Review of British Airways flight Manchester London in Economy

Airline British Airways
Flight BA1389
Class Economy
Seat 9A
Aircraft Airbus A320
Flight time 00:42
Take-off 15 Nov 23, 10:28
Arrival at 15 Nov 23, 11:10
BA   #62 out of 94 Airlines A minimum of 10 flight-reports within the past two years is required to appear in the rankings. 963 reviews
thejetflyer
By BRONZE 407
Published on 28th December 2023

foreword


Before I begin this review of 4 flights in total, I must draw your attention to what BA promise passengers

https://www.britishairways.com/content/information/the-ba-experience BA experience

Please do read all 4 reviews and see if BA measured up to these promises.






reservations


The British Airways website is extremely clear and easy to use however I found it not so responsive when tryng to enter the destination and arrival points . It was painfully slow in that aspect. Once I had made my Reservation, a few days later it was decided that my Mum would be joining me on this trip to visit family in Cincinnati ! I could not contain my excitement and immediately set about servicing the booking regards meals for us both and Special Assistance for Mum.

Seats were still showing at a charge despite notices everywhere that BA WCHR passengers get free seat assignment.

Having worked in the BA Contact Centre for 3 years in the late noughties, this would be my first ever time ringing British Airways. I got through fairly quickly to a lady named Samantha in South Africa. She initially seemed pleasant.

I told her that there are 2 separate bookings for me and my Mum and is she able to link these ?

She said yes, made me confirm everything on both bookings then told me she needs to speak to my Mum even though it is my email and card details on the booking. She also completely ignored me when I said I was excited to be flying BA longhaul for the first ever time. I found it odd thinking of all those passengers I looked after in 3 years and she didn’t even acknowledge this special trip.

I also found it strange that she made me clear all the security on both bookings before denying me help. I rang straight back without giving any booking details. I got Mr Kurt in Cape Town who said exactly the same thing. He advised I need to get my name added to the booking and that both bookings would be linked once my Mum has cleared security. He also advised my Mum would get free seat assignment over the phone but that online, a fee would continue to be charged.

It would be many days before I was able to be with Mum to ring through and get the bookings linked. So on the off chance I get someone who might help,I rang BA on my lunch on 7th November and got straight through to Mr Tashwille.

I was elated to hear he would link the bookings with just me on the line and also sorted the seat assignments so there was no mad rush to wait until 24 hours before departure !

He spoke to a support agent who approved the seats without waiting for the standard few days.

What a Gentleman who also wished Mum a nice flight too !

You are unable to add another booking to the app so I had to separately bring up my Mum's booking to Manage it.

We Saved a significant amount for seat assignments due to Mum being a WCHR user.


ONLINE CHECKIN


The day before BA1389 to Heathtrow, I went online to get us checked in. A circle kept going round and it was a good while before I managed to access both bookings. Had I been poised to select seats then that would have added extra pressure and the hope that someone else doesn’t take the seats.

The system wouldn’t let me edit part of our USA address. When I tried to edit it, it went straight to “Info completed”.

On Mum’s booking there was a message in red that “ We need to check your Passport and Visa at the Airport”.

Mum was allowed a Boarding Pass as a pdf but I wasn’t..
Initially I only got the MANLHR Boarding Pass but Mum got them for both flights.
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Not a consistent experience where Online Checkin is concerned.


The countdown begins !


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CHECKIN FOR BA 1389


On the morning of BA1389, I added a bag to my Mum's booking who was on a separate booking. To date, no email has ever been sent to me to confirm payment.

At MAN I had to show the bag purchase on my mobile as they did not have any notification. Luckily I had left myself on the confirmation page on ba.com that proved I had paid. If I hadn't I would have had to likely pay again.


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I had preassigned 30AB so me and Mum would be near to the washrooms, but we were reassigned to 9AB with no prior warning.
It is weird that one's meal is hidden from view after the booking is made " for security" yet DSAB lettering features on the Boarding Pass as if someone wants to shout about needing assistance.


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Checkin for BA at Manchester is done by Menzies. Yosheequa was a lovely lady being trained by Susan who was really nice and friendly towards my Mum. We were allowed to checkin a piece of handluggage free of charge. This is the norm on BA domestic flights as there is always a shortage of space onboard. BA are to blame for this as they allow massive handluggages onboard as you will see shortly..

