Trading ideas with BA - mad or not?

Old Oct 26, 17, 2:09 pm
  #1  
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Trading ideas with BA - mad or not?

Based on four recent flights I have an observation which could save BA a small but non-trivial sum of money.

My back of the envelope based on knowledge from my career in aviation suggests that if implemented they would demonstrably and unambiguously save between GBP 50k and GBP 100k per year at a cost of between GBP 10k and GBP 20k to implement, manage and audit (the bulk of which is managing and auditing and this all includes management time). It is an in-flight cost saving.

In fact, given BA's investment in Operations Research and focus on the little details I am shocked that they have not noticed already, and as far as I can tell it has never been discussed on this board. I don't think I am missing anything - it is what you call an aha moment.

BA are quite an aggressive company and I don't think that they really deserve to get the idea for free. If I offered trading it on the understanding that if implemented (it is also easy to measure and for passengers to observe) BA would supply two space-available zero fare-zero tax flights with priority 08J12 do you think:

(option 1): I would be mad to waste the time - BA would never consider this
(option 2): Give it a go but don't be disappointed if they say no/don't respond
(option 3): It is a good idea and might just work.

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Old Oct 26, 17, 2:14 pm
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How would you be able to present your idea to BA for them to take you up on this?
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Old Oct 26, 17, 2:15 pm
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You are an aviation consultant. Go and sell your services, and do not sell yourself short.
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Old Oct 26, 17, 2:17 pm
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Option 1.

Even if there was a valid idea, which is doubtful, and even if they were willing in principle to pay for it, which is doubtful too - how would they know beforehand?

Any sensible person would immediately file this in the “make 757$/hour while working from home” idea pile.

If you really had a valid idea, you’d still have to show some credentials before anyone would ever be interested. IMHO.
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Old Oct 26, 17, 2:30 pm
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How many Avios would you want in a household account?

Is it an idea only for BA or other IAG airlines?
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Old Oct 26, 17, 2:39 pm
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I would first check to see if the idea is patentable. If so, file an application (which is relatively inexpensive) and then offer to licence it to BA for a royalty. If you file a patent, then you have protection against BA simply taking the idea and using it.

I know there is at least one UK patent agent on here (not me)

Is this idea suitable to BA only, or all airlines?
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Old Oct 26, 17, 3:31 pm
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Can an idea be patented? I suppose it may well depend on the idea itself. I appreciate that the OP cannot explain this on an open forum, but I am intrigued.
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Old Oct 26, 17, 3:42 pm
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Is it getting rid of salt and pepper sachets from cutlery packets? I shotgun that one
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Old Oct 26, 17, 4:11 pm
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I suspect they might be one step ahead of you in identifying areas where money could be saved.

So you might as well just tell us.
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Old Oct 26, 17, 4:48 pm
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1. Somebody needs to make a case for increased expenditure?
2. That expenditure would/might lead to a net return of 80k being slightly above 200 pounds per day or less than a penny per pax

I would politely say that you should move on, with the only useful outcome to share it with us anoraks on here so we can vehemently agree/disagree/rubbish the idea.
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Old Oct 26, 17, 5:15 pm
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Originally Posted by madfish View Post
Can an idea be patented?
Absolutely. There is no need to reduce an idea to practice or prove it works to obtain a patent. Generally speaking, it is coming up with the idea that is the inventive act, not actually building an apparatus or carrying out a process. Suppose I come up with a better mousetrap and then direct an apprentice in my workshop to build it. The inventive step is mine in coming up with the idea, not the apprentice building it under my directions. The "Ah ha!" moment is the inventive step.

Broadly, patents generally fall into 2 categories: apparatus, and methods of doing something or performing a process. It sounds like the idea here is a method of doing something, which is patentable.
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Old Oct 26, 17, 11:15 pm
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A patent pending is also cheaper to obtain and allows you to see if your idea has wing (no pun intended). It also allows you to sell the idea to other airlines.

But don't disseminate your idea before th application otherwise it is said to be within the public domain and either won't be given or can be challenged.

But I would be surprised if it is a genuinely new idea and think carefully before investing in a patent application.
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Old Oct 27, 17, 12:13 am
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Originally Posted by 710 77345 View Post
You are an aviation consultant. Go and sell your services, and do not sell yourself short.
+1. Your approach is not the way large organisations such as ba work. If you have something to sell, then try to sell it the proper way, through the proper channels and against a cost expressed in a proper currency.

the envelope and its back are destined for the bin unless ba decides to organise one of those ‘what’s your idea on how to improve ba? Write to us by xxxx and the winning idea will be rewarded with two CW tickets to a destination of your choice’ competition in which case it will compete with however many others.

one word: process.
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Old Oct 27, 17, 12:15 am
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However I expect enforcing a patent could be cost-prohibitive against a huge organisation who decide to ignore it (if my experience with trademarks is anything to go by).

I would say pitch your proposal to BA and don't let fear of a possible rejection hold you back.
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Old Oct 27, 17, 12:51 am
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Originally Posted by Flexible preferences View Post
However I expect enforcing a patent could be cost-prohibitive against a huge organisation who decide to ignore it (if my experience with trademarks is anything to go by).

I would say pitch your proposal to BA and don't let fear of a possible rejection hold you back.
That is very true,the only effective way to fight a big organisation intent on stealing your idea is PR and hope that someone in the media picks it up.
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