Thursday, February 02, 2012

Premium economy class, British Airway

The first time I flew on a premium economy class was with Eva Air (a Taiwanese airline) in 1994 when I used to fly pretty often to Vancouver and Los Angeles. The seat was 40% more spacious than the economy class with 1.5 inches wider and 6 inches longer with 2 more inches recline and the price is about 10-20% more expensive back then (HK$6,600 for premium vs. 4,800 for economy). On my recent trip to Europe, I chose this class with British Airway (HK$9,990 for premium vs. 7-8,00 for economy. Noted that it's the peak Chinese New Year holiday season). On my first outbound flight, I got a phone call from BA that the flight was overbooked and asked if I was willing to downgrade to economy without remarking on how the price difference was when I queried on that, but just got diverted the answer for the airport counter to answer. Besides, they claimed they didn't have business class seats to cater for me - an immediate back-end closing the door. This is a real bad contingency plan that an airline shouldn't have and this is BA which holds such a big fleet of aircrafts. So unprofessional.). Then when I was at the HK airport, the counter repeated the same stupid saying. I immediately denied and that unprofessional agent subtly murmured for herself that it's not that spacious for the premium. So in order not to ruin my onward flights, I had to bear with it and simply requested for what I paid for. Then I wrote a serious complaint to BA but their reply is that it's their policy for doing so, but advised me to get the price difference if that's the case. Another unprofessional reply that they didn't get my point clearly. So this airline is another one like Air France in addition to Canadian Airline and United Airline that I could totally forget their existence.
Then on board with their 747 aircraft, my first impression, the seat is pretty spacious but quite torn out and the seat cushion was so flat down without a proper comfort. The cabin cleanliness is my concern too. It's very dusty with some stain. The personal TV is even smaller than many other airline economy class and the entertainment program is more for the British without any Asian programs if you care about some Asian content.
As for the meal, the portion is bigger than those of economy class, but in general it's quite quite salty for all the meals I took. Their coffee is very bland at about 1/3rd thickness of the American coffee. It's pretty disappointing. The only happy thing is their crew is generally very friendly and helpful after all.
So that's it and I will go back to Cathay Pacific and especially they are launching a new premium economy class as from this coming March.


Mickey Mouse said...

this is the way they do business and already deserved the result - a very 'good' economy status .. LOL

oh torn out seat, u hv to forgive the airline, they just don't hv a budget to run a proper airline, and they also hv to reserve fund for the 'annual' union strike .. LOL

cabin not comfortable and not clean? oh may be this is already more luxury than their home .. LOL

in the sea said...

This is really true from what we have seen. Strike and price cut and quality drop. Then further strike and further cut and further drop. I almost couldn't get back in time because of the strike again. This is really a X times I have met. From the airport luggage, to taxi, bus, train...., I did encounter those in person.

Mickey Mouse said...

oh u didn't mention the wallet, travel bag and iPad been stolen in Spain, in front of thousand pair of eyes in day night ..

i take the train in Thailand many many times, no need to say there is no thief and pickpocket in any railway station, even when i forget my belongings, ppl (usually dressed very poor-look) always rush to remind me of that, or just come to me with the stuff (i left on the chair) .. very honest Thai ppl .. but good ppl only limited to civilians; government workers (civil servants) and politicians? the hell is waiting for them!

in the sea said...

Thanks Mickey. I need some time to recover from that. 15 years ago, I almost got robbed in daylight. Then I thought I was smart enough and overestimated myself, but those cunning thefts attacked on human good deed and thought they got what they want. Sadly, what they can do is to rob rob rob and steal steal steal. They have never had themselves in them. Will report that later. Need some more time to write that, together with my experiences in Italy of 15 years ago.

Stella said...

Yes Barcelona and Italy are famous of their high crime rate.

Cannot imagine even BKK can do 100 times better than those so called advanced European cities.

BKK really way exceeds my expectation.

in the sea said...

I heard from my other friend the other day that I almost got into another trouble. Some kids asked me to sign on a paper for supporting their fund for the disable. So I didn't care about them. My friend told me they had a trap from the exact "signing" thing. The kids robbed them when they signed.... Really a horrible place!