Thursday, October 3, 2013

Style vs. Stodgy

It's considered rude to compare hosts, but when you have paid for a specific service, you should get it, no matter who or what the host is.

A case in point would be the contrast between service on British Air (Sept. 7, 2013, and Sept. 15, 2013 to London) with that given us on an Air France flight to Paris and back to LAX in August of 2012.  Both airlines sold us tickets on watered-down Business and Jumped Up Coach.

World Traveler Plus
Coming home, we were offered the following menu:
Apple, celery and carrot salad
Choice of - Seared fillet of British beef with Port wine sauce, creamed leeks, roasted pumpkin and roasted new potatoes OR Roasted breast of corn-fed chicken with wild mushroom and fines herbes sauce, creamy mashed potatos, carrot batons and savoy cabbage.
Dessert was dark chocolate and butterscotch.

All of the above was served British Air style which is a rolling food cart with the entree of your choice more or less pitched at your tray.  We already knew that if we ordered a mixed drink, we'd be doing the mixing, but being handed a plastic bottle with a screw top and your choice of wines "Red or white?" was a bit over the top. 

Premiere Voyager offered:
Priority status and the invitation to make yourself at home in the airport lounge with free drinks and food. 
Being greeted with a glass of champagne before take-off.
At dinner, the food is served course by course, starting with a stand-alone amuse bouche, followed by salad (lobster, in this case), followed by the entree, individually served on a plate and not in a container and after the cheese course, your choice of chocolates from a box as well as little containers - a darling miniature hatbox, a mini-purse - with additional sweets.  There were four wine choices, each glass was individually poured from real wine bottles.

There was a difference, too, in attitude.  The French flight attendants were focused on the passengers, keeping watchful eyes for an empty wine glass or a water bottle that needed replenishment.  British Air's ladies did have warm and cordial manners, but only to each other.  I can't remember ever having seen a crew that so clearly regarded us as cattle and tiresome cattle at that.

Ta not very much, British Air.

No comments: