Why are BA holding on to longhaul at LGW?

Old Oct 29, 20, 7:07 am
  #1  
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Why are BA holding on to longhaul at LGW?

Looking at booking a Caribbean trip in J for 2Q21 with the current sale and given the wider competitive landscape, I just can not comprehend why BA are holding on to LGW. Virgin currently has the upper hand with everything; Aircraft, seat (J), lounge, in-flight service (from what I read at present) and the pricing as always is identical ...

With all that taken into consideration at present why on earth would I pay the same amount to travel on a vastly inferior product and experience? Surely something has to change from BA's side in order to compete.

I have been a long standing member of the Exec Club and have been loyal to BA over the past 20 years in the Caribbean but I surely cant be the only one considering changing 'legions'.
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Old Oct 29, 20, 7:11 am
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Same product and pretty much same experience at LHR apart from a few aircraft with Club World Suite, First Wing for those that can, and a different lounge. I actually quite like the 32J aircraft at LGW
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Old Oct 29, 20, 7:14 am
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Have VS confirmed how many UC they’ll have on their leisure configured a350s yet?

It may be that BA simply doesn’t need to compete if VS’s supply doesn’t max out the demand
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Old Oct 29, 20, 7:30 am
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Whilst I appreciate the South Terminal at Gatwick is closed, the BA lounges at Gatwick are probably my favourites. I think both the first and club lounges beat the T5 equivalents on all counts and have a great view across the runway and good staff operating them. Perhaps slightly biased living in Brighton.

I also value the extensive direct flight European network BA operates highly. It's fab for a quick weekend away, hand baggage only fair with lounge access for Silver/Gold members. Having to transit through a Star Alliance hub for a short weekend break is painful.
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Old Oct 29, 20, 7:47 am
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Originally Posted by Merlin5 View Post
Whilst I appreciate the South Terminal at Gatwick is closed, the BA lounges at Gatwick are probably my favourites. I think both the first and club lounges beat the T5 equivalents on all counts and have a great view across the runway and good staff operating them. Perhaps slightly biased living in Brighton.

I also value the extensive direct flight European network BA operates highly. It's fab for a quick weekend away, hand baggage only fair with lounge access for Silver/Gold members. Having to transit through a Star Alliance hub for a short weekend break is painful.
LGW cons: oldest frames (777), no CCR.
LGW pros: cant think of any
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Old Oct 29, 20, 7:49 am
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Originally Posted by 81romeo View Post
LGW cons: oldest frames (777), no CCR.
LGW pros: cant think of any
Pro - not LHR
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Old Oct 29, 20, 8:10 am
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Originally Posted by Merlin5 View Post
Whilst I appreciate the South Terminal at Gatwick is closed, the BA lounges at Gatwick are probably my favourites. I think both the first and club lounges beat the T5 equivalents on all counts and have a great view across the runway and good staff operating them. Perhaps slightly biased living in Brighton.

I also value the extensive direct flight European network BA operates highly. It's fab for a quick weekend away, hand baggage only fair with lounge access for Silver/Gold members. Having to transit through a Star Alliance hub for a short weekend break is painful.

Same for me, but slightly closer than Merlin, just a 30 minute bus ride from my home straight to the terminals...makes weekend trips a breeze (or used to)

Yes I agree and do prefer the Gatwick South lounge...
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Old Oct 29, 20, 8:25 am
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Surely Pro for the Gatwick trips is that all of the aircraft are recently refurbished so in WT+ and J you get the latest IFE etc... (although obviously not Club Suite)
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Old Oct 29, 20, 8:28 am
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Slightly biased as I live in Richmond so I am at LHR in 25min - I prefer LHR over Gatwick as it has a much more 'international' atmosphere and it's much better for shopping (says my wife).

But I guess the points above are irrelevant for many
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Old Oct 29, 20, 8:49 am
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Welcome to FT, flscotab!
Originally Posted by flscotab View Post
I have been a long standing member of the Exec Club and have been loyal to BA over the past 20 years in the Caribbean but I surely cant be the only one considering changing 'legions'.
The things that you say that Virgin has the upper hand with are not exactly new. So unless Virgin's product has recently been revealed to you, why have you been "loyal" to BA for so long? And why would not those things make you continue to choose BA?

All of that, of course, is a different question from why BA is still doing long-haul from LGW. Many of us can think of some very good reasons for that, regardless of whether or not passengers want to fly BA (some will) or whether BA is currently making money there (I suspect that nobody is, anywhere).
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Old Oct 29, 20, 8:51 am
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I thought Virgin was pulling out of Gatwick and consolidating at LHR?
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Old Oct 29, 20, 10:34 am
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BA are keeping a toehold at Gatwick, as I was told there's commercial consequences which mean a restart in future becomes way more problematic. Hence although all B777 flightrs could operate out of T5 for the foreseeable future, they haven't pulled the plug just yet. Although they may well do soon, as the hangar is being closed and ground handling has gone over to GGS. It's still to soon to say what a post COVID market would look like or when that's likely.

Or possible !
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Old Oct 29, 20, 11:05 am
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Originally Posted by skipness1E View Post
BA are keeping a toehold at Gatwick, as I was told there's commercial consequences which mean a restart in future becomes way more problematic.
As discussed extensively on here when it was announced, the slot waiver for NW20 applies only to carriers that operate at least some of their services from each regulated airport. Therefore if they ran nothing from LGW they would lose their slots automatically and would be gambling on being able to get them back (likely but not certain). If they continue there even for a few flights, they keep them all. The small cost of operating across two airports can therefore be seen as an investment in keeping their options open for a while longer.
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Old Oct 29, 20, 11:13 am
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Originally Posted by skipness1E View Post
BA are keeping a toehold at Gatwick, as I was told there's commercial consequences which mean a restart in future becomes way more problematic. Hence although all B777 flightrs could operate out of T5 for the foreseeable future, they haven't pulled the plug just yet. Although they may well do soon, as the hangar is being closed and ground handling has gone over to GGS. It's still to soon to say what a post COVID market would look like or when that's likely.

Or possible !
The current slot waiver rules for the w20 season require an airline wishing to retain their slots for the future to utilise some of their slots now, (further information on slot rules here; Impact of Airport Slot Rules on BA), so Virgin for example have forfeited their LGW slots, while BA have not. This waiver required BA to notify which slots it anticipated using and so in effect requires BA to operate some services. Also note GGS is a wholly owned subsidiary of BA, and has been responsible for handling BA below wing opps at LGW for sometime. Above wing opps were handled by BA directly, but is this that has now been handed over to GGS.
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Old Oct 29, 20, 12:40 pm
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I also agree that the Club lounge is great and the south terminal has great rail connectivity, so the ground experience at LGW is certainly better than LHR.

But, if flying long haul, I’d certainly think twice about flying from Gatwick if I was going to receive second class hard product and food...
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