We had to take the handluggage soft bag to the out of gauge belt where a lovely lady named Michelle sent the bag through after checking our Boarding Passes.


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I was grateful we were flying at all given Debi was being naughty !


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And the V word was not one I wanted to hear either !


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BOARDING


I had to push Mum to the gate and security as there were no Special Assistance staff for 20 minutes and boarding time was fast approaching.

Going through into security was a breeze as it was so quiet but a Security guy further on was being rude and talking robotically. Once security had been cleared we headed to gate 142 where the flight was getting ready to board.  The view of our "bus" from Security.


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A gentleman from Special Assistance came and got my Mum and took her into the airbridge once our Passports and Boarding Passes had been checked.


Boarding "began" but instead, my Mum who is a WCHR passenger and I stood in a congested and cold airbridge. There were some crew missing I heard one of the Airport staff say. Stood next to me was a BA Airhostess flying to Heathrow to operate a service to Newark. 10 minutes after we entered the airbridge, some of the crew walked past and boarding then commenced shortly after. Boarding began at 0945am and a miserable looking young Airhostess met us at the door and did not smile once through the whole flight, including when she was serving in Club Europe. She was accompanied by a very smiley and friendly female Inflight Manager.


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No boarding music played and the legroom was appalling. BA had packed seats like sardines into this,over 20 year old A320 . BA is very clearly looking at revenue only but at what cost ? If your passengers are uncomfortable, what has been the point of such dense seating ? If British Midland was still around,there is no way I would choose to fly BA from Manchester to Heathrow .


Club Europe - blocked middle seat and linen headrest cover.


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The EuroTraveller seats look so smart embossed with the Speedmarque logo.


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Nice looking cabin - but the real fun is yet to begin. And not in a good way.


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Also, what is with the Club Europe and EuroTraveller cabin names ? After Brexit, surely these names no longer make sense ? I don't see Lufthansa rushing to name their cabins after Britain or Iberia desperately wanting to have a Club Brittania class. Personally, I would rename Euro Traveller to BA Traveller and rename Club Europe to the simpler Club Class.

An Airhostess, Lorna, proactively took Mum’s stick in case it got crushed and placed it safely overhead. At 0953am for there was an announcement for handluggage to be placed in overhead lockers and to keep the aisle clear.

A further announcement at 0957am stated that this was a very busy flight and to please use coat hooks and to not put coats in the overhead lockers.

Looking at the overhead lockers, I had to question why people bring such large handluggages. Why ?

If space is at a premium then I see BA going the way of Delta and charging for overhead lockers too. Especially for those on the Basic Fare.


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A Steward David moved stuff around and said he would get an extension seatbelt. The belt in English Rose Red !


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Boarding was complete at 1006am and I heard the crew disciplining someone who tried to have handluggage on the floor whilst sat on an exit row.

The Pilot advised of the safety demo that was about to take place and how safety is a priority. The doors closed and we pushed back at 1012am and the manual safety demonstration took place at the same time.

The engines started up at 1015am.The crew performed a cabin secure check and David’s lovely Northern Ireland accent sounded so pleasant.


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TAKE OFF


At 1028am we departed Manchester’s Runway two and left behind a miserable and grey gloomy morning as we lifted up into bright blue skies. 


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It really set the mood for the holiday ahead and it was nice to see some sun after weeks of miserable weather in Manchester. Immediately there was a polite and professional Welcome announcement from the lovely Inflight Manager.


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INFLIGHT SERVICE


Post Covid, a free water bottle and snack is served onboard BA domestic and shorthaul Economy Class flights.

Only water bottles were loaded today and no snack - a huge disappointment as my Mum was flying BA after 32 years and the incomplete inflight service was an embarrassment after I had been raving about BA. I personally was flying BA after 6 years and was disappointed greatly.

Amazing that BA would have an elaborate menu for items that are only available through pre purchase before the flight !


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The crowning glory of BA 1389 has to be the following. I had preordered a cheese and chutney sandwich for me and Mum as she has to take medication around the time we would be inflight. The order was placed 5 days before departure and you are meant to be served first if you preorder.


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Aside from the water bottle, there was no proactive offering of my sandwich meal deal. After the Captain made an announcement for 15 minutes till landing, I flagged down Steward David. He went away and came back with the Sprite and crisps of the meal deal but told me, that instead of cheese, only ham had been loaded. As someone who booked well in advance and as a Muslim passenger, I find it shocking and deeply offensive that a ham sandwich would be included in my order. How on earth had Tourvest ( who supply BA’s Tom Kerridge Sandwiches ) got this wrong ? Either someone there is racist or lacking intelligence.

