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Business class from Chambery to London City - what a fraud

Business class from Chambery to London City - what a fraud

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Old Jan 6, 19, 12:26 am
  #16  
 
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Originally Posted by fairhsa View Post
Thanks. My typical flight experience is short haul Asia - Hong Kong to Manila is only about 15 minutes longer flight than Chambery to LCY and I would say Premium Economy on that is better than the "club" Europe service I experienced! Business class is much better.
Whilst you feel BA were bad, it remains that case that in Europe this is normal for business class.
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Old Jan 6, 19, 12:29 am
  #17  
 
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Originally Posted by Bullswood View Post
As an aside, as BA doesn’t offer priority bag service, why the orange priority tags? Was wondering this while I waited 60mins for my bag at MUC last night!
Agree that where no lounges or if already holding status for lounge access, CE is unjustifiable nowadays.
Tier points, food, off the plane first, no one next to you, assuming not LCY.
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Old Jan 6, 19, 12:30 am
  #18  
 
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Originally Posted by fairhsa View Post
Thanks. My typical flight experience is short haul Asia - Hong Kong to Manila is only about 15 minutes longer flight than Chambery to LCY and I would say Premium Economy on that is better than the "club" Europe service I experienced! Business class is much better.
No doubt... but its not the same market. Flying in J on ANY European SHORT haul (some TK flights excepted) is an economy seat with an empty middle. From your "shock" it seems you just assumed it was going to be something more......For me the clue that it was NOT going to be was that it had a different NAME to the long haul version. Club Europe versus Club World. That was an "ahah" moment for me...

P.S. FRAUD is a pretty serious allegation. I think you'd find - with ANY level of research - that BA does NOT advertise Flat beds etc in CE... So...Fraud? really? This touches on a topic of great interest to me... the fact that so many people think "Business Class" is some kind of UN/Government/Church approved description of specific set of attributes... Hence these accusations of "fraud" or comments that it "shouldn't be allowed to be called Business"? Allowed by WHO? Its a marketing label. NZ have "Business Premier" (WTH does THAT mean?) Other airlines have equally odd names.....none of which really MEAN anything....
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Last edited by trooper; Jan 6, 19 at 12:36 am
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Old Jan 6, 19, 12:34 am
  #19  
 
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Originally Posted by trooper View Post
No doubt... but its not the same market. Flying in J on ANY European SHORT haul (some TK flights excepted) is an economy seat with an empty middle. From your "shock" it seems you just assumed it was going to be something more......For me the clue that it was NOT going to be was that it had a different NAME to the long haul version. Club Europe versus Club World. That was an "ahah" moment for me...
Except there is no empty middle in CE on Cityflyer, it's literally just the same seating as in economy with an antimacassar.
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Old Jan 6, 19, 12:36 am
  #20  
 
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On the fraud point, it appears when booking CE from CMF BA is careful not to state anywhere that there will be access to a lounge before your flight, but the booking page does claim there will be a 'Dedicated check-in area' for business class, so this sounds certainly misleading.
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Old Jan 6, 19, 12:45 am
  #21  
 
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Originally Posted by dougzz View Post
Tier points, food, off the plane first, no one next to you, assuming not LCY.
Yes, I think we all understand the generic benefits/marketing fluff of CE. However the OP's circumstances were somewhat different.

No empty seat, no lounge (in either direction) and at LCY (not sure about Chambery) you are not even guaranteed to be off first as both sets of doors can be used. And TPs are not always important to people either.

So it could be an expensive option for a £5 CE meal and a voucher at Chambery that apparently cannot be used.....
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Old Jan 6, 19, 1:14 am
  #22  
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Originally Posted by trooper View Post
No doubt... but its not the same market. Flying in J on ANY European SHORT haul (some TK flights excepted) is an economy seat with an empty middle. From your "shock" it seems you just assumed it was going to be something more......For me the clue that it was NOT going to be was that it had a different NAME to the long haul version. Club Europe versus Club World. That was an "ahah" moment for me...

