British Air

May 21st, 2003, 11:32 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 4,204
We've flown BA from Seattle to London on to Malaga and are flying with to London on to Spain again in Nov. We were pleased. You might try ordering special meals, which we always do on all airlines--we order low fat/low cholestral--and the meal out of Seattle was actually quite good (sea bass--which I doubt they'll serve next time), though it wasn't as good out of London on the way back (but we don't expect good food out of London). But overall, I think they're fine and the trip is as pleasant as an incredibly long flight can be (try No Jetlag--it helps).
artlover is offline  
May 21st, 2003, 11:48 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,301
I was always a big fan of BA and have flown them many, many times over the last 10 years, however, I agree completely with the posters who say their service has gone down hill.

The biggest problem--to me--is that you must do everything online. Chances of getting a human being on the phone are nil. I make all my reservations--cars, hotels, air--online so that would be no biggie except that the customer service aspect is difficult to manauver through and NOT responsive. Case in point:

Last October the lock was broken and my luggage rifled to the tune of over $1,200 in stolen items. Because I didn't notice the broken lock (it was left on the zipper) until I was unpacking the next morning, I was unable to fill out a form at the airport. On the phone, the person I eventually got refused to take a report, saying it must be done online. The online form leaves a lot to be desired. And, the automatic e-mail response is generic and does not give you a claim number. Although the e-mail response said someone would get back within six weeks (six weeks???)and not to contact them, it was FOUR months before someone called (and, yes, I DID try repeatedly to contact them during that time). Then only to tell me that I have to go through my final carrier (AW) since they couldn't be sure it happened while flying BA. Never mind that BA tagged my luggage with BA tags and sent it through their co-op airline, AW. By the way, AW wouldn't talk to me about it because you have to file a claim with them within 7 days of flying and BA's four-month later response blew that.

Sorry for the long rant--just one major screw-up on the part of BA that I've experienced over the last two years.

Other things: Can't choose seats until arriving at the airport--even as a long-time FF member. Lost luggage in London three years ago and took six days and a huge number of phone calls to get it back. I could go on and on (and I have--sorry). I'm cashing in my ton of miles for my next flight and leaving ba in the dust.
MelJ is offline  
May 21st, 2003, 02:01 PM
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 19

When are you flying from FL to Gatwick? I am flying out on the 27th. Unfortunately, I will only have an afternoon in London before I go on Lichfield, and from there to Scotland for 3 days. Quick trip, but it came out of the blue, so I'll take it as an appetizer for future journeys.
florida_dee is offline  
May 21st, 2003, 03:44 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,247
Geez Mel...I thought you were leaving your bra in the dust!! I'll have to read more carefully!!!

I have not had problems with BA ..but probably have just been lucky. On our last flight I even asked the flight atendent if the seats seemed to have better leg room and got a positive response. And they were most attentive as i was having a leg problem, which I think they might have thought I was going to blame on them!

I only really fly them when I have FF miles..because from Orlando they are a lot less jammed than Virgin with kiddies , tired from dosney world!

I still prefer American Airlines.
jody is offline  
May 21st, 2003, 08:02 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 7,840
Hi littlehouse,

My husband swears by British Airways after many, MANY flights from the US to India and England. The attendants were the classiest he & I have experienced with the best attitudes (which goes a long way with us). They were available for anything that would make our flight more enjoyable. I would not consider putting them in the same category as our American companies - First class may have good crews but as a whole BA is in a class by itself compared to AA or Delta. We flew first, business and economy and I have to say, the attention did not vary - only the extras! They were great and we fly them whenever we can.

Have a great trip!
BeachGirl247 is offline  
May 21st, 2003, 08:20 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,301
JOdy, you're right, the seats on the refitted 767's do have more legroom and the moveable "winged" headrests were a great improvement, as are the little metal footrests that come out of the seat in front of you. In October we had the refitted plane going out, but the old style coming back. In February, however, we had the refitted both ways, so perhaps they've finished redoing the fleet of 767's.

