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Anonymous13 Jun 2013
*Disclaimer – should this thread descend into farce, as almost 90% of any BA related thread does, it is not the intent of the poster to cause such*.
I’ve been wondering, in light of the delivery of new aircraft from BA which will of course now stand out as their flagship planes, where next for BA’s seating?
Forgetting the shambles that was/is “New First” for a moment, I am thinking more about how the competition have not only caught BA but dramatically improved their offerings in both First and Business. Taking all other aspects out of the equation, (lounges/routes/frequency/crew) I think specifically of the CW seat and the First Class seat aboard BA’s spanking new machinery.
My own opinion, and one which I note is by no means stand-alone, is that several of the Arab/Asian airlines have a significantly better hard product on-board. Also added to that mix, and one I’d consider a real threat were it me in WW’s shoes would be the new AA product. I’ve not read what AA’s roll-out schedule is, but if that product is half as good as it looks, and they can have it on a couple of decent transatlantic routes, it will blow BA out of the water on what is historically BA’s bread & butter.
With all that in mind, I do wonder what the strategy at BA is to try and even match what their competitors are offering? One of my own main motivators in booking business or first is what the on-board experience is: I can live with a hopeless lounge for an hour or two, if the service on-board is average then so be it, likewise the food – but if the seat is not to my liking then for me it is time to look for another way to fly. BA mustn’t have new product in the pipeline or you’d have thought it would indeed have been put onto their new metal, and I wonder for how much longer they will trail the competitors?
If they do introduce a new cabin, then their two shiny new A380’s will have the older fashioned seating on them, they are now almost damned if they do and damned if they don’t….not an enviable position to be in.
AOTG.13 Jun 2013
I fully agree with your comments, and am sad that something new and ground breaking hasnt been launched with their new aircraft. I love CW, but I really think these days, aisle access for each seat is a must as I am sick of climbing over others. And while I like NF, it is not in the same league as the CX seat, and some others I have seen, but not yet experienced. BA was a trend setter with Fully flat in First and CW, but they have lost ground to so many other carriers now that I, a firm BA fan, have lately been flying more often with LH, and will be taking AA`s new 777-300 in business as opposed to an earlier BA flight just to avoid the climbing over someone or being climbed over!13 Jun 2013
Interesting topic AOTG.
IMO there is no C seat to equal the CX seat which now AA and apparently AF have chosen. The number two would be the fairly standard seat and I say that because it is so widely used by LX, OS, AY and soon KL. F products are rightly a little more unique.
If and it is if, BA are to introduce a new product they will find themselves with the same situation as LH have with the A380, brand new planes with substandard seats. I would also fear that it would stay that way for a long time. LH generally refurbish far faster than BA do and the A380 is still some way in the distance for them so the BA A380s/787s are likely to be at least five years away if there was a new C product in the next year.13 Jun 2013
dutchyankee – 13/06/2013 13:04 GMT
and will be taking AA`s new 777-300 in business as opposed to an earlier BA flight just to avoid the climbing over someone or being climbed over!
Please do let us know if it is as good as it looks, I’ve not seen a review on here for the AA business class product yet, I’m not using the service until November!
Interesting what you say, as a BA stalwart, about climbing over people, I guess if you are travelling with your significant other then the seating in CW is fine, but, like you I tend to do most of my travel alone and do like the privacy that a window seat offers…..until inevitably you need to use the loo!
I fear their 1st product fares just as badly as CW when one compares to the ‘suite-in-the-sky’ experience that a lot of carriers now have, I flew with Malaysian in March and was blown away with their 1st cabin aboard the A380, I know what’s in store for me with the BA A380 1st cabin so find myself in no rush to use it. Conversely, in spite of my loathing of Heathrow, reading on here about the state of the lounges and even based on my own poor experiences with BA crew, had BA unveiled something new on their new planes, I would have taken a flight just for a nosey!
I find it hard to believe that BA don’t have a plan to change their seating….but perhaps this is the case, perhaps they rely so heavily on what they (BA board) think is important to us travellers that they ignore the most obvious.
