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Question for the BA regulars about the AA/BA pairing

Question for the BA regulars about the AA/BA pairing

Old Aug 15, 08, 8:24 pm
  #1  
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Question for the BA regulars about the AA/BA pairing

For those of you that are Executive Club members and have an anti-AA or anti-American bent, do you see any positives for you with the upcoming combination? Would BA be better served if it remained independent and staunchly British focused? If so, why is BA moving in the opposite direction?

I suspect that I fly BA as much or more than most of you so I have my own feelings and a vested interest.
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Old Aug 15, 08, 9:33 pm
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Originally Posted by millionmiler View Post
Would BA be better served if it remained independent and staunchly British focused?
How can BA be (let alone remain) "staunchly British focused" when it flies to most every US backwater yet offers not one flight from Britain's second city?
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Old Aug 16, 08, 2:29 am
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Setting aside potential changes to the FFP which are being discussed here:
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=850902

Personally, I am not expecting to see any seismic changes to the direction BA is heading in terms of its character and projection of cultural identity. BA has for a long time now, collaborated with partner airlines (QF/IB) through JSAs and done so without any appreciative impact to its brand.
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Old Aug 16, 08, 4:46 am
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In the email I received from Sarah Keyes it says this:

"Other benefits for customers include greater opportunities to earn and use frequent flyer miles on the other airlines' transatlantic network along with enhanced frequent flyer tier features."


I am wondering what the "enhanced FF tier features" will be - a level above Gold maybe?
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Old Aug 16, 08, 4:49 am
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Originally Posted by BA1A View Post
I am wondering what the "enhanced FF tier features" will be - a level above Gold maybe?
A level below Silver perhaps called Bronze? (Oneworld Ruby). Missing in the BA scheme, but available in all other OW schemes.
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Old Aug 16, 08, 5:24 am
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Originally Posted by graraps View Post
How can BA be (let alone remain) "staunchly British focused" when it flies to most every US backwater yet offers not one flight from Britain's second city?
Britain's second city is, by courtesy, Edinburgh, the capital of one of the two united Kingdoms. Whether there are enough flights from EDI to enough places is another issue...
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Old Aug 16, 08, 5:40 am
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Originally Posted by millionmiler View Post
For those of you that are Executive Club members and have an anti-AA or anti-American bent, do you see any positives for you with the upcoming combination?
Cheaper tickets. BA does not allow AA domestic segments within their standard fares (e.g. flying LHR-JFK-LAX rather than LHR-LAX for the same price). LH & UA offer this benefit because they share revenue and codeshare on TA flights. Plus better schedules and the ability to pick either carrier's flights on TA routes.

Last edited by Andriyko; Aug 16, 08 at 6:23 am
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Old Aug 16, 08, 6:00 am
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Originally Posted by millionmiler View Post
If so, why is BA moving in the opposite direction?
TATL passengers help fill and support many of the ME/Africa/India flights. The US is probably the second most important market for BA due to the large feed and contributions to it's overall network (not just London-but beyond). BA is expecting to maintain and strengthen this feed.
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Old Aug 16, 08, 7:27 am
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Originally Posted by graraps View Post
How can BA be (let alone remain) "staunchly British focused" when it flies to most every US backwater yet offers not one flight from Britain's second city?
If you think that any of the cities that BA flies to in the US are in the backwaters you haven't been to any US backwaters.

From one perspective I can see your point about the British comment but from another perspective it would seem that some members here would prefer that no AA frequent flyers (or even perhaps any Americans at all) fly on BA planes through integration of the programs. Some have insisted that they would switch to LH if that happened. If BA eventually gets its wish and merges with AA (which is not a certainty) then BA will become the largest airline in the world but moreover it would be become as much or more an "American" airline as it is a "British" one.
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Old Aug 16, 08, 7:36 am
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Originally Posted by Prospero View Post
Personally, I am not expecting to see any seismic changes to the direction BA is heading in terms of its character and projection of cultural identity. BA has for a long time now, collaborated with partner airlines (QF/IB) through JSAs and done so without any appreciative impact to its brand.
That's possible but this situation does feel different to me. If BA buys IB and then integrates the FF programs with AA TATL the character of the airline will change if for no other reason than you will see many more Americans on the planes. I think that several of the other posters here sense that which is why they are against it.

