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Is it just me or are BA really starting to suck all of the joy out of flying lately?

Is it just me or are BA really starting to suck all of the joy out of flying lately?

Old Feb 18, 15, 4:14 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: ATL
Programs: BA Gold
Posts: 182
Is it just me or are BA really starting to suck all of the joy out of flying lately?

I've been flying for business for nearly 11 years now. For the past ~5, I've done a lot more flying with BA, and have credited to EC (having primarily used Aadvantage and Flying Blue).

For most of that time, for the most part, I've quite enjoyed the process - despite business travel being a disruptive and often mundane process. Lately though, I can't help but feel that my experiences with BA have made me feel pretty jaded about the experience.

Things that have contributed to that process are (in no particular order):

1. Constant and miserly penny pinching, removing even the lowest value items they can from the flying experience provided they think no one will notice
2. The obvious (and much discussed) changes to earning and burning rates of avios
3. The massive reduction in UUA availability, combined with it soon to become so expensive it renders it almost entirely pointless
4. The recent suggestions on here that OpUps are being "rationed" to frequent fliers (my experience seems to suggest this might be the case)
5. The continuing and highly irritating spin of all bad news to suggest it is somehow a good thing, which is highly insulting of their customers intelligence.

I know that these have all been much discussed on the forum and it's not my intention to go into more detail necessarily. Moreover, I was interested to hear if any other frequent travellers like me are tempted not just to jump ship but to consider knocking the business travel on the head entirely? Admittedly I'm fortunate that I can choose this without career change but it is becoming a serious consideration.

At the very least, as of next week I will have requalified for gold in a little over 5 months. I'm really wondering if there's any point in putting any more flights through BA. Certainly one way or another it's starting to feel like change time is getting close.
Cradders is offline  
Old Feb 18, 15, 4:23 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: UK
Programs: BA Gold, VS Silver
Posts: 239
Yes to all of that really. I have become quite disillusioned over the last couple of years. I foresee another 12-18 months of my current rate of travel, before knocking long haul on the head pretty much completely. Can't come soon enough.
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Old Feb 18, 15, 4:40 pm
  #3  
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Join Date: Jul 2002
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Yes. And I am very glad that my heavy travelling days are gone.
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Old Feb 18, 15, 4:45 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
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I find a change of carrier if nothing else temporarily helps break the routine & alleviate the little annoying things that you only notice after flying with one airline a lot.
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Old Feb 18, 15, 4:50 pm
  #5  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Ireland
Programs: VS Silver, EK Gold, BA GGL/CCR
Posts: 482
OP, yes I agree with your thoughts entirely.

I know FT is an extreme end of the passenger spectrum, but it must be a little concerning to BA that the overall tone of posts seems to have taken such a significant turn for the worse over the last 12-18 months.

There have been so many threads about BA being mediocre, F being a J+ product, CW being "enhanced", club kitchen, lack of CW breakfasts, wait times on the phone, aircraft being dirty, lounges being subjected to cost cutting etc. etc..

I think they must be approaching a tipping point and within the next 12 months we'll see a "we need to focus on the customer experience" message being sent out and some of those changes being rolled back.

Just from a personal perspective I do about 8k TPs a year with BA but only use them when flying west. If I have a choice between them and Emirates its EK every time going south / east. The product is significantly better in F and also significantly cheaper. So BA is not my first choice for about 30-40% of my LH travel. Extrapolate that over a large number of customers and it must start to become a little concerning?
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Old Feb 18, 15, 5:08 pm
  #6  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Programs: Sir CT-UK - Streaker pour les autres.
Posts: 5,463
Very much so.

I used to love it but after 20 years I can't get excited by BA anymore.

CE - Used to be quite nice, now just a way to earn extra TPs, POUG now silly money
CW - A bed and that is it
F- Can be very good but most of the time just OK
Lounges - So so

Now all of the above is probably a combination of cost cutting and just knowing what I am getting after the novelty has warn off.

I am excited about trying AA J and F next week way more than my BA F holiday trip to NYC. Now I wouldn't have said that a few years ago.
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Old Feb 18, 15, 5:16 pm
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: LHR- ish
Programs: MUCCI, BA Blue
Posts: 4,299
The only way to suck all the joy out of flying is to stop people looking out of the window.


