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Anonymous15 Sep 2013
Is is not time for Ba To scap it`s club europe service in favour of a one class economy service. similar to other low cost budget airlines. The reason being, despite their premium class rates, they are only providing a glorified economy class service.Unfortunately sadly we do not have any other airline in this country either currently to compare with them, because they have the monopoly.15 Sep 2013
I started a thread on this very subject earlier this year. Here’s the link:
http://www.businesstraveller.com/discussion/topic/Alex-on…-the-future-for-business-class-within-Europe15 Sep 2013
@ critical999 – 15/09/2013 16:21 GMT
“Is is not time for Ba To scap it`s club europe service in favour of a one class economy service, similar to other low cost budget airlines. …Unfortunately sadly we do not have any other airline in this country either currently to compare with them, because they have the monopoly.”
With the exception of some domestic routes (LHR-EDI/ABZ) can you remind me where BA has a monopoly? I seem to recall that the UK has EZY, Flyanscare, FlyBe (okay, reduced and often with a BA codeshare), Aer Lingus and now Virgin Red or whatever it’s called. And then there is a raft of foreign carriers providing serious competition into/out of the UK regions. Doesn’t sound like much of a “monopoly” to me.
There is always likely to be need for someone who would like (a) to eat on board (b) drink something beyond orange juice and (c) have a wider seat with more leg room plus the ability to get on/off faster and, perhaps, bring more carry-ons and checked-in items. Perhaps the alternative is that BA (and others) provide carry on food and drinks bags (to add to the existing carry-on mullarky…) and charge not just per bag but for anything over 20kg – see the recent BT thread about EZY for the heat and light that that generates. Why not then take this the whole hog and charge per passenger kilo…15 Sep 2013
I will concur that some CE prices are just plain daft. Who, in their right minds, would pay over £500 for a CE return LGW/AMS when you can do a flight of barely an hour for anything upwards of £77 return (okay, no bags) and have a magnificent slap-up meal of bollen, stomp and De Koninck beer with the not so small change?
But on longer flights, say to IST, ATH, the ability to pay extra and enjoy a more comfortable seat, a very palatable meal and drinks plus the ability to check-in two bags of up to 32kg apiece is worth paying extra for. Let’s not forget that BA emphatically does NOT enjoy a monopoly on most European routes so passengers can normally choose from at least two, possibly up to four competing carriers including a range of legacy and LC carriers.
As with most things these days, “the market will decide…” If BA’s (and others’ ) earnings from their passengers “up front” in the intra-European market was to decline to the point that it cost more to provide CE than it yielded, I have little doubt that BA would scrap it and we could all enjoy the pleasures of steerage.15 Sep 2013
Many CE passangers are businessmen/women who are BAEC members and therefore collect Avios, which means Reward Flight Saver flights at hugely discounted prices compared with money purchase fares.
The people that complain about inflated CE fares are the same ones that can cash in for (virtually) free flights or upgrades for minimal Avios sacrifice.15 Sep 2013
critcal999 – If your definition of a “premium service” means having wider, more spacious seating in a separate zone then please check my other thread which covers this subject:
http://www.businesstraveller.com/discussion/topic/Alex-on…-fixed-business-cabins-return-to-Europe15 Sep 2013
My assumption (which is not based on any statistical information) is that the majority of leisure travellers using Club Europe and paying in cash are travelling either on sale fares or special upgrades offers. With the exclusion of avios redemption bookings I think I have been offered a cheap Club Europe upgrade on every Euro Traveller booking I have made in the last year to a range of destinations including Berlin, Munich, Frankfurt, Vienna and Istanbul. Many of the users of the forum will be One World Sapphire or higher and therefore will already have many of the benefits offered by an CE upgrade – however, for those that don’t a £79 upgrade may seem like an affordable treat.15 Sep 2013
I wouldn’t agree that BA is always expensive for CE over other European airlines simular products.
Last year I was looking for LHR-AMS-LHR and BA wanted £268.00 whilst KLM wanted £599 for virtually same time flights.15 Sep 2013
Simon, would your employer (or anyone for that matter) be prepared to pay this for CE LUX-LHR departing tomorrow and returning the following day?
The price for the same flights in Economy.15 Sep 2013
This discussion reminds me a little of similar about the value of a First class fare with BA versus Club.
The realities are also similar.
VERY few passengers are actually paying the Club Europe fare listed on ba.com unless they have more money than sense or are booking at the last minute and that’s all that is available.
My parents recently visited and I booked them some return tickets (in Y) to Berlin and back ex LHR. Once I paid online I got the option of ‘upgrading’ to Club Europe for £69 each way. I jumped at the chance. They hold no frequent flyer status so the £69 provided them with access to the lounge, some champagne on board, Fast Track, nice little meal. Anyway, they thought it was just amazing. Passengers taking advantage of these kind of offers to make their european escape a little more ‘special’ make up a fair share of CE passengers.
Thrown into the mix are also corporate customers that broker a bulk buying deal with BA for Club Europe at far, far below the ba.com rate.
The main reason CE is still offered though is to offer a seamless ‘premium’ product for passengers connecting via LHR. Although the fact that there is no J class on domestic flights is an exception, many passengers on BA’s long haul flights from London start their journey on the continent. Quite rightly they expect to be in ‘Club’ the whole way through.
**These are my personal opinions only and not those of my employer***15 Sep 2013
No AlexPo I wouldn’t. At our company (a 16 man business) we always fly economy. This was preferable to any other cost cuts that might see colleagues lose their jobs.
Sadly though there are always people who will. For example I believe MEPs fly business class (spending our money).15 Sep 2013