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    Whilst agreeing in principle with the comments about airlines from certain regions, entropy plays such a part in aircraft crashes, that I don’t tend to overthink this.


    One flaw in BA reward savers is for those of us in the regions, who are charged for each leg, even though BA do not offer regional flights, like AF or LH.

    What looks like a bargain from London soon becomes a poorer option when the connecting leg is added on, e.g. it is usually less expensive to book easyJet to Paris than take a reward saver via London (unless booking late).

    Just out of interest, couldn’t your son manage with a 10kg IATA trolley case, which would be gate checked FOC?

    Edited to add, this is a very good cabin bag policy IMO.



    FDOS you mentioned that in terms of Value for money, we’ve never had it so good. I’d say Yes & No, depending on what your definition/perception of value is ? It’s the old quality versus quantity debate!!

    Of course.

    On the other hand, if one can pick up a BA F ticket at the right price, it offers a very comfortable ride, so it is not just fare price (though that is the driver for many people).

    I find a decent premium economy seat/space not so far away from the business class of 25 years ago, yet it is a fraction of the price. Of course, you don’t get all the free trimmings such as vintage bubbles or top wines, but who cares? It’s a comfortable ride and is as cheap as chips.

    I have a trip to Boston in June, £820 return, 43″ seat pitch in a 2×2 row, decent IFE, F&B included and a free checked suitcase. Cheap as chips and comfortable. Not BA, either. We’ve never had it so good.



    I can only presume that BA now place very low value on customer loyalty – but if so, why bother to run the Executive Club and all the lounges, which are not cheap?

    As someone who knows a little about formulating business strategy, when I look at BA I see a company that tries to play differentiation and cost focus gambits at the same time, in a broad market – this does not usually end well, although there are a number of obstacles to competitors that mitigate against failure in this instance. Slot allocation at Heathrow, brand (even though not as strong as it was in the past), fat to trim (though this must be getting harder to find, there is a limit to what you can cheapen/outsource), JVs, size etc..

    The repeated utterings of the phrase ‘we are a premium airline’ by the CEO does remind me of Idi Amin’s claim to the throne of Scotland, simply a chutzpah.

    What you have, these days, is an airline that is truly mediocre, but (with some care) offers excellent value for money – I pay typically a shade under £500 for a return flight to the middle east (allowing for cashing in some avios as part of the fare, e.g. I’ll cash in approx the avios to be earned by the trip). Martyn Sinclair has a different plan, which he has explained on here several times, to fly around Europe for next to nothing.

    Enjoy it while it lasts, as the crows will come home to roost at some stage – I do expect the BAEC to change in the future, to a revenue based model.



    We have a different definition of coercion. Mine does not include choice of decision.


    The FLY software that BA uses does not (as far as I am aware and understand its functionality) deliberately separate people, but rather puts blocks on a series of seats around the cabin, e.g.

    – bassinet seats are held until ~-24 hours, then may or may not be free for allocation at check in (either online or airport)
    – most desired seats are available to premier and gold card holders, from time of booking
    – some desired seats are available to silver card holders
    – GCH, possibly SCH will have seats next to them blocked, if the flight has space free, as the flight fills, those blocks will be removed

    In other words, the seating plan is dynamic and depending on who you are, you will see a very different map when choosing.

    What you describe in your OP sounds exactly like a normal BA flight, where some seats will appear disappear from time to time – as a SCH, you will have a better choice than your wife, but Cedric or I will have a better choice than you.

    When you saw the two seats in a row that were available, it was quite likely that a SCH was sitting in a seat, with a block next to them, but your SCH opened those seats up to you – if it was a middle bank of four, then a SCH in each aisle seat could have a block next to them, taking out the middles.

    If you wish to look at a system which is designed to separate people, then Ryanair is a good place to start. As far as I can make out, they have an algorithm that does apply a weighted randomisation that is highly likely to result in parties who do not travel together receiving seats all around the aircraft.


    Here are a few photos of Cathay Pacific’s new 10-across economy class cabin layout on its B777.

    PICTURES: Cathay Pacific’s new 10-across Boeing 777 economy cabin

    <iframe class=”wp-embedded-content” sandbox=”allow-scripts” security=”restricted” src=”” data-secret=”IP5bgwYruV” title=”“PICTURES: Cathay Pacific’s new 10-across Boeing 777 economy cabin” — Business Traveller – The leading magazine for frequent flyers” marginwidth=”0″ marginheight=”0″ scrolling=”no” width=”500″ height=”524″ frameborder=”0″></iframe>

    We’ll be publishing a more in-depth look at just how UN spacious the seats are soon.

    There, I fixed that for you.


    FDOS, commercially because this is short-termism taken to the extreme. Where is the attempt to build customer loyalty or to recognise and give good service to a long-time customer?

    But the market has changed and now it is becoming the norm to unbundle products and charge separately for the components – as I’ve written earlier in the thread, we have never had it so good in terms of value.

    The air travel industry has become ever more commoditised, since I first flew in 1976 and took my first business flight in 1978 – as Housman wrote

    Into my heart an air that kills
    From yon far country blows:
    What are those blue remembered hills,
    What spires, what farms are those?

