Why all the hate for BA ?

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Old Aug 12, 19, 7:43 pm
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Why all the hate for BA ?

Most of the travel videos I watch or news items on airline ratings inevitably seem to descend into either jokes about Ryanair or criticism of how lousy BA is “these days”. Of particular focus is often BA First with frequent comparisons to Etihad, Lufthansa, and Air France La Premiere. So finally I have the opportunity to find out for myself in 2 weeks (First from LHR to ORD - A380) but the first surprise was the price - I booked economy out and First return for $2,600 which to me is a great deal, if I looked at Lufthansa the price would be at least double that.

So is this BA’s secret - their First class product is deliberately sub-standard compared to other airlines simply because they sell those seats at such a competitive price point ?
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Old Aug 12, 19, 7:51 pm
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I think the criticism of BA first is very exaggerated, I just flew BA F rt iad/lhr. Was it the caviar and champagne in days of old? No. But that is true of most major's these days. AA in the 80's had incredible world class F service.Today not so much. F on almost any major carrier beats the heck out of economy. YMMV

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Old Aug 12, 19, 7:51 pm
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Maybe they sell the seats at a competitive price point because the seats and service is so sub-standard.
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Old Aug 12, 19, 7:56 pm
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Originally Posted by Fonsini View Post
[left] Of particular focus is often BA First with frequent comparisons to Etihad, Lufthansa, and Air France La Premiere. So finally I have the opportunity to find out for myself in 2 weeks (First from LHR to ORD - A380) but the first surprise was the price - I booked economy out and First return for $2,600 which to me is a great deal, if I looked at Lufthansa the price would be at least double that.
Until you try another airline such as Emirates, you will still not be in a position to know - Ba's 1st class is a very mediocre product - BA strives for mediocrity and succeeds
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Old Aug 12, 19, 7:58 pm
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How does the joke go? First on BA is a very good Business class ? I've only flown in First twice... (747s both times FWIW) once on BA, once on CX.... and I can assure you CX was better...significantly better..in every way. (Other than FA friendliness, I must add that!)
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Old Aug 12, 19, 7:58 pm
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Originally Posted by jmj9905 View Post
F on almost any major carrier beats the heck out of economy. YMMV
what an epic straw man! Beating the heck out of economy is about the silliest metric to evaluate FC possible.
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Old Aug 12, 19, 7:59 pm
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Originally Posted by Fonsini View Post
So is this BA’s secret - their First class product is deliberately sub-standard compared to other airlines simply because they sell those seats at such a competitive price point ?
Price is part of the equation. BA tends to have more seats in F than their competitors (depending on aircraft type and competitor more than double), which allows them to milk the maximum on direct routes (think >£10k) and then sell the rest cheaply to connecting traffic (plus of course the various GUFs & POUGs). For the core target audience (not very price sensitive but focused on convenience and comfort) that works very well - a lot of rich people want to travel between London and the world. A connection in Frankfurt (even if it is a Porsche aircraft to aircraft transfer is probably not what these people consider ideal).

Unfortunately that model means that BA can get away with an inferior product (people value the no-stop element over caviar), and the high number of people on cheap tickets give further incentive not to invest.
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Old Aug 12, 19, 8:11 pm
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Originally Posted by LCY8737 View Post


Price is part of the equation. BA tends to have more seats in F than their competitors (depending on aircraft type and competitor more than double), which allows them to milk the maximum on direct routes (think >£10k) and then sell the rest cheaply to connecting traffic (plus of course the various GUFs & POUGs). For the core target audience (not very price sensitive but focused on convenience and comfort) that works very well - a lot of rich people want to travel between London and the world. A connection in Frankfurt (even if it is a Porsche aircraft to aircraft transfer is probably not what these people consider ideal).

