Did BA’s transition to a buy-on-board service impact its brand image?

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This topic contains 58 replies, has 24 voices, and was last updated by  fatbear 1 Apr 2018
at 11:41
.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 59 total)

  • camilledup
    Blocked

    Hello,
    I was wondering whether you believe that British Airways’ transition to a buy-on-board service through its partnership with M&S on its short-haul flights, impacted BA’s brand image. As BA is positioned as a “premium” airline, do you think that making customers pay for food is not in coherence with this premium positioning? How did you react when you heard/realised that they would now make you pay for the food instead of giving you a drinks and a snack for free?


    Tom Otley
    Keymaster

    Interesting.
    Many airlines have made the move. I have just flown Finnair to Helsinki and it is BOB.
    I think it was the execution rather than the strategy.
    Tom


    capetonianm
    Participant

    BA had sunk way below the level of a premium airline before it started BoB so this didn’t affect my opinion. They lost my respect years ago.

    In many ways BoB is preferable as you then have a choice firstly of whether to eat or not, and secondly some choice of what to eat. I rarely eat airline meals anyway, I either take my own on board, or eat at the airport before leaving. This is my policy for long or short haul.

    My preferred carrier for s/h is easyJet, precisely because they give you that choice (their on board food is pretty dreadful) but at least you’re not paying for something that you can’t or won’t eat. As far as I’m concerned I expect, for my money, a safe and comfortable flight, and the food and IFE are irrelevant, although I must say that, unusually, I enjoyed a meal and a movie last week on a Swiss flight from South Africa.


    Flightlevel
    Participant

    It makes sense to compete ‘though Tom is right the execution was really bad.
    BA must not run out of basics like the proverbial tonic for the gin or enough sandwiches or whatever for the pax?
    They should advise pax before they board when choices are available at airside shops,on board food is cold stored and can be used on later flights even if they loose a few euros!


    esselle
    Participant

    What I find odd is that Finnair recognise my OWE status when travelling short haul economy by offering me a comlimentary drink of my choice, yet BA don’t recognise my BAEC Gold membership and I have to pay.


    Tom Otley
    Keymaster

    What I find odd is that Finnair recognise my OWE status when travelling short haul economy by offering me a comlimentary drink of my choice, yet BA don’t recognise my BAEC Gold membership and I have to pay.

    Yes, that is marvelous. And also free tea, coffee and soft drinks for everyone.

    The Finns drink a lot of coffee, apparently.


    rferguson
    Participant

    I’m with Tom. I don’t disagree with BOB. But BA’s launch of it was diabolical.

    In reality on the shortest of flights BA haven’t been offering a free ‘meal’ for years (unless you count a biscuit or such as a meal). So, the opportunity to buy something more substantial I thought was a good move.

    I ABSOLUTELY think they should have kept tea, coffee and water complimentary as Tom says re: Finnair. Also like Finnair there should absolutely be some perk for OW elites.

    The roll out of the product was a farce. It wasn’t ready to be rolled out. The equipment was not functioning properly. Contactless wasn’t available. And the crew were running out of food within a couple of rows. This may not be a huge issue on say a 45 minute LHR-CDG run but when you think BOB extends to say LHR-IST (4hr) and they are running out of food I would imagine it does huge damage to the brand.

    **Personal opinions only**


    FDOS_UK
    Participant

    Of course the transition impacted the brand image, which is dying the death of a thousand cuts, literally and metaphorically.

    Regular readers will remember that I was not against well implemented BoB, but BA have cocked it up.

    I wonder how long M&S will stay as the BoB partner?


    Tom Otley
    Keymaster

    Of course the transition impacted the brand image, which is dying the death of a thousand cuts, literally and metaphorically.
    Regular readers will remember that I was not against well implemented BoB, but BA have cocked it up.
    I wonder how long M&S will stay as the BoB partner?

    Good point. Brand association works both ways..


    Agamemnon
    Participant

    The whole short vs mid-haul makes no sense to me. Moscow is counted as mid-haul and so economy passengers get a snack or meal, while flights that are longer such as Pathos are classified as short-haul, where passengers get nothing. How does that work? Our return from Pathos this summer was close to five hours.

    For me, I think BA should draw a line for BoB at a specific time duration for flights.


    Reeferman
    Participant

    For me it wasn’t so much about the food (which was truly awful anyway) but more about the drink. Previously wine and spirits (not to mention soft drinks and tea/coffee) were all free. Now we are expected to pay, for example, £6.00 to £7.50 a G+T/mixer – or similar.
    With no loyalty recognition at all (Gold card etc) I would say it’s been poorly implemented and has indeed caused brand damage judging by all the negative comments at the time.


    FDOS_UK
    Participant

    The whole short vs mid-haul makes no sense to me. Moscow is counted as mid-haul and so economy passengers get a snack or meal, while flights that are longer such as
    Pathos are classified as short-haul, where passengers get nothing. How does that work? Our return from Pathos this summer was close to five hours.
    For me, I think BA should draw a line for BoB at a specific time duration for flights.

    pathos /”peITQs/
    · n. a quality that evokes pity or sadness.
    – ORIGIN C17: from Gk pathos ‘suffering’.

    So says the Oxford Dictionary.


    AMcWhirter
    Participant

    Agamemnon – It’s because Moscow is a high yield route with many business travellers and weathly Muscovites who either reside in London and/or use London as a transit point for destinations further afield. All airlines want and need such customers.

    On the other hand, BA’s StPetersburg route (which is a similar sector length to Moscow) carry more leisure passengers and it is therefore BoB.


    LuganoPirate
    Participant

    I think it impacted the brand, but traveling on them recently I saw the menu and the sandwiches looked very appetising. Mind you there can be a big difference between the photo and the actual product so I defer on this to others who may have sampled the product.


    esselle
    Participant

    Not sure if it is still the case, but SVO was classified as long haul so the business product was Club World, selling at a much higher price than Club Europe. I think CAI was the same.

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