Complaining about your first-class flight’s upholstery is like living in a palace and complaining the walls are a bit mouldy – you’re unlikely to elicit much sympathy from most people.
However, while the optics of whinging about a first-class flight may never be good when it comes to venting to people who have only ever flown economy, between frequent pointy end flyers and enthusiasts, there is a growing industry around reviews and so forth, as savvy points hoarders and rich jet setters trade advice on how to make the most of their trips.
Enter: Jarvis Marcos. A London based finance professional, Jarvis claims to offer “unbiased luxury travel reviews and advice” on his website The Luxury Traveller. He also often posts tips, tricks and mini-reviews of flights for his followers on TikTok. Recently, he shared a bunch of (as far as first-class goes) really quite bad experiences he has had on British Airways.
The video clips were posted in reply to another TikTok user, who claimed to be a former British Airways flight attendant, and who had commented on a previous video: “As ex BA cabin crew…don’t waste your money.”
Jervis’ response? “You get the odd amazing flight but the overall quality level is quite low.” Jarvis then shared a compilation video of his shocking experiences on British Airways first class.
Watch the video below.
In the video Jarvis shows all the problems he has had with first-class seats on BA. Issues include a “scuffed up seat,” leaky air conditioning and – the ultimate insult – “half a hotdog” (this particular issue was experienced by one of his followers and sent to him via Instagram DM).
He finishes by comparing it to Emirates, which has showers, £350 champagne and caviar.
“Imagine saving up for years for a once in a lifetime trip, only to get this,” he asks his followers of British Airways.
“Makes you question the condition of the engine when the interiors are maintained like this.”
He says he was offered £150 pounds in compensation.
Various TikTok users (and fellow travel bloggers) expressed their amazement in the comments. Some were stunned by the state of British Airways’ first class as it appeared in the videos, and others were stunned anyone could find anything bad to say about the pointy end in general (as is always the case whenever anyone takes to the internet to complain about an aspect of a luxury experience).
Many seemed to agree with Jarvis though, calling the condition of the upholstery unacceptable.
One wrote: “£150 pounds is a total insult and shows where they value their own product and service. The condition of the seat is unacceptable as is the compensation offer.”
Jarvis responded: “The insinuation being that these flights were only £150 away from being a perfect representation of what was advertised.”
Some other TikTok users weren’t convinced, however. One claimed: “as a constant business flier this isn’t accurate.” To which Jarvis pointed out: “This is a review featuring images from three different recent flights in first class, not business.”
Another wrote: “I fly business class with BA weekly. As an owner of one of the UK’s leading sportswear companies and most trusted this isn’t true.”
Another luxury travel blogger, Will.luxurytravel, responded to this, writing: “Flying up and down to Glasgow each week on club europe does not make you an expert or trustworthy source of premium travel.”
Will.luxurytravel also weighed in on another comment.
In response to the comment: “Someone has a vendetta. I’m ex BA crew and never saw anything in that state” Will.luxurytravel wrote: “You probably never worked the 787-9. these are notorious at being in a shocking state upholstery wise.”
Jarvis has also, over on Instagram, praised the British Airways staff, for a recent flight, while slamming just about everything else (and giving followers his prediction for the future).
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“Another standard, average flight on BA First Class,” Jarvis wrote last week.
“After a frankly horrendous flight from MEX-LHR last month, where the cabin was falling to pieces, BA were back to their usual mediocrity this time around.”
“The seats on the old 777s are very narrow and uncomfortable when compared to any other First Class product currently flying (on any airline).”
“The cabin is also massive, meaning that people in the back row can end up waiting 2 hours after wheels up before they’re even served a starter.”
“Although the Concorde Room has now reopened it shuts at 3pm so we were still stuck in the temporary Concorde Terrace. Meanwhile Lufthansa First Class passengers are being driven from a private terminal to their planes in Porsches.”
“The crew were fantastic though, very proactive and jovial. Many were returning to the sky after a long furlough period and they seemed genuinely delighted to be flying again.”
“The food on BA is consistently the worst of any carrier in First Class and this flight was no exception. Bland, overcooked, uninspiring and not dissimilar to school canteen food.”
“Meanwhile rival airlines feature caviar service, lobster, and wagyu steaks cooked medium rare.”
“So in summary, BA First Class: a slightly bigger seat than Business Class… and not much else.”
“Will BA eventually turn a corner, once the majority of aircraft are retrofitted to feature only, eight larger First Class seats? I’d love it to be the case.”
“Realistically though, I wouldn’t count on it…”