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BAs Premium Economy soft product losing its competitive edge

BAs Premium Economy soft product losing its competitive edge

Old Aug 18, 22, 9:27 am
  #16  
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
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BA stopped caring about their onboard product, be it the seat or the food a very long time ago.

The only thing they excel at is the quality of the cabin crew.

Other airlines are in a constant race to provide the best of everything, in all cabins.

The only race BA is in is the one to the bottom.

No pride. No passion. No appetite to be the best.

Whatever happened to the 'world's favourite airline'?
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Old Aug 18, 22, 9:28 am
  #17  
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Originally Posted by casey89 View Post
Damn. Then only difference to Business is the hard product with Virgin Australia, but I guess the price for that PE fare was around some business fares at western airlines?

The hard product on BA in PE is not that bad i would say (in all A351 and the refurbished ones B77W/B772 is actually very good). The soft product have a huge space for improvement though.
I did WTP at Easter on an AUP and liked it so much I POUG'd it for my Christmas trip.

I did plan to POUG a trip on VS for a 3 days w/end in San Fran but they wanted 777 each way. I'll suck it up in Y.
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Old Aug 18, 22, 9:32 am
  #18  
 
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PE has become a very weird class. I used to fly it a lot on LH and SK pre-pandemic, and really likes SAS's take.
Especially when connecting, the feeder was in the highest cabin (SAS Plus short-haul), granting Business Class Check-In at outstations, as well as lounge access.
Since I'm also leaning towards the "food is second order" side, having these amaneties at the airport was really nice (especially before I made status).
I know that the more expensive WTP tickets get CE feeders, but the fares that do are too expensive for me to justify anyway.

With more and more of the PE benefits being cut (seat selection, food) and hard products downgraded, its increasingly hard to justify the premium over WT/Y.
Given enough flexibility it's often possible to fly a more inconvenient routing in Business for the same price as the direct PE option, which for me is a no brainer.
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Old Aug 18, 22, 9:39 am
  #19  
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Originally Posted by casey89 View Post
On the other hand with AF you never know if you really gonny fly (because od CDG)
Whereas BA at LHR is soooo reliable
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Old Aug 18, 22, 10:50 am
  #20  
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Originally Posted by wb1969 View Post

Whatever happened to the 'world's favourite airline'?
We're to blame...is the simple answer.
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Old Aug 18, 22, 10:50 am
  #21  
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
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Originally Posted by HIDDY View Post
Book AF asap would be my advice!!
Ended up booking Swiss for about 100 more and return to London City Swiss has a small 2 rows J class just after First. A very decent J experience. In the big J cabin I usually get the throne seat.
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Last edited by ermis177; Aug 18, 22 at 11:05 am
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Old Aug 18, 22, 10:53 am
  #22  
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Did WT+ ever have a "competitive edge"? I know it's always been a very successful cabin for BA but I;'ll admit that I have never ever liked it and if I can't get J on a trip, will usually go for Y and save my money unless the difference is ridiculously small...
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Old Aug 18, 22, 10:53 am
  #23  
 
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Originally Posted by casey89 View Post

On the other hand with AF you never know if you really gonny fly (because od CDG)
Originally Posted by DYKWIA View Post
Whereas BA at LHR is soooo reliable
In the last few months AF experiences I had were much better compare to BA from Heathrow. Even on my last flight to Heathrow I had to wait more than 1 hour for the luggage to arrive. Terrible. Gatwick on the other hand wasnt that bad 2 weeks ago. Lounge was not busy either.
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Old Aug 18, 22, 10:55 am
  #24  
 
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Originally Posted by HIDDY View Post
We're to blame...is the simple answer.
Or if anyone cares, this is my complicated answer

Confessions of a former frequent flyer
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Old Aug 18, 22, 12:13 pm
  #25  
 
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I did VS Premium for the first time back in May. London - DCA via JFK with a long stopover in NYC on the way back. Over a Saturday night booked a few months out the fare was 950 which I thought reasonable. I did the status match so used the Clubhouse at LHR which I found a nicer place to hang out than the CCR, let alone the F lounge.
Outbound was A350. I had the AB bulkhead pair to myself. The food was excellent. Gin was Bombay. Red wine was in a can. Afternoon tea had nice sandwiches, scones and actual patisserie. Service was very friendly. We left LHR and arrived JFK early.
Return was a 787. Again I enjoyed the martinis in the JFK Clubhouse. This flight was full and I had a window seat in the second or third row. I didn’t notice the seat being any more comfortable than the 350. The food was pretty grim and I slept through breakfast.
The Revivals lounge was great, very nice shower facilities with proper tiling rather than lino and a correctly prepared Eggs Benedict.

All in all, it knocked spots off WTP even as a GCH able to use the F Wing, Arrivals etc.
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Old Aug 18, 22, 2:08 pm
  #26  
 
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BA's WT+ offering was probably at its best when the meals included the CW entre / main course as part of the service. At that point in time I felt it was much more a business-lite cabin. COVID stripped away all of the trimmings to the point where the only tangible benefits over WT were the smaller cabin and the seat itself.

