Should BA make DXB an A380 route?

Old Dec 27, 14, 4:20 pm
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Should BA make DXB an A380 route?

Many of you will have seen that I have commented on the rather full cabins on my trips to Dubai and back.

It seems to be getting worse.

I have noticed a couple of times now whereby one of the two evening flights seems to vanish and passengers such as myself are moved onto the other flight a few months prior to the flight. I'm not sure if this is normal, but I'm guessing BA might be 'merging' the flights into one load or something?

The end result? At time of 'Fast' Track boarding a few weeks ago, I counted at least 100 passengers (including myself being a Bronze but also seated in J) snaking around the entire gate. In fact, there were then 2 queues formed. The other queue got fed up and started going through the agent who was meant to be handling passengers with children. The agent tried to tell one passenger they had to go into the other queue, to which the pax said "Not my problem" and had his boarding pass scanned anyway.

About 3 weeks prior to the flight, all window seats in CW for the 772 had already gone. However, I kept checking and very luckily managed to swap my aisle for a window seat as soon as it became available. At T-24, there was just 2 middle seats and 1 aisle seat available in CW. I have noticed this to be a common occurrence on this route and the lack of choice can get frustrating for some.

It's not just in CW. A couple of years ago when I used to travel in WT (before I found out about FT!), it was pretty much the same there too.

Despite the competition from a well known Dubai based airline, the flights are full, which is good from BA's perspective, but frustrating for passengers left without any choice in seating and face a slower service onboard.

This brings me onto my question - should DXB be an A380 route to ease up on the capacity issues? I heard rumours that it was on the cards but no confirmation as of yet.
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Old Dec 27, 14, 4:52 pm
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If the flights are busy then BA will be delighted and Revenue Management are doing their job properly. The chances of them putting on a larger aircraft with the potential of empty seats doesn't seem likely unless they are projecting an increase in loads, or if they intend on cutting the number of flights.

If they're constantly offloading people then that would be an issue, are they?
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Old Dec 27, 14, 5:07 pm
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I was a regular on the DXB and AUH runs for many years.
The cheapest Y return on BA over 10 years ago was over 770

I can buy the same ticket today for 450
Business class fares are also a lot cheaper to DXB/AUH than a comparable transatlantic.
importantly, the A380 can generate better revenue elsewhere.
BA have been using the 777 since the mid 1990s and still use the same aircraft today...
So, as much as I would like to see it,(380) I don't think it will happen.
You could try flying QR to boost your tier points and get your self up to silver.
If all else fails, when relaxing in the flat bed, you could consider what it was like when BA had 767s on the run before the cradle seat! I remember it well!
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Old Dec 27, 14, 5:08 pm
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Originally Posted by fnl111 View Post
If the flights are busy then BA will be delighted and Revenue Management are doing their job properly. The chances of them putting on a larger aircraft with the potential of empty seats doesn't seem likely unless they are projecting an increase in loads, or if they intend on cutting the number of flights.

If they're constantly offloading people then that would be an issue, are they?
Yes, as I mentioned, it's good for BA, but my point being, could there be room for expansion given the demand? I.e., could they take on more passengers? Surely that would be better long term?

Originally Posted by Skipcool3 View Post
I was a regular on the DXB and AUH runs for many years.
The cheapest Y return on BA over 10 years ago was over 770

I can buy the same ticket today for 450
Business class fares are also a lot cheaper to DXB/AUH than a comparable transatlantic.
importantly, the A380 can generate better revenue elsewhere.
BA have been using the 777 since the mid 1990s and still use the same aircraft today...
So, as much as I would like to see it,(380) I don't think it will happen.
You could try flying QR to boost your tier points and get your self up to silver.
If all else fails, when relaxing in the flat bed, you could consider what it was like when BA had 767s on the run before the cradle seat! I remember it well!
I haven't been keen on QR due to a past experience (long story) but if it helps with the current situation then will check it out. Thanks.