If the US laws change (which I think is possible for the first time) and BA is allowed to buy AA outright then the changes would be cataclysmic.
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Old Aug 16, 08, 8:11 am
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Originally Posted by millionmiler View Post
If BA eventually gets its wish and merges with AA (which is not a certainty) then BA will become the largest airline in the world but moreover it would be become as much or more an "American" airline as it is a "British" one.
I wonder if they do merge, what will they call the new airline? BAA ? British American Airways? That will be confusing. Flying on BAA from a BAA airport.
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Old Aug 16, 08, 8:19 am
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Originally Posted by millionmiler View Post
If BA eventually gets its wish and merges with AA (which is not a certainty) then BA will become the largest airline in the world but moreover it would be become as much or more an "American" airline as it is a "British" one.

I think you're making the same assumption all the US airline people have been making for the last two decades - that big is beautiful.

One thing I believe you're seeing with BA & Lufthansa in Europe is full service carriers can compete effectively against LCC's by focusing on 1) long haul services where service counts for more and 2) on select business-heavy short haul routes where they can achieve good price premiums based on convenience and service and which feed traffic to the long haul service. If you look, BA seems ot have walked away from everything else, including regional services.

If that model works and you map it to the US, the bigger change may not be nasty Americans swamping the dear old Brits, but from BA radically downsizing AA's US domestic services, putting the premium back in the international services and finally putting a perishing focus on the business that's been sadly lacking, particularly since Carty left.
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Old Aug 16, 08, 8:20 am
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Originally Posted by arpiuk View Post
I wonder if they do merge, what will they call the new airline? BAA ? British American Airways? That will be confusing. Flying on BAA from a BAA airport.
Hi,

Or how about American British Airlines ( ABA?)

regards

TBS
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Old Aug 16, 08, 8:31 am
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Originally Posted by millionmiler View Post
If you think that any of the cities that BA flies to in the US are in the backwaters you haven't been to any US backwaters.

From one perspective I can see your point about the British comment but from another perspective it would seem that some members here would prefer that no AA frequent flyers (or even perhaps any Americans at all) fly on BA planes through integration of the programs. Some have insisted that they would switch to LH if that happened. If BA eventually gets its wish and merges with AA (which is not a certainty) then BA will become the largest airline in the world but moreover it would be become as much or more an "American" airline as it is a "British" one.
You are wrong, this proposed BA/AA/IB tie-up on transatlantic (I hate the term TATL) routes is not a merger. I suggest you get your fact straight before posting. In fact there are a variety of reasons for which BA and AA will never fully merge.

The problem some BA FFs (including myself) have with this proposed venture regards the possibility of AAdvantage members being allowed to redeem miles on J and F BA award seats. Since BA's product is far superior to AA's, AAdvantage members would almost certainly prefer to redeem AAdvantage miles (which BTW are ridiculously easier to accumulate than BA miles) on BA-operated flights. Consequently we are concerned that the already fairly scarce inventory of premium award seats on certain UK-US routes would be gobbled up by AAdvantage tredemptions.

Additionally there is a concern that because of a likely disproportionately higher number of people wanting to fly BA rather than AA-operated flights, I and A class seat availability on BA-op'd flights would be much harder to come by.
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Old Aug 16, 08, 8:39 am
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Originally Posted by millionmiler View Post
If you think that any of the cities that BA flies to in the US are in the backwaters you haven't been to any US backwaters.
Thankfully I haven't, but Phoenix isn't really on my list of must-visit places.

Originally Posted by millionmiler View Post
From one perspective I can see your point about the British comment
There is no other perspective. BA flies to fewer UK airports than KLM, does not offer any flights to BHX, offers no premium cabins to UK destinations outside London, as well as requiring two stops for the BA codeshared IB flights to most parts of S. America.

Regardless of whether you like it or not (I don't) or whether it makes financial sense (I don't think it does but the jury is still out on that), BA is focused more on the US than it is on the UK. To assert that it's "staunchly British focused" borders on the ridiculous!
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