The recent return of amenity kits, blankets, and menus with a better choice of main courses has helped. The proper second meal is also a welcome return, as the abysmal half sandwich and KitKat combo / cheese and tomato croissant for breakfast was just an embarrassment, The lack of an alcoholic PDB (now both ex-LHR and to-LHR) is still a sore point for me. On a positive note both flights were well stocked with Brewdog's JetStream beer. Overall I think the quality of the food in WT+ is a lot better since the 1st August service improvements. However, the 2nd meal on my eastbound flight to London was a chicken gnocchi dish which although tasty wasn't really what I wanted when my body clock was telling me it was breakfast time. Apparently it's to get you back into the UK time zone. The second meal on Sunday's westbound flight was the legendary chicken pie! So the pie lives on

In terms of actual value for money, that's subjective. However, I would say that prices overall are significantly higher now than I can remember. My most recent trip to the UK was around $2800 and my next trip is coming in at $2300. Historically I remember paying around $1600 - $1800 for a return WT+ between here and the UK. I do have a trip booked for next February which was only $1400 per person so that is probably the best I have seen in a long while. The last couple of flights have seen WT+ only 1/2 to maybe 2/3 full - but this could easily have been because both flights were on a Sunday.

Of course, most of this is me comparing BA of the past with the current BA. I rarely fly with anyone other than BA although I have a PE flight with AA on the 31st so it'll be interesting to see how they are currently doing. However, based on my last two flights I was pleasantly surprised with how tangible the improvements seem to be.
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Old Aug 18, 22, 2:12 pm
  #27  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
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Just returned from YYZ in BA Premium Economy, a route and class Ive flown many times pre-pandemic and was grossly underwhelmed.

it was a short midweek trip and at ~2900 not quite a modest cost increase.

hard product was same as (B788 so fairly new), food was terrible and worse than pre-pandemic. Inelegant, with some products wrong (for me) for a pre-sleep meal. Breakfast and hat is that 🤷🏼‍♂️ A thimble full of tea and some form of bread and protein that even the CC suggested I didnt eat.

Service was mixed too. The CC were typically engaging and friendly, but it took over two hours to get the food out and that left insufficient time for me to get any rest so I ate a few mouthfuls and grabbed some rest. The lights went on like disco closing time, long before they did in J who got to rest a lot longer.

All in all pretty galling for a ticket cost greater than many J tickets and to cap it off we arrived late, BA cancelled by connection offering me 13 hours at LHR Before the next flight (it got sorted, but by luck and fabulous gate staff!).

PE isnt the new norm for business travel as Im in no rush to repeat this again Im afraid.
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Old Aug 18, 22, 2:39 pm
  #28  
 
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Originally Posted by Geordie405 View Post
BA's WT+ offering was probably at its best when the meals included the CW entre / main course as part of the service. At that point in time I felt it was much more a business-lite cabin. COVID stripped away all of the trimmings to the point where the only tangible benefits over WT were the smaller cabin and the seat itself.

The recent return of amenity kits, blankets, and menus with a better choice of main courses has helped. The proper second meal is also a welcome return, as the abysmal half sandwich and KitKat combo / cheese and tomato croissant for breakfast was just an embarrassment, The lack of an alcoholic PDB (now both ex-LHR and to-LHR) is still a sore point for me. On a positive note both flights were well stocked with Brewdog's JetStream beer. Overall I think the quality of the food in WT+ is a lot better since the 1st August service improvements. However, the 2nd meal on my eastbound flight to London was a chicken gnocchi dish which although tasty wasn't really what I wanted when my body clock was telling me it was breakfast time. Apparently it's to get you back into the UK time zone. The second meal on Sunday's westbound flight was the legendary chicken pie! So the pie lives on

In terms of actual value for money, that's subjective. However, I would say that prices overall are significantly higher now than I can remember. My most recent trip to the UK was around $2800 and my next trip is coming in at $2300. Historically I remember paying around $1600 - $1800 for a return WT+ between here and the UK. I do have a trip booked for next February which was only $1400 per person so that is probably the best I have seen in a long while. The last couple of flights have seen WT+ only 1/2 to maybe 2/3 full - but this could easily have been because both flights were on a Sunday.

Of course, most of this is me comparing BA of the past with the current BA. I rarely fly with anyone other than BA although I have a PE flight with AA on the 31st so it'll be interesting to see how they are currently doing. However, based on my last two flights I was pleasantly surprised with how tangible the improvements seem to be.
Re: the point about CW catering... I've been in WTP once - 8 years ago. On an A380 to LA.

And I still recall fondly the, I think, 3 servings of CW sirloin I had (I was hungry, the CW cabin itself apparently wasn't busy). But was this a standard thing? Because at the time I remember it being a big deal that WTP on the A380 on certain routes got the CW catering. It won't diminish the experience if it was the norm; but I do recall it was bigged up as an advantage of going on particular routes on that particular plane...
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Old Aug 18, 22, 2:45 pm
  #29  
 
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I will only fly WT+ if the segments on long haul are in the range of $150 over the economy ticket in each direction and because I receive 360 TP for a return TLV to YVR flight for around $1050 USD when the lowest fares are available. Once status is maintained I am happy to hang out in the back.
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Old Aug 18, 22, 5:40 pm
  #30  
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Originally Posted by USA_flyer View Post
I have found Virgin to be substantially more expensive than BA for premium economy. While I want PE, I'm not prepared to triple the fare from economy to do it.
Mind as well fly business at that point.
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