P.S. FRAUD is a pretty serious allegation. I think you'd find - with ANY level of research - that BA does NOT advertise Flat beds etc in CE... So...Fraud? really? This touches on a topic of great interest to me... the fact that so many people think "Business Class" is some kind of UN/Government/Church approved description of specific set of attributes... Hence these accusations of "fraud" or comments that it "shouldn't be allowed to be called Business"? Allowed by WHO? Its a marketing label. NZ have "Business Premier" (WTH does THAT mean?) Other airlines have equally odd names.....none of which really MEAN anything....

It was NOT an economy seat with an empty middle seat. It was an economy seat, period. The aircraft was one of those small ones, whole cabin was 2-2. I had the previous week done a club europe business class flight from Rome to Heathrow with husband in Economy, so I do know what the standard club europe is like (compared to any Asian regional J). But this was NOT that. It was even less than that. Hence my complaint.
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Old Jan 6, 19, 1:47 am
  #23  
 
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Agreed when there is no empty middle seat and no lounge that Club Europe seems to have no real benefit and not worth it. Certainly a disappointment, but is it really fraud? In my opinion Club Europe only seems worth it when fare is mildly more expensive than Economy, especially to get higher tier points and air miles.
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Old Jan 6, 19, 1:51 am
  #24  
 
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I think the biggest problem in OP’s particular case was check in. J pax should never have to queue 45 minutes to check in and there should always be a priroity line of sorts, if not a separate desk. I would certainly complain to BA about that.
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Old Jan 6, 19, 1:57 am
  #25  
 
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Originally Posted by nancypants View Post


the orange priority tags on BA are well documented as only being there to make pax feel special.
I'm not sure this is quite true. When I last asked a BA agent, bags arriving at LHR are prioritised and possibly LGW. I've certainly received my bags faster than otherwise when tagged.
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Old Jan 6, 19, 2:04 am
  #26  
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Originally Posted by fairhsa View Post
What did we pay for? How can BA sell a different class of service that is basically not actually different? I feel completely cheated. (And have sent the same complaint as above directly to them as well, because I really do feel unhappy about it, but thought I would also see what others think).
There are quite a few things I could say about this report, but I certainly thank the OP for adding to the information here.

I don't think FT regulars will be surprised since the BACF product is well known here, and HfP actively discourages people from booking CE on BACF services for many of the reasons you mention. BA don't advertise a lounge provision at Chambéry or LCY (and there is an FT lounge directory which identifies this too), nor an empty middle seat in the booking system. So in a sense the information about the Embraer seating and airport facilities is all online in multiple locations. BA isn't exactly alone in doing this, KLM and TAP have similar arrangements on their Embraer services too. The one thing BA does offer is a good use of Theoretical Seating for single passengers, which does generally work, in my case I've only had 2 occupied seats in my last 100 BACF services (that said it is a fairly impressive figure in ET too).

There is / was one wet lease aircraft with 1 + 2 fixed seating in CE but it is notable that it gets deployed on lower margin services - there isn't a business case for doing this generally on BACF. Chambéry is an extremely small airport. It's not even a quarter of the size of INV or LUX. The 10€ voucher is an improvement on what I got last year! I agree that the pulled pork isn't BACF's catering best option though for me it's OK to eat (see photos in the BACF catering guide elsewhere in FT) but typically Newrest will delete dishes which get negative feedback from the crew, I can think of two other corkers that are no longer offered.

I think there are two key benefits that haven't been mentioned so far. Chambéry is a ski resort location, so the extra baggage allowance for CE is important for many travellers and in some cases justifies paying the extra over ET. The typical uplift for CE over ET on that sector is around £55 if there is a Saturday night involved and two bags could be £60 to £85 each way in ET. Secondly for status passengers there is access to the lovely 2C and 2D,which must some of the longest legroom in European shorthaul aviation.