    That is the land of lost content,
    I see it shining plain
    The happy highways where I went
    And cannot come again.

    (sorry, tactic – strategy is intrinsically long-term!),

    Nope, strategy is no more than medium term, in a business context.

    Morally – this relates to above. Asking a husband and wife (or any other couple or family group that have booked flights together) to pay to sit together is reprehensible. And blackmailing a customer into making two separate bookings instead of being able to book a shared checked bag is just that – blackmail! That is morally repugnant.

    Well you can express your opinion freely in this country, but I think it is barking mad. That Athens trip would have cost a lot more money in the old days, even allowing for the unbundling of the baggage etc. Blackmail involves coercion, you were not blackmailed, but you freely chose to book with BA, when you could have chosen an alternative.

    Also, remember that APD did not exist then, either.

    We’ve never had it so good.

    PS: if loyalty is important to you, may I suggest that you buy a dog? An airline will never give you the same warm, fuzzy, feeling 😉


    Forgive me if someone has already made this point, but it’s a BA Gold benefit that passengers travelling with a GC holder on the same flight but on a different booking reference can have seating reservations free of charge. However, this can only be procured by the GC member calling the EC service centre, and not online.

    I’m not sure whether this benefit applies to BA Silver, but it certainly does for Gold, as I made use of it only last week.

    It’s for gold only and is a manual request for seating to be allocated, thus the need for a call.

    A useful little perk.



    There is a pattern here. It is no longer “To fly, to serve”, but “What can we get away with?”.


    As the old saying goes, ‘they know the cost of everything and the value of nothing’, combined with a policy of putting inexperienced crew, incapable of delivering consistent premium service into premium cabins.


    That is morally and commercially repugnant. OK, it’s my choice to fly BA instead of Easy or Aegean, but see note about EC Bronze! Why can’t I make a booking for one checked bag between a couple?

    Why is it morally and commercially repugnant? The airline didn’t make any secret of their policies and you could have chosen to fly with another airline, from Heathrow or another airport, but you didn’t.

    It seems that you are booking enough flights to reclaim silver, so BA offers enough value to you to keeping you booking.

    FWIW, I am a gold card holder and have far lower expectations of the airline, than you do – what does annoy me is when they fail to deliver the promised product because ‘XXX forgot to load it’ or the crew are either untrained or uncaring – but still the low prices on offer (on long haul) mean I can live with that and self cater etc. to make myself independent of the general malaise that one sometimes finds.


    As a matter of logic, airlines are not splitting up parties, they are randomly allocating seats to those who choose not to pay (or do not have status) – well, as a pendant not completely randomly as one might end up with 10 people in 23F and no one is 10 other seats 🙂

    The point is, though, if you book and choose not to pay, you get what you get and I can’t see the moral objection to parties being split up (except for young children travelling with parents or disabled people with helpers – and that isn’t going to happen).

    in 1978, I was paying over £350 for a flight from Leeds or Manchester to Pisa (via Heathrow) and that included a meal, soft drinks and hold bag. Depending on which method of calculating inflation you choose, that would equate to ~£1,400-1,500.

    Today, I can buy the same flight for typically £150-200. You can see where I’m going with this, air travel has never been better value and I have no problem with people being asked to pay for seats in economy class (premium classes is a another matter).

    We paying less, but if feels like more due to the way it’s being done.



    The evidence suggests that most passengers buy purely on price and if (on the same route, with reasonable schedules) airline A sold a ticket for £35 (seat extra) and airline B sold a ticket for £40 (seat included), then airline A would get more sales.

    When I lived in Malta, I knew a car hire operator who told me that even a price differential of 1€ per day would be significant to buying decisions.


    It’s simply stupid and unsustainable !!

    Agreed – combine this with the (ridiculous) rises in executive pay over the last 20 years and you have aperfect storm.



    I see your point, but given the relative price of air tickets to 20 years ago, don’t you think we are still getting a decent deal- even after paying for the extras?

    And if not bothered about the extras, we can avoid paying for them, e.g. I’ll be taking Flymaybe to Paris next month and as it is a business trip and chargeable, have reserved nice seats and added hold luggage for my working clothes/kit, which need a medium sized case.

    For a one hour flight for a long weekend break, I’d have a cabin bag and be prepared to sit anywhere, which would reduce my fare by £75.

    Makes one think.


    If the unfortunate lady who was almost pushed out of the aircraft had been wearing a seatbelt, would she have at least stayed in her seat? Or could the pressure be so great that she could slip out of the seatbelt? Often wondered if the seatbelt could withstand such forces.

    According to reports I read, she was wearing her seat belt.

    If you remember the incident BA had with a BAC 1-11 that lost a windshield panel, Capt Lancaster was nearly pushed all the way out, despite wearing a lap belt. Once his upper body was out, he was nearly removed completely, by the slipstream, but that is another matter.

    Speaking from experience flying light aircraft, a laps belt offers nothing like as much security in comparison to a proper 4 way harness and is not intended to, since it is fit for purpose in restraining pax in normal operations.


    I’m surprised he knew where Gatwick is.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 3,335 total)
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