Latest BA report card - a mediocre airline

Old Jul 14, 2023, 11:37 pm
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Latest BA report card - a mediocre airline

Interesting article in one of the UK weekend newspapers today which shows BA really needs to do better. The link is below but I have also summarised the salient points.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/n...best-airlines/

BA ranked 12/23 for shorthaul - it was ranked best shorthaul airline by the same survey in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016. EasyJet scored higher than BA this year and came in at 10/23.

As for longhaul, BA was ranked 23/41. Virgin Atlantic was ranked high and came 5/41.

BAs downward trend is attributed in the summary to its focus (obsession?) on cost cutting, competing with low cost carriers and not having that luxury edge compared to the highest ranked longhaul carriers. 23/41 is quite poor really. Another factor appears to be how airlines like Emirates and even Qatar have invested in having a presence across major UK cities not just London.

Come on BA - you really can do better.
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Old Jul 15, 2023, 12:10 am
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Iberia take an even greater thrashing. Last for long haul and in the bottom five for short haul. Must be something in IAG's DNA.
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Old Jul 15, 2023, 12:32 am
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Originally Posted by DaveS
Iberia take an even greater thrashing. Last for long haul and in the bottom five for short haul. Must be something in IAG's DNA.
Spot on!

Many of you will know Michael Porter’s work on strategy and where to position an organisation in the marketplace.
To paraphrase briefly you can be the cost leader, be different or be very focused on a particular market segment. He states that unless you are really clear on your position you are ‘stuck in the middle’. And I think that is IAG’s problem, they have Level trying to be the low cost leader, BA (theoretically positioned as premium) and IB as, er…. not sure what. So they are stuck in the middle and that lack of strategic clarity leads to a lot of issues in managing the airlines within the group.

So Sean Doyle has a problem if he is trying to take BA back into the premium market position it used to have years ago (from Cruz’s efforts to go into the low cost space). Best of luck is all I can say because it is going to be an uphill struggle with the IAG Board.
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Old Jul 15, 2023, 1:00 am
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As much as I understand that rational for these surveys; they really are just something to pass the time, very subjective and probably pointless as no one really chooses anything on ranking. BA for me knocks the socks off Emirates with CS but that's because I'm not interested in the bar, the better presented food - BA has a much better seat than the EKA380/777 and EK's FF scheme is absolutely the worst (I got an offer of 50% savings on spending my skywards miles - Log in and book by 31 December 2023 and enjoy a special rate of 2,000 Skywards Miles = GBP 12 (lol) and next week I am flying RUH-DXB-LIS--LGW-DXB-RUH and will earn 11K miles (I'm a Gold memeber so double miles!!!!) and this is no saver fare and includes their highest economy - to "buy" an upgrade on their highest eco fare DXB-LIS one way is 39K miles).

So what is being the best airline - best adverts, best social media and PR team, best nice pictures of your wonderful cabin layout - most of us just want safe, not too expensive, on-time, flat bed, half decent food and a FF scheme that gets you upgrades or premium seats sooner than most others and BA ticks most of those boxes
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Old Jul 15, 2023, 1:20 am
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What is the top combination of cost, convenience, comfort for you? This may vary each flight taken..
These surveys have little value.
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Old Jul 15, 2023, 1:31 am
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Originally Posted by DaveS
Iberia take an even greater thrashing. Last for long haul and in the bottom five for short haul. Must be something in IAG's DNA.
As someone born in the early 70s with family in both Spain and England, I cant tell you the relief I felt when Ryanair and Easyjet made it possible to stop using Iberia (didnt even mind travelling by train to BCN to avoid them). Alas, that feeling I had with Iberia is what I now feel with BA.
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Old Jul 15, 2023, 1:43 am
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Originally Posted by moral_low_ground
most of us just want safe, not too expensive, on-time, flat bed, half decent food and a FF scheme that gets you upgrades or premium seats sooner than most others and BA ticks most of those boxes
The perception of BA at the moment is that there's a good chance your flight will be cancelled or horribly delayed.

And remember that most of the people responding to this survey will not be from London or J/F class fliers. The Y class seats are much of a muchness, so the entertainments system / food and drink is a factor. Also, the likes of EK / QR flight big shiny jets from the regions, so no need to connect on a crappy A320 down to LHR.

Regarding FF, fully agree about the EK Skywards scheme. I've switched to Avios, and have managed to get 320K points in 2 months for around 1900 with the boost. That's 3 flights to the ME in J!
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Old Jul 15, 2023, 1:48 am
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Originally Posted by acucobol
These surveys have little value.

That may well be true. But it's a judgement rarely cited by those doing well in these surveys.

While there will be little to commend the newspaper's vox pop review in terms of design, robustness and significance of the results it produces, it probably gives an unfocussed picture of the lie of the land.
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Old Jul 15, 2023, 3:33 am
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Indeed, when one review and survey after another is giving broadly the same result, perhaps it's time to focus on that result rather than criticising how those surveys and reviews were carried out...
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Old Jul 15, 2023, 3:52 am
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I do wonder how many people fly these other airlines enough to form a reasonable opinion. I've flown quite a lot of European short haul over the last couple of years, and I certainly don't rank Wizz or Ryanair at the bottom - the value proposition is rock solid for both, and Ryanair in particular is extremely reliable. Conversely I've flown Swiss and found it poor, Aurigny is extremely niche and nothing particularly special, it can't have a massive community of fans.