I should also have mentioned that 9 out of 10 times the food was better than I've had on other airlines--more imaginative, as well.

This is a great airline if your trip goes smoothly, but woe to the person who has a glitch or problem...
MelJ is offline  
May 22nd, 2003, 05:46 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 37
I fly regularly between Chicago and London. I have two young children (who are reasonably well-behaved) and they are very accomodating (they will hold my meal while I am feeding the children and bring it out later when they are sleeping). I do object to all the chocolate they put in their children's meal!
Reg is offline  
May 22nd, 2003, 11:07 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 33,370
I'm yet another person who liked BA many years ago but I detest them now. I avoid them at all costs, they are horrible. The seats are the tightest in the businss (in coach), and I don't like that rule at all that you can't even get a seat assignment until the airport. And then they give them to people they know or something, because even when I got there very early to checkin, they claimed they had no window seats left (hardly anyone was even there but me)--I asked the clerk how that was possible since they swore on the phone that no one got seat assignments before checking in. She said she didn't really know and didn't understand how it worked herself.

IN any case, the food was just okay as I recall, and I hate those stupid headrests that give you a crick in your neck and cannot be removed. I had to fly BA last time for some reason (about the only reasonable connection to Krakow from where I live), so I deliberately booked one of their 767s instead of 777s because they do have about one inch more legroom. It took about 1 hour for me to get my bags upon arrival, but I don't know if that's their fault or the airport's.
Christina is offline  
May 23rd, 2003, 10:19 AM
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 16
Fodors! I'm shocked.. do you normally leave offensive words such as in THINGORJUS posting? scrubbers and slags?!!! not nice
milkshake is offline  
May 23rd, 2003, 12:13 PM
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 2
Flying coach/economy, they are all Greyhound with wings as far as I'm concerned! Even AA announced this week they are reconfiguring their planes to lose the extra legroom to save $$. Have not had any bad experiences on BA, no better or worse than the rest, anyway. My advice, pack snacks so you don't have to eat their food (but have a cocktail), and the usual bring a change of clothes & all your necessities in your carry-on.

When I win the lotto, it will be first class all the way!
good2go is offline  
May 23rd, 2003, 12:51 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 335

never flown BA - but do remember a discussion not too long ago about the ridiculous Carryon limits they have.
Something like 7 lbs total. Most bags weigh that empty.
Debbie is offline  
May 23rd, 2003, 12:58 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,404
BA's carry on limit is 13 pounds. Sometimes it's enforced, sometimes not. 13 is actually do-able, it's to discourage those carry on's that look like steamer trunks.

As for seat assignments, I've always gotten them when I made my reservation. In fact I just cashed in some FF miles for April 2004 and already have the seat assignments. Never had any problem, but they do hold back seats for airport assignment, so maybe it depends when you book.
Lori is offline  
May 27th, 2003, 06:27 PM
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 150
Compared to Delta, they are great. We flew them last year to London on the way to Ireland.
We are also flying BA to London in June.
It was nice to have the movie screen on the back of the seat in front of you!
Food was okay.
Have a great trip! We are looking forward to our trip.
HannahHall is offline  
May 27th, 2003, 07:30 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,943
Hey, Milkshake....up your ronson, you mingin geezer.
ThinGorjus is offline  
May 27th, 2003, 11:50 PM
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 172
I've always had positive experiences with BA. I fly coach as I usually sleep on flights anyways and since I'm short and not overweight, the seats fit me fine. The food, at least VLML, is usually quite OK. I always end up getting drinks from flirtatious stewards. Nice.

I've read surveys called "Best and Worst Airlines" and BA usually gets #1 on both lists.
lillehavfrue is offline  
May 28th, 2003, 12:37 PM
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 16
Hey! ThinGorjus! Up YOUR jacksee too! you're a minger and for your info, I'm not a geezer but allll womaaaaaaan! Yay
milkshake is offline  
May 28th, 2003, 01:28 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,943
Ta, plebby slag. This is fun!
ThinGorjus is offline  

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