New First Class

Old Feb 28, 19, 6:05 am
  #16  
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There is only really Air France that fully block F isn't there? SWISS allows it for top tier members. Even with a new seat, Air France F as an overall experience would be major steps above BA.

Emirates, Etihad, Lufthansa have no issues with F redemptions albeit with quirks, eg LH only lets partners book 14 days before departure, Emirates only lets you book the new suite 3 days before departure.

Redemptions are not 'free' either. BA and AGL have a commercial relationship. A 160,000 Avios F flight would involve total payment into BA of around £2000, partly from you in taxes and charges and partly from AGL, which as noted above is not far off sale pricing.
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Old Feb 28, 19, 6:31 am
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Originally Posted by Raffles View Post
There is only really Air France that fully block F isn't there? SWISS allows it for top tier members. Even with a new seat, Air France F as an overall experience would be major steps above BA.
And not coincidentally, Air France shrank the F cabin to 4 seats in the 77W. BA F is a more accessible but correspondingly lower quality product.
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Old Feb 28, 19, 6:36 am
  #18  
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Originally Posted by Raffles View Post
A 160,000 Avios F flight would involve total payment into BA of around £2000, partly from you in taxes and charges and partly from AGL, which as noted above is not far off sale pricing.
But what will happen if smaller F cabins no longer need to be filled through sale fares at these levels?

I think the moral of the story for those of us who aren't super-rich remains the same as it's been for the last couple of years: enjoy F while you still can; it may not be as easy to do so in the future.
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Old Feb 28, 19, 6:53 am
  #19  
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Though I absolutely take the OP's account at face value, I would nevertheless caution this. In my dealings with BA staff there is often a mix of hard facts, conjecture, imputation and wishful thinking. I've had a travel lifetime separating it all out. If and until there is an announcement I wouldn't take this too seriously. After all the pages of Flyertalk are filled on a daily basis with things that have been marked incorrectly as "enhanced".

However what we can say is that if - broadly speaking - BA reduces its First capacity by nearly half (less so, if the airline continues to expand) then it does stand to reason that there will be less for redemptions, however you look at it. That said Avios bookings have a value to BA, they are not "free" in any sense of the word, and I suspect there isn't much difference to the bottom line from a "CW to A" offer and a peak day Avios booking. So in brief, I have my doubts.

Originally Posted by Raffles View Post
There is only really Air France that fully block F isn't there?
Like Swiss, La Première is available to top tier Flying Blue members.
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Old Feb 28, 19, 7:09 am
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I suspect the advantages of offering a First cabin are quite nuanced. Consider someone needing to travel from London to the west coast of the US at short notice. They know that prices will be eye watering in business but may choose BA over a competitor in the hope (however slim) they will get an upgrade to F which the competitor does not offer.
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Old Feb 28, 19, 7:14 am
  #21  
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Thumbs up Excellent News!

I am in favor of any new rules that keep the "low rollers" out of First Class (-:
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Old Feb 28, 19, 7:44 am
  #22  
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Originally Posted by mikeyfly View Post
Considering BA F can be had in sales / specials for around £1,800 exINV for the East Coast USA it's not out of reach... even for a poor old pensioner
A nice concept, but sadly JER-LGW-LHR-INV makes the start a bit of a PITA, and effectively takes a day to achieve ... followed by a night-stop at INV, I suspect! But the TPs might just justify it.
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Old Feb 28, 19, 8:30 am
  #23  
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So BA need to create a new F cabin and service that 8 passengers are willing to pay for on each and every flight. Ambitious.
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Old Feb 28, 19, 8:36 am
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Originally Posted by T8191 View Post
A nice concept, but sadly JER-LGW-LHR-INV makes the start a bit of a PITA, and effectively takes a day to achieve ... followed by a night-stop at INV, I suspect! But the TPs might just justify it.
Worry ye not, recently F can be had in the sales for less than £1800 from LHR to East Coast (in my case Chicago, but I wouldn't be surprised if Washington too ).
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Old Feb 28, 19, 8:44 am
  #25  
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Originally Posted by I_Can_Fly_US_Airways View Post
I am in favor of any new rules that keep the "low rollers" out of First Class (-:
Proper attire when flying BA F should also be compulsory.

I think having less seats in F is a good move however they choose to fill them. Profitability not sentimentality is the name of the game nowadays.
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Old Feb 28, 19, 8:47 am
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If (and I fully appreciate this seems to be a bit of insight coupled with some speculation) this is to be true then I welcome the changes that BA may make in future. Reducing the cabin density, improving the product and increasing the price will hopefully make for a more exclusive product. Of course, the soft and ground product will have to be more in line with AF La P or LX F to command higher fares, but that should be seen as a good thing in my book. I look forward to try the "New F" should it be officially announced.

In similar vein, I do await the formal announcement of the new BA J product and I really hope it lives us to the hype. I've said before that I hope BA make a good job of it ^
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Old Feb 28, 19, 9:06 am
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Originally Posted by Fraser View Post
So BA need to create a new F cabin and service that 8 passengers are willing to pay for on each and every flight. Ambitious.
@ Fraser - I wouldn’t think they necessarily have to fill every available F seat on every flight that carries a top cabin - but yes, the overall concept is indeed an ambitious one.

You may have seen a lively recent thread (it prompted well over 100 posts) headed ‘More inconsistency from BA FIRST .....’ In the thread, many posters found themselves in sync with the notion that standards in the current BA F class were perhaps more akin to a ‘Club World plus’ than a true First experience.

Such a view would suggest that if the new CW seat proves to be the expected major step-up from the current version, then a relaunched F will in turn need to offer something genuinely special by way of differentiation.

It’s perfectly understandable that in a changing market BA should look to reduce its total F class capacity across the network, just as so many other carriers have gradually been doing. I guess what remains to be seen is the level of focus, resource, and investment BA will choose to put into their particular F, and how successful it will be in pulling enough revenue customers away from CW over the long term.
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Old Feb 28, 19, 9:38 am
  #28  
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Originally Posted by Fraser View Post
So BA need to create a new F cabin and service that 8 passengers are willing to pay for on each and every flight. Ambitious.
Don't forget that the cabin may well be on fewer flights and routes than it is now.
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Old Feb 28, 19, 10:23 am
  #29  
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Originally Posted by Globaliser View Post
Don't forget that the cabin may well be on fewer flights and routes than it is now.
And I suspect that this may be a larger impediment to flying F than the main topic of this thread.
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Old Feb 28, 19, 10:36 am
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Why would BA limit redemptions? Avios are big business for IAG and if aspirational redemptions like travelling on First are no longer available people may choose to join a different FFP
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