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British Midland Diamond Euroclass

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skyguy79 - 29/02/2012 10:47 BST

The once British Midland CEO Mr James Hogan who is now Etihad's big cheese, clearly still had BD on his mind when he named Etihad's First Class as Diamond Class.

How I remember those Diamond Euroclass days...the big meal tray full of scrumptious food,the free drinks, the colourful separate cabin ( curtain partition ), the newspaper and the ambience.

A far cry from today's FLEXIBLE ECONOMY where the partition curtain stays open and you get a free snack/sandwich and drink....

Maybe Etihad can buy British Midland and reintroduce these privileges...not as though Etihad is short of a few quid...

LPPSKrisflyer - 29/02/2012 11:10 BST

Some of us are a bit older and can remember when there was a concept called Diamond Service which offered a hot meal with three courses on almost every flight right through the cabin with hot towels before and after. I can remember being on a full 732 (the had one leased one) from LHR-MME one night where wheels up to down was 36 minutes, the plane was full and service was achieved.

They were the days when BD service was notable for the right reasons.

LondonCity - 29/02/2012 12:18 BST

It was also BD which forced BA to upgrade its domestic Shuttle flights to Super Shuttle.

Anyone here remember the days when, before BD arrived on the scene (and long before the LCCs appeared on the scene), BA's Shuttle spelt high fares and zero catering (you couldn't even get a glass of water) ?

In fact, the only service you got were the staff coming round collecting the fares (passengers could pay on board).

Shuttle's big selling point was the guaranteed availability of a seat. If one plane was full then BA would roll out another - even for one passenger - or so the marketing hype went.

VintageKrug - 29/02/2012 13:01 BST

I understand even Concorde was used on occasion.

Travellator - 29/02/2012 13:28 BST

Concorde was used most Christmases for at least one flight when BA flew SuperShuttle LHR to Aldergrove as it used to be.

They also used Tristars on a daily basis on this route in the early years.

LondonCity - 29/02/2012 13:55 BST

Concorde also made LHR-GLA and LHR-MAN. Not sure about EDI. BA would use the supersonic plane as a publicity tool.

At busy times a B747 made an appearance too, maybe it appeared on LHR-BFS ?

The point is that these special planes were, if I remember correctly, only used in the days of Super Shuttle (when staff served catering in place of selling tickets).

The pure Shuttle of the 1970s was a no-frills product. All your fare bought was the guarantee of getting away no matter the day of the week, the time of day or the time of year. Flights were operated by Trident jets.

With Super Shuttle, BA copied the full service concept of BD but in the process the original Shuttle product was no more.

By the way, as innovative as BA was in those days, I ought to point out that BA copied the Shuttle concept from the US. Eastern Airlines (now defunct) instigated the concept of a hourly 'turn up and go' service linking New York with both Boston and Washington National way back in 1961.

SimonRowberry - 29/02/2012 16:21 BST

Hi LondonCity,

Interesting point about the SuperShuttle for one passenger if necessary. Of course, what would actually happen is that they'd offer you a large MCO to wait an hour or so for the next one - I used to live in Edinburgh and a friend of mine fluked such an offer three or four times within a month back in the 1980s.

Cheers, Simon

- 29/02/2012 22:44 BST

I spent many an hour at Glasgow on a Friday night being told it was not possible to put on an extra plane because..... The back up plane was BS when yuo were not at LHR. Not even sure it worked there but I never had a problme with no plane at LHR.
BD was light years ahead. Very sad state of affairs. I suppose people get the arilines and governments they deserve. Luckily I do not fly domestic very often. I hope those who complained about the high fares enjoy ryan air and easyjet.

KeaneJohn - 01/03/2012 02:20 BST

I remember the hot meals, especially breakfast in economy class and champagne on all flights before Diamond Euroclass came in.

I won a competition, 2 tickets to any destination and my slogan was I like to fly Diamond Class from British Midland because.. and I put its a gem of a way to travel.

LondonCity - 01/03/2012 10:02 BST

Hello Simon,

Thanks for pointing that out. The flight for one person was part of the publicity blurb and BA even ran a TV ad to that effect, I remember it showed a Shuttle flight with a single passenger.

But it is important to note that there were two Shuttle products. The original Shuttle from the mid-1970s did, I am sure, would operate (most of the time, I would imagine) for one passenger.

But as I mentioned above, when Super Shuttle was launched in the early 1980s (to compete with BD) the Shuttle concept was watered down and that is when BA may have offered an inducement to passengers if they were prepared to fly an hour later (in those days BA operated hourly).

Original Shuttle was a bare bones product with fares collected on board. No reservations were possible. Super Shuttle was a full-service product with meals and drinks but with no ticket sales on board and you could reserve in advance (and qualify for Apex fares and so on) should you wish.

skyguy79 - 03/03/2012 14:57 BST

I've found a place to keep the memory alive at the Facebook page called I'M A FRIEND OF BRITISH MIDLAND AIRWAYS.

PatJordan - 03/03/2012 16:30 BST

My wife and I flew LHR-NCE last week in business class.

No champagne, but good wines in real glasses and decent meals served on real crockery. We were quite impressed with the service.

Almost as good as it used to be!


superchris - 03/03/2012 21:07 BST

amazing how a thread reminiscing on BD, ends up with everyone talking about BA yet again??!!I recall taking BD, Diamond Euroclass, all business class flight from Heathrow to Palma on a DC9 a number of times in my college days as my parents used to live in PMI.

At the time I Just assumed all flights were like this!

I too have experienced Concorde on the Shuttle to Manchester!

ChrisBuda82 - 03/03/2012 22:46 BST

Everone is feeling the BA Love!

- 03/03/2012 22:51 BST

Love as in zero...?

MartynSinclair - 03/03/2012 23:27 BST

Rich, you have no BA love at all tonight? Cuddle up close and watch this film ............. (need around 45 minutes).

It should bring you some other kind of love - superb film

- 03/03/2012 23:42 BST

Now that is what I call to fly to serve...

Cool. Thanks Martyn

skyguy79 - 17/03/2012 12:20 BST

The only way to save BD now is to get a Middle Eastern Cash injection, bring back 2 class service or single class Diamond service with full meal trays, comp drinks , newspaper and boiled sweets and hot towels....let's show the rest how it's done !

skyguy79 - 17/03/2012 12:20 BST

The only way to save BD now is to get a Middle Eastern Cash injection, bring back 2 class service or single class Diamond service with full meal trays, comp drinks , newspaper and boiled sweets and hot towels....let's show the rest how it's done !

- 17/03/2012 12:30 BST

Skyguymanchester, I really wish you were right vut unfortunately history shows that the masses (I.e. The majority of the market) do not appreciate quality and those that do are not prepared to pay for it. Of the remainder a large majority are wedded to BA to get their miles as they do not fly regularly enough to collect in multiple schemes. Also BA have been good at selling themselves as the archetypal British carrier. (Which is clever as it allows for English quality food and English standard preparedness when things go wrong.

BD did a wonderful job shaking up BA when the terrible Shuttle was all you had to Scotland. I was a loyal BD customer when it first started through into the 90's but then business was scrapped and they went cheap and cheerful. If it is bought by BA I think the BMI brand will slowly die as it has lost its identity.

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