Confusion, Fear, and Loathing at Austin Powers World: BA mgmnt, wake up!

Discussion in 'British Airways | Executive Club' started by redtailshark, May 21, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. redtailshark

    redtailshark Silver Member

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    Last week I visited APW (BD lounge at LHR T1) . I sat for several hours waiting for my TP service to LIS, near the entrance. During this time I overheard numerous customers enter the lounge and ask questions of the dragons, who could not provide the answers needed.

    Some questions were fair and reasonable ones (under what circumstances can BA elites enter the lounge etc,). Others were more challenging.

    Regardless, anger and frustration marked the end of an unusually large proportion of these convos. Nobody had a clear idea of whether they were being told best knowledge, or not.

    This is not a good situation for the pax, or ultimately for BA.

    In fact....this situation is undeniably, and strongly, Dilbertian.

    BA, I suggest you station a supe or manager at this location forthwith, someone who is authorized and competent to explain the official BD dissolution/BA adsorption line to the pax. Some of these guys are LH Sens and others, and it won't impress them one bit to be treated to this confusion. It's a chance to make good with elements of the BD customer base that you might want to retain (not the Shark, obviously, but I have my uses... I call it like I see it)...and to atone in a small way for decades of unspeakable service.
     
  2. The Saint
    Original Member

    The Saint Silver Member

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    LH Sens (sic) are not welcome at any BD Lounge since the takeover. Simple.

    If they are trying - and failing - to gain access then that might explain their disappointment. LH were the only carrier to withdraw from the grace period in which BD members could use points to book Star Alliance flights, so I really couldn't care about some disgruntlement in the LH*G community. Some might see some Karma at work.

    In fact, the access rules are so beautifully simple, even Dilbert could understand them:

     
  3. EZEIZA
    Original Member

    EZEIZA Silver Member

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    Surprising (or maybe not) that your earwigging observations do not seem to be being reported elsewhere amongst the frequent flyer community?
     
  4. redtailshark

    redtailshark Silver Member

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    FT/MP are niche communities. I'd bet that many European FFP elites don't read or participate in them.

    A BA manager's time would not be wasted if he/she spent a morning at this location. Learning about the integration issues experienced by the staff as well as pax belonging to various airline programs would be informative for the organization and would help focus clear communication on the benefits/conditions.

    However, the issue here is the corporate Dilbertism. Everyone knows that BA - and their apologists - have never been good at a. identifying and acknowledging service issues and b. designing and delivering meaningful solutions.
     
  5. philatravelgirl

    philatravelgirl Silver Member

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    BA is no different than the US airlines in my opinion in terms of management and allocation of resources. most airlines don't "care" about the pax so why bother -it costs them money to be nice. How are most businesses today not like Dilbert? It's the norm to make people crazy yet we still go back -walk away if you don't like the treatment and don't give them your money.

    BA in UK dominates and as a USAirlines sales mgr in PHL said when I was negotiating city pair deals over $1m "why should I give you a discount you really have no choice out of PHL as we are the dominant carrier" same with BA and similar negotiations. Everyone in UK hates them but flies them and are married to their Avios and lounge access despite other options. Everyone in PHL complains about US but still flies them. if I don't like a carrier I avoid them -same with any vendor.

    I have contacts at BA corporate if you'd like to share all of your thoughts on how they can improve their business. As for UK travelers they moan all the time and have discussions about BA on the UK sites that I participate on outside of the MP community. Everyone is entitled to their opinion and their boards are definitely entertaining.

    As for me, with all airlines I have little or no expectations anymore so I can be surprised along the way -the joys of traveling from point A to B!
     
  6. redtailshark

    redtailshark Silver Member

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    It is true that certain domestic market dominance gives airlines a certain perspective and in that respect, there are commonalities between BA at LHR and US at PHL and PHX for instance.

    But as for the more global lack of "BA difference," ah, but I disagree. There are clear cultural differences between BA's organizational philosophy and those of US airlines. Take one glaring case. The infamous and unpublished but clearly enforced "potential child-molester" seating policy, for example, was promulgated by BA in clear violation of EU discrimination law. Some of us called this out several years before it actually happened. It was not hard to see where that would end up, and it did, fueled by the inevitability of such organizational arrogance thinking it was above the law, and could hide or browbeat others from contesting its procedures and intent.

    As for the receptivity of BA management to these views, well, I know you won't be aware of the FT history but to save time, I've flown all over the world with BA. In a different era, I was a former jumpseat rider with BA, and I have contacts inside the organization both from those days, and now, as a critical customer. I've posted on the correlation between British culture and BA organizational philosopy and operating procedures on numerous occasions. Much to the amusement of the neutral bystanders and the revulsion of the Colonel Blimps - some of them lurk here, BTW. You'll see who they are by their reactions to such penetrating insights.

    Like this:

    http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/brit...-management-need-read-crew-comments-here.html

    Muahahaha!

    You can find lots more in the archive. The responses of the Nigels and Nigellas are notorious.

    And not all people believe that "everyone is entitled to their opinion." Least of all, of course, BA apologists. Long ago, I was censored from those forums at the behest, interestingly, not of BA management, but their apologists. Ah! How they fume every time we have these discussions with those unaware of the history! Alors! Maintenant le jouissance! C'est parfait! Their expectation that such malfeasance will be kept quiet even by those who have been victimized by it, is not only amazing, but symptomatic of the depths of the hypocritical stiff upper lip culture.

    The fact of such directed censorship makes little difference overall because as you note, plenty of others complain - but those actions support one of the key theses, that the British cultural intolerance of dissent impedes meaningful glasnost and perestroika. It's so easy to encourage the apologists to reveal themselves and nothing is more certain than that they're going to do it again.
     

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