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#929950 by marshy11
12 Dec 2016, 19:58
Ground Staff
Food & Drink
Cabin Crew
This started on 25th with a rather easy drive up to LGW from Cornwall. Car parked and suitcases wheeled to the Hilton. The Hilton is tired but I keep going back. The executive lounge took a thrashing and we got good value (it was a points redemption).

Up early (5.30ish) and showered, repacked the toiletries and across to the terminal. In the new temporary check-in zone we had UC, PE and stacks of Y desks, so much so the Y desk was where we ended up as the queue at UC was HUGE.

For the first time we actually had an engaging check-in agent. Bags safely left, boarding passes issued and we were up the escalator. Through Premium (no queues anywhere) and out the other side.

Quick stop at World of Duty Free thanks to the Amex offer and a Gatwick Rewards voucher, meaning my Jo Malone and his Kiehls was cheaper than cheap.

Arrived at the CH at about 7am and there were a few people in situ. The ladies on the desk were as welcoming as ever and it just feels wonderful when you finally arrive. The Spa was open so I booked my nails and a facial. Nothing for Him.

Checked into V Flyer to wave and post the CC offers being touted. Shoe shine man took His shoes away and they were returned with new laces and gleaming like never before! My treatments were superb. Same girl as on previous visits and we always pick up the story where we left off.

On to the flight. I needed a kick up the bottom to write a TR as the outward flight was "meh".

We took a pre flight drink of Gardet.

Suffice it to say, service was slow, very slow. If you wanted anything, you had to ask, usually twice. A good hour after seatbelt signs were off we still hadn't had crisps/drink. In 8A I glanced back and the crisps were in their bowls on the bar but 3 staff members were sat on the stools and they were eating them. They were randomly picking crisps from the bowls and scoffing them as they filled in their paperwork! :-(

Eventually service started or did it? We waited and waited, staff seemed busy but on closer inspection didn't actually appear to be doing anything. Mr Marshy went to the bar to get our first (post take off) drink and asked for Prosecco rather than the Gardet. The response was "I will have to see if Premium can spare any". It did arrive, eventually. They then kept a few bottles at the bar as other UC followed my lead.

Entertainment was poor. I really couldn't find anything to watch. It took a little while for me to realise I could only watch anything which began with the letter B. :cool: An error which did allow the crew member a giggle and prompted a reset. By which time (4 hours or so in) I did not bother to scan the films again.

There were a few people at the bar and on several occasions we were told we needed to vacate it (it wasn't noisy and it was a day flight). The reason was given as "no more than 6/7/8 people allowed at the bar". The number varied and actually when no one left (some were just milling at the side) we were eventually told that the "crew need their rest". The curtain to the K side of the bar was pulled and a crew member or two were sleeping (I've not seen - or perhaps noticed this - on a day flight before). What is a shame, is that the conversation was mostly about points/VS and how to increase your miles. Not one person at the bar (us aside) had FC membership. :-O The staff did more to dissuade than I could ever have done to sell it.

I won't go over the menu but the Satay was DELICIOUS. My steak salad was great if a little spicy, a lot of chilli in and on. Yet again we both had cheese and although the selection is very good, 3 biscuits is NEVER going to be the right amount with 2lb of cheese. Literally a slab of cheese per biscuit.

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Service was again very slow to clear.

If I had to identify any of our crew I would not be able to do it, even if they were the only 10 in a line-up of 10.

Arriving into ANU was smooth and I made a mental note that I was glad to have burned the last of our miles. My BA 2-4-1 is burning a hole with a second just about to trigger, this was a final goodbye. Thankfully the return (which we dreading as they are - for us - usually worse than the outward) was excellent.

Edit - food and drink should be 5* not sure what I did there.
#929957 by honey lamb
12 Dec 2016, 22:21
Oh dear! That is so disappointing when you know that they can be so much better. You would wonder how many passengers for whom this was their first UC experience would also think it "meh" and turn to/return to other carriers in their disappointment.

I presume you will let Crawley Towers know about the lack of service.
#929958 by hiljil
12 Dec 2016, 22:28
What a disappointing start to your holiday . Thank goodness you had a lovely time in Antigua to make up for it, but the journey out is so important ....

I'm pleased to hear that the return flight made you end on a better note. :-D
#929961 by jfenney
12 Dec 2016, 23:07
Sorry to hear your flight woes at least your holiday made up for it . Let's hope mine next week goes better. :-D
#929963 by Hev60
13 Dec 2016, 00:01
Oh dear what a sad tale. However it completely sums up the apathy of brand Virgin at the moment.

Glad you had a good holiday and your return flight was "excellent". However it is still inexcuseable you had issues on the 'outbound' flight.
#929968 by buns
13 Dec 2016, 05:50
So sorry to learn of the poor on board service on your outbound trip and I suspect that the lack of leadership from the FSM is at the heart of it :-(

Although your return trip was far better, it telling that you speak of using BA in the future - whether VS have the ability at this time to sit up and take notice at this time is of course a debatable question.

Like others, glad you had a good holiday nevertheless

#930055 by TimCrawley
15 Dec 2016, 12:08
Thanks for the TR, makes sad reading in that on this forum we hope for so much better from VS.

From the outside it's hard for us to know what effect the flattening of the VS CC career structure etcetera is having and we don't really know how tough the rotations are for the CC between flights but it's very hard to understand the circumstances that could lead to the very poor CC performance on that flight ..... very disappointing from any CC but for VS CC it's really not what we hope for as VS 'supporters' when they do get it right.
#930088 by tomthumb
16 Dec 2016, 15:52
Never very good when you using a premium service and my trip report was somewhat different....
#930163 by Daffodil
17 Dec 2016, 12:24
Thank you for taking the time to write the TR.
I'm sorry to hear the flight was so poor.
Do drop a line to CS explaining your concerns about the flight.
I did this after a dreadful flight back from DXB and was award 15,000 miles in compensation.
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