So lets talk 787 then
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Old Feb 18, 15, 5:17 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Manchester, United Kingdom
Programs: Hilton Gold, Priority Club Blue, SPG Gold, Sofitel Gold, FB Ivory, BA Blue
Posts: 7,692
I must admit, if my travels started taking me South and East, quite often, Qatar Airways and Emirates would both be tempting, having Y products that are light years ahead of BA. Alas, for all the Fernweh, I don't think I'll be flying another 1.5 million miles anytime soon (flying intensively between MAN and NAN, and then HRE, as the fiji business slowed down).
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Old Feb 18, 15, 5:19 pm
  #9  
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Lewes
Programs: HiltonH. Gold Starwood Gold BA BLUES! Mucci.
Posts: 4,696
Yes. Spot on. The joy has gone. It was even too much effort recently on a domestic connector for the weary cabin crew to offe the snack basket......
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Old Feb 18, 15, 5:34 pm
  #10  
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Edinburgh UK
Programs: BA Silver, HHonours Gold, Mucci of Pucci, Oyster Card, Nectar Card, Father's Day Card
Posts: 9,372
Yeah it's the marketing spin which tries to justify cuts as customer benefits that annoys me the most.

Take the UK Dom catering.

1996ish - three course hot dinners on evening flights and liqueurs removed in favour of on smaller hot meal and no liqueurs - Marketing says customers told us they don't want as much to eat.

2003 ish - small hot meal replaced my mini salad - marketing say customers want "lighter" fare - appropriate to the time if day.

2008 ish - salads replace by birdseed - same excuse.....

2013 ish - individually wrapped crisp

I'm sure BA research questions must go something like:

Would you prefer that we:

a) Changed the tasty meat on salad and replaced it with a packet of crisps
B) flayed you with cat and nine tails
C) boiled you in oil

BA marketing say, "when asked all of our customers preferred the lighter alternative of a packet of crisps.

Bollox!
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Old Feb 18, 15, 5:38 pm
  #11  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 221
No, it's not just you. Willie Walsh has been disastrous for the passenger experience.
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Old Feb 18, 15, 5:40 pm
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Manchester, United Kingdom
Programs: Hilton Gold, Priority Club Blue, SPG Gold, Sofitel Gold, FB Ivory, BA Blue
Posts: 7,692
Originally Posted by edi-traveller View Post
BA marketing say, "when asked all of our customers preferred the lighter alternative of a packet of crisps.

Bollox!
Actually, BA's customers told them they want half a bag of gourmet crisps.
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Old Feb 18, 15, 6:23 pm
  #13  
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: YYZ
Programs: BA Gold/Marriott Gold/HH Diamond/IC Plat Amba
Posts: 5,549
Definitely not as enjoyable as before. I'm seriously considering doing my next TATL J on KL and try their new lie flat biz seats on their 744 for just over half the price BA wants to the same cities. Figure some variety might be a good thing.
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Old Feb 18, 15, 6:28 pm
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Programs: EBD, BAEC GGL/CCR, Alitalia AlataPlus, Club Carlson Gold, SPG Plat100, HHD
Posts: 654
I agree entirely!

For westbound (transtlantic) BA still seems to make sense for me as sale prices (Ex-EU) are the right price; thus I will still fly quite a bit with BA, but my plans to move more of my EU flights to BA [seeing as SK just scrapped their points value as well] just went out of the window. In contrast I will instead be reducing my BA flying in Europe, not caring which carrier I use as I earn little points anyway and they don't take me very far once earned.

I will remain BA Gold and *G with my flight pattern regardless of how I do things, so my lounge access and baggage allowance etc. will stay the same. I have 100+ legs Europe and 10-15 intercontinental returns (the latter about 75% in premium cabins, primarily C).

I'm seriously contemplating moving to AA as I believe I could make AAEXP, which is ( thanks to the SWU:s) a very useful programme, and the earn/burn rates are similar to the old BAEC rates.
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Old Feb 18, 15, 6:33 pm
  #15  
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Programs: BA GGL/CCR
Posts: 370
It really is quite dire for premium travelers.

I have what will be my last BA for awhile coming up in two weeks, and even in F I'm not at all looking forward to it.

Had to book an unexpected trip today to LAS in April, and briefly considered doing WT+ and using a GUF1 to sit in Old F CW, but of course, only one outbound day and zero inbound for April availability. So I booked paid F on AF.

Sad days.
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