Why do I keep returning to BA?Back to Forum
Ah les français. Clarkson is pretty hilarious – thank you for the quotation – and I can’t legally comment further as a Canadian. Maudit anglais !
This is a thread that raises a question or two for me, in what percentage of the posters here are Brits? I’m an American who immigrated to Canada and now gets to fly too much (pardon my use of the three-lettered curse word “get” there), and I feel the same about Air Canada as many of you seem to about British Airways.
Which is to say, “O Air Canada, O my dear Air Canada, sucky and expensive you may be, but you’re all mine, baby.” Yes, I’m really looking forward to the moment I see the Air Canada livery at the gate in Hong Kong, on my way home for a week.
And I have the same reaction to US domestic flying as everyone here does, it’s awful and to be avoided whenever possible. I would like to add Air India to the list of ‘worst ever’ though only from one experience in C class.
About US Airways specifically, I’ve just finished William Langeweiche’s as-usual brilliant book on the US1549 crash landing on the Hudson, _Fly by Wire_. In it he quotes the co-pilot as saying “No one likes working for the company” and goes on to write about life as an airline employee and the daily humiliations thereof. Worth a reminder about their lives, though we may be paying. And if all else fails I find ‘sunshine up the bum’ to be a useful approach for the unpleasant attendants.13 Mar 2010
Looks like the BBC read these posts too:-
There is no doubt that there is an intangible warm feeling for many customers in boarding an aircraft representing elements of their own national culture and possibly with the national flag on the tail.
British Airways has managed to successfully capitalise on these feelings and to do so profitably until the global financial problems of the last two years. However there is no place for sentiment, the ultra-lean and non-nationalistically aligned low cost carriers have brought a new reality to the marketplace. They have shown that a multiplicity of customers is happy to use them.
There isn’t room for all the flag carriers that still exist and those that survive will have to find the right blend of empathetic imagery combined with a hardnosed focus on efficiency and profitability.
BBC News magazine quote.16 Mar 2010
I’ve just been sent a survey on behalf of BA which asks more or less the same question.
For me there are two reasons why I fly BA – the main reason is that I like the product – Heathrow is convenient, I like the separate business class cabin on European routes, the lounges are nice, the flight frequency is good and so on and so on.
There is also a softer brand identity thing – I like the friendly, professional English service, I feel as if safety is a priority and I feel as if I will be looked after as a customer.
But I wouldn’t fly with them at any price – buying any product you evaluate what you get for your money. I’ve just done a flight from SIN to LHR on SQ in business class and I have to say I would not pay extra to fly BA on this route – so now BA have got to be cheaper than their competitor and that is where the problems start.16 Mar 2010
For me it’s simple – benefits.
I am based near heathrow and travel a lot throughout the world (US, Asia and eastern Europe are my main destinations). With heathrow as my local airport, BA flys to everywhere I need to go to and, in the vast majority, directly. So I can travel the world and collect miles.
If I were not to use BA, I’d have to have mileage programmes with, pretty much, every other programme out there. As a result, I would not have Gold (or even silver) on any of them, and my individual points would probably take me to nowhere inparicular. With one carrier, it’s all accumulated andd the potential benefits arrive sooner.
that said, having flown on most US-based airlines, a number of eastern European ones and some far eastern ones – BA is damn good. you can do a hell of a lot worse than having BA as your gateway to the rest of the world (just try American or Aeroflot)17 Mar 2010
I think several people would be thinking “Bloody Awful”. Depends whether your flight is cancelled or not. As for the bus at T5, it’s the downside of the whole journey for me.18 Mar 2010
Being crew for BA, I am very happy to hear that we make you feel welcome onboard. I, personally appreciate, as I am sure my colleagues do, your kind words, and look forward to welcoming you onboard soon.18 Mar 2010
Well, taking a bus certainly does not “always happen” at T5.
With something of the order of 45 jetway gates, the obove statement is simply impossible.
There are a few bussed gates, and of course once T5C opens very soon, the limited number of flights requiring buses will diminish even further. T5D would eliminate the problem altogether.19 Mar 2010
I love BAs inflight service in F and J. However in reply to VintageKrug, who I usually agree with, everytime last year I flew to JFK we were bussed to and from the 747/777. After an overnight flight from the US the sight of a bus at some remote part of a wet airport is not the greatest welcome home. Less mobile passengers have real difficuly with negotiating a 747 staircase.19 Mar 2010
It certainly happens, and must be annoying when it does. But BA now has more gates than was the case at T1/2/4 in the old days.
BAA is responsible for adequate provision of gates and has failed to provide adequate capacity.
I have been lucky with bussing, only having two flights over the past year which have required one.
I do think BA should do more to segregate its F pax when bussing is required.
Lufthansa does this perfectly with chauffered transfers to the aircraft. I do not think this is possibly with the volume of BA F pax, but a “nicer” bus should not be too hard to manage for those who turn up in good time, perhaps to a central F embarkation point.
Perhaps some of the money saved from the planned cost reductions elsewhere could be used to refurbish some of the (almost) brand new eco-friendly bus fleet once T5C opens and fewer buses are needed.19 Mar 2010
I was about to ask that, VK. I thought BAA was responsible for the bussing rather than BA, but, of course, most passengers just equate the one with the other and the blame gets shouldered by the airline. It’s true about LH. They manage rather well, at least that’s been my experience. Series 7 door to door.
Certainly agree about some sort of better transfer for f pax. at T5 when it’s necessary.19 Mar 2010
I think a dedicated, carpeted bus, with decent comfy seating and access directly to the front steps of the plane with no queueing at the top should be manageable for F pax.
BA could even use the Royal Suite on T5 South for boarding all bussed F flights from the Concorde Room as it has been rendered useless due to security concerns (too close to the road).
Well worth suggesting in feedback forms etc. IMHO as this is a reasonable and achievable service change.19 Mar 2010