THE boss of Costa Coffee has roasted British Airways, accusing them of “changing for the worst” and “sticking two fingers up” at loyal customers.
Scott Martin slammed the airline for expensive fares, slow service, noisy executive lounges and, ironically, lack of Earl Grey tea.
In a particularly stinging comment, he claimed EasyJet staff are better at serving food than their rivals at BA.
Mr Martin was the managing director of Costa Express until 2015 and is now listed as the firm’s global development director.
Despite his concerns and numerous complaints, Mr Martin claims he has not “heard a peep” from BA.
The Costa boss made his feeling clear in a blog he posted on LinkedIn last week titled: “Have British Airways lost the plot?”
He wrote: “I’m a twenty year loyal customer of British Airways and a member of the Executive Club for longer than I can remember.
“I’m afraid though that this loyal relationship may soon be coming to an end as the airline is most certainly changing for the worst.
“I can regularly find a direct business class flight to Calgary with Air Canada (on a brand new 787 with a superior cabin to Club World I would add) for 30-40% less than the cheapest BA fare.
“On the 6th Jan this year I flew return to New York on the oldest and most tired 747 I have ever had the misfortune to board. It actually leaked on take off.”
“Almost every passenger on short haul appears to qualify for fast track boarding meaning boarding is usually a chaotic bun fight.”
When describing a recent return flight to Helsinki, he wrote: “I have never seen anything more shambolic.
“On the outbound flight the crew ran out of all fresh food by row eight – so at best 18 satisfied customers. They ran out of all drinks bar diet Coke by row 20 and out of time by 24. Two hours and 35 minutes to serve a flight.
“My return from St Petersburg was no better. No Earl Grey tea – I was sitting in seat 6F. I’m not sure what consumer research they did before embarking on this debacle.
“I regularly fly easyJet to my home in Spain and accept it for what it is in comfort that I’m not paying through the nose for flights. I would add here however that they do a much better job than BA.”
Summarising his feelings towards the company, Mr Martin ended his blog by writing: “Their management should be warned that in these challenging times loss of focus on the customer and the core proposition is business suicide.
“The mighty have most certainly fallen over recent years with Giant brands like Tesco and others materially losing their way.
“I fear BA are heading that way too and as an increasingly disenfranchised and generally unhappy customer I can only vote with my feet and stop booking with them.”
A British Airways spokeswoman said: “We have discussed Mr Martin’s concerns with him and offered reassurance that we are taking his feedback seriously.
“We have committed to investing £400m to upgrade Club World cabins and a further £90m for our lounges in the US. We are also investing in new aircraft and have now taken delivery of 12 A380s and 24 787s, and next year we will take delivery of We have also refurbished 18 of our Boeing 747s.
“We’re listening to feedback from our customers and cabin crew so we are putting more stock on certain flights, and have now introduced a contactless payment option.”