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BoB - Success, Failure or just head in the clouds?

BoB - Success, Failure or just head in the clouds?

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Old Sep 1, 18, 5:54 am
  #46  
 
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Originally Posted by amt View Post
Failure... they canít compete with LCC on price with legacy staffing costs and Heathrow landing fees to cover.

Can you elaborate why you think it's a failure? BA is still here successfully competing with LLCs. For some reasons people still choose BA (and other formerly full service airlines that went BoB) so they must be attracted either by price or convenience.
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Old Sep 1, 18, 5:59 am
  #47  
 
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Originally Posted by littlefish View Post
BoB has impacted me, too, through the GnT angle. My workday evening BA flights in ET to or from the likes of CPH, AMS, VIE, DUB, DUS and such were, pre BoB, characterised by the little luxury of a GnT with a couple of crisps served "my way" by the lovely CC.

.....................
BoB has taken this away. So that little but magnified aspect of the BA experience has gone too. One less thing to be a click the plus meter with me ... and that has really counted. I fly BA less longhaul now!
I still fly BA in ET. My flight routine has changed. I have my GnT as the flight is called in the lounge. I sleep as soon as wheels are up. I have zero interest to await the BoB trolley. I have practically no interaction with the CC. It is now altogether a 'meh' experience.
Like you, I do still fly BA s/haul, invariably in ET (whilst avoiding Y class for l/haul, regardless of carrier).

I suspect you have encapsulated here the sentiments of a good number of FT-ers who feel less ‘connected’ with BA in terms of the overall s/haul experience (notwithstanding the ongoing customer / supplier relationship). It’s not easy to define, but the removal of hitherto-included food & drink in ET has resulted in the accompanying loss of something much more emotive and intangible.

But as I posted earlier, I’m pretty sure BA see it as a true success, given that they will make their own judgement purely from an accounting perspective.

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Old Sep 1, 18, 6:06 am
  #48  
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PS: I could only comment on the impact of BoB on my own travel earlier as I do not have any indication to suggest whether it has been a 'success' or 'failure' from BA's point of view nor, I believe, does anybody else here.

If I were to move away from my usual caution on this to embrace complete speculation, I would guess that in all likelihood, it has not been either a great success or a great failure. If it had been a great failure, they would have presumably reversed it by now as they are for the CE catering changes. Conversely, if it has been a clear success, their two major competitors - AF and LH - would have undoubtedly embraced the model and both have so far stayed well clear off it. Compare and contrast with - for instance - hand baggage only fares which AF introduced a while ago and which both BA and LH copied when they considered it was a success.

Maybe the most likely scenario from that point of view is that it has little impact on point to point pax' attitudes and some negative on long haul connecting ones to the extent that BA faces more aggressive point to point competition from its two main competitors and conversely, LH chose to protect service on its mainline services whilst devolving point to point ones to a low cost subsidiary (and AF has chosen to remain full service altogether). As I said though, the above is complete speculation, but I know for a fact that the outcome of the BA experiment was watched very closely by AF and I am rather confident that if AF had concluded that it had been successful, there would be no free food and drink in Y on AF intra-Europe by now.
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Old Sep 1, 18, 6:33 am
  #49  
 
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I genuinely look forward to a Java Republic coffee and M&S Bacon Roll when in Y. It's not been all that often this year as in my quest for TPs I've upgraded pretty all the ET legs I've done, but as I'm now wildly overshooting, that has stopped.

The main shift this year is that it's become extremely easy to justify BA flights over EasyJet for work travel, even without adding in SB etc. This means I get the advantages of status, and to be honest with that I can fill up in a lounge and I'm not remotely bothered about getting a free drink onboard (if I'm thirsty I can expense BoB). I suspect the overall effect on BA is positive. I do echo the complaints about low loading of items though.
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Old Sep 1, 18, 6:34 am
  #50  
 
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Originally Posted by orbitmic View Post
because I've never been on a LH flight with nothing to eat except the super short ones.


But the thing is, orbitmic, that I just don't want to eat anything. Whatever LH or KLM gives out on short flight is not a meal, it's a snack, a poor quality one, mostly bread. If I want a snack I'll eat a fruit but I won't eat sandwiches in between meals.