I guess the core point I'm trying to make is that CE on BACF or elsewhere on BA isn't for everyone, and those who are likely to be concerned about this can and should research the product before paying for it. Personally I like CE on BACF, and will continue to pay for it, it is popular on some routes, but I'm pleased that not everyone agrees, otherwise TS won't work!
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Last edited by corporate-wage-slave; Jan 6, 19 at 3:22 am
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Old Jan 6, 19, 2:06 am
  #27  
 
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Originally Posted by Filthy Monkey View Post
I guess the long and short of it these days is that Club Europe is rubbish and incredibly poor value. Unless it comes as part of a long haul booking, I’d rather have an exit row seat in economy.
Sadly.... I have to agree. The issue seems to be much more about first time European travellers who get a shock when the compare what they THINK is the standard for Business on BA (irrespective of whether it is technically branded Europe or World) and the (shabby IMO) reality. Though much of the disconnect is about the hard product I certainly have also experienced a significant difference in the soft product.

Though other's experience and views will vary, IME this is how it tends to pan out:
  • European business class - poor hard product, very variable, generally not great soft product
  • USA business class - decent hard product, very variable though generally reasonably good soft product
  • Far East business class - very good hard product and generally excellent soft product
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Old Jan 6, 19, 2:13 am
  #28  
 
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Originally Posted by Big Bad D View Post
Agreed when there is no empty middle seat and no lounge that Club Europe seems to have no real benefit and not worth it.


CE has different fare rules from the basic economy fare. More baggage allowance, more flexible cancellation/change rules, etc. It's unfortunate for the OP, but the service was somewhat predictable. Chambery is a 200,000 passengers/year airport with seasonal flights only (most flights being operated from the UK and Denmark). Personally, I wouldn't expect a lounge and preferential treatment at an airport, where BA is the only airline to offer a business class and where BA is likely to subcontract ground handling.

PS: I'd prefer LYS and GVA as BA gateway into the French Alps. Both are roughly 55 miles from Chambery.


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Old Jan 6, 19, 2:32 am
  #29  
 
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My summary of BA shorthaul business class is this:-

Lounge Access (but many have it anyhow)
No one sitting next to you (but many get that anyhow in Y)
Less leg room (as many can choose exit row in Y)
Food and drink included (maybe a £10 value)
Extra Avios (usually a £5 to £10 value)
Sooner off the plane (how valuable is 3 minutes)
Priorty boarding (many have this anyhow)
An extra bag (many have that anyhow through status but how many need two regardless)
Extra TP (yes I’ve paid CE for these)
The hidden perception of priority baggage (no it’s not offered so why put on a priorty tag which only angers when it’s last off)

For a silver member I’d value CE as a £20 value over Economy (the one where you get baggage). For me that £10 is £10 on food, £5 in extra Avios, £2 in getting off sooner minus £7 for less legroom)

The TP value is personal. For some £50 extra could give huge benefits as it could make someone gold for the best part of 2 years and a futher year of silver. For others it will mean nothing.

Overall CE offers very little and for someone who is not a regular on BA and maybe has just been tempted by an offer from BA to upgrade, they will be dissapointed.

Saying that. I just splurged a whopping £38 extra to fly CE to FAO in the summer. With luck I’ll grab row one so I’m not my perceived £7 worse off for less leg room) and I’ll make sure I drink at least 3 bottles of fizz to ensure I’m on the right side. The extra 35TP could be very useful later in my TP year.
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Old Jan 6, 19, 3:08 am
  #30  
 
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Originally Posted by Adstring View Post
I'm not sure this is quite true. When I last asked a BA agent, bags arriving at LHR are prioritised and possibly LGW. I've certainly received my bags faster than otherwise when tagged.
Priority Baggage Tags

the placebo effect and the “customer facing employees say what they think the customer wants to hear” effects are both very real 😉
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