I have now returned from my trip to Beijing (flying BA both ways).
Here, in summary, are my views about the experience of flying BA (London/Beijing return):
1 The cabin crew on both legs of the journey were friendly, polite, efficient and did their jobs well.
2 Despite Terminal 5 being billed as BA's dedicated terminal, the hapless passengers of the outward bound flight were forced to use a coach to get to the aircraft.
3 The coach journey necessitated passengers being called to the gate 1 hour before departure.
4 The coach journey took so long (in excess of 10 minutes) that it felt as though we were being driven to Beijing.
5 The in flight caterers had not packed enough shepherd's pies on board for the number of passengers in my cabin. There were 9 passengers but only 6 pies.
6 The in flight caterers had forgotten to load any potato dishes on board to accompany the main courses.
7 The return flight departure time from Beijing of 7:20 is absurd, necessitating my checking out from the hotel at around 4:45. Last year the departure time was around midday. Why on earth have BA picked such a ridiculous new departure time?
8 The in flight entertainment on the return flight was identical to the entertainment on the outward bound flight. Normally the selection is varied.
9 One of the lights above my seat was not working on the return journey. Small details like this show that due care an attention to the needs of the passengers are not being made.
10 The in flight survey on both outward and return legs of the journey was at great pains to ask for my opinion re the in flight entertainment. However, it asked no questions about service, food, or any other aspect of the flight. Do BA not want to know what their customers really think of them?
In conclusion, whilst the cabin crew do their best to provide a high standard of service, it is clear to me that the company has lost interest in the customer.