OAK/LGW on BA is a comin'

Old Nov 1, 16, 10:59 am
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OAK/LGW on BA is a comin'

http://blog.sfgate.com/cmcginnis/201...ondon-flights/

Perhaps they were waiting for a lounge!

No F cabin.
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Old Nov 1, 16, 11:13 am
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Looking at BA LGW departures, see late morning connecting flights there to BCN, AMS, GLA, DUB, EDI, MAD, among others. Now that I won't have AA systemwide upgrades due to them going revenue based, think I can make that work for Europe travel.

Suspect the Escape Lounge there will join Priority Pass and I can get access with that (assuming BA will only invite those in business when they don't own the lounge).

I've done some LGW flights back in the day that AA flew there. Much nicer than dealing with Heathrow.
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Old Nov 1, 16, 11:39 am
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LGW has much better connections to central and south London, and the City, than LHR by train into Victoria, Clapham Junction and Blackfriars. However the airport itself is a hell hole in comparison to T2 or T5 at LHR. Also it's not really set up for connecting flights- they will no doubt work, because BA will make them work, but currently there is close to zero connecting traffic. Finally don't even think about driving into London from LGW - a total nightmare.
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Old Nov 1, 16, 2:31 pm
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Originally Posted by Eastbay1K View Post
http://blog.sfgate.com/cmcginnis/201...ondon-flights/

Perhaps they were waiting for a lounge!

No F cabin.
I had the same thought! But Shhhh - not too loud - I'd like to get a couple of award seats while there is still inventory.

Hopefully it will be an evening departure and thus conducive to sleep.

As for LGW, personally I prefer LHR as I like the HEX train which terminates close to my preferred hotel and office. That being said the LGW train to Victoria is a decent option.

On a related note, how is INS and CBP processing at OAK? No GE, which is a big minus. But maybe that, too, will come, given the increase in international flights.
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Old Nov 1, 16, 4:44 pm
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Originally Posted by lhrsfo View Post
However the airport itself is a hell hole in comparison to T2 or T5 at LHR.
How does it compare to my last trip to LGW in 1980?

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Old Nov 1, 16, 5:58 pm
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Originally Posted by Boraxo View Post
I had the same thought! But Shhhh - not too loud - I'd like to get a couple of award seats while there is still inventory.

Hopefully it will be an evening departure and thus conducive to sleep.

As for LGW, personally I prefer LHR as I like the HEX train which terminates close to my preferred hotel and office. That being said the LGW train to Victoria is a decent option.

On a related note, how is INS and CBP processing at OAK? No GE, which is a big minus. But maybe that, too, will come, given the increase in international flights.
3:05 pm departure unfortunately, which is a little less than ideal if you want to sleep. I guess the airport is working with carriers to schedule everyone properly so there's capacity for all but it's hard to believe there's room for any more international additions without a new significant expansion that isn't happening anytime soon.

“The international terminal expansion is focused on increasing passenger and baggage capacity, which will double when renovations are complete next year. Yes, the international gates will stay at two, although so far with intelligent scheduling we are looking okay for 2017, but longer term we are aware that we will need additional gates and are actively working on solving that before it becomes an issue.”
http://changeyouraltitude.net/2016/1...and-expansion/
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Old Nov 5, 16, 2:40 pm
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Originally Posted by Eastbay1K View Post

No F cabin.
Ba are reducing F capacity anyway and withdrawing it on routes with little paid for F rather than reward F demand

See the IAG presentation in this thread

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/briti...ay-2016-a.html
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Old Nov 5, 16, 4:39 pm
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Originally Posted by UKtravelbear View Post
Ba are reducing F capacity anyway and withdrawing it on routes with little paid for F rather than reward F demand

See the IAG presentation in this thread

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/briti...ay-2016-a.html
Part of a larger trend. Once an airline offers a good Business lie-flat seat, the First product can only be marginally better.
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Old Nov 6, 16, 10:02 am
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Originally Posted by dhuey View Post
Part of a larger trend. Once an airline offers a good Business lie-flat seat, the First product can only be marginally better.
Yes, and no. Depends on the airline, and also, depends on the entire travel experience.

Can you imagine the delight of someone who has just purchased an OAK/LGW discounted J ticket, inexperienced with BA, only to find out that it is going to cost another fee just to reserve an advance seat?

The biggies for me are:
(1) Ground support - IRROPS, lounges in certain airports, connection assistance
(2) Onboard - personal space, lav ratio, and sometimes, a far superior soft product.

For example, the only reason to fly AA F over J is if you're on a slanty seat J plane. The new J seats are better than the old F ones, and the F lounge situation isn't "all that." That wouldn't be my thought in comparing, i.e., LH F with the next cabin back.
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Old Nov 6, 16, 8:10 pm
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I've flown a few times on BA in both F and C. It's a pretty marginal improvement from C to F, in my experience. There's virtually no difference in the F and C lounges at SFO (just a small F section, really). The Concorde Lounge at LHR is very nice, but so is the regular C lounge. Onboard service is great either way. A little more room and privacy with F, but not that much.