I get irritated with BA like everyone else, mostly related to ground handling and delays at Heathrow. But like for like from an outstation it's difficult to get a cigarette paper between carriers. BA onboard doesn't feel particularly deficient in Y or J compared to any of these airlines. I'm not going to fly point to point on BA for 120 when I can do the same flight on Wizz for 17.99, but I have to say it's more pleasant like for like on BA than in one of the big A321s Wizz fly. And indeed nicer than Lufthansa, Swiss, and the residual full service airlines.

So my take on the survey is there's a lot of comparison with the golden age, whenever that was, and probably very little cross comparison. People who don't fly Ryanair will usually see it as a standing joke and vote it down the pile; the reality is rather different. I suspect the number of people able to make a rational across the board comparison are fairly few in number.
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Old Jul 15, 2023, 4:39 am
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I also wonder how many of the people who rank BA low nevertheless fly them quite regularly?

BA as a commercial entity probably cares little if its marriage with many customers is an unhappy one, if in all the circumstances the likelihood of them ending the marriage is relatively small. That seems likely to be the case for many London based frequent flyers.

That said, the perception of BA as a declining brand must be of some concern, as it must have at least some impact on purchasing decisions, certainly from those transiting. For my part, all other things being equal, I would probably avoid BA if I was connecting through Europe for business, as reliability and punctuality seem markedly worse than other carriers. For me that's very important. In all other respects, I agree that it's a cigarette paper of difference between the legacies.
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Old Jul 15, 2023, 7:02 am
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The same report names South Africa as the top Country to visit A place where BA tells its staff to not leave their hotel as its too dangerous, as a pilot found out a few days ago. I never read to much into these surveys
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Old Jul 15, 2023, 7:37 am
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Consider the methodology, or lack thereof, used to devise this ranking. 30,000 self-selected respondents, no randomized outreach. As with all social media, most satisfied customers don't hand-raise, aggrieved ones are more likely to. And this respondent base is not even filtered for recent experiences on BA. Anyone can play. Surely some are downgrading BA going purely by Telegraph articles they've read.

Originally Posted by moral_low_ground
As much as I understand that rational for these surveys; they really are just something to pass the time, very subjective and probably pointless as no one really chooses anything on ranking.
For the broad middle of the customer base (for whom preoccupation with lounges and lieflats is far less likely) I think anecdotal / tribal hearsay or testimony counts for more. Uncle Oscar's lurid anecdotes at the Christmas dinner table about how BA blew up his and Aunt Myrna's anniversary holiday will weigh harder on travel deciders than rankings like this. And the average comer will book BA despite misgivings planted thusly if it's 20 cheaper.

Originally Posted by BA or bust
Many of you will know Michael Porter’s work on strategy... you can be the cost leader, be different or be very focused on a particular market segment... unless you are really clear on your position you are ‘stuck in the middle’.
Of course BA is in a brand crisis -- it wants to be BMW up front, Skoda down the back, and ends up disappointing everyone -- but this survey won't reveal that, even though it, like brand perceptions, is entirely subjective.

I would love some trustwprthy, objective stats on successful trip completion -- in any given month, what percentage of BA customers suffer cancellations, misconnect at LHR, reach their finals late enough to trigger UK261, have their baggage mishandled, etc.? Viral social media coverage suggests the numbers are massive; I would wager it's actually < 3 to 5% per quarter, and that would include irrops spikes like the May meltdown.
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Old Jul 15, 2023, 8:48 am
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No objective person would say BA was not significantly worse than it used to be 10 - 15 years ago and yet I love that you can come on Flyertalk and have the fan boys defend their awful decline.
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Old Jul 15, 2023, 6:02 pm
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Originally Posted by moral_low_ground
As much as I understand that rational for these surveys; they really are just something to pass the time, very subjective and probably pointless as no one really chooses anything on ranking. BA for me knocks the socks off Emirates with CS but that's because I'm not interested in the bar, the better presented food - BA has a much better seat than the EKA380/777 and EK's FF scheme is absolutely the worst (I got an offer of 50% savings on spending my skywards miles - Log in and book by 31 December 2023 and enjoy a special rate of 2,000 Skywards Miles = GBP 12 (lol) and next week I am flying RUH-DXB-LIS--LGW-DXB-RUH and will earn 11K miles (I'm a Gold memeber so double miles!!!!) and this is no saver fare and includes their highest economy - to "buy" an upgrade on their highest eco fare DXB-LIS one way is 39K miles).

So what is being the best airline - best adverts, best social media and PR team, best nice pictures of your wonderful cabin layout - most of us just want safe, not too expensive, on-time, flat bed, half decent food and a FF scheme that gets you upgrades or premium seats sooner than most others and BA ticks most of those boxes
The good thing about these surveys is they give us an idea of thousands of people's opinion, rather than one person's view, which we get very clearly from your post, but may not be relevant to 99% of travellers. A survey gives a better idea of the average experience even if some will disagree because their personal experience doesn't match the norm.

Once again, anecdote does not equal data. You have a personal view that certain airlines merely have a better PR budget, better adverts and better social media. Others think they offer a better passenger experience. You are both entitled to your views, but I do find it odd how often in this forum people think because something didn't happen to them, everyone must have exactly the equal experience and any complaints must be dishonest.
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