Friday 28 July 2017

Should you still fly British Airways? - quick read

British Airways has been in the news quite a bit lately and not for good reasons, so I thought I would put this quick read together on my thoughts.

Some may argue that this year has actually been a good year for BA, they have reduced costs, opened new routes and given more choice to customers in the form of their new partnership with Marks & Spencer and just announced soaring profits but I disagree.

British Airways which is supposed to be the national carrier is actually owned by IAG which is a company registered in Madrid, it is also now run by Alex Cruz who used to be the CEO of budget carrier Veuling which is the reason some believe British Airways is soon becoming the next Ryan Air.

With the computer meltdown earlier this year and fresh strikes from staff have the cuts gone too deep? Is the push for higher profits causing BA to loose more and more customers?

Well first what you have to think about what the difference between a budget carrier and a quality national carrier is? well that depends on personal opinion but I believe budget carriers offer very cheap up front basic fares and charge through the teeth for everything else (that's you Ryan Air with your stupid scratch cards). British Airways used to proud themselves on telling people that when you factored in the costs of everything it was actually cheaper to fly with them. Now with the removal of included food and drink on European services and the fact you still need to pay for you'r seats its becoming closer and closer to its budget counterparts.

Should you still fly British Airways? they are still a very good airline and unfortunately changes do have to be made to keep profitable in such a competitive market but there are some times where I would advise to completely avoid their service.

Economy or Premium Economy Routes

Avoid any British Airways flight from Gatwick, these are mostly tourist routes to Cancun and the Caribbean. The interior and seats are from 2001 and are horrendous, very old and it's a embarrassing how bad the entertainment system is. Instead fly Virgin, Thomas Cook or Thompson's who have much newer aircrafts (Dreamliner) with much better seats. These planes are due for a refurbishment in 2018 but I would give them a few years before you should think about booking back onto them.

The latest British Airways Economy seats can be found on the Airbus A380's and most Heathrow services.

Old British Airways Seats
New British Airways Seats 

Business Class or First Class Routes

I think all aircrafts have been upgraded with the 2011 business and first class seats with some (A380) having the even newer type seats, I would fly this in preference to Virgin Upper Class since there is more room and the beds are more comfortable.

Even with the cuts and bad publicity it's still well worth investing your time into British Airways if you fly often or on long haul out of Heathrow but if you'r flying to Europe or the Caribbean then you would be better off heading to a different airline.

New British Airways Business Class

But what about Avios? 

If you were planning a holiday to the Caribbean and were looking forward to stacking up those Avios with British Airways have no fear you can still book your Thomas Cook or Thompson's holiday through to receive just as many Avios point for the same flight.

Final Thoughts

British Airways do Business and First class very well but they really are destroying their economy product. It would be nice to see BA going back to improving economy for the masses but I guess the demand for cheaper and cheaper tickets means this will never happen. So, what would I do? Well I would book budget airlines for all travel in Europe, Qatar for eastern travel (one world partner so you can still collect Avios with them) and Thomas Cook or Thompson's for the Caribbean (again you can still collect avios with them when booking via Where does this leave BA, well I would still use their service for all Heathrow departures or sometimes for Business and First leaving from Gatwick depending if the price was less than £1500pp or if using Avios.

What do you think? let me know by leaving a comment. 


1 comment

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