When did BA lose its Class?

Old Aug 27, 20, 9:40 am
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When did BA lose its Class?

Using Class in the sense of stylish or fashionable, once upon a time, traveling with BA was traveling with a class act.
Over time, the old image of decent (for Aviation) food, wine and service has disappeared. Innovative ideas such as flat bed seats in J and F have been replaced by paper bags or horrible boxes of food.
Even Economy, in the past, with BA was better than with the charter airlines. Queues used to be reasonable for Y - but now they are unbearable. One used to be able to speak to someone helpful on the phone............
Big shocks such as 9/11 and Covid aside, Aviation has grown by 5 or 6 % per annum for a long while. The newer, cheaper, and nastier airlines such as Ryannair, took much of the growth, and reduced the old charter airlines to bystanders.
BA had to reduce its costs, we can all understand that, but nowadays the slf are treated worse than freight!

Clearly, something radical has taken place. Was there a single/main cause, or has it just been a drift in to where BA is now?
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Old Aug 27, 20, 9:44 am
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LCCs. BA couldn't compete with the £9.99 fares and it was downhill from there.
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Old Aug 27, 20, 9:47 am
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Sept 11 was the pivot point I think, with the rise of Easy, Ryanair and the Gulf carriers as the long term trend changers, along with the drive for 10%+ margin. We still got nice things but it came at the expensive of other stuff.
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Old Aug 27, 20, 9:47 am
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Failure, and subsequent sale to EasyJet, of Go was when short haul started to hit the skids. Long haul not too long afterwards
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Old Aug 27, 20, 9:50 am
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I don't think you can compare BA to Ryanair (which has about as much class as a stadium full of Daily Sport readers) yet.

Aviation generally is a worse experience in recent years, BA is not alone in that. The industry as a whole is facing challenges on several fronts. If BA faces one specific problem, it's that it is trying to address these whilst being run by genuinely crap management.
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Old Aug 27, 20, 10:17 am
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Originally Posted by Ancient Observer View Post

Clearly, something radical has taken place. Was there a single/main cause, or has it just been a drift in to where BA is now?
Yes the world moved on, but perhaps you didn't?

While historically aviation had associations with affluence, glamour and in your words 'class', that's not true any more and hasn't been for some time. Flying and travelling by air is really quite a quotidian activity. BA does it well, we know so, because it's a commercial market place with choice and BA do better in that market than most, because they're giving more people what they want, more of the time than their main competitors. I don't see that contrived analysis is going to change that state of affairs.
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Old Aug 27, 20, 10:23 am
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Originally Posted by Dan72 View Post
Yes the world moved on, but perhaps you didn't?

While historically aviation had associations with affluence, glamour and in your words 'class', that's not true any more and hasn't been for some time. Flying and travelling by air is really quite a quotidian activity. BA does it well, we know so, because it's a commercial market place with choice and BA do better in that market than most, because they're giving more people what they want, more of the time than their main competitors. I don't see that contrived analysis is going to change that state of affairs.
I agree. The hard truth (which is difficult for some people on here ) is that BA have segmented and developed markets and pricing better than almost anybody. The SH offering is exactly in line with competitors and is fair for the price paid most of the time. The results show that. Also, Pre-COVID the planes were always full, and IAG made profits every year. I think most airlines outside of Ryanair, Wizz and Easyjet can't say that.

FWIW I also don't think you can compare the BA offering with Ryanair's offering out of STN but unfortunately Skyscanner, Kayak and the GP don't see the distinction between the offerings. Frankly, I don't think Ryanair should be allowed to advertise ticket prices that don't come with a sufficient amount of hand luggage but that's another topic.
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Old Aug 27, 20, 11:18 am
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The advent of Cruzing saw the last faint wisps of any sort class disappearing from BA. Those of us with more than a touch of grey on our wings would suggest the rot started when they binned the Super VC10s
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Old Aug 27, 20, 11:27 am
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Old Aug 27, 20, 11:31 am
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Originally Posted by macdrew View Post
The advent of Cruzing saw the last faint wisps of any sort class disappearing from BA. Those of us with more than a touch of grey on our wings would suggest the rot started when they binned the Super VC10s
We are in the middle of a pandemic. I would imagine that there will be many airlines which will not survive. I am not defending BA but I felt that there had been a change towards more sumptuous service. Now itís all going to pot. The staff are going in droves and nothing will be the same. Still, the one thing that is constant in the airline world is change. For better or at present for worse.

All that I will say is that I am glad that I was there during the hay days.
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Old Aug 27, 20, 12:11 pm
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Compared to many here I'm a relative newbie, with my 'hardcore' flying only being since 2016. But every single BA flight has been incredibly enjoyable to me. Even the four hour public transport slogs from LHR to home after a weekend in the likes of Hong Kong were worth it! I even travel at the back of the tube almost all the time. I've been really worrying about how the 'new normal' will reduce my excitement and enjoyment, especially since I've not used the Gold perks yet and, probably now never will, sample what you all rave about. But threads like this turn that sadness into hope again, because my 'new normal' will clearly be no where near as bad as yours! I just hope to be back travelling somewhere far soon, hopefully with BA, and hopefully still getting complimentary Chenin Blanc with my chicken & rice at the back
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Old Aug 27, 20, 12:31 pm
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We have a tendency to look at the past with rose-tinted glass. Everything was better when we were younger, fitter, healthier and so on.

But often we forget that the past, like the present, was often pretty awful. As was my first experience with BA. A transfer flight from France to somewhere in the North - could've been Glasgow, could've been Newcastle, could've been Manchester; it was the early 1990s, I was on a school trip, a basketball tournament. Of the way out I only remember the carpets in the airport, and how lurid they were (we hadn't been introduced yet to the very British institution of the moquetted bathrooms. That was for later). The French leg of our return was cancelled - bad weather - and we queued up for hours outside a terminal trying to get home. Food was, inevitably, ghastly. Half of our team's bags arrived 10 days later, soaking wet from having spent the entire time parked on a stand outside.
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Old Aug 27, 20, 12:32 pm
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When Shaun Hillís fish pie was taken off the menu
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Old Aug 27, 20, 12:34 pm
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Old Aug 27, 20, 12:58 pm
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It isn't just BA that's had the changes you describe. I'd say most if not all legacy carriers had to adjust because of LCCs. It really stinks that airlines can't survive in a world like retail brands, where some are premium and some are not.
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