Product Versus LoyaltyBack to Forum
Anonymous15 Aug 2014
Having spent the last few months travelling a lot to different long haul destinations on different carriers in the business class cabin I got to thinking about the different products and services that I have used and seen and whether or not I would be prepared to be loyal to a specific carrier just to get tier points and miles again?
I am therefore interested to hear from fellow posters whether or not they would stay with a particular airline just to maintain their status and to collect miles or if they would take a more pragmatic view and that product and comfort would be more important to them.
For example, ANA to Tokyo on their 777-300 in J clas is now 4 abreast whreas BA CW is 8 abreast, this means that on ANA all pasengers get direct acces to the aisle whereas on BA you do not.
Many carriers have now done away with the middle seat in their long haul J class on 777’s while other carriers retain them. some carriers are 180′ flat beds and some still have angled flat seats.
I really am curious to know what drives my fellow posters decision making when it comes to a long flight. A long time ago I gave up what had been a slavish loyalty to particular carriers in favour of better prices and now better products.
Please, please can we try not to turn this into another BA bashing thread as that is absolutely not the aim of my question. If it does degenerate into that type of thread i will simply ask BT to take it down.
I would like to see the type of discussion on here that first attracted me to the forum so i am looking forward to hear different posters views.
For me, if I have the choice, I will never again fly on a carrier that has more than 4 abreast in the J cabin as having tried it on both ANA and AA to Tokyo and LAX respectively I cannot see why i would travel in a more crowded cabin.
What do other people do or feel about this?15 Aug 2014
For me it is ultimately about being to travel in comfort for a reasonable price. Years ago when I was travelling to New York regularly, I was more of a price hunter and used a wide variety of airlines (and still had Silver on BA). But then there was more choice then with the likes of MaxJet, etc, so I wasn’t interested in loyalty even though I was able to take advantage of BAEC. I recall that I used to pay between £500 & £1100 for return tickets in those days with about a 2:1 split between Business & Premium Economy.
Nowadays, I fly to Texas regularly and this time there is less choice. So I am now loyal to BA & OneWorld to get the Avios needed to allow me to travel in comfort. I am keeping detailed records this time and I see that currently, the total travel price I have paid (including airport transfers & airport hotels as needed) has varied between £1060 & £1520 with all trips in Business bar one in Premium Economy.
When it comes to EU & UK travel I have no loyalty as there is sufficient (though not as much as before) choice for me to choose on price.15 Aug 2014
I’m very loyal to Swiss and will go out of the way to fly with them. While they don’t hand out free miles as liberally as BA seem to do, mainly because it’s not been necessary, their loyalty program is excellent and I’ve not had a problem getting the upgrades I want.
But that’s on longhaul. Shorthaul is a different matter and unless I’m willing to spend über bucks on a business ticket (I’m not) the mileage earned is insignificant so whether I fly LX, LH, BA or KLM depends on fare and convenience.15 Aug 2014
I think increasingly all business classes are getting quite similar in terms of comfort. So you have to look at things in the round – what gives you consistently the best experience, with the best value for money.
I struggle with this fashionable comment “I will never again fly on a carrier that has more than 4 abreast in the J cabin.” as it is just a different layout. If I felt personal space was compromised, or I couldn’t leave my seat without disturbing another passenger, then that would be good reason to think of a different airline.
As always it comes to personal choice. if you chose every flight on the basis on what is the very best on each route (unless you only every fly in a set pattern) then you will miss out on loyalty benefits.15 Aug 2014
I have been flying all my life in Economy.
Until recently I was loyal to a certain airline but after a short period at the top I realised that loyalty comes at a price.
I enjoyed my few lounge encounters, but in the future I will be looking for fares to suit my schedule (and wallet) on any airline.
For example, I am looking for a flight to Indonesia at the moment. Any airline will be fine. I can always have a couple of drinks with normal peeps before boarding without feeling I have a contract with so&so .
And whether you fly Y or J or F, a long flight takes its toll.15 Aug 2014
Sympathise greatly alexpo1, as in Y there is increasingly even less difference between carriers. You just want to get from A to B (not via C) as efficiently as possible.
Most airlines have really cut back on miles for discount economy too.
Again though, you will naturally have more exposure to your ‘home’ airline, so isn’t it worth occasionally paying a bit over the odds (say 10 – 20%) to accrue benefits?15 Aug 2014
In an idea world JC, I would like to have your attitude, to only fly in business class 4 abreast.
The reality is, with my destinations, Asia, Europe and USA, there is only one airline I can use and whilst I could very easily bash every part of the product – I will continue to use BA, simply because my loyalty is rewarded with free European flights (and the occasional longhaul flight), which in monetary terms, saves substantial sums.
So yes, I stay with BA to maintain status and points…. over the outdated and third rate product…
The other point I do consider, is whether I can sleep on the outdated product and the answer remains YES…15 Aug 2014
Im not sure id be tied into a loyalty scheme with an airline I thought was 3rd rate. That just seems weird. Lets say you need to to 5 J trips for a free one – well Id really rather have 4 trips I enjoyed.15 Aug 2014
The biz product is 3rd rate… the airline has a very good route network and schedule, which suits me just fine…
So far this year, my loyalty has generated over 20 free London – Europe sectors… in a mixture of club and economy..
Absolutely no complaints and when things do go wrong (as they do) I get rewarded by more free flights.
So for me, loyalty pays and pays…
Sure I would like a decent biz product, I am sure it will come, eventually…..15 Aug 2014
Good to see you back JC09.
The alternative is merely an incentive program to make up for the poor/unreliable product. “Loyalty” (being a strong feeling of support or allegiance) is a misnomer.16 Aug 2014
I cannot see how you can post such a controversial topic and yet say that you will ask BT to remove it, if it turns into BA bashing.
As can be seen by the polite exchange between MartynSinclair and GoonerLondon (who obviously have different opinions), it is going to be impossible to define what is ‘BA bashing’ and what is ‘ fair comment.’
I dislike threats based on arbitary positions.16 Aug 2014
KM16/08/2014 08:48 GMT
However since the self appointed BA propaganda person has moved on, the need to counter their misinformation has gone, rational/informed/genuine discourse now prevailing.
Also imo once the OP has been made, methinks the poster no longer “owns/arbitrates” said thread, it is BT’s and subject solely to their moderation. Subject to that, it is in the BT forum domain for subsequent posters equally with the original poster to take wherever.16 Aug 2014
I m fiercely loyal to LX and always try to fly direct if possible. Even to the point where on certain long-haul routes, I d rather fly Economy direct with Swiss than face a stopover in J with other carriers. This is due to the booking policy of my company which forces one to take the lowest business rate, regardless of transit time.
Am I crazy to do this? Would others consider doing the same in my situation?16 Aug 2014