Worldoftui From Sweden, joined Aug 2007, 0 posts, RR: 0 Posted (10 years 1 month 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 9565 times:
From a recent Travel Weekly article (summary)
BA will remove its first class product from a number of routes as part of the refurbishment of the 767 fleet. It will be replaced with a larger Club World cabin in 10 767's used on long haul and medium-range routes.
First class will disappear from Dar Es Salaam, Tebi, Lusaka, Nassau, Grand Cayman, Turks and Caicos, Accra, Tel Aviv, Atlanta, Caracas and Bogota.
There have been many cuts and reductions in the amount of First Class offered by the carrier over the past few years. Many believe that BA will eventually phase First Class out. Club World is known to generate more revenue per square foot that first and BA has seen passenger numbers in First fall since the late 1990's.
The aircraft will be fitted with WT Plus and the new World Traveller product. Refitting begins in October in line with scheduled maintenance.
Don't totally believe in the withdrawal of First, as it really is such a fantastic product. However, if people aren't buying, they aren't buying.
Pe@rson From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 19220 posts, RR: 52
Reply 1, posted (10 years 1 month 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 9323 times:
It'll be sad that people won't have the same level of choice on those routes, but BA is a business and if it's not earning sufficient profit on those routes with first class then it rightly needs to adapt.
"Everyone writing for the Telegraph knows that the way to grab eyeballs is with Ryanair and/or sex."
Geoffm From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2004, 2111 posts, RR: 6
Reply 2, posted (10 years 1 month 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 9282 times:
Perhaps one of the reasons why few people are flying first class on BA is simply because it isn't first class? I've only been in BA biz a few times and quite frankly I'd hesitate to pay double the economy fare for even the biz product on offer, let alone the regular 4x Y fare for biz, and certainly not 8-10x to get a 1st class ticket! (luckily it wasn't me paying for the ticket)
You get fed when they want to feed you, their older biz class seats aren't great (don't know what the new ones are like), you get a couple more channels on the small PTV... now, compare it to VS Upper Class where you're treated like royalty.
EK's biz class wasn't exactly much better, but on the other hand the price is far more reasonable - I paid approx 3x the Y fare for a biz ticket.
Whitehatter From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (10 years 1 month 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 9190 times:
First isn't worth the hassle. There may be the market for it on some routes, but on the majority it's just upgrades or the odd punter who isn't paying for it anyway. The North Atlantic is probably a route which gets some F class traffic and that's 747s/777s.
It would make a lot of sense to expand Club World and improve that standard of service for the corporate traveller, as companies have cut back considerably on their travel budgets and cannot now justify those silly F class tickets.
BD and VS both offer a Business product that is their premium offering, and neither is turning away any substantial number of people waving the Amex Black card for a F ticket. If F on BA isn't paying, they would be better off shoving Club World in the section rather than having to crew and cater it for F.
Summa767 From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2004, 2559 posts, RR: 6
Reply 4, posted (10 years 1 month 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 9162 times:
Bogotá and Caracas won't be affected yet, where service is upgraded from the 767 to 777 from the beginning of October.
I wonder if in the refit, BA's long haul 767's will be fitted with PVTs in Economy. When I flew these type in December, seats had the socket for them in the back of the seats, which were fitted with a plastic dummy.
Leezyjet From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2001, 4041 posts, RR: 53
Reply 5, posted (10 years 1 month 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 9048 times:
You also get more for your money on VS Upper Class than in BA's First. Why pay twice as much for F than for Upper Class just to have service that is bit more attentive onboard.
The service in Upper on VS is still good, but due to the highter numbers of pax, then obviously it will take a little longer to get served, but hey for the amount of $$$ you save over F, then I'm sure that more than makes up for it.
Also with VS you get the limo's at both ends of the journey (or 3 days car hire), the onboard beauty therapist and the bar too, non of which BA offer in F even though they charge a significant amount more !!!.
I think this could be the beginning of the end for F, not only due to the competition from other carriers but also from the private jet operators too.
"She Rolls, 45 knots, 90, 135, nose comes up to 20 degrees, she's airborne - She flies, Concorde Flies"
Sleak76 From Kuwait, joined Nov 2000, 345 posts, RR: 2
Reply 9, posted (10 years 1 month 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 8875 times:
I seriously doubt BA would phase out First class.
