BA super high J 747Back to Forum
Anonymous21 Jul 2015
I’ve seen today that BA are planning on introducing 84J B747-400s with their refurb in August. I have two questions, firstly where are these planes going to fly? JFK is an obvious route, but where else?
Secondly, I know there are many complaints about BA’s 8 across seating in CW, but surely this new configuration, along with their 98J A380s proves that there is strong demand for BA’s business class product. In addition, BA may be just about the only airline to have 14 F seats in the 747 & 777 fleet, but the very fact they do have such a dense cabin, again must prove the demand exists. I know this is a very convoluted question, but my point is, there may be many complaints about the cramped F&J cabins, but supply and demand ultimately dictates. Surely the demand is there?21 Jul 2015
Back in the day BA used to have a 747 with 120 seats in Club World but it was used only for NYC and would go full on a Friday evening to JFK. 2-4-2 in Business Class is a thing of the past and BA do need to work on that, any respectful airline now has 1-2-1 in Business.21 Jul 2015
Demand may be there, but at what cost? I think price has to come into the equation here too. It’s become, over the years, comparably and significantly cheaper to fly BA J and F. A recent ex-EU fare in J from Germany to HKG was around £1000, which is about £100 more than an economy flight ex-LHR to HKG. The cheap fares are a big draw that gets bums on seats. There’s a lack of innovation here too – refurbishing a 20+ year old 747 with 84J pax at 8 across without direct aisle access in many seats will only put them further behind much of the competition in the long term.21 Jul 2015
I think your right MrDariwn, the bonus system for BA managers seems to be around load factors rather than flight yields. Reminds me of a story I recently read about at Tesco, rewarding its managers for low wasteage, thus no veg in the aisles some days to sell….but the managers got their bonus so were happy with that….the customers went elsewhere. The morale of the story is that a bonus on anything other than the bottom line, has consequences the directors may not have envisioned.21 Jul 2015
I flew LHR-AUH-LHR the other week in WTP and I have to say, walking through BA’s CW cabin, I still think it is a good product. I travelled to Phoenix in CW a few years ago with my father, who is in his seventies, and I said, “Don’t you mind having to step over someone’s feet to get into the aisle,” he said, “It’s hardly that big a deal,” I have to agree.
MrDarwin, I don’t dispute the fact that BA’s fares ex-EU are reasonable, however only 30% of passengers at Heathrow are transfers. Therefore, assuming roughly the same figure applies to BA as to the airport as a whole, circa 70% of CW passengers are not positioning and therefore paying the reduced ex-EU fares, but the full (and very expensive) O&D fares. Therefore, I return to my original point. The demand must be there for such dense premium cabins, at a premium price point.21 Jul 2015
Speedbird1994 – you are right, BA Club World is a ‘good product’, but against the competition it needs to be an excellent product.
Both British longhaul scheduled airlines need to refit their J offering….21 Jul 2015
Like you say Martin, CW is a pretty decent product – particularly when set against the experience of being in the back. But when it’s compared to Cathay – and quite a few other hard products – it is showing its age.
Somewhat surprised that with even Virgin Atlantic introducing a new Upper Class seat with the introduction of their fleet of new B787-900s, BA’s decision not to do the same with their new Airbus A380s and B787-800/900 appears almost obtuse.22 Jul 2015
This thread and others relating to BA clearly demonstrates that the business model is accountant driven not customer driven.
As with any big company only when the figures take a hit i.e. Tesco from another industry as one such example, does the HQ take note.
I think someone on the BA topic earlier calculated that BA would only sit up and take notice if upwards of 40,000+ premium passengers voted with their feet.
Sir Colin Marshall former CEO once said “we’ll keep setting fare levels according to what the market is prepared to keep paying” which is fair enough. If the CW product is just ‘ok’ and that is how I would describe it, but corporate deals reflect an “ok” fare people will stick with it. I’m sure Avios plays its part.22 Jul 2015
Confirmation from BA that Club World will indeed be expanding on its High J B747s:24 Jul 2015
Any guesses which routes these will be used on?
Also pity BA did not take this opportunity to reduce the number of First seats to 8 as there are doing on the new B787-9.24 Jul 2015
Guys, about time you give BA the one finger salute. You guys are complaining yet driving the demand for a more dense sardine like cabin. Its difficult ex-LHR, I get it, but look for other options and start flying Middle East Carriers, SEA or God forbid a North American Airline (which have picked up their game considerably.) The reason most of you fly BA, as I’ve done in the past, is that we chase the mileage and the status it brings. Switch to Qatar, Emirates or SIA tomorrow and you will be enjoying 1-2-1 seating with exemplary service, great food and drinks, fab IFE and a CLEAN aircraft at every take-off. Enough is enough!25 Jul 2015
As Asia Frequent Flyer eludes to we all have the choice to switch carriers or any provider but we don’t. It’s not just airlines this applies to there are the banks, telco’s, utility companies, car hire to name but four. Given this Forum is part of a respected travel magazine why haven’t senior executives of these travel providers either got involved/replied or been offered the opportunity to reply. Alex maybe something for you to pick up on?
.25 Jul 2015
@AsiaFrequentFlyer – I’m not really sure what you are talking about when you refer to a “more dense sardine like cabin”.
All that is happening is that 32 economy seats are being replaced by 16 business seats to reflect the different mix of travellers. Personal space isn’t changing.
I don’t think we should exaggerate either. I used EK last week in business and the 1-2-1 on the 380 is fantastic. However a lot of routes are still served by the 2-3-2 configured 777s which isn’t much better than BA.
Ultimately BA is in business to make money for shareholders, so all the time the planes are full then good for them. Of course you should vote with your feet, but then with passenger numbers up around 10% I doubt Willie Walsh will appear at your door to beg you to come back.25 Jul 2015
I see no reason for BA or any airline to respond to a forum post. Let’s be honest here, most of what is on this forum is opinion, not fact.
As has been alluded to, we have a choice, and many choose BA. I do. If I don’t like it I can change, if I like it I can stay. My choice, for a variety of reasons. People choose a particular flight for a huge variety of reasons, from flight times, catering, safety, service, rewards, seat, price, quality of wine, like the uniform, good/bad experience of carrier, luggage allowance, gate, lounge, etc etc. Coming on here criticising people for their choice is just ridiculous. I would say for everyone the major factor is, does the plane go to & from where they want to travel, and if we have a choice…..great……we are free to choose based on what is important to us.25 Jul 2015