Old First to become ClubBack to Forum
AnonymousGuest18 Jun 2014
Announced internally today that four routes will see the loss of First Class from the Winter timetable. All routes will use the still ‘old’ 747-400 First Class as an overspill for the Club World cabin. The flights are:
Passengers will be unable to book the old F seats at time of reservation however 66 seats will be available for J class bookings and once the numbers surpass 52 passengers will be moved to the old F seats based on frequent flyer status.18 Jun 2014
Does that mean that the old first will then be limited to these routes and all others will be guaranteed the (not so) new first finally?? Assume that it will mean CW catering and service throughout?18 Jun 2014
By my very rough calculations, the flights listed above account for the use of approximately 9 aircraft. I think I read that there are 14 747s left in the fleet with Old First, which would seem to suggest that Old First will still be circulating the route network as an F product.
Edited to add: I have been corrected, there are in fact 7 aircraft left with Old First which effectively means as of the end of the Summer Season 2014, I think it will no longer be an active F product in the fleet. @Cheeryguy, thank you for the correction!18 Jun 2014
Gold2k I believe that the aircraft with ‘old First’ will form their own subfleet and only serve the flights where F is not offered. Although I guess it’s still possible there could be ‘ad hoc’ aircraft swaps every so often.
LP no only one of the CPT rotations will see the loss of F. Sorry, my initial post was a little deceiving!19 Jun 2014
I would have thought that there was sufficient demand for First on Phoenix, and certainly all flights to Capetown. Are these the aircraft that will be retired as new A380`s arrive, so only a temporary thing?19 Jun 2014
This is good news and for once BA have made a clever decision. I did suggest last summer on this forum that they should dedicate these aircraft to certain routes (I make no claim that they listened!)but the decision to upgrade CW passengers to the F seats on a status basis once the bookings exceed the normal config is a good one although presumably there must be a benefit to BA (crewing?) by not just doing this on every flight regardless of booked numbers?19 Jun 2014
Hi Pegasus. On longhaul flights there isn’t variable crewing levels. On a 747 where First Class is empty (or used as a Club cabin) the crew complement will be 13 which is one less crew member than on the standard four class jumbo configuration. I believe on shorthaul flights the crew complement changes depending on Club Europe loads on the day.19 Jun 2014
Thanks rferguson. On that basis I wonder why BA don’t just upgrade some CW passengers into the F cabin regardless of total number? It seems rather odd to have say 51 CW passengers in the CW cabins and an empty F cabin. Incidentally I have traveled in an F seat being ‘upgraded’ from CW when they put a 4 class 777 on a 3 class LGW-ANU flight but with CW service and I don’t think the CW cabin was full.19 Jun 2014
Agree with you Pegasus.
I recently operated a flight which was usually operated by a 777 without first but due to a temporary aircraft swap for a couple weeks was subbed to a four class 777 with First. There were less than 48 customers booked in Club so ex LHR F was blocked out (much to the annoyance of some Gold card holders).
On the return the loads were again under 48 (the capacity of the CW cabin on a 777) but we had passengers in the F zone as well. When we queried this with the local downroute Duty Manager he said ‘we had no message from London not to allocate F seats’. So historically it has all been a bit inconsistent and ‘on the day’.
I think with the ‘new old first’ system there will be a consistent policy put in place for all destinations served by the 747’s.
The service does become a little more ‘bitty’ when the F cabin is occupied yet receiving a J service. For example trolleys won’t fit down the aisles so the service in A zone still has to be done by hand which takes more time. The location of the galleys etc also makes in a bit of a pain in the proverbial 🙂
But on the flipside it does make a nice treat to reward top tier card holders – providing they don’t prefer the UD of course!19 Jun 2014
seems like a very sensible decision by BA but for some of the relatively minor operational issues as highlighted by RFerguson. Rather than disappoint small number of paying F passengers with a poor project, delight small number of golds, and perms with an F seat with C service.19 Jun 2014