Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Bemoaning British Airways

It's been a while since I really complained about something in earnest. On my most recent journey of some length I travelled with British Airways. I am not sure about you but I have not heard many complimentary things about British Airways in my lifetime. Luckily for me my trip home was with British Airways from Barcelona to London to Singapore to Sydney. In Sydney I swapped over to Qantas and I have never been so happy to straddle a Kangaroo.

When I first mentioned my trip on British Airways a few of my crew members were only to happy to tell me what a great Airline BA is. It is worth noting that these crew members all hail from the UK. It is also worth noting that I was more than happy with most of my travel experience. My problems all stemmed from the cabin service.

I have some theories on the dire service that was apparent and I think the main problem are character traits of the English and their endless propensity for drinking. Having spent a fair bit of time with Sam recently I thought it would be quite fortifying to have a few drinks in the Barcelona airport. Unlike the rest of Barcelona the only drinks I could find there were beer and wine. Having picked up a weird ailment which renders me allergic to beer and being still shy of red wine I settled on a glass of blanco. I then noticed on the first leg that although the plane was very empty the flight attendants seemed almost shy to offer alcohol to us. Every other international airline I have travelled with literally throw alcohol at you. BA has learned that throwing alcohol at the English is a bad idea. Especially if they are flying.

When I reached Heathrow I saw the very familiar English pubs that Heathrow is full of. I was reminded again of the genetic English imperative to drink heavily before, after and during all occasions. On the second leg to Singapore I got very hungry. On other Airlines there always seem to be service staff looking to help. However there were large tracts of my trip to Singapore where I wondered if the cabin staff were still onboard. There didn't seem to be any snack service and meal time seemed to be dictated by how many gaunt passengers were awake looking expectantly around like dogs who had lost their owners.

On the third leg my increasingly exacerbated features were enough for me to get two breakfasts. Having been in the same plane for two legs I noticed how dirty the wings of the plane were. Maybe my time as Deckhand has damaged my brain but I can not remember seeing a plane with dirtier wings outside of a sandpit. The entertainment on the fight was also hamstrung. Serving up large advertisements before every selection and not a hell of a lot of to watch. Emirates had a more sophisticated system 5 years ago.


In BA's defense we did arrive everywhere on time and my luggage arrived in Auckland. Maybe 30 hours of travelling just made me tetchy. I do have a solution for BA. It involves placing all English passport holders in the hold with the geese and other animals. This will free up cabin space for the more discerning travelers and everyone will be happy. Except for the English, but lets face it. They never are.

Housekeeping
I have had some feedback from a reader that I spend a lot of the time writing about drinking alcohol. I am sorry if this concerns you but in the paraphrased words of another reader."I am a sailor and a writer so I am doubly fucked when it comes to booze" and believe me when I say I am what is considered a very light drinker only drinking once a week and sometimes not at all.

Cheers.
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