Did BA’s transition to a buy-on-board service impact its brand image?Back to Forum
I have not been a fan of BA for some time now but have continued to fly them as their routes best matched my travel patterns.
My most recent experiences with them, coupled with a change in location, means that I will actively avoid them in future.
I was thoroughly unimpressed with the launch of BoB. Ticket prices were/are still for a ‘premium’ service but BoB is definitely a LCC characteristic in my opinion. I do think it damaged the brand.
The food is overpriced. That said, M&S is vastly superior to the meals I have had to endure om board in the past. I just wish I didn’t have to pay for them on top of the ticket price.
I absolutely hate paying for drinks. I could accept paying for alcohol (although I think the BoB booze is over priced – coming from a Londoner, that is saying something!) but paying for tea/coffee/water is outrageous. Definitely LCC.
I want to tell someone to pick a category. Do you want BA to be a premium airline or a low cost carrier? Decide and act accordingly. At the moment, it feels like they want to be a premium airline but everything they do is positioning it as a LCC. Bite the bullet and go the whole hog one way or another so that passengers can know what to expect and adjust their expectations accordingly.
I don’t like having everthing itemised and having to put my hand in my pocket every five minutes. I want to pay one (possibly slightly inflated) price for everything to be included for a stress free and seamless experience.
Those words no longer describe British Airways.4 Dec 2017
esselle – Indeed Moscow has World Traveller/Club World but it wasn’t always this way. Back in the 1990s when I flew with BA it was considered a European route. BA’s two-class B767s had short-haul seating with Club Europe being the business class.
A commercial decision was later taken to change this route’s status.4 Dec 2017
How has BoB affected the brand…..for me it’s simple. I now fly with Flybe ! An airline not pretending to be something other than what it is.
I know it’s hard to prove, but I suspect that ticket prices didn’t drop by the price of a G&T on BA, they stayed exactly the same,yet another premium airline usp has dnisappeared.
In summary,if you fly with the crows…don’t expect people to think that your an eagle…4 Dec 2017
I think it has but just a little, that said i do not think it has impacted their loadings at all, in the BOB seats its all about price and/or convenience of routes5 Dec 2017
The decision to change to buy-on-board in short haul most definitely dented the BA brand although as most regular fliers know, the airline’s image has been in decline for some time. I am inclined to think the image continues to be damaged, in terms of domestic and short haul, judging by the various review on assorted websites about the crew still being unable to service a full flight down the back either by running out of supplies and/or not being able to reach the rear rows before the start of the descent.
Unknown to most passengers is the fact BA do not operate their short haul in-flight service as an in house operation. I think I am correct in saying it was all out sourced and contracted to the South African company, Tourvest In-Flight Retail services. I am sure I remember reading somewhere that if economy class runs out of gins and tonics etc that it is no longer possible to nip into the next cabin to get stuff from Club Class. Perhaps any BA person who reads this could confirm if I am correct or not.
The change to BoB certainly impacted my decision to choose other airlines when flying UK domestic as I can often get a cheaper fare on easyJet or Flybe. I am getting quite fond of Flybe’s wee Dash 8-400s and having to buy a gin and tonic is never a problem when served by one of their consistently cheery Scottish crews!5 Dec 2017
BOB makes sense on some levels. Availability of choice being one. However, The big difference between easyjet/ ryanair on the one hand and premium carriers on the other is that on the latter, everything was once free. The minute I have to take out a CC to pay for a diet coke and sandwich, I think easyjet not BA. So for me, yes it’s impacted the brand.
The decision to make Club seat pitch the same as Economy also turned me off, especially when flying CE is very painful for my 6’5 large frame these days.
So now I avoid BA where possible and have a shiny Star Alliance Gold card which gets me nice service on Aegean, Turkish, Lufthansa, Swiss and more. Maybe they’re not much better than BA. But my perception is that they are. And that’s what branding is all about?
(I make these comments as a sometimes arrogant solicitor who knows little about branding but likes to talk a lot)5 Dec 2017
CPH – LHR mid morning departure.
No bacon rolls, no ham and cheese sandwiches. Choice of mozzarella focaccia or falafel wrap. Yum yum. Crew highly embarrassed and confirmed that this seems to be the norm nowadays.5 Dec 2017
CPH – LHR mid morning departure.
No bacon rolls, no ham and cheese sandwiches. Choice of mozzarella focaccia or falafel wrap. Yum yum. Crew highly embarrassed and confirmed that this seems to be the norm nowadays.
Esseelle this completely sums up the biggest issue with BOB. Firstly, make the customer feel they are getting less value by letting them know at booking stage that there will be no free refreshments on their journey. Then when they grin and bare it as they get their wallet out from their hand baggage to buy a breakfast roll, tell them even the stuff for sale isn’t available. Like rubbing salt into a wound.
Either do something properly, or not at all.5 Dec 2017
I’ve just done a short European sector into Heathrow on BA in economy class and for the first time, possibly because the contents of this forum were on my mind I have felt slightly aggrieved and having to pay £7.50 for a not very good sandwich and a cup of tea which was made with water that was barely lukewarm and which I had to send back.6 Dec 2017
Lufthansa did that years ago on some short routes. It seemed eminently sensible to me, pax chose what they wanted, there was no waste, and no need for cabin crew to spend time on serving.
A few pax pigged out and filled bags with stuff to take home, but overall I’m sure it saved on waste and I often wonder why it was discontinued.7 Dec 2017
Lufthansa’s Gate Buffet was used for domestic flights in the 1990s. Good idea in practice but it failed because too many passengers were abusing it.
I recall seeing some people stash dozens of items from the buffet display into their hand luggage.
Yesterday BA’s boss defended BoB but admits its introduction was “very difficult.”7 Dec 2017
On a flight back from Belfast last weekend I think the trolley made it to around row 10.
If you’re going to offer and promote the service, then it doesn’t seem unreasonable to ask that all passengers get a chance to order; and for there to be a reasonable selection of items available.
Maybe if you’re seated in the last 10 rows, your boarding pass should have ‘food and drink may not be available to you in your current seat position’ written on it, so that you can make an informed decision about whether to eat and drink at the airport pre-flight.
I think the brand image of M&S is fine, it’s just BA’s that is taking a hit; as others have said, due to the appalling implementation of BoB7 Dec 2017