BA F routes 2021 and beyond

Old Jan 9, 21, 3:05 am
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BA F routes 2021 and beyond

Hey all and HNY!

Apologies if a thread already exists for this, but... I was due to fly to Toronto in F in June.

BA has changed aircraft so Iíve been bumped to CW (if the flight goes ahead!).

I know this is down to 747 retirement, but many airlines are removing F altogether so wondering a) if BA following suit outside of fleet retirement and b) if any current F routes are Ďsafeí for a while as Iíd love to fly F at least once more before it is no more!

Thanks in advance for your help.
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Old Jan 9, 21, 3:07 am
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LAX
JFK
HKG
SIN
JNB

Would be my safe list, beyond that it’s a lottery of which aircraft gets allocated to which routes...
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Old Jan 9, 21, 3:14 am
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Some months ago there was a conference call of travel bookers and the BA rep said just JFK, LAX and JNB, nowhere else could be guaranteed, so I'd take HKG and SIN off that list. I guess these 3 locations are the only ones with paid First in any realistic amount.
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Old Jan 9, 21, 3:26 am
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Originally Posted by corporate-wage-slave View Post
Some months ago there was a conference call of travel bookers and the BA rep said just JFK, LAX and JNB, nowhere else could be guaranteed, so I'd take HKG and SIN off that list. I guess these 3 locations are the only ones with paid First in any realistic amount.
Armchair CEO here - Iím surprised no SFO!
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Old Jan 9, 21, 3:37 am
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MEX has had first class as long as I have been monitoring it (around 3 years) usually has good reward availability as well! Hopefully that will continue.
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Old Jan 9, 21, 3:44 am
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Originally Posted by pmramsay View Post
MEX has had first class as long as I have been monitoring it (around 3 years) usually has good reward availability as well! Hopefully that will continue.
Good F reward availability probably indicates theyíre not selling too many F tickets so MEX may well lose F

I wonder will they somewhat coordinate with AA and let one airline or the other do the F lifting at different stations. For example, AA only fly J ex ORD to LHR so BA keep F on the route. Conversely, BA may drop F on the DFW rotation and leave AA to it. Same may happen in MIA, BOS, maybe PHL
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Old Jan 9, 21, 3:50 am
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Originally Posted by andymcdonnell View Post
Good F reward availability probably indicates theyíre not selling too many F tickets so MEX may well lose F
Maybe, the 3 times I have flown that route (including pre lockdown early November) the flights have been fairly busy, its also an important cargo route I believe. Hopefully enough to keep an F presence to Latin America.
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Old Jan 9, 21, 3:53 am
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Originally Posted by corporate-wage-slave View Post
Some months ago there was a conference call of travel bookers and the BA rep said just JFK, LAX and JNB, nowhere else could be guaranteed, so I'd take HKG and SIN off that list. I guess these 3 locations are the only ones with paid First in any realistic amount.
I guess, as much as anything else, it would depend on which routes there is sufficient (paid) F demand and BA doesn't have any viable competition for F travel. Yes, I know AA do (or did) have an F cabin but it is arguably the one airline where it could be said that BA (historically) offers a better service. Only BA will have the data - although much of that may now be out of date - to determine which routes were profitable in F and/or which routes they think will be profitable. Obviously, with the reduction in F seats overall and fewer frames with an F cabin, it will be a much more targeted product...and one would hope an improved product. My last BA F flight, just over a year ago - so pre C-19 - was pretty lamentable in all respects.

Consequently, anywhere in North America with sufficient business/entertainment/HNW traffic could be a candidate - JFK and LAX is a given, but possibly IAD, ORD, MIA, SFO.

Possibly BDA and BGI (seasonal) - no effective competition.

South Africa - no effective competition

I bet LOS (Lagos) gets a lot of 'high rollers' and no effective competition

Indian Subcontinent - BOM and possibly DEL - again no effective competition (ignoring EK)

I imagine there might be a rotation to DXB although Lord knows why you'd pay for BA F over EK. BAH might still keep F as GF doesn't offer it.

