Category Archives: Travel
As an Executuve Platinum member, a person with a million miles to burn, loads of VIP upgrades, a wife who as bunch of Avios miles as well as being a Concierge Key member, I often purchase flights and then upgrade, whether from business to first or coach to business. It usually works out well and American Airlines is more than accommodating. I must say that I have noticed a marked improvement over the past year or so in their service. I have travelled for business often and this past 4 months I have been on the road 90% of the time…
So I have seen my share of airlines, airports and general travel. Recently I purchased a ticket for my wife on American. I used a VIP voucher to upgrade her outbound flight to business and attempted to do the same on the return. The mistake I made was the return was a BA flight #117 from LHR to JFK and when I called to upgrade the return, American told me I needed to speak with BA,,, then BA told me I needed to speak with Americsn.. Finally, the Concierge Key desk at American gave me the details assisted me in getting in contact with the right people at BA..
Once again. BA said it was American that I needed to speak to even after we offered to use BA miles to upgrade my wife’s ticket. We decided to try at the airport upon our return…. But the story gets worse. When we arrived at heathrow to check in at the BA Club counter we asked to use either BA or Amercsn miles to upgrade, we were told that BA policy is that they only allow upgrades 24 hours in advance when someone is using miles or other awards.. However we could purchase an upgrade for £499. Its curious to me why BA wuld do this – especially if flight has open seats.. I asked if the flight was full.. The counter person said not yet.. So we took her word for it And went on about our way to the lounge. Once again we tried in the lounge and we received the same story. Obviously the staff have been trained in their policy and obviously people have asked this question before. We both guessed that business would be empty and we would find out that Clearly BA has not figured out that delighting consumers is a good thing and that leaving seats empty is ok…
As we boarded, I handed my Business ticket to my wife I and I headed to row 50.. in the back..
NOTE: turning right when you get on a plane is not as good as turning left…
My seat was fine but the plane was bloody hot (thew that in as we were at LHR) and completely filled. While my meal was barely editable (see photo from Dec 27th) I was able to at least enjoy my iPad and watch the balance of a television serieis I had downloaded. As we were getting close to NY and while I was in the middle of the last eipsode, the stewardess came by and ripped my headphones off.. thinking they were BA’s. There were and are in fact ny Bose Qc2′s.. not the brand or model BA uses or issues. without apologizing she continued on her way up the aisle.
Upon landing, I asked my wife is business was full. She informed me it was 1/2 empty and the service was atrocious and she was shocked how BA service had gone complete;y downhill. Her breakfast was the same as mine except it was swimming in some liquid, empty glasses where left all over the place and non of the stewards were to be found when she needed a drink of water or other services. The absolute WORST part of the business experience for her was all she could hear from the crew was arguing over whether there would be enough food for them..
Here is what BA can learn from this
1. Treat customers as well as American does or better (even in Chapter 11, American is treating its clients with respect)
2. Pay attention to detail. Its the little things that matter. If the meal that you serve a business class customer is worse than coach you might have an issue… especially when you are charging $5,000 for a ticket.
3. Think about those empty seats as opportunities to delight your customers. When they are sitting empty.. even if its last minute.. move people up.. Let them use miles.. whatever it takes to provide a better experience.
4. Respond. Maybe a dialogue with a frequent traveller like me or other people could be a good ongoing panel for opinions, ‘how we doing?’ moments, or just to touch base..
What American and BA can learn from this
1. Make oneworld.. one world.. make it really work.. let me use my miles on BA like I do on American. BA – treat me like American does..
Happy to help. Feel free to contact me to discuss further
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