Upgrading from World Traveller back from BangkokBack to Forum
LHR-BKK is a pretty low yielding leisure oriented route that has struggled and for a while was rumoured to get the cut altogether. Hence it gets one of the less desirable aircraft. Historically the majority of the passengers on the route were continuing through to SYD on the LHR-BKK-SYD route. When the BKK-SYD sector was dropped the route really struggled. Not in terms of filling a plane of course (anyone can do that) but at turning a profit. When BKK became a standalone flight de-linked from SYD the original timetable was maintained – an evening departure from both LHR and BKK. This wasn’t working as many of the leisure travellers were transiting to domestic flights to the holiday resorts (and the LHR-BKK sector was arriving in BKK too late) and of course the aircraft was wasting time sat on the ground in BKK all day.
The other factor of course is the competition from the ME3. They make enough of a dent in the eastwards bound business markets like SIN or HKG where BA has a competitive edge (non stop flights). When its to a leisure destination that competitive edge is lost. The majority of passengers going on vacation will happily have a change of planed in the middle east for hundreds of pounds cheaper. Also, the ME3 fly direct from their hubs to places like Phuket, Krabi and Chiang Mai. SO its possible to fly one stop say Stockholm to Krabi.
The BKK flights were retimed for an earlier departure from LHR to arrive in BKK the following morning and an interline agreement with Bangkok Airways was formed making the route more appealing to those travelling onwards.
BA also began competing on price. Those looking at the fares from the UK may laugh at this claim. But when searching from the continent its a different story. For example, AMS-LHR-BKK return BA outprices the ME3 usually in Club (they often sell tickets for around £1200-£1300).
Finally, Mixed Fleet took over the route bringing the crew costs down significantly.24 Oct 2017
Thank you rferguson for your information, very interesting indeed. It’s a shame that leisure travellers are treated differently.
I have booked exactly the route you have mentioned to BKK ex AMS on BA in J and the price was a fraction over £1200 and with a few Avios brought it down to £900 return which I thought was a good deal.
I have not flown BA J long haul for many years, is the 777-200 used on this route really that bad compared to their other aircraft? Apart from the IFE what else is different with regards to club world? Appreciate it is an older aircraft.24 Oct 2017
Fascinating, thank you.
The old aircraft only really makes a difference to the IFE (as far as economy is concerned). The seats are fine, though a few of them were broken.
Price-wise, we bought in a sale period, and got flights for less than £500, which for a direct flight in half term was fine by us.
We sat near the rear of the aircraft – and it looked like this.
You must be logged in to access attached files.24 Oct 2017
DNAadams – The seat is exactly the same as you’ll find on all the other longhaul aircraft.
There is a greater disparity between the Economy and World Traveller Plus products on the ‘777 three class’ (the BKK aircraft) versus other aircraft than Club World.
On most of the four class 777’s, the ‘hi J’ 747’s and the new aircraft they have the new WT and WTP seats (I actually find the old WTP seats more comfortable). As you mention IFE isn’t as modern as other aircraft. Apart from that and the fact that there isn’t an awful lot in it.
Personally speaking there are actually some benefits to the three class 777-200 over the four class (refurbished) 777. There is no First Class and Club is split over two smaller cabins which feels less ‘dormitory’ than the four class 777. And the three class 777 has a better crew to passenger ratio than the four class – both have 48 J class seats but the 777 four class has four crew serving the cabin, the 777 three class has five.
The catering is exactly the same standard as you’ll find on any other BA longhaul route (except for JFK). Make of that what you will. 😉
Anyway, £1200 is a great price. Enjoy the trip!24 Oct 2017
rferguson – Thank you for sharing your knowledge and positivity! You have certainly put my mind at rest as I was a bit worried especially from some of the comments from other posters re this aircraft.24 Oct 2017
Is there any chance of BA upgrading this route anytime soon?
Doubt that,there is so much competition they can only keep the route open with a B772 that costs only fuel to operate and when/if oil goes up they may have to use early B787s?