Maybe one or two LAT AM routes?

Depends also whether the A380 comes back - that might bring in HKG.

The whole argument does get somewhat skewed by CS because I imagine that for some people (eg yours truly) CS is sufficiently good that the question of flying F doesn't come into it anymore - other than as an Avios upgrade or redemption. CS therefore naturally erodes the target market too.

Pure conjecture on my part.
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Old Jan 9, 21, 4:12 am
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Originally Posted by Betteronacamel View Post
My last BA F flight, just over a year ago - so pre C-19 - was pretty lamentable in all respects.
How much did you pay for that trip? If it was £6,000 per person in cash, then BA would be very interested in your future business. If it was effectively £1500 via Avios, then not so much. There is an idea out in this forum that BA can make a lot of money from First, but it never has, nor have AF or LH, hence WTP is more important to BA than First.
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Old Jan 9, 21, 4:15 am
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Totally agree corporate-wage-slave I am pretty sure Emirates would have done these sums too deciding to introduce Premium Economy
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Old Jan 9, 21, 4:23 am
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Originally Posted by andymcdonnell View Post
Good F reward availability probably indicates theyíre not selling too many F tickets so MEX may well lose F

I wonder will they somewhat coordinate with AA and let one airline or the other do the F lifting at different stations. For example, AA only fly J ex ORD to LHR so BA keep F on the route. Conversely, BA may drop F on the DFW rotation and leave AA to it. Same may happen in MIA, BOS, maybe PHL
I agree - although that would display logic, which has been severely lacking in some quarters this year!
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Old Jan 9, 21, 5:07 am
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ive always been surprised DEN had F for so long...which i was always appreciative of but wonder if that was more a function of the 747 being on the route however this year it is a mix of no-F a350 and with F 777 or 787.

i also wonder if they would maintain on the same routes other OW partners keep it? thinking HKG, DFW and similar that are considered for the ax.
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Old Jan 9, 21, 5:38 am
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Originally Posted by corporate-wage-slave View Post
How much did you pay for that trip? If it was £6,000 per person in cash, then BA would be very interested in your future business. If it was effectively £1500 via Avios, then not so much. There is an idea out in this forum that BA can make a lot of money from First, but it never has, nor have AF or LH, hence WTP is more important to BA than First.
The answer to your question is that it was an Avios redemption. I have paid full fare in the past, but the poor experience that I had was surely nothing to do with whether it was a redemption or full fare. After this experience I questioned myself whether I would bother with BA F again, paid or redemption.

As I then tried to say, with the roll out of Club Suites (CS), that question was possibly easier to answer.

Therefore, unless BA can make money in F, why would they bother? Whilst the 744 was around their hands were tied as it would not have been feasible to convert the F cabin into J. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I cannot see that F now has to be provided on any of the other aircraft in the fleet from a purely logistical point of view.

In trying to answer the original question, I was trying to surmise whether there were any routes where BA could make money in F. I don't have that data, and BA's past assumptions are presumably in the waste paper bin anyway. If, as you assert (and presumably you have the evidence to prove this), BA doesn't make money in F why do they continue? The same question applies to the other airlines you cite.

I am not actually a defender of F per se. I personally wouldn't particularly care if BA dropped F. My most recent experiences were not that great (paid or redemption) and BA hasn't really been cutting edge since about 1996 (or whenever they introduced the F Suite). Coming out of the pandemic I would think that they would rather focus on making money - so perhaps there are some routes that will support F or perhaps not. Alternatively, if WTP is the way to go, why not just fill the plane with WTP and leave it at that?
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Old Jan 9, 21, 6:08 am
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This is quite a depressing thread for me, I have booked my first F trip for this summer into ORD and out of PHL. I've gone from just wondering if the trip will go ahead to also wondering what cabin it will be if it does.
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Old Jan 9, 21, 7:11 am
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As much as I love to see F fares to North America under £2k a piece, realistically the price for F is artificially low.

I donít blame BA for scrapping it on most routes.
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