AOTG totally agree.
What BA J class lacks is the feeling of flying something ‘special’. As I work for an airline, I only travel for leisure or accompany my partner on their business trips.
BA does well on practicality. For the businessmen on their weekly JFK-LHR ‘shuttle’ it’s a great product. Multiple flights, good lounges both ends where you can pre-dine (though reading the T5 debabte on here not sure if that still stands) and then pretty much be left to sleep the whole way. The crew are pretty switched on and while many may lack warmth or interaction they can complete a continental breakfast service in the morning when you wake up 40 minutes before landing. Thru fast track, pop into the arrivals lounge. Shower, bit more breakfast if you want it. No glitz, no bling. A delight for the businessman that needs to be in the office the next morning.
Personally, when I fly I like something different. Again I speak only for myself but I like to feel I am being pampered a little that I really am getting value from a ‘premium’ cabin. In most cases, the middle eastern and asian carriers do this flawlessly. Everything really is an ‘occasion’ and beautifully presented. Even my recent AA long haul flights I was really impressed with the onboard service in comparison to BA (except the seats, which were dire). But the new seats combined with the onboard service I received and I think I could have quite happily chosen AA over pretty much any airline out there.
But yes, I totally agree with you AOTG. If I had to transit via LHR anyway and was paying for my own ticket and not bound to a particular airline or alliance I would certainly be shopping around. Just as I did when I recently purchased J class tickets for my parents to go visit their grandchildren in NZ. Let’s just say I did not avail of my BA discounts 😉 They were blown away with their journey and chauffer driven transfers. At a price that was significantly less than my ‘hotline’ fare.