Originally Posted by orbitmic View Post

I actually agree with you that if one can and wants to spend money to eat at the airport, it will often be better than whatever you get onboard (some airports are sadly dire exceptions), though it is equally true that taking the logic even further, most airport eateries offer very poor value for money


But there is really no avoiding spending money on food when travelling. Eating out involves spending money. Yes, you are absolutely right that airport food outlets offer poor value, but as far as I can see from posts here business travelers, those who fly the most, can expense their meals (lucky they are!). Leisure travelers who fly once or twice a year will absorb the cost of the food similarly as they would when at the destination because they can't cook their own meals. It is no different from going to a theme park and having to pay for meals (also overpriced and poor value). I just don't think that what the still full service carriers offer as snacks can be considered a meal; it seems to be more a matter of principle for some that they do get something complimentary because they chose to fly with a particular airline and because things used to be this way in the good old days when flying was a thrill and not just being on a bus as it is now. BoB or not what I like the most is that flying has become affordable for a lot of people and it has become so cheap that I can travel much more often than I used to, if the casualty of that has to be lack of complimentary service and tighter seating and general disappearance of any romanticism of flying I don't mind.

Originally Posted by orbitmic View Post
That's why your experience of risking going hungry on LH but not on BA surprised me, especially as, as mentioned, I've witnessed many a BA flight with none of the sandwiches/salads available after just a few rows (something many others have in fact experienced and reported on here).
Yes, I refuse to eat crap (pardon my language), so I will rather go hungry on LH than eat what they offer. However, it is highly unlikely that I will actually go hungry as I plan my meals when travelling similarly as I do when not travelling. So, for example, when flying from Kiev to London I will eat at the airport because the flight departs just after 2, which is well past my lunch time and BA does not offer any hot food even for purchase as we know. I will only buy a drink on board if I want one. It works the same way on the return - I will eat at the airport and buy a filling sandwich from Pret for lunch to eat before landing (even in CE as I passionately dislike the hot breakfast and am rather upset, same as you are, that BA removed the cold plate option). PS works great for me because I can pre-order a hot meal if the flight falls during my meal times. I just work with what's available and never make a decision to fly a particular airline based on whether or not I will get a complimentary meal, especially since they are very seldom good or filling. Still, I would never blame an airline if I actually do go hungry due to lack of BoB items; I just don't believe that flying and being able to eat while flying must go together and that airlines must ensure that people have something to eat.

Originally Posted by Ancient Observer View Post
Has anyone deliberately switched to CE due to BoB? For us, the seats & food are not worth the extra money.


I actually stopped paying for business class on shorthaul ever since PS and BA (my two main carriers) introduced BoB. Business class usually carries a still significant price premium, mostly for the additional space, but I can recreate the soft product elements for the fraction of the cost with BoB and I don't mind that the middle seat is almost never empty on a short flight.

Last edited by Andriyko; Sep 1, 18 at 7:10 am
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Old Sep 1, 18, 7:35 am
  #51  
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Originally Posted by Andriyko View Post
But the thing is, orbitmic, that I just don't want to eat anything. Whatever LH or KLM gives out on short flight is not a meal, it's a snack, a poor quality one, mostly bread. If I want a snack I'll eat a fruit but I won't eat sandwiches in between meals.


Well, I'm personally with you on not particularly enjoying sandwiches (hence also my dislike of BA's afternoon tea and panini in C!) and if you remember, in the last period of free food in ET, I regularly praised BA for offering a salad alternative which is what I always had on band 3 flights. In fairness, on most of my LH flights, I am also getting a salad rather than a sandwich and I think it is not bad, and longer flights offer full trays (as did BA on band 4 pre-BoB). I also think that despite your and my joint dislike for sandwiches and wraps, it is also fair to say that many others still think it is a lot better than nothing and some may even have that sort of food for lunch every day (not me ever but I know many people around me who do).

In many ways, your point on sandwiches echoes my earlier comment that some other BoB work ok by me like BT and OS, but unfortunately, BA's version is typically unhealthy packaged snacks or bready sandwiches. There used to be one salad on the BA BoB menu but it has now been enhanced away and even when it was there, it is actually the only thing I ever tried to get but not once was it available to me!

As for the point about eating at the airport and timing meal accordingly, I think it is important to know that not everyone can control that. Most of my travel is connecting and I don't recall the number of times I have had to just run (literally) to the gate to catch my flight. If you just arrived from - say - an East Coast flight in Y or W where you get nothing for the second meal bar a horrid dried bread roll with some sort of weird filling inside (even calling it a sandwich seems generous), this can meal a hell of a long time without a meal. Similarly, many business travellers (most of whom travel Y within Europe nowadays) may well just come straight from a meeting and rush to their flight without any time to eat. Some outstations also have dismal offerings for food, including some you'd expect to have decent offerings like CDG (yikes!)

