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What's happening with the BD forum?

What's happening with the BD forum?

 
Old Jan 15, 13, 5:20 am
  #1  
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What's happening with the BD forum?

British Midland no longer exists, it has been wholly subsumed by BA. It remains to be seen if bmi regional will survive as a separate entity, but that is a different airline from BD.

Diamond Club exists, but only if you have a credit card which are no longer obtainable, and where the only use of the miles is to convert them to Avios.

While the BD regulars probably won't like this - and I can understand I watched my KLM forum vanish initially post merger - why do we have a forum for an airline which no longer exists and a mileage programme which no longer exists?

There are vague allusions on the forum to the forum just slowly dying - shouldn't we be proactively managing the situation?
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Old Jan 15, 13, 11:25 am
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Dammit - I wrote a long and eloquent piece - and deleted it... so here's goes again, briefly.

There are 7 more months of DC redemptions out there and they are becoming increasingly difficult for members to use, due to a mixture of sked changes, policy changes, ticketing issues and so on - and members need a dedicated and understanding forum to seek advice, clarity and view previous experiences. BA is not handling this particularly well.

Further, BA is making a complete bags of cancellations and the refunds of cash and miles - and again, there is a need for members to have a place to discuss these matters.

The BA forum is not likely to be open to discussion of bmi matters; arguably, the denizens of those badlands will be hostile to the criticism that is due to BA on these particular matters. BA is, of course, to be praised for the bigger picture of status matches, balance transfers and so on.

BM (bmi Regional) is only now a separate entity to bmi Mainline (swallowed whole by BA) and bmi Baby (grounded and dismembered); however, the bmi forum has always been the native home of regional - and continues to be - a change in ownership doesn't change that. Regional has an option on the whole bmi brand that they can exercise in the next 6 months, or so, so Regional may yet simply become bmi and they may re-instate diamond club (that's why BA has been busy trying to close down non-UK memberships - as a pre-emptive frustration tactic). Further Regional si in advanced discussions with LH (dear God!!!) and SACP, so there is something complex planned for the FFP. Much remains to be seen.

I'm not arguing that we should keep the bmi forum open indefinitely; however, I am arguing that it is too early to close it as it has an vital role to play in supporting FT members right now.

Discussion is, of course, welcome.
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Old Jan 15, 13, 11:32 am
  #3  
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Thanks for the input GoldCircle & reasons why it makes sense to keep the forum open short-term.

Cheers.
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Old Jan 15, 13, 11:52 am
  #4  
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Totally concur with GoldCircle on this. Yes there will come the time to shunt the bmi forum to the "discontinued programmes" graveyard but there is still some business to be done and until that is over the forum should stay up.

In case BM resurrects diamond club we need to look at this differently. The way currently the entire airline industry changes weekly who knows what's around the corner.
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Old Jan 15, 13, 1:03 pm
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I agree with the views expressed by GoldCircle and starflyergold, well perhaps with the exception of concerns animosity might arise if the remaining active BD threads were subsumed into the BA forum . There has always been a significant cross over between the BA and BD forums, largely due to regulars of each holding accounts in both frequent flyer programmes. I do sense what BD regulars wish is for a dignified closure the BD forum, whenever the time is right for this to happen, and I strongly believe subsuming it now (or at any time) into the BA forum does not fit this expectation.

Also, any active Diamond Club threads if moved over would quickly become lost in the rapid ebb and flow of the BA forum. This in itself would not serve our members well.

Last edited by Prospero; Jan 15, 13 at 1:11 pm
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Old Jan 15, 13, 3:49 pm
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I would echo the sentiments of GC on this. The airline is effectively dead but the estate is still being wound up by the executors and the beneficiaries still have a regular variety of questions arising that still warrants a source of centralised guidance.

If all remains unchanged, I suspect we will gather for the funeral wake about August.



OT footnote: Curiously, I notice that of the eminent posters above I have met three of you in person. That is unusual for me on any thread on FT!
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Old Jan 15, 13, 4:13 pm
  #7  
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I will say, I am struggling to see why this could not be handled by moving the BD in as a sub forum of BA - as has happened in other takeover/mergers and allowing - at least in the short term - DC redemptions to be discussed there.

Since too many of the problems with redemptions end up being about BA's response, it seems odd that these should be going on in a forum separate from the BA forum, where BA regulars might be able to provide assistance. It's a bit like re-inventing the wheel, as the BD flyers learn the tricks from scratch the BA regulars already know...

While there may be some hostility - and sorry, I do agree with GoldCircle's assessment there, that there would be - that hasn't stopped the US airline forums being merged. It was a rough ride at times, but the mods were generally able to deal with it. Forum mergers are never fun, but I feel there is a point where you have to stop tiptoeing around them and just get on and do them. The BA regulars are never going to take kindly to criticism from BD flyers no matter when the forums merge. The BD flyers will always remember back to the DC days with fondness and realise their programme has been downgraded.