AOTG.13 Jun 2013
My advice to BA‘s management would be simply this……
Come up with a uniquely British product that defines the culture, heritage and personality of the country you represent……
BA has a fantastic opportunity to be innovative, forward thinking and importantly differentiate its self from other carriers……..
Other carriers that they can’t compete with head on , CX being a prime example or in “Y” class AC ……
By creating uniquely British solutions they future proof themselves against CX or AC or whomever….alas I’m afraid , all we will get is bean counter mentality that will keep our national carrier lagging behind…..
For example, a very simple thing to do is….incorporate a beer keg holder onto the new aircraft. So we can enjoy proper draught beer !13 Jun 2013
Shambles means a state of total disorder.
I’m no defender of BA but the older planes are not getting new first because they will be retired soon, and too many seats in the cabin cannot be described as total disorder.
I like the hard product in many aspects, but the seat needs to be a lot bigger, and that means less in the cabin. The soft product needs to be improved also.13 Jun 2013
I consider it a shambles that a company which sells a premium product for in excess of £5K delivers an awful experience. There was much press at the time about how new 1st would be rolled out across the fleet in record time – I’ve flown twice with them in 1st recently, both times was in old first, both times it was awful, both flights cost me in excess of £10K.
I don’t like the seating – many others do not like the seating.
I’m not really willing to debate the merits of English grammar and the use / incorrect usage of the term “shambles”, given my disclaimer at the top of the opening post.13 Jun 2013
Numerous threads on this forum indicate that the seats, ie hard product, in CW & New First need improving. If those responsible for placing WT Plus between Club & First are given the responsibility, BA will get nowhere. Development & installation requires investment which in turn generates business. BA’s failure to develop more ground breaking products will cost them profit in the long run.13 Jun 2013
Having visited the BA web site, I do feel totally under whelmed by the new and exciting products coming soon………
In fact, they seem to have already taken my advice and adopted a classic bit of British cinematic culture……
“Carry On regardless”
Bucksnet has a point about the soft product…….paying a bit more attention to detail regardless of travelling class ,at very little extra cost creates a positive impression to all passengers ……in turn those same passengers perception of value for money would increase significantly….
I can’t imagine that the new 380 cabin will deliver that value for money experience anymore in the future than a NF does just now…….
Once again they are missing a trick…..
Boring and Bland is my initial impression…..13 Jun 2013
Fully agree canuckland.
The lack of innovation is depressing.
Flying the new BA A380 will yield no new interest. CX need have no fears about the LHR-HKG sector; the 773 will remain a much better choice.13 Jun 2013
@AOTG, I will most certainly review my experience on AA here, but feel you will experience before me as I am booked on 21 December and on 9 January, so I will look forward to your review, and then we can compare notes. Like you said, when I travel with my better half, I dont mind CW so much, and always try to be in row 62 on upper deck or the last two center seats on 777. But like you and so many on here, feel the design is now second rate when compared to almost any other carrier including even most US carriers where BA used to be able to claim superiority, but even that claim is losing ground as all the majors are improving their hard products.
Bullfrog, Canuckland, and Esselle, couldnt agree with you more, and again, I am a fan of BA, have been Gold for over 14 years, but lately feel dissappointed, and think BA are now a follower. I have broadned my choice these days, and will spend my hard earned money (I pay my own flights as my own company) with airlines that have better seating options. Unfortunately, I doubt BA will notice my business is now gone. I just hope I cand use my Avios, but that has proven very difficult (but that’s another topic).
Happy travels all, the heavens have just opened up here in St. Petersburg so making a mad dash to the Corinthia Hotel as it is bucketing down!13 Jun 2013
Because BA have not taken the opportunity to introduce a new hard product with the launch of A380 and 787, it wouldn’t surprise me if the same product also went into the A350 when that comes on line in a year or two’s time, otherwise they would be under pressure to refit the A380s and 787s and that would mean writing off the current generation seats far too early than they would have liked.
So this begs the question – what landmark would stimulate BA into launching a new hard product across the whole long haul fleet?13 Jun 2013