In any case, as I've said before, I don't doubt that there are people like you who do not care at all about BoB (or why not even like it), but personally, I can certainly fully see why there are also many others who think it is a pain in the back and a clear deterioration in service. I think that this is particularly true of those who predominantly fly band 3-4 routes which offered a choice of salad or wrap for the former and a full meal for the latter (I do think that for those on very short "birdseed" flights it is less of an issue).
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Old Sep 1, 18, 8:26 am
  #52  
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Some very interesting responses, and BoB is clearly, even now based on this thread but also a quick look at media coverage online (google admittedly), a very divisive part of the customer experience that BA introduced.

Whilst I sit on the side that echos the loss in brand perception, the lack of genuine interaction for staff & customer, the nicety of grabbing a free G&T or 2 to enjoy and some of the degrading of BA to fall in line with every other Low Cost player rather than being bold and defying the competition, I created this thread to genuinely get a feel for BoB's perception amongst FT. As its impossible to ask the public otherwise. Yes, FT maybe a unique crowd in some respects, there is clearly a very knowledgeable and experienced base of customers on here. BA would completely ignore this and staff wouldn't post if FT didn't have some value to it (whatever that value is).

I hope that BA have a glimpse through this thread as theres some great feedback whether its success in some eyes or failure in others.

So far, but I hope to see more varied posts from others, I think Bob at BA has been most successful for Easyjet!!
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Old Sep 1, 18, 8:48 am
  #53  
 
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I quite like the change. I switched my weekly AMS-LON r/t from KLM to BA a few months before BoB. And I don't miss the free food from either airline. BA has become much more price competitive for me, which is a big plus as I'm not able to expense my flights. Whenever I'm not flying club europe I'll just take a quick nap after having eaten in lounge. The only time I use BoB is when I'm traveling with my elderly grandmother in Y who just loves to have a glass of wine while flying.
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Old Sep 1, 18, 8:52 am
  #54  
 
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I'm ok with the principle but I feel there's still a lot of work to do to improve the execution, to bring it upto par with Easyjet etc. Taking orders, establishing what is left on the menu, arranging payment, is all very slow and painful for customers and staff. The lack of hot options is disappointing too, they could do a mean hot dog if they wanted to.
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Old Sep 1, 18, 11:41 am
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Perhaps BA is just trying to address this?

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Old Sep 1, 18, 11:50 am
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I hate it - defies the very point of choosing the airline. But if it has to exist, which I cannot accept in the context of a company which makes billions in profit, then at least make it good i.e. pre order, hot meals, higher standards and better stock, and I might be more convinced. I also find it extremely grating how BA didn’t manage to sort BoB accross the whole network as they are too cheap to pay another CC, it’s like there is still some hope it may one day disappear.

I find the latest wording on the menu ‘LOOKING AFTER YOU’ especially irritating. No BA, you’re not looking after me, I am looking after me as I have to pay!
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Old Sep 1, 18, 12:03 pm
  #57  
 
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I recently flew from TXL to LHR in Club Europe, as part of a long haul ticket, and as I was offered my dry mini sandwiches, with a little mini-Diet Coke, I was deeply jealous of the people in the back paying a few bucks for a fresh sandwich and a proper sized can.

The problem with BOB is not about damage to the BA brand, it's about where it fits into the value proposition overall.

I recently flew Ryanair for the first time. Stansted was not significantly more inconvenient to me, and the difference in price for the economy class ticket was around USD $200. By the time I'd added priority boarding, an extra carry on, a seat assignment near the front, lounge access, and fast track security, the price differential dropped. But on Ryanair, I was flying with all of the benefits of Club Europe, for $130 less than an economy ticket on BA.

This is the real problem for BA.
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Old Sep 1, 18, 12:15 pm
  #58  
 
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Originally Posted by stuart_f View Post
Perhaps BA is just trying to address this?

and that's just the calories from alcohol !
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Old Sep 1, 18, 12:18 pm
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I had to retrospectively ask for ice and lemon when I bought a gin and tonic. The crew member's face looked as if she'd eaten the lemon. Bring your own Lemon ?
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Old Sep 1, 18, 12:54 pm
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Well I'm the person who, if someone sticks food and drink in front of me for free, I'll consume it. If they want me to pay for it, I'll bring my own from the terminal - cheaper, bigger selection and available at point of purchase.

Ive seen too many people being told "sorry we've run out!" On board since the BOB started, so decided to just cater for myself if flying ET - a Boots or M&S meal deal (from the terminal) is pretty good value compared to the BOB prices, and I've even (shock! Horror!) brought stuff with me from home!
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