BA has continiously associated itself with flying glamor, trying hard to grab those elites (high-society) onto their planes. No one can deny the grin Eddington puts on when he's in his office leafing through the papers and seeing paparazzi pictures of Hollywood's famous come out of BA's 744 at T4. It's simply free marketing for his airline (and a good marketing as well).
Lets also not forget how dear concorde was for BA. Willing to spend millions in upgrading it's safety to have them fly again. Though i read reports back then analying concorde's viability to fly back with a profit, alot of analysts rightly said that BA won't mind flying it at a loss, as long as those concorde passengers don't defunct BA and go for competitors.
Let's not under estimate the image of BA. And BA would want to keep that image. An international long haul premium airline offering lounges with names like Terraces, across the globe, with a frequent flier scheme that has a level called Premier which is by invitation only.
Honestly, with all those perky stuff they have, I just can't see them throwing out First altogether, and accepting themselves as a J, W and Y only airline. It's just not their style. They kept concorde flying just for the sake of retaining those high-fliers, and when AF decided it was time to accept retirement, that's when BA decided for that as well. As made sure no one else got a hold of flying those concordes instead.
I would say the day major airlines have widely started with J and Y only planes is the time BA will start considering it. But not before other heavy-weights like AA, UA, JAL and the rest start doing it first.
Trolley Dolley From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (10 years 1 month 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 8829 times:
In a 747 it might not be too uneconomic. Given the Club World yin/yang, back-to-front layout, I wonder how many more Club World bed seats could be squeezed into the curving nose cabin of a 747 over the current F configuration? The 777 herringbone layout seems to be a less efficient use of floor space. Dropping of F is no surprise in an aircraft as small as a 767. The markets its being dropped from hardly strike me as being high yield business routes anyway. Whether it is a sign of things to come, who knows. F still offers a bed, something that the BBJ's in corporate configuration lack. (All the pictures I've seen have shown a standard J non-sleeper seater in an airline BBJ.)
My experiences of flying in the premium cabins and Concorde indicate that it is not just a seat on a plane. It can be a great place for leaders in a variety of fields to network. J class just doesn't offer that edge of F. I can't see BA dropping first class entirely. Their route structure has important markets like the Middle East with strong F demand and ultra long hauls flights like those to Australia. If anything, I suspect they will drop F on selected routes and boost the facilities on the remaining routes to match or better competitors like EK's mini-cabins. Who knows what F class delights await those flying an A380? (Which BA has yet to order.)
FlyCaledonian From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2003, 2086 posts, RR: 3
Reply 11, posted (10 years 1 month 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 8763 times:
Why does the removal of First from one aircraft type herald the end of First across BA? Okay, BA already operate a small number of 777s without First too, but it doesn't mean BA will ditch First. As for the 767s, they already operate with one of the lowest seating densities for the type due BA's longhaul layout. As the interior upgrade sees the fitting of Club World Flat beds, plus World Traveller Plus, you wouldn't have too much room at the back left for World Traveller if you kept a First cabin as well!
Without the 767 would BA even serve some of those destinations anyway? Accra, Lusaka, Entebbe and Dar es Salaam all got non-stop service due to the 767, while it's not too long ago that passengers to Tel Aviv had to make do with BA's European service!
GSPSPOT From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 3016 posts, RR: 2
Reply 12, posted (10 years 1 month 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 8743 times:
I know I'll probably be chided, but from the viewpoint of a nearly always-Economy flyer, why gild the lily with FC, when there's such a fine Business Class product? I mean, how much more would someone ever really NEED? As long as airlines don't go to all-economy on long hauls, I'll be happy.... Can't wait to try WTP someday!
MaverickM11 From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 17450 posts, RR: 46
Reply 13, posted (10 years 1 month 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 8729 times:
Business Class across the industry is approaching the dimensions of the domain of traditional "first" so it's only a matter of time before the former replaces the latter. If you have a flat bed in Biz now, why pay thousands more for a bed that is just as flat, to get caviar?
Scotron11 From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2004, 1178 posts, RR: 3
Reply 15, posted (10 years 1 month 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 8698 times:
Had the pleasure of Club World JFK-LHR last winter and I can say it is one fine product. Having experienced First on quite a few airlines BA's business class is 2nd to none.
