Reply To: BA’s July 4th double celebration

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VintageKrug – 17/06/2013 12:41 GMT
So many things in that post that I disagree with…

VK: I wouldn’t say posts on here reflect any sort of tide whatsoever.

Sorry, my reading of the posts marries up with rferguson’s view that loyal passengers are starting to say “enough”. The sheer volume of posts here criticising BA’s lack of innovation reflects that, and while we are each entitled to our own opinion, VK, you included, my opinion is that the “tide of opinion” on this forum is going against CW. And while I am prepared to accept that your opinion is a valid one for you to hold, I feel it is – frankly – wrong

VK: BA will have sophisticated revenue management tools which will give them good warning when yields are slipping, which is what will drive any changes.

See comment below

VK: BA’s Club World product was a true market innovation when first brought in. It has led the field for over a decade, in its various iterations, and remains competitive.

Do you see no irony in lauding the innovation of the seat and then pointing out that it has been around for a decade in a fast-moving (sorry) industry? You are also rather ignoring the point I made in my earlier post that while BA are still able to compete with the current product, I believe it will be overtaken as others innovate

VK: To have introduced a new cabin back in 2010 when it was far from certain what the competition would offer would have been premature, and not a good use of funds at a time when the airline was teetering on the brink of bankruptcy.

See comment above. Sophisticated revenue management. Teetering on the brink of bankruptcy.

May I point out that AA introduced its new product while in bankruptcy protection? And before anyone starts bleating about Chapter 11, there are similar insolvency rules in the UK. It IS possible to innovate when in a financially precarious position, and I believe there are some that are prepared to argue that that is precisely what you should do – not stick with the products you had when your financial performance resulted in you (let’s just say it one more time) “teetering on the brink of bankruptcy”

VK: I foresee, for instance, massive savings in IFE as iPads are routinely offered instead of the fixed integrated systems/screens which add weight, are a potential fire risk, and inevitably become outdated over the life of the aircraft.

Fire risk? Really? Well, If you say so, although from what I can gather batteries are a rather bigger risk. Leaving that aside – yes, tablets may be the way forward. But again, do you not see the irony in referring to something becoming outdated over the life of the product in the same post as saying that the CW seat is still competitive after a decade in service?

VK: Importantly, Club World also remains a consistent offering on the 777/747; there’s one thing people moan about on here it is the pace at which cabins are changed over as if it was as easy as changing one’s sofa in the Drawing room.

A consistent offering. On two plane types. But not the other ones. Hmmmm… I don’t disagree with your point per se, don’t get me wrong. But predictability is an issue, and the product isn’t entirely consistent anyway – I was on a 777 last year and had no AVOD. The nub of the issue, though, is that BA’s consistency is based on having the same product for many many years. And I do understand that changing a cabin represents a huge investment in time and money. But it can be done. It is particularly easy to do when renewing a fleet. CX rolled out new business class very quickly helped enormously by introduction of new planes – but they still managed to retrofit all the planes which weren’t being retired in less than two years. And before anyone starts saying “oh but BA is much larger than CX” – sorry, that just doesn’t wash. Once you get past the point where having a single aircraft out of service cripples your operations, it becomes a matter of percentages. If you can have x% of your fleet out of service for maintenance/overhaul/refit, then it becomes pretty apparent that a retrofit of y number of planes need take no longer than z number of planes, so long as your suppliers can keep up

VK: I can see BA exploring a new version of Club World, in the context of aircraft which don’t have an F cabin for those who need more space. It should be noted improving Club World would no doubt result in fewer aircraft sporting a First cabin; we’ve seen Lufthansa removing F because it now has a fully flat product in J.

Fine. BA F, from what I read in here, is pretty devalued anyway. I will be flying NF next month. Normally I would be quite excited about flying long-haul first, something I used to do regularly but haven’t done for some years. But having read about NF on here? Mehhh…

VK: I can’t really see what I would improve about Club World; the IFE screens could be retina display, I’d like a proper spectacle holder. The catering has improved markedly in recent months.

Well, here are some suggestions for you and BA management. The seat could be long enough for tall people. It could have a bottle holder, an IFE screen four times the size, a USB port for charging, video ports for streaming your own content, a storage area you can use while the seat is reclined, a dimmable reading light, the certainty that BZZZZZT you wouldn’t BZZZZT be constantly BZZZZZT disturbed by a BZZZZZT divider, decent headphones, …. For other suggestions read other posts as there are so many things that could be improved I simply don’t have the energy to repeat them all

VK: So it’s only really addressing the less than 50% of seats without direct aisle access which is an issue, though one I feel which is rather overdone in these pages.

No it isn’t. See above. And the myriad of posters that see direct aisle access as being – um, where were we? – oh yes, an innovation that other airlines are making to be competitive. While BA aren’t

VK: Hardly an issue on day flights when the footstool isn’t in use or flights with empty seats, and just not that hard to step over even for those of modest stature. Just a manufactured agenda-serving issue.

Funnily enough, being a chap who likes his creature comforts – and whose memsahib had a pulmonary embolism – I prefer to keep my legs raised on long flights, daytime or night. Also, being of immodest stature (6’3″), let me tell you that when crouching to avoid nutting myself on the overhead bins, in darkness, stepping over a neighbour is harder than you suggest it to be. To suggest this is a “manufactured agenda-serving issue” is as insulting as it is inaccurate

VK: Personally I’m happy with the pricepoint and Club World service/product offered, and wouldn’t change it just yet.

Um. Yes. We got that. Sadly, it appears that many disagree with you.

On this, and virtually everything else in your post, we must agree to disagree and, I hope, respect each other’s opinions, even if mine is right and yours is wrong

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