BA First Class not worth the money

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This topic contains 27 replies, has 17 voices, and was last updated by  openfly 13 Aug 2019
at 07:54
.

Viewing 13 posts - 16 through 28 (of 28 total)

  • SimonS1
    Participant

    @esselle

    I’m curious that twice now you have mentioned friends & family. I never once raised that.

    Many people use F who are “genuine pax” as you put it. However these can be people paying full F fare, or alternatively a range of other travellers – discounted fares, mileage upgrades, airline upgrades, paid for upgrades etc.

    The fact is, BA themselves have identified First Class has having a “low paid load factor”, which clearly means people are not paying full fare. And they are downsizing or removing F cabins in favour of larger business or WTP sections.

    It took me about 5 mins online to find loads of fares to the likes of Boston next spring for just over £2,000, so cheap fares are a reality. Presumably because there is a fundamental supply/demand issue here.


    esselle
    Participant

    Morning Simon S1

    I used the term “friends and family” as a catch all intended to describe folk who get a deal rather than pay rack.

    I’m sure there a lots of routes with F cabins where they are not really justified. It makes sense to reconfigure the aircraft that serve them. There are also plenty or routes where I am sure it is very profitable.

    Back to the original point of this thread though; they were a bit in the wilderness with their F product for too long, but now seem to be working hard at breathing a little quality back into it which, for those who use it, no matter how March they paid for their ticket, is a good thing.


    SimonS1
    Participant

    On that I agree. The F wing at Heathrow is another aspect.

    It seems that the penny has dropped at BA and they are trying to breathe new life into a number of things – food, new J cabins etc. Time will tell whether it is sustained and whether as the economy tightens costs will take priority over service.

    One other angle to this is that the new J cabins about to be rolled out remove much of the difference with F. So will BA in turn improve F to maintain some differentiation? Or will the downsizing of cabins see a steady shrinkage?


    esselle
    Participant

    I suspect that BA will aspire to go the same way as QR; create a J product that is very good, and reduce the F offer to on few flagship routes only. None of the most recent additions to the QR fleet have F; it is now only on their 380s.


    capetonianm
    Participant

    https://eu.usatoday.com/story/travel/airline-news/2019/08/09/first-class-fading-rewards-program-upgrades-partially-blame/1963518001/

    I’m not posting this because I agree with the contents, just because I think it might be interesting to some.


    Henryp1
    Participant

    I think it’s a shame that the new aircraft don’t have a First cabin, irrespective of the business offering. I/we would always prefer a First cabin and at the end of the day it probably comes down if customers are prepared to pay for the product. In which case hopefully it will survive with further development.

    I do think it’s good that all airlines products are not identical, as potentially customers choose the airline based on product and not just cheapness of the ticket.


    nevereconomy
    Participant

    I have flown F a good deal on BA but also on many others. There are better products out there, no doubt, but BA is often cheaper for a still quite acceptable product and I do not have to decamp in the Middle East half way through the trip, there are some of my destinations where BA is the only F offering, and I am not prepared to endure either CDG or FRA unless that is the destination.


    SimonS1
    Participant

    at the end of the day it probably comes down if customers are prepared to pay for the product.

    This I would suggest is the nub of it.

    Airlines have teams of analysts studying in huge detail how to maximise revenue per square centimetre on board. If they can generate more income from say 5 business seats in the same footprint as 3 first seats we know what will happen. That after all is business economics….it is not filling the seats but the revenue generated which is the salient factor.

    Which I suppose they have already figured out as they are downsizing or removing the cabins.

    As noted above other airlines are doing the same….I know 2 of the 3 daily EK flights from London have had F replaced by economy.


    esselle
    Participant

    Be mindful though that most domestic first class in the States is really only about slightly bigger seats than economy and perhaps free drinks and meals. It bears no resemblance to international first.

    I flew United IAH-DFW-IAH in first a couple of months ago and it was certainly more comfy than economy but absolutely nothing to get excited about.


    MartynSinclair
    Participant

    I have only seen the picture and video reviews of the new BA business class seat, but it appears to me the only real difference between the new business and First cabins are the number of seats within the cabin.

    I know to some, the upmarket meal service, wines and access to the Concorde lounges in JFK and LHR will have a value – the seat real estate will be slightly bigger – but would those factors make me believe an F seat is value over new business….

    All i can say, when I have the chance to fly new business where F is fitted, I hope I am now upgraded…. 🙂


    SimonS1
    Participant

    Good review of the serious F players here….

    https://thepointsguy.co.uk/guide/725945/amp/


    IanFromHKG
    Participant

    Haggis68, I was surprised that you found the BA J seat to be hard – personally I think that the cushioning is excellent. It is, mark you, about the only good thing I will say about BA J, which I generally try to avoid for some of the reasons stated above. It’s too narrow, too short, has terrible storage, a tiny IFE screen and many other drawbacks. But it isn’t hard…


    openfly
    Participant

    ….and full of bedbugs!

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