hum… I am not sure what to say…
I remain a big fan of BA. Personally, I believe the airport experience (the parts they control) and the onboard service is top notch in CW and CE which I travel every now and then. However, this really feels like a desperate move. And let’s not kid ourselves, perhaps it really is.
While I am not British, I am a big fan of “all things British” (perhaps leave the cusine out of this). It is interesting to see the dire situation of two British legends;
They share the same legacy; privatised, former state owned enterprises with gigantic, under-funded DB pension schemes. My none-expert observation is this is really BA’s issues.
I see two scenarios in front of me;
1. This is really desperation – the situation is now extremely dire
2. This is what Willie wanted to do since day 1 – copy the Air Lingus model he created.
As consumers, we can always vote with our feet. From my market, BA provides excellent fares in CE and CW, but I have never been able to book seats in advance. I have just booked a flight ARN-NYC using Swiss on their new A330-300. The fare came out to roughly €1500 in J-class which is LX’s cheapest. However, it is 100% flexible and refundable, and like most other airlines, seats could be assigned at booking. The BA option was the same price, but none-flex, none-refundable, and certainly not seat reservation.
Let’s see now what happens. We have to give BA some credit in terms of customer feedback. In the game regarding the 2-2 seating in CE the results are in; Customers 1 – BA 0. BA did something no one else have done; provided better seats in Business/Club in Europe. LH, SK, OS, LX, AF, and not to mention KL all keep 3-3 abreast with free seats. I think the BA configuration is much better.
Perhaps time for all loyal BA fans out there to speak up.