Fare quoted must be a computer error/misprint,£1188 is more likely ‘though still costly against competition?24 Oct 2017
I recently needed to book a o/w ticket BKK-LHR. TG F was way cheaper than BA J.Needless to say that I booked the former (~£2400).
The golden Caviar-Dom Pérignon combo 🙂26 Oct 2017
I got am amazing fare for Club World (hardly more than Economy) and have just returned from Bangkok after a brief business trip.
The aircraft are ancient, aren’t they? The forward Club World cabin does feel cramped – I was in 2G on the outbound and 2D on the return. The limited bin space forward is annoying as well. I did not use the IFE at all – the tiny screens are very poor for Business – but, on the return, it was something like 3 hours into the flight before the CSM managed to get it fully operational, after receiving instructions from LHR!!
I know that there was extended discussion at the time that BA switched BA09/10 to a terminator and then later the return from BKK from a night to a day flight. It is clearly now a low revenue route which I could see moving to LGW. I would say that 80%+ of passengers in Club World appeared to be retired couples on vacation, probably paying the lowest Business fares available.
Very variable Mixed Fleet service – unlike other routes I have been on where MF operate, many of them appeared to be fairly mature (but not necessarily that good!!).21 Feb 2018
Possibility of new A380s may improve the route in future (so far only imagination!).
Tremendous competition ofcourse however if A380 is cheaper per seat even than the future B779, according to Airbus marketing, I’m sure BA can fill it!22 Feb 2018
Another informative and insightful post rfFerguson
Sadly, it’s another example of BA’s management finding themselves in the dog chasing its tail scenario, just getting dizzy as it tries to outwit the ME3 et al.
Remember the ME£/4 are not just stripping back premium passengers from LHR, more importantly they’ve negated BA’s “UK hub” model . especially if, as already pointed out, people are not ending their journey in BKK.
The amount of premium seats daylily available to UK business class passengers heading eastward must be somewhere in the region of (quick guesstimate) 300+ if you tote up GLA/EDI/MAN/BHX/NCL etc.
I wonder how many of those passengers used to park their bums on BA metal in years past…. Bet you my lunch money that quite a few fellow contributors fall directly into this category?
As an aside, the “Y” cabin looks very comfortable, much more than the equivalent AF offering . How was the overall service Tom ?
I ask because it was an LHR-BKK-LHR flight that put me off flying BA long-haul in Y , and I still haven’t ,22 Feb 2018
LHR-BKK is a pretty low yielding leisure oriented route that has struggled and for a while was rumoured to get the cut altogether. Hence it gets one of the less desirable aircraft.
I’m not having a go at RFerguson for sharing the above, but from a marketing perspective if you fly a cr*p old banger, there is little opportunity to upsell – not that the current BA management seem to understand much about that art, anyway.23 Feb 2018
Presumably if the computer (or someone very clever) comes up with this price, it is because occasionally, someone pays it?
I may be wrong but it’s possibly the full business class published fare (which nobody ever ever buys) with the passenger’s already flown economy segment credited. I can’t imagine anyone at BA actually authorizing this offer manually. Or, as you suggest, anyone buying it.
Or maybe it’s the cost of buying the entire Club World cabin? In which case it’s marginally better value ;=P24 Feb 2018
I’m not having a go at RFerguson for sharing the above, but from a marketing perspective if you fly a cr*p old banger, there is little opportunity to upsell – not that the current BA management seem to understand much about that art, anyway.[/quote
Given space and hard product in CW is largely the same on all aircraft, old and new, if I knew that economy or WT+ was going to be the old tired product I’d more likely upgrade to CW if offered a good deal. I’ve flown many times in CW on older aircraft and, apart from the TV, the rest is the same as on newer.24 Feb 2018
It’s worth noting that the actual aircraft, the YMM series specifically G-YMMT/U were delivered in 2009. They are hardly old bangers in aviation terms. They just have not had the new interiors installed like the ZZZ and VII series.24 Feb 2018