I didn't have a chance to use the cradle seat on the 767s, I'm guessing that's a good thing?
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Old Dec 27, 14, 5:17 pm
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Perhaps they could have a decent lounge in Dubai before they consider upgrading the aircraft. It's a competitive route and I think BA is better focusing on the US and Far East routes until it's Club World hard product is updated.
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Old Dec 27, 14, 5:22 pm
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In short, I can't see it happening. With only 4 more firm orders left, I think it's never going to happen. We already know the next two are set for twice daily MIA runs. I can also see HKG going to twice daily at some point but I don't think it's going to DXB any time soon.

However, if we do see a new CW on the A350, I'll bet that DXB will be one of the first routes.
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Old Dec 27, 14, 5:25 pm
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Originally Posted by Yachtman View Post
Perhaps they could have a decent lounge in Dubai before they consider upgrading the aircraft. It's a competitive route and I think BA is better focusing on the US and Far East routes until it's Club World hard product is updated.
A lounge refit is scheduled for later in 2015. It is being arranged by the same team as the did the new AMS lounge.

Last edited by corporate-wage-slave; Dec 27, 14 at 5:51 pm Reason: Still 2014, if only just...
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Old Dec 27, 14, 5:29 pm
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Hey, my regular steed to the Gulf was B767-300 G-BNWG (which was palmed off to Qantas) didn't even have cradle seats in club initially!
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Old Dec 27, 14, 5:32 pm
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Originally Posted by Skipcool3 View Post
I was a regular on the DXB and AUH runs for many years.
The cheapest Y return on BA over 10 years ago was over 770

I can buy the same ticket today for 450
That is because they must compete with EK/QF which offers better frequency and a better F product.
(though I will fly BA in deep discount Y for AA miles.)
(admittedly, you get CCR access on BA but this advantage is voided with EK's better lounge at DXB.)
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Old Dec 27, 14, 6:23 pm
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The question isn't simply whether the route can handle an A380 profitably, but what route a bird ought to be pulled from in order to service this one.
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Old Dec 27, 14, 8:17 pm
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Originally Posted by corporate-wage-slave View Post
A lounge refit is scheduled for later in 2015. It is being arranged by the same team as the did the new AMS lounge.
Let's hope there isn't another five minute exterior detour!

One thing in beautiful AMS drizzle, quite another in 45 degree searing heat.
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Old Dec 27, 14, 8:25 pm
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Originally Posted by Paren View Post
Many of you will have seen that I have commented on the rather full cabins on my trips to Dubai and back.

It seems to be getting worse.

...
About 3 weeks prior to the flight, all window seats in CW for the 772 had already gone. However, I kept checking and very luckily managed to swap my aisle for a window seat as soon as it became available. At T-24, there was just 2 middle seats and 1 aisle seat available in CW. I have noticed this to be a common occurrence on this route and the lack of choice can get frustrating for some.

...
BA will probably suggest you take them up on the "Purchase your seat in advance" option, and from what you state, in this instance it is probably worth it.
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Old Dec 28, 14, 4:07 am
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I think that high loads on DXB and AUH could be misleading sometimes as they might well be popular routes for staff travel for the following reasons:

i) DXB's tourist attractions and sunshine
ii) highly predictable traffic flows that are good for long weekends (e.g. Thursday flights eastbound will most of the time be off-peak, as will Sunday flights westbound)
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Old Dec 28, 14, 4:28 am
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Interesting thread to read while sat in the DXB lounge.

Today's 1520 to LHR is far from full in the premium cabins, 3 days out there were reward seats in F, J and W popping up and the day before the flight there were 3 F rewards seats on the 1520 and 8 on the 0220 out! I'm not sure whether the Y loads are light at the moment but I can't imagine that an A380 with more premium seats will be worthwhile for the DXB route. It is also a relatively short flight and unless the A380s go full it becomes somewhat uneconomic on a shorter route when compared to SFO and LAX for example.

The TV in the DXB lounge has BBC on and they're talking about the Air Asia flight...some worried-looking faces in here!
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Old Dec 28, 14, 5:08 am
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Originally Posted by corporate-wage-slave View Post
A lounge refit is scheduled for later in 2015. It is being arranged by the same team as the did the new AMS lounge.
That's good news, definitely overdue. Would be nice to see showers there and an enhanced selection of food.
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