We had to decline the ham sandwich of course, but were thoughtfully brought part of a Club Europe meal tray ( unidentifiable veggie main, dessert and a portion of butter despite no breadroll ). We wolfed down the mains and custard crumble dessert whilst we were flying round and round getting ready for landing at Heathrow. I would happily pay for the mealboxes that BA handed out during the covid era as they were packed full of delicious and filling food and drink.


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SUPER SHUTTLE - THE PAST ELEGANCE OF BA DOMESTIC



How different BA's past domestic service looked in the Golden days of BA.


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LANDING VIEWS


At 1055am there was a flightdeck update to advise there would be a busy arrival period at Heathrow.
The Captain advised that for the next 10-15 mins we were in a hold then approach to land on the ground at 1110am or 1115am.
It was a nice day with light winds and were landing on a west runway. I enjoyed the nice views over central London. There should really be an Arrivals video shown onboard shorthaul flights into London Heathrow Airport.


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The best view of London from way up high ! Loving the shiny engine view with our reflection !


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The BA Arena ? Where is this ?


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Why am I thinking of the Teletubbies ?!


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Our Route


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We landed at 1110am. The Inflight Manager did a lengthy announcement that directed connecting passengers.  In the Golden and Olden days, HighLife magazine had this awesome guide to connecting at Heathrow.


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We then parked on a remote stand. The Captain thanked everyone for flying BA. Whilst most passengers had disembarked, Airhostess Lorna got my Mum’s stick and was really pleasant towards us and even told me how to identify Inflight Managers in the new uniform (they have more blue in their tie/scarf).  Lorna and I had a little joke about my British Midland crewbag that I was carrying ! I saw David carrying the hand luggages of an elderly couple heading to the Ambulift and the crew then brought my Mum to the Ambulift and wished us a nice holiday.   


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On Arrival at Heathrow we parked at a remote stand and met by a very stern lady who took us in an ambulift and had zero social skills. On arrival into the terminal building there were no BA staff and we waited over an hour for a wheelchair to arrive. The waiting or holding area we were taken to in Terminal 5, was cold and empty , where there were 2 staff members of WilsonJames. Mr Jasbir was really kind in giving information and told us we don’t need to do security again. as we were transiting T5 to T5. The lady of the couple (below) who Steward David had carried handluggages for, asked if I may open a bottle for her and she was very happy when I did so.


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A day earlier I spoke to Ms Anka at Heathrow Special Assistance LHR and she had advised that we will be taken either straight to the gate or the waiting area then the gate and that my Mum would be using either a WCHR or Buggy. We waited a good hour for a wheelchair in a cold area with limited seating, no BA staff and toilets on the level above.


Next stop Munich for our Sardine Bus from Manchester !


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Air Belgium for BA to Chicago.


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WiFi - Fast,Free and Efficient !


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BA want my honest opinion


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See more

Verdict

British Airways

5.0/10
Cabin4.0
Cabin crew6.0
Entertainment/wifi5.0
Meal/catering5.0

Manchester - MAN

7.8/10
Efficiency7.0
Access8.0
Services6.0
Cleanliness10.0

London - LHR

6.3/10
Efficiency5.0
Access5.0
Services5.0
Cleanliness10.0

Conclusion

A very poor experience that made us dread the return. The idea of booking Special Assistance is to help a passenger maintain their independence. I dread to think how my Mum would have been treated had she been travelling alone.The idea of preordering is that you get served first. But to be served when you are descending is ludicrous. To be served food you cannot eat for religious reasons is very unacceptable for a so called global Airline. Legroom is appalling and BA seriously need to rethink their shorthaul cabins and onboard product. But hey, I am about to fly longhaul on BA and surely the experience will be 5 Star ?! Join me at BA 121 to find out.

Information on the route Manchester (MAN) London (LHR)

Les contributeurs de Flight-Report ont posté 13 avis concernant 2 compagnies sur la ligne Manchester (MAN) → London (LHR).


Useful

La compagnie qui obtient la meilleure moyenne est bmi avec 7.5/10.

La durée moyenne des vols est de 0 heures et 56 minutes.

  More information

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