Economically, since 9/11 and the cutbacks in company travel (especially the high-flying investment bankers), BA's premium cabins have not seen the loads like they used to enjoy during the 80's and 90's. In fact there is a trip report on a LHR-PHL flight where they closed F all together as there were no passengers traveling F.
As stated previously, why pay so much more to travel F/Class? For a nicer wine/champagne & maybe caviar? Im sure for the money you could purchase your own!
AV8AJET From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 1344 posts, RR: 1
Reply 16, posted (10 years 1 month 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 8657 times:
So does that mean that ATL will go to the 767 from the current 777? Hate to see BA dropping FC on any route, very sad. It's what I believe sets them apart from other carriers. I've flown on BA's FC cabin in the past and was a wonderful experience. I would hate to see it go, although times are changing I still believe there is a market for a premium product like FC.
Sabena332 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (10 years 1 month 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 8633 times:
Is anyone wondering? More and more airlines get rid of their First Class on certain routes/planes, the most famous examples are LH and AF. AF is currently removing the First Class on all planes except their 777's (but is also upgrading their Biz Class) and one of LH's latest addition to their fleet, the A 346, got deliverd without a First Class but also with an upgraded Biz.
I can completely understand that some airlines do that on certein routes, why should they fly around with an empty First or a First which is only filled with upgrade passengers when they could fill up a couple of Biz seats with revenue pax instead?
Quite a lot of pax in First are business travellers who got payed the flight by their company, but in most companies are the times long over, management employees mostly fly in Biz instead in First nowadays. A missing First Class is also a good excuse to give frequent flyer elite members not an upgrade from C to F on certain flights (maybe one reason why LH got rid of their First on their longest route from FR.A to SCL via EZE? )
And since I flew in BA's Club World Class, I am wondering why they also have a First Class anyway, the service and the comfort is already excellent in their Biz.
Edit: Typo, please ignore other typos and grammar errors, I had a few beers earlier .
Horus From Egypt, joined Feb 2004, 5230 posts, RR: 59
Reply 18, posted (10 years 1 month 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 8618 times:
Sabena332, that is true, there is a definite trend in the industry. Egyptair's A330-200s (deliveries began last month) are configured without F class, which is a first for the airline's wide-body fleet.
KZBA From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 113 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (10 years 1 month 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 8558 times:
When the First cabin is closed, its not due to a lack of passengers. It is due to a shortage of cabin crew members. Revenue management tries to look at flights that are booked low in First, but sometimes we are faced with the horrible situation of downgrading F pax to J. I have seen a full F cabin (14 pax) moved to J class or other flights because of cabin crew shortages.
Radelow From United States of America, joined Jul 2004, 426 posts, RR: 3
Reply 22, posted (10 years 1 month 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 8539 times:
One person did comment on it but what we are not taking into consideration is the huge increase in corporate jet ownership in the past few years. A lot of these previous First Class flyers are now corporate jet flyers. I work for a Real Estate company with 1100 employees and we have a King Air 350 that will soon be upgraded to a biz jet (I really like flying in the King Air though!).
The market is changing and First Class just doesn't suit the business models on some routes. You can bet that BA will keep First on their premier routes (LHR-LAX, LHR-JFK etc.) but I can understand the smaller markets losing First Class. For most of us Business Class is MORE THAN enough.
BA001Concorde From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 94 posts, RR: 5
Reply 24, posted (10 years 1 month 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 8277 times:
First.....You cannot operate a B-767-300ER with four cabins. If you are going to add a premier economy cabin (already our second most profitable cabin behind Club), you have to give up something else.
AV8AJET: ATL will remain a 777 station.
FIRST will not disappear completely, there will always be a market for F pax to JFK, LOS, SYD, JNB, etc. Most of the execs at our top accounts only travel F, and if you take that from them, they may take their accounts from you.
Who really flew FIRST to DEN, or TPA? It's stupid to offer a cabin just so some pax can make note that it still exists while on their way back to the economy cabin.
The name of the game is profit. It's not fair to your staff and share holders to operate something you know is not profitable when your having trouble paying your employee pensions, or your share holders a dividend.
.....Just my two cents.
Fly with a veteran, not a "Virgin".
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