I agree that the charge for a seat reservation in C is an odd thing BA does. But all in all, C is the big step up from coach. F is only a small step up from there.
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Old Nov 7, 16, 5:01 am
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Pure speculation here but I should imagine that this route has been added because of a combination of factors: 1) J is selling very well on the SFO and SJC routes and they've already responded by mixing capacity at SFO to a higher J configuration, thus with fewer Y seats; 2) leisure demand between the UK and the Bay Area is increasing strongly; 3) they don't want to use another slot at LHR to increase either the SFO or SJC frequencies, so they are stuck with LGW which is principally leisure; 4) OAK will no doubt have given them a very good deal and is also principally leisure based; 5) they have seen that Norwegian's yields are good on the route but that Norwegian's reliability is very poor; and 6) whilst there's not much connecting traffic at LGW, they can do some with their own limited European network, plus EI and Vueling - whereas Norwegian is very limited from LGW.

Re the discussion about First etc., clearly this route is not about First, but it will add significant PE to the London/Bay Area market, and BA seems to be able to sell the PE cabin very effectively and UA doesn't offer it at all.
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Old Nov 7, 16, 9:04 am
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Originally Posted by lhrsfo View Post
Pure speculation here but I should imagine that this route has been added because of a combination of factors: 1) J is selling very well on the SFO and SJC routes and they've already responded by mixing capacity at SFO to a higher J configuration, thus with fewer Y seats; 2) leisure demand between the UK and the Bay Area is increasing strongly; 3) they don't want to use another slot at LHR to increase either the SFO or SJC frequencies, so they are stuck with LGW which is principally leisure; 4) OAK will no doubt have given them a very good deal and is also principally leisure based; 5) they have seen that Norwegian's yields are good on the route but that Norwegian's reliability is very poor; and 6) whilst there's not much connecting traffic at LGW, they can do some with their own limited European network, plus EI and Vueling - whereas Norwegian is very limited from LGW.

Re the discussion about First etc., clearly this route is not about First, but it will add significant PE to the London/Bay Area market, and BA seems to be able to sell the PE cabin very effectively and UA doesn't offer it at all.
Agreed, pretty much on all fronts. Furthermore, as someone who has lived in the East Bay since 1988, and have never had much of an issue with the trip to/from SFO, the last couple of years has changed my "not much of an issue." Despite the relatively close geography, certain airlines are smart to have flights at all 3 of our major airports. Although I'm not likely to frequent this new service, the concept of an OAK / Europe on an airline that will take care of me in the case of IRROPS is quite appealing.
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Old Nov 7, 16, 10:43 am
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I'm sorry, but BA's 2-4-2 business class seating with no direct aisle access for half the seats is inferior to the state-of-the-art seating that you will now find on many competitors. Even UA is converting its cabins to permit all seats to access the aisle without stepping over your fellow passengers.

So IMHO the F cabin is far superior for that reason alone. But otherwise agree that the food & FA service is pretty comparable. Seats are a little better in F but not such to justify a massive premium.
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Old Nov 7, 16, 11:11 am
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Originally Posted by Boraxo View Post
I'm sorry, but BA's 2-4-2 business class seating with no direct aisle access for half the seats is inferior to the state-of-the-art seating that you will now find on many competitors. Even UA is converting its cabins to permit all seats to access the aisle without stepping over your fellow passengers.

So IMHO the F cabin is far superior for that reason alone. But otherwise agree that the food & FA service is pretty comparable. Seats are a little better in F but not such to justify a massive premium.
This is all very well in theory but in practice it's not entirely applicable to the Bay Area to London market. The only airlines in the market are UA, VS, BA and Norwegian. Norwegian offers PE but not business. VS and UA are relatively small players and VS Business is good. UA currently, and for at least most of the remaining schedule offers a mix of 777 and 747 on the route, both of which have 2-4-2 business, just like BA.

So, on this route, the F cabin is superior on both BA and UA, with VS being the only airline with Business with all-aisle access.
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Old Nov 7, 16, 1:03 pm
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Originally Posted by lhrsfo View Post
This is all very well in theory but in practice it's not entirely applicable to the Bay Area to London market. The only airlines in the market are UA, VS, BA and Norwegian. Norwegian offers PE but not business. VS and UA are relatively small players and VS Business is good. UA currently, and for at least most of the remaining schedule offers a mix of 777 and 747 on the route, both of which have 2-4-2 business, just like BA.

So, on this route, the F cabin is superior on both BA and UA, with VS being the only airline with Business with all-aisle access.
With all due respect, AA, DL and UA all serve this market via connections @ various hubs and all offer direct aisle access (except UA which partially offers on 787s and is reconfi aircraft to offer on all flights). Not sure where you live but UA is not a "small player" @SFO (the largest player last I checked) and I think has more than a few flights @LHR.

P.S. Thanks for agreeing with my point about the F cabin - which IS superior. I think we are all happy to have much better international options than Norwegian @OAK, but BA is not "state of the art" in C.
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