BA longhaul W2019/20+ – new A350s & 787s – new routes, changes & opportunities

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This topic contains 70 replies, has 30 voices, and was last updated by  AMcWhirter 11 Jun 2019
at 14:59
.

Viewing 11 posts - 61 through 71 (of 71 total)

  • mkcol74
    Participant

    Errrr SimonS1…there is no competition on the rails to the NW from anywhere south of Euston, especially LGW. LGW to north of Luton is highly laborious. FlyBe??

    It’s not that difficult.
    Either Gatwick to St Pancras then a 15 minute stroll along the signposted route through the quiet back streets to Euston, or Southern Trains to Milton Keynes where you then change onto the West Coast Main Line.

    I prefer the former.


    SimonS1
    Participant

    Errrr SimonS1…there is no competition on the rails to the NW from anywhere south of Euston, especially LGW. LGW to north of Luton is highly laborious. FlyBe??

    Errr many of the people flying to LGW were then taking the train into the city for business and pleasure. Now Virgin has 3 trains per hour (and 8 trains between 6am and 8am) there are other options for London destinations.

    Not everyone flying into LGW has that as their destination….


    AMcWhirter
    Participant

    Also how would contacting BA help – you mean pressuring them to bump someone else? I can’t see how that would work.

    Simon – As we all know travel agents have to be resourceful to survive.

    It was, probably still is, a way to secure a seat on the short sector to the airline’s hub … if it were to involve a long-haul flight connection.

    I mean Air France would not want to lose a Paris-Tokyo customer (especially if booked in one of the premium cabins) for the sake of London-Paris being full.

    Maybe it’s different today but surely a large company with a management account with a TMC would expect the agent to do the utmost to secure a seat on the short domestic flight were it to involve a premium long-haul connection. After all that company is paying the agent a fee for its services.


    st1969
    Participant

    People from Birmingham are well served – EK A380 twice daily, QR daily, TK twice daily, plus all of the numerous connections via LH, KL, AF, SK, etc… Why would they drive to Manchester when the world is available on their doorstep?

    Equally, the other main cities and towns ‘north of Birmingham’ (presumably cutting off before you get too far north) are also reasonably well connected with European connections via FRA, AMS, CDG et al from Leeds/Bradford, Humberside, Doncaster, East Midlands, Liverpool.

    People are very proud of their local airports and they like to use them.

    Manchester isn’t the north’s local airport. And to be fair it’s not even user-friendly.


    SimonS1
    Participant

    Also how would contacting BA help – you mean pressuring them to bump someone else? I can’t see how that would work.

    Simon – As we all know travel agents have to be resourceful to survive.

    It was, probably still is, a way to secure a seat on the short sector to the airline’s hub … if it were to involve a long-haul flight connection.

    I mean Air France would not want to lose a Paris-Tokyo customer (especially if booked in one of the premium cabins) for the sake of London-Paris being full.

    Maybe it’s different today but surely a large company with a management account with a TMC would expect the agent to do the utmost to secure a seat on the short domestic flight were it to involve a premium long-haul connection. After all that company is paying the agent a fee for its services.

    I’m sure they would, but if the flight is full and there are no seats available then I am not sure what can be done.

    It may have worked years ago, however I think everyone knows the world is different now EC261 has arrived. Unless the flight is cancelled (which clearly wouldn’t be the case) then denying boarding to someone who already has a confirmed seat could also prove quite expensive.


    capetonianm
    Participant

    Most airlines use various Revenue Management devices to ensure availability of seats on feeder segments to allow pax to travel e.g. MAN LHR LAX where the feeder segment would not normally be sold as a stand alone segment and thus the carrier would lose the revenue for the longhaul.

    In order to prevent a devious user from booking both segments and then cancelling the LHR LAX and retaining the MAN LHR, the systems use ‘married segment control’ to lock the two segments together and prevent this abuse. It is possible for an airline agent with the right level of authority to ‘divorce’ the segments but it would be unusual for this to happen.

    The booking process may also be subject to a ‘bid/offer’ exchange whereby the the RM system decides on an ad hoc basis to confirm, or not, an itinerary at a given time. This is based on many criteria such as the the passenger or agent’s commercial value, point of sale, as well as projected and current bookings for the city pair.

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    SimonS1
    Participant

    Most airlines use various Revenue Management devices to ensure availability of seats on feeder segments to allow pax to travel e.g. MAN LHR LAX where the feeder segment would not normally be sold as a stand alone segment and thus the carrier would lose the revenue for the longhaul.

    In order to prevent a devious user from booking both segments and then cancelling the LHR LAX and retaining the MAN LHR, the systems use ‘married segment control’ to lock the two segments together and prevent this abuse. It is possible for an airline agent with the right level of authority to ‘divorce’ the segments but it would be unusual for this to happen.

    The booking process may also be subject to a ‘bid/offer’ exchange whereby the the RM system decides on an ad hoc basis to confirm, or not, an itinerary at a given time. This is based on many criteria such as the the passenger or agent’s commercial value, point of sale, as well as projected and current bookings for the city pair.

