BA may start BoB in Y longhaul!

Old Apr 9, 17, 8:46 am
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Originally Posted by TabTraveller View Post
There are PLENTY of other ways to get down to JNB for less than £2200 and sat considerably further forward in the aircraft. You have a choice not to fly BA.

You can't build policy around the occasional full fare Y traveller. The vast majority are on much cheaper and less flexible tickets.

I'm sure if everyone flying F was on a full F fare then we might see some substantial improvements to the catering, ground handling, etc.
Business travel is generally at a short notice. We rarely book flights more than one week ahead. But if BA wants to cater for the super budget passengers as it is a Ultra Budget Airline, then fine. There are still some great other airlines in the world.
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Old Apr 9, 17, 8:55 am
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You just have to work out the total cost of the fare plus the extras you need. If the cost isn't to your liking then you go fly with a cheaper airline....not sure what all the fuss is about to be honest.
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Old Apr 9, 17, 9:01 am
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Compete with Norwegian on price. Sure...

What about the widely sold long haul tickets which don't include a Saturday night stay. £1300+ in Y being pretty standard.

Are these on the chopping block? Because it seems the better and brighter business decision would be to keep those fares (and service), than shave meals off (£10 all-in? Including servicing the meal?).

Doesn't make sense to harm that cash cow...
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Old Apr 9, 17, 9:05 am
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Originally Posted by Prospero View Post
I actually donít believe so - BA has responded to the matter with a straight forward no.
Well as you could see from the bit I quoted my comment was a half joke. Only half though: I don't see their answer as nearly as straightforward as you do. The corporate purchasers argument might have its weight, equally, that might be answered with creative rewards (e.g points credit for each flight that could be use to purchase f&b), sub division of y into y and y minus (though I personally doubt it: some airlines like LY tried it and it flopped) or least likely in my view slightly increases corp discount.

i incidentally don't share the view of those who think BA would keep soft drinks but charge for alcohol or keep a free but simplified food offering whilst boosting paid offer. People guessed the same with sh bob and with HBO but if BA have shown us anything it is that when they decide to embark on a radical 'enhancement' they aren't scared of going all in rather than opting for half measures...
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Old Apr 9, 17, 9:06 am
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The 'may' and 'will' debate is all well and good and certainly true. However, given the recent SH BOB, BA may reduce LH Y catering so far to the bone, and thus conditioning passengers, that they will introduce LH BOB because it is better than what was provided.

I don't fault BA for looking after the bottom line and trying to keep up with the emerging competition. It is just a shame that this seems to be a prevailing trend.

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Old Apr 9, 17, 9:08 am
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I could see a split model emerge where you can buy ultra cheap fares and then choose to bolt on meals etc if you want. This may appeal to very cost concious travellers for whom £20-£30 may be a not insubstantial sum.

Similarly, you could create a menu of options, ranging from the ultra cheap 'seat and nothing' through to 'Y' standard as we have now, through to 'Y' enhanced where you could pay for meals (as now) but also other bolt ons like access to the lounge or access to priority security (doesnt Emirates do this). Create an economy plus service, and then let people choose between what they want to pay for, but then make clear that BA does a combination 'luxury' for WTP+ and above, and very very basic galley slave class in the back.

To combine two very different business models in one plane could be interesting though!
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Old Apr 9, 17, 9:33 am
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I don't know if Norwegian charges for soft drinks, but I would be _extremely_ surprised if it does.

Given the risks of DVT, particularly in Y, one could forsee a disaster whereby dehydrated folks are "encouraged to keep hydrated", but at GBP2 per bottle of water, foregoing it, and then getting a DVT. Might actually be hard to defend if they chose to sue, particularly in US.

I can definitely see paying for the meal, and although I find it distasteful (pun intended), I agree that it's more likely to happen, and tbh, wouldn't be a total disaster if BA stops pretending it's a premium airline.

I agree with SH however that it sets a dangerous brand precedent. Few future J and F flyers start out that way. I'm sure that loyalty is built over time and when one is young, flying in Y can still have an element of glamour -- I remember the excitement that came with seatback IFE 25 years ago. But if Y just becomes a necessary evil, when one has the cash to move further forward, one may be tempted to try out the competitor's product.

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Old Apr 9, 17, 9:33 am
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In my opinion, there are two points that make this a bad idea. Connecting passengers whose flights are delayed or those who start early from a distant destination may well end up with nothing to eat. In my limited experience (albeit with other airlines), there are rarely enough BOB meals to feed an entire Y section. Secondly, it is difficult enough to board with passengers juggling coats, bags, etc. and now even more passengers will be balancing drinks and food as well. Sigh.
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Old Apr 9, 17, 9:51 am
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While I very much oppose the idea of BoB, I personally do not think that issue of meal availability would be a major issue as I suspect this would be based on pre-ordered, pre-paid meals. I imagine a minor non-pre-paid selection of snacks might be available too.

Admittedly, if my guess is right, last minute pax/flight changes would likely be left without chance of a proper meal however.
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Old Apr 9, 17, 10:36 am
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Even UA didn't dare to do this (in 2007 or 2008)!
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Old Apr 9, 17, 10:42 am
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If BA did this they would inadvertantly lose a huge amount of premium revenue. I fly up front for work, but at the back with the family for leisure. I only do the latter because of the little extras I get. If BA made the trip any less enjoyable I would have to consider shifting the lot.
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Old Apr 9, 17, 10:42 am
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I don't see this happening(or being sustainable) - LHR is a transit point for many passengers (US/India for example which I think are the top 2 markets for BA). I have already moved business away from BA this year(10+ long hauls a year usually) after the second meal was axed on east coast flights.
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Old Apr 9, 17, 10:47 am
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Aside from the pax themselves, my heart goes out to the accounting departments who would set policy and deal with reimbursing long haul meals.
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Old Apr 9, 17, 10:57 am
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Would something like this have any major impact on Gate Gourmet or whoever supplies the meals? BA not wanting xxx meals a week would surely have some knock on effect to them and elsewhere along the supply chain.
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Old Apr 9, 17, 10:59 am
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Originally Posted by Prospero View Post
As you predicted, BA have responded, 'In a statement issued later, BA said: "We have no plans currently for a buy-on-board economy product on long-haul, but if that is what interests customers of the future, we will listen."'
And the cynic in me says that with current erosion of Y catering options and looking if they could only get worse, customers won't be long in asking for better quality and to at least be given the choice of buying food on board, falling right in to the BA Cruzification trap " but our customers told us they wanted better choice and have the option of paying". Sounds too familiar.

On shorthaul, we've went from full meals, to a snack, to a crisp, to buy on board (if the trollley gets that far and all the stars are in alignment and the day doesn't have a Y in it). I can see it coming.......

Safe & Happy Travels

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