues and we were then delayed on our return connection due to staff shortages.

    The Savage Squirrel 595 posts

    On our flight to Mauritius last month I was told by the CSM that as I had Gold status I would be served first, even though mine was an Avios booking, so it sounds rather like anything goes,

    Sounds like exactly the kind of policy that will generate only very fractional goodwill for the beneficiary vs lots of badwill for those that lose out and takes effort and crew time to implement. To be honest I’d rather they just cracked on with serving the cabin in order – not least because in the end that’s far quicker and more efficient for everyone.

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