What'up with BA in SFO?

Old Jun 16, 14, 12:12 am
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What'up with BA in SFO?

In last 10 days both flights to LHR have been overbooked in almost all classes, sometimes by more than 12 in Y.
Today they offered VDB to all passengers and closed the list at 25 pax, with another 5 re-routed with Air Canada.

The situation seems to continue in exact same manner for the next days. How long can they sustain this, with more than 10x pax being paid out every day to VDB?
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Old Jun 16, 14, 12:30 am
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What'up with BA in SFO?

On fully loaded planes? Pretty much until the cows come home. Easier to make the sums work by VDBing 2.5% of the load, than by trying to make a profit with 50 empty seats.
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Old Jun 16, 14, 12:40 am
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Overbooked by 12 isn't really that many.

Its a hard science to get right, but its something they just have to do if we want to keep flying for these prices
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Old Jun 16, 14, 12:41 am
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Abuja flights are pretty much oversold most of the year so yes you still make profit after paying out DBCs.
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Old Jun 16, 14, 12:52 am
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I was very surprised though to see that they closed the list at 25, never heard about more than 15 on the VDB/IDB list.

They offered 800$ cash or 1200$ in travel voucher usable only on www.ba.com. With a party of 3, it was an easy decision. For BA, I guess they would rather accept $4.000 for a ticket in Y, pay off someone else 800$ and still increase the avg. revenue per seat...

After taking the offer today, I start to wonder if there is a chance I can get on the same list tomorrow. Wouldn't mind another day at home and extra $ for the summer holidays!
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Old Jun 16, 14, 1:04 am
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Doesn't BA run 2 - 747's from SFO-LHR daily? If they overbook every day - its just bad planning or just the lack of other OW flights from West coast to LHR?
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Old Jun 16, 14, 1:17 am
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Originally Posted by techblr View Post
Doesn't BA run 2 - 747's from SFO-LHR daily? If they overbook every day - its just bad planning or just the lack of other OW flights from West coast to LHR?
Lack of A380's.The extra seats will solve this.
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Old Jun 16, 14, 1:18 am
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Originally Posted by techblr View Post
Doesn't BA run 2 - 747's from SFO-LHR daily? If they overbook every day - its just bad planning or just the lack of other OW flights from West coast to LHR?
Overselling is pretty standard practice. It may have been oversold to the level of expected no-shows so no one would be bumped, and the no-shows showed (?). Or it may be they did oversell past the expected no-shows as it would provide more value even with VDB/IDB costs.
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Old Jun 16, 14, 1:19 am
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This may explain the lack of Avios availability on this particular route.
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Old Jun 16, 14, 1:41 am
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Originally Posted by rapidex View Post
Lack of A380's.The extra seats will solve this.
One thing is that BA doesn't have a lot of A380's to put for mutilple routes. SFO is not that of an important route to BA as compared to LAX as AA doesnt have good presense in SFO and getting onward connections to other US cities is tough.

One more reason could be both these are high-J 747s and hence less number of Y seats..I can't confirm this though..
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Old Jun 16, 14, 1:49 am
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Originally Posted by techblr View Post
One more reason could be both these are high-J 747s and hence less number of Y seats..I can't confirm this though..
SFO is typically one mid-J and one high-J 744.
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Old Jun 16, 14, 1:56 am
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Originally Posted by techblr View Post
One thing is that BA doesn't have a lot of A380's to put for mutilple routes. SFO is not that of an important route to BA as compared to LAX as AA doesnt have good presense in SFO and getting onward connections to other US cities is tough.

One more reason could be both these are high-J 747s and hence less number of Y seats..I can't confirm this though..
On the contrary I would suggest that if both 747's are often overbooked,then the route has more importance that you suggest.The current situation of lack of a380's will be solved in time with more deliveries.
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Old Jun 16, 14, 2:02 am
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Originally Posted by rapidex View Post
On the contrary I would suggest that if both 747's are often overbooked,then the route has more importance that you suggest.The current situation of lack of a380's will be solved in time with more deliveries.
I knew this route was really busy but daily VDB's means it is really solid! No wonder there are no Avios on this route - its a bit like CPT - they just don't need it - they can sell the 2 flights completely out in all classes and they still don't have enough space.

This route is earmarked for the A380 but its going to be 2015 after SIN goes daily at the earliest and then it seems a race between SFO or MIA. If SFO is really that solid they might put a 777-200 out there for 2-3 days a week but I don't think that BA has the airframes at the moment for that either as I notice a lot of the capacity increases (CPT, GRU etc) are getting delayed.

The other way they could do it is to go 3x daily with a mix of 777-200's and 300's depending on demand but you keep coming back to the same problem - BA just does not have the slack in the fleet to do this at present....

One thing is for sure though, along with GRU SFO is now one of the longest routes in the fleet using the gallon guzzling 747-400 so they will be keen to get this off there even with solid flights......

FD.
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Old Jun 16, 14, 2:58 am
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Originally Posted by rapidex View Post
Lack of A380's.The extra seats will solve this.
LAX has double daily A380s, and they're also taking on VDBs as well as IDBs. They really need their third summer flight back.
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Old Jun 16, 14, 3:00 am
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UA has also been completely full the last few days on its twice daily SFO-LHR. It's a combination of end of big Apple conference and start of US school holidays.
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