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YATES WINE LODGE
BIRMINGHAM AIRPORT
AIRSIDE

 

Operated by
SSP Air Ltd
169 Euston Road
London
NW1 2AE

 

I travelled to Alicante on the 17th March  and, whilst waiting for the my plane to board our party of four went to the Yates Wine Lodge for our breakfast.
The place was in utter shambles and upon my return I took the time to write to SSP, who operate the Yates Wine Lodge, as per the following letter.

Dear Sirs 
I flew out to Spain from Birmingham on Monday morning the 17th March with some friends and we arrived at the airport departure lounge at around 6am. 
We headed for the Yates Wine Lodge for our breakfast, which was about ¾ empty at the time. 
The efficiency and speed of the two people serving was rather mind blowing and they most certainly deserve a price for the most inefficient and disorganized staff I have observed for a long time. Headless chickens are more efficient and quicker than the two who worked behind the bar at that time. 
By the time we got served the queue had grown and a number of customers had walked away and presumably went elsewhere. 
When I got to the bar to order two coffee’s, amongst other things, we were told that they had no cups left and that we had to use ‘Take Away’ paper cups instead. 
Why they had run out of cups became apparent afterwards when I noticed that the ¾ empty place had not been cleaned up for some time and that all the tables were dirty and covered with empty plates, crockery and cutlery. 
In addition to this, at least 4 people sitting by us returned their breakfast as it was stone cold when it was served. 
The service and the state of your establishment at that time in the morning was disgusting and repulsive and I would appreciate your comments as to why you are treating your customers in that way, unless of course, you take the view that you don’t need any repeat business. 
You are charging substantially higher prices due to the location but you are not providing any service or customer satisfaction and I will not go back unless you can convince me that this was a rare exception and not your usual standard. 
 

 

SSP Air were very efficient to respond quickly and here is what they had to say:

 

I was most concerned to learn of your experience whilst frequenting our Yates Wine Lodge outlet on Monday the 17th March. 
May I first of all apologise for the delay in responding to your letter dated the 23 March, forwarded to us by our colleagues at our Euston offices earlier this week. It is extremely unfortunate when we receive letters of complaint, however they are always welcomed as part of our process of improving service and resolving issues we may have within our business, so thank you for taking the time to feedback to us. 
After investigating the circumstances surrounding your unpleasant experience that morning I am now in a position to answer a number of your points. 
The company aims to consistently deliver a professional service to all our customers and I would like to state on this occasion that the level of service you received was unacceptable. We provide a service to over 7 million passengers per annum. Unfortunately due to a number of staff phoning in with illness that morning we were unable to provide you with even a satisfactory level of customer service. On average our customers can expect to be served within 5 minutes from queuing; however with only half our normal complement manning an extremely busy bar our standard was sadly unattainable that morning. Extra staff were called in to support the unit’s operations but were unable to arrive before 7:30am. 
As you point out in your letter a number of tables were not cleared for the entirety of your visit which made us unable to clean the crockery to provide you with proper utensils. I have reaffirmed with the management of Yates’ the importance of not compromising the seating area and not to focus solely on serving customers as fast as possible. We have now also, thanks to your letter, ordered a substantial amount of back up crockery for use in such situations, should such an unfortunate situation arise in the future. 
With all taken into consideration I would like to offer you and your guests a voucher to use for free meals and drinks with the hope that you will use our facilities again, and in recompense for your poor experience. 
Thank you for bringing this matter to my attention and I sincerely hope that you will visit us again soon

 

A Note from the Editor:
It is very refreshing to see a company to put up their hand and admit that they messed up. The usual reply you get when you complain is a string of excuses for something which should not have happened in the first place followed by a thank you for bringing it to their attention which always leaves a sour taste as you know damn well that they don't mean it.
So well done and a thank you to SSP Air and it's manager for being honest

Whilst we try to ensure that the complaint is truthful and factual we cannot accept responsibility for the complaint. If you are affected by the complaint and if you think that the complaint is inaccurate or misleading then please contact us with supporting details of your objection and we will gladly remove any erroneous part from this page.

 

 

Yates Wine Lodge