It’s not really a competitive advantage.
It’s actually a competitive disadvantage.
The policy encourages customers (even loyal ones) to choose a non BA flight, and particularly cheaper LCC flights, where one exists from the same terminal.
LGW North Terminal is a useful illustration of this, but it’s not the only illustration (LHR T3 is another where BA has moved from a terminal – T4 – with few other operating airlines to a terminal with many).
Plus those passengers are likely to make more, not less, use of the many facilities available in the BA Galleries/Terraces lounges, knowing on board service will be charged for.
I can imagine a couple of glasses of fizz, a few mags/newspapers and a couple of plates of sandwiches soon add up to tens of thousands of pounds per month across the network as a whole. Add in the revenue lost to competitors who actually profit from Gold Card holders putting business their way, and the need for action on this policy is even more apparent.
The email was dismally worded, but the “based on feedback” seems to be to do with passengers complaining of overcrowding in the lounge, and while this does seem to be stretching a point, I can sort of see where they’re coming from.
It would have been better to emphasise the:
– need to preserve quality and tranquility by re-affirming exclusivity
– many benefits of maintaining loyalty to oneworld over LCCs/others
– ability to take advantage of oneworld’s unparalleled lounge network globally when flying oneworld as a Gold Card holder
– fact that oneworld options did not exist when the Anytime Access policy was formulated
Keep flying oneworld and you’ll still get ALL the lounge access options offered under Access Anytime.