Unfortunately that model means that BA can get away with an inferior product (people value the no-stop element over caviar), and the high number of people on cheap tickets give further incentive not to invest.
Agree with this, and I'd also add that from the US-LHR the BA F product is not terribly uncompetitive. the only other carrier with F from US-LHR is AA, and they have a JV and as I understand it rev share so not really any reason to compete. ex-US all things being equal I'd prefer AA from LAX/NYC/DFW due to FFD and the AA F seat is slightly better than BA (IMO) and I'm mostly sleeping on these flights, in other markets ex-US coin-toss and choose by timing. ex-LHR to the US I'd take BA for the CCR and higher likelihood of having a good crew, which matters more in this direction as you're not sleeping the majority of the flight whereas on AA you're playing FA roulette.

I think a lot of the "hate" comes from those flying to other markets (ME, Asia) where there are indisputably superior F products available, I'd even rather J on QR QSuites planes to BA/AA F.
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Old Aug 12, 19, 8:26 pm
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Some of the "hate" comes from BA used to be a world class, innovative airline. As an example they introduced the first lie flat beds 20 years ago. For perhaps the last 10 years or so, they have rested on their laurels and in the last couple of years aggressively penny pinched the product and service. If I recall, the standard for wines in First is nothing to cost more than 5 Euro per bottle (champagne excepted). It wasn't that way 15 years ago.

It's become a shadow of it's former self, and it's sad for those who knew and loved the old BA to see things quickly descending into mediocrity and low cost carrier levels of "service". It's like watching an old friend slowly die before your eyes; yet you know it doesn't have to be this way.
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Old Aug 12, 19, 8:58 pm
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Originally Posted by jmj9905 View Post
............. F on almost any major carrier beats the heck out of economy. YMMV
Hmm ...... maybe not the ideal basis for an advertising campaign ; but at least some encouragement there for any regular economy flyers who might be wondering whether it’s worth splashing out on a first class ticket.
(In next week’s review we’ll be looking at how the Bentley Continental GT stacks up against the Nissan Micra )

But joking apart, it’s hardly a state secret that BA have zero desire to create some sort of benchmark for First class air travel, or to even attempt to match the sort of products currently offered by the more innovative carriers, where F (or in some cases, biz too) is concerned.

So you certainly won’t be seeing any Singapore Airlines type luxury on BA aircraft any time soon ....... no onboard lounges / bars as on Qatar .......and no inflight showers or chauffeured limo pick-up / drop-offs as enjoyed by Emirates passengers.

Plus, I really cannot agree that it’s a matter of ‘hate’. If people find that their shopping experience in, say, Waitrose is superior to that in Tesco, it does not follow that they hate Tesco.

As others have said above - and very often across many previous threads - the current-day BA chooses to follow an entirely different strategy and with that comes a different pricing structure.
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Last edited by subject2load; Aug 12, 19 at 9:29 pm Reason: spelling
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Old Aug 12, 19, 10:10 pm
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Question: How many of those carriers that subjectively have better F products are also state owned?
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Old Aug 12, 19, 10:18 pm
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Originally Posted by Jimmie76 View Post
Question: How many of those carriers that subjectively have better F products are also state owned?
Its also the taxes of the country. Whilst someone is cheap on £25 - 30 k there are a number of taxes in the background which are significantly more than other countries. It all builds up and either the consumer pays or the company cuts costs.
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Old Aug 12, 19, 10:40 pm
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Originally Posted by Jimmie76 View Post
Question: How many of those carriers that subjectively have better F products are also state owned?
Answer: Does't matter.
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Old Aug 12, 19, 11:10 pm
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I suppose it’s mainly down to the relentless shift to become a LCC. People have good memories of when it was leading the way. Now it’s far behind the competition in almost every aspect.

However for destinations, timetable and FF scheme it is one of the best. People who express anger just want them to be on par with some of the others again.
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Old Aug 12, 19, 11:55 pm
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Originally Posted by Jimmie76 View Post
Question: How many of those carriers that subjectively have better F products are also state owned?
What is the relevance ? do many people pick airlines based on ownership?
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