    Indeed…..airline revenue management systems seem to work as it is quite usual to find flights available quite late on even at astronomic fares.

    Sounds more plausible than leaning on your TA to lean on a connection at BA to bump someone else off. That might have worked in the 1980s but thankfully we have moved on a bit.


    AMcWhirter
    Participant

    Sounds more plausible than leaning on your TA to lean on a connection at BA to bump someone else off. That might have worked in the 1980s but thankfully we have moved on a bit.

    I’m sure we haven’t moved on a bit.

    Hopefully Tim can confirm the situation nowadays.

    The point is that certain travel agents and large corporates must surely have special people to contact at the airline in cases like this. Airlines would typically call these departments “special services.”

    When all is said and done overbooking has been around for decades. I first wrote a piece for BT about this some 20-30 years ago.

    Top ranking members of an airline’s FFP may have the clout to get a seat themselves even if a flight is full.

    It’s the same with hotel chains who will find a room for a special guest even if it means bumping a normal guest (even though the latter may have prepaid his/her accommodation !) … as I have reported before in Ask Alex.

    I quote from Headsforpoints.com regarding Executive Club’s highest tier:

    “Anecdotally, from crew reports on Flyertalk, British Airways will remove paying passengers from a flight if a Premier member wishes to travel on it, and will hold flights if a Premier customer is delayed.”


    SimonS1
    Participant

    Sounds more plausible than leaning on your TA to lean on a connection at BA to bump someone else off. That might have worked in the 1980s but thankfully we have moved on a bit.

    I’m sure we haven’t moved on a bit.

    Hopefully Tim can confirm the situation nowadays.

    The point is that certain travel agents and large corporates must surely have special people to contact at the airline in cases like this. Airlines would typically call these departments “special services.”

    When all is said and done overbooking has been around for decades. I first wrote a piece for BT about this some 20-30 years ago.

    Top ranking members of an airline’s FFP may have the clout to get a seat themselves even if a flight is full.

    It’s the same with hotel chains who will find a room for a special guest even if it means bumping a normal guest (even though the latter may have prepaid his/her accommodation !) … as I have reported before in Ask Alex.

    I quote from Headsforpoints.com regarding Executive Club’s highest tier:

    “Anecdotally, from crew reports on Flyertalk, British Airways will remove paying passengers from a flight if a Premier member wishes to travel on it, and will hold flights if a Premier customer is delayed.”

    I’m not convinced, Alex.

    1. Things have changed, the whole reason why EC261 was introduced is to ensure customers are treated fairly. So the obvious difference is that these days there is a cost if you deny boarding to someone who has a confirmed reservation.

    2. You are quoting a blog, which in turn quotes Flyertalk, which in turn refers to some anecdotes from crew? Really? I always had you down as a serious journalist.

    3. With respect hotels and airlines are different. Airlines are covered by EC261, hotels aren’t. Also if your hotel overbooks then you/they have a possibility of finding somewhere close by. If you are in Manchester and need to be in London it’s a tad different.

    I’m not saying it doesn’t happen, I know some airlines guarantee top tier members a seat (I have done that several times on EK). HoweverI doubt it happens like it did 20 years ago, since then airlines have upgraded their booking techniques with new technology, more fare buckets, better algos and other techniques such as capetonian refers to in order to avoid this.

    2 users thanked author for this post.

    TimFitzgeraldTC
    Participant

    Hi Alex / Simon

    In answer to your question about contacts at airlines. Yes we have airline Account Managers whom we can call on in times of need. However I haven’t come across any that have power to bump someone from a flight to facilitate another passenger getting on. More that if a flight is only sold out or marginally overbooked revenue management might decide to clear a waitlist and then hope people change/no show for a flight in the way flights are often oversold anyway. But an agent / TMC will never speak directly to revenue management – only the account managers at the airline (almost always different people / departments)

    What the Account Manager can do (or request to revenue management depending on carrier) is look at unticketed passengers on a flight and send messages to other agents to ticket or release seats, and they might be able to increase priority of a waitlist request (if on waitlist).

    If issue is with a married sector availability (eg.) it shows as MAN-LHR and LHR-TYO separately, but when requesting MAN-TYO the MAN-LHR leg shows sold out – then they might be able to send to revenue management to see if they can clear a waitlist. This though rarely happens with BA at least.

    Likewise it will usually works the other way around in that by putting 2 sectors together airlines usually show better availability (though not always – every carrier is different). Like Capetonian says these will often be married and you can’t cancel 1 sector – it requires you to cancel all the relevant married sectors. Only way to override it that is to get airline approval and a remark in the booking to advise to remove the married sector – then a call to the GDS helpdesk to get them to “break” the marriage so sectors can be cancelled out. Be done a few times – always for operational reasons rather than trying to get round the system.

    Remark to cancel a married segment with removing only one sector will be met by the below:

    CANCEL DENIED BY AIRLINE

    Hope that helps

    3 users thanked author for this post.

    AMcWhirter
    Participant

    Tim – Many thanks for clarifying in such detail. Much appreciated.

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