British Airways Flight Attendant Sums Up Their First Class Perfectly in One Sentence

brightstar100 flew British Airways first class from Sydney to Singapore and reports that crew left a note for the flight attendants who would be working the ongoing Singapore to London segment.

He read the note as he got off the aircraft. It detailed “service failings onboard owing to things not being loaded / insufficient supplies” and indeed he didn’t get his first choice of wine because there was only one bottle of it catered. At the end of the note they wrote, “Great group of passengers, we did our best with the limited resources we had.

Now British Airways service is mixed, both literally and figuratively. Flight attendants are broken up into two groups — “Worldwide” fleet are longer tenured flight attendants, and “Mixed fleet” are the newer hires that are paid less. I find Mixed Fleet crews try harder and provide better service. Some routes are flown by one flight attendant group, and some routes by the other.

However both groups are given the same limited product to work with. British Airways first class is nice enough, complaints about any first class product are truly ‘first world problems’ in the extreme. And British Airways first class is better than British Airways business class, which is truly an uncompetitive product. Coming up with airlines that British Airways is better than in business class requires naming some of the worst airlines in the world.

Nonetheless where airlines with first class frequently offer seats with doors, where Delta and Qatar do this even in business class, and where even BA’s joint venture partner American Airlines offers direct aisle access in business, British Airways first class offers a decidedly business class hard product, decent but uninspired soft product, and seemingly not enough of it.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

More articles by Gary Leff »


  1. I know this probably makes me the baby of the bunch, but I had over 600K actual miles last year a lot of which was international first class to Europe and SE Asia. BA has the only direct flight to the UK from my local airport, PHX, but I have given up on them. The 747s are geriatric and poorly serviced and the flight is almost always late and not by a bit. That is a LHR T3 issue, not equipment. The crew and the cabin service are the only saving graces. There are seats in First on the 74s that if I had paid for, I would be livid –4,5 E,F.
    I will consider the BA A380 from LHR to HKG if I can’t get on Cathay but the return flight(s) are at silly times, both on the A380 and the 777 (the latter to be avoided if at all possible).
    The biggest problem in First on the A380s is that the lavs are the default lavs for the entire crew, and consequently it can be hard to slot into the queue (really).
    Yes Gary, this is a First World problem, I get it. But when one *pays* for these seats it’s still a problem.
    I now route on AA Flagship via LAX, DFW or MIA over BA direct to LHR.

  2. A every few months I have to take BA from LHR to HYD as options are limited. The 788 that runs this route gets filthier every time I am on it.

    I have almost universally pleasant experiences with the crew and Club World is what it is but this plane is just absolutely disgusting. The dust is so thick on the air vents that it has measurable depth. My wipes after a quick surface cleaning are black. It is just horrible.

  3. Also, this sentence. What does this mean? Take pride in your work and stop being so sloppy.
    t. Coming up with airlines that British Airways is better than in business class requires naming some of the world airlines in the world.

  4. And the typos just keep on coming… “… some of the world airlines in the world.”

    I’m thinking that you meant to type… “… some of the worst airlines in the world.”

  5. I don’t know why British Airways is still considered the flag-carrier of the UK when Virgin Atlantic does a better job providing that upscale British experience. For a country with monarchy, aristocrats and some of the most expensive luxury brands in the world, I don’t understand why Britons settle for British Airways. Yes, I know BA and, increasingly Virgin Atlantic, are squeezed by low-cost carriers within Europe and now on transatlantic routes but KLM, Air France and Lufthansa all seem to survive and do better than the British carriers.

  6. @Dalo Don’t be silly. It’s not unreasonable for a reader to expect a blogger of Gary’s stature to spell check or to insure all the words are even there.

    @Jason @Jose with that said, however, you need to realize Gary writes this blog for himself and doesn’t respect us enough to do the simplest things to insure his points are understood. Makes it easy to skip his mostly spurious economic analyses and focus on the more straightforward points and earning posts.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.