If regional resurrects/survives, then surely as a very minor player, it ends up in 'Other European' even if it does use the DC name?' It will be a very different beast from BD - and I do actually live in a city which they serve.
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Old Jan 15, 13, 5:12 pm
  #8  
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Not so Jenbel. FT has historically treated mergers and acquisitions differently.

Look at CO/UA, DL/NW, AF/KL. The structure of these forums today reflects the result of airline (and FFP) mergers.

Look at Canadian Airlines and TWA. Both were acquired (by AC and AA respectively), FFPs since dissolved and the corresponding forums now reside in Discontinued Programs/Partners.

So i'm not convinced there is any precedent that advances your suggestion of folding Diamond Club into a child forum of the Executive Club. The BD board has been discussing this question for many months now and I don't recall anyone promoting this course.
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Old Jan 16, 13, 12:47 am
  #9  
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The AF/KL 'merger' was a 'merger' with AF effectively buying KL which was on the verge of going to the wall. The forums were initially merged, but owing to problems between members, and the fact the brands were persisting, the forum were moved into the current set up.

Additionally LH bought Swiss, and the Swiss forum was merged into the M&M forum, but maintained on a sub-forum basis because Swiss was operating as a different brand. So there is absolutely precedence for acquisitions to be treated like that.

I don't think mergers and acquisitions have been treated differently. I think before the KLM/AF merger, just shuttering forums and pushing groups of airline users together was seen as not a problem. However the open warfare that resulted from that between the two user groups made people realise that sometimes it wasn't as simple as that, so we have moved away from the model which was used for Canadian and TWA to deciding more on a case by case basis what works best for the user groups. Both of those were some of the first programme joinings we encountered on FT.

I think it does need to be considered on a case by case basis, and there hasn't been much discussion about what happens. Or at least not openly - and the users need to be kept informed and consulted.
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Old Jan 16, 13, 1:22 am
  #10  
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Not sure there is an actual problem here we need to solve. Anyone vaguely familiar with BD will know the airline is dead and the forum will eventually retire gracefully.
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Old Jan 16, 13, 2:50 am
  #11  
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Love the "vaguely familiar" comment - nice put down, well done Slightly different from GoldCircles's "discussion is welcome" comment of course.

If you are stating the forum is dead, why do we have the forum then? what is the point of a forum for an admittedly dead airline?

There's a problem if we don't actually have a plan for managing a situation, but are just letting it drift without keeping the members informed, consulting them or managing their expectations.

All I did was ask what the plan was, and all I'm being told are vague ideas about what people think will happen.
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Old Jan 16, 13, 3:09 am
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Originally Posted by Jenbel View Post
If you are stating the forum is dead, why do we have the forum then? what is the point of a forum for an admittedly dead airline?
I believe I covered that one quite comprehensively above - it hardly needs to be discussed again, does it?

Let me take a different angle - closing the DC forum prematurely will cause greater problems for FT members than closing it down in a tardy fashion.

Originally Posted by Jenbel View Post
There's a problem if we don't actually have a plan for managing a situation, but are just letting it drift without keeping the members informed, consulting them or managing their expectations.
My question is: why do we need a plan now? No one is clamouring for a date to be set for closure. This feels very much like a storm is search of a teacup.
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Old Jan 16, 13, 4:19 am
  #13  
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Originally Posted by Jenbel View Post
Love the "vaguely familiar" comment - nice put down, well done Slightly different from GoldCircles's "discussion is welcome" comment of course.
You completely misread that comment.
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Old Jan 16, 13, 5:08 am
  #14  
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Originally Posted by GoldCircle View Post
I believe I covered that one quite comprehensively above - it hardly needs to be discussed again, does it?

Let me take a different angle - closing the DC forum prematurely will cause greater problems for FT members than closing it down in a tardy fashion.
Where was that suggested? You seem very fixated on closing the forum.. that's not the only way of managing the current situation.
My question is: why do we need a plan now? No one is clamouring for a date to be set for closure. This feels very much like a storm is search of a teacup.
All I did was pose a question, to my elected representatives, as a member of two forums (one in which I participate more than the other) affected by this about what the future plans are. Having been through one traumatic forum merger, in which the members were not kept informed of what would be happening and when, but just woke up one day to find a fait accompli had occured (which didn't actually work) and two very different forums had been completely merged, I don't really want to go through something like that again and to not feel like I have not been consulted again.

But apparently, it's making a moutain out of a molehill to even ask the question. We don't need a plan, we should just *know* what will happen. If we have ideas that may be different from what others think will happen, that's too bad.

Ok. Thanks for that.
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Old Jan 16, 13, 7:04 am
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This is tiresome.
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