Reply To: BA long-haul – where to next & with what? Winter 2015/16+Back to Forum
TimFitzgeraldTC, I don’t see the myth about it. A business must serve its customers, increase its customer base and keep the customers it has already got to survive, but not any one of those a any price. It has to find that sweet spot to make a profit whereby the money spent on supplying the product is less than you can sell it for. That in a complex product such as an airline is a constantly changing field of play, them having to compete with the 5 star airlines and the LoCo,s. They are clearly close to the sweet spot as evidenced by increasing pax loads and increasing profits. No business can ignore its customers needs and preferences, it won’t be profitable very long. But if it does not listen to its shareholders it won’t survive for 5 minutes, shareholders own it, and if they don’t like what is happening the CEO goes to be replaced by someone that does concentrate on shareholder value.
It is strange that in this forum one often sees the like of the ME3 being slated for not listening to individual customers problems when the occur, and that a few less pax will not be noticed. Do people think BA should be different, it flies god how many people every day, long haul and short haul, and a few voting with their feet will not make a great deal of difference. As an IAG shareholder I don’t like to see BA lose a customer, but equally I do not expect the business to make a loss from pampering to a few people who have unrealistic expectations of an airline that does not claim to be 5 star, and has no ambitions to be so. If people choose to vote with their feet…..fine…..BA will get someone else to sit in the seat who will have more realistitic expectations and the seat can turn a profit. However if those numbers voting with their feet become a more significant churn then the sweet spot has been lost and something needs to change to retain the existing customer base and get people back.
When people get use to paying £X for a b c d e and then find themselves paying the same for a b c d then I understand that is annoying and alternatives to protect value for money should be sought. However the missing e item may not be something many people hold great value to, and the loss of a few pax who that was important to is less in cash terms than the saving of getting rid of it. When BA did away with cheese on inbounds (replaced with nothing at all) some people I am sure were miffed, and some may not fly BA any more due to it, but I bet you a bottom dollar than when deciding it was expected the saving on cheese and crackers was bigger bucks than the pax that would no longer fly BA.
That is the point I was making, not that pax should be ignored ( nor staff either) but that the bottom line is, and has to be, profit.