...I would be interested to know how everyone else feels about the recent "downturn" in operations out of MAN with the below Icelandair B752 now operating services to Washington DC on a daily basis for the foreseeable future.
I've heard several people mention recently that mainline BMI and also BMIBaby are now over-stretched with customer service experience severely disrupted. They're cheaper on the MAN-LHR route than BA any day of the week, but BMI service is quite simply not as impressive.
It is just a random few (myself included) who feel this way or are BMI still in keeping with British Airways on UK domestic, European and Inter-Continental routes? For example, how profitable is the LHR-RUH service due to be and does it warrant losing an A332 out of MAN?
FlyAUA From Austria, joined May 2005, 4604 posts, RR: 56 Reply 2, posted (8 years 6 months 1 week 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 1351 times:
Quoting Airsnaps (Thread starter): They're cheaper on the MAN-LHR route than BA any day of the week, but BMI service is quite simply not as impressive.
True... what I think they are doing is product differentiation. Maybe they've realised that it'll be tricky to compete against a large airline such as BA which has more flights, good IF service, and lower operating costs (if they were both to offer the same product).
Orion737 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 3, posted (8 years 6 months 1 week 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 1335 times:
British Midland as they then were, started off providing a level of service on domestic routes to rival BAs. In the days of BA's Trident shuttle operations where no hot food was provided, BD introduced diamond dervice onboard domestic flights out of LHR.
Many passengers switched from BAs shuttles to BDs flights to GLA and EDI out of LHR. BD competed by offering a superior product and this was key to their early success.
Nowadays service has been trimmed back so much, MBI now have no other option but to compete against BA by offering cheaper fares.
Orion737 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 5, posted (8 years 6 months 1 week 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 1284 times:
I fly MAN-LGW and there is always a hot breakfast served on the arly morning flights. I must say its very welcome after an early 5am start from home and no time to eat at the airport. It amazes me that BA and the cabin staff still manage to provide a hot meal service on a flight of about 40 minutes duration!
Airsnaps From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 6, posted (8 years 6 months 1 week 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 1257 times:
Perhaps "impressive" is the wrong description and instead more "preferable" would suit.
I suppose I feel that BMI are losing their focus in general. Their branding/marketing/image is second to none in my opinion, but the customer service inefficiencies are costing them.
I once showed up for a last minute flight down to London in mid-2003 expecting a fresh looking A320/321 outside of the BMI lounge window and was instead squashed onto a European B732 along with 100 other very unhappy paying customers. The memory of that short-trip still haunts me to this day, so understandably at that point in time, the fresh looking BA A319 parked next to us seemed much more appealing with or without the Terraces lounge.
Imagine the shock of any innocent member of the public when they turn up at MAN for their modern A332 flight to IAD and are instead crushed onto a B752. This is by no means an insult to the B757 as I'd fly one any day, but I think most would agree it is more specifically a "downturn" for BMI service and lack of strategic planning on their behalf.
This is also not to say that every member of the public flying the Washington route would give more than two seconds thought about which aircraft type they were on as long as it served alcohol (a sad must for the majority of today's UK air travelers) and that the aircraft arrived in one piece.
Shamrock_747 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 9, posted (8 years 6 months 1 week 5 days ago) and read 1146 times:
Quoting Trident2e (Reply 7): I agree entirely with this - and did you know that bmi's flexible return business class fare for flying on this aircraft is a whopping £4,300!
That's a typical full fare business class ticket price to IAD and similar destinations on any airline. Whilst personally I wouldn't appreciate the poorer J product on the 757, I see no reason why bmi should lower their fares - their website does state the product differences on the IAD route.
LX23 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2004, 347 posts, RR: 3 Reply 10, posted (8 years 6 months 1 week 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 1087 times:
Quoting Airsnaps (Reply 6): Imagine the shock of any innocent member of the public when they turn up at MAN for their modern A332 flight to IAD and are instead crushed onto a B752
Let's face it: The average "innocent member of the public" doesn't know the difference between an A320 and a 747, probably referring to both as "Jumbo jets"... so I doubt that they would really know what an A332 would look like, let alone know what to expect in terms of IFE, etc...
If the airline feels that IAD could be served with a 757, there is probably some not-so-obscure reasoning behind it (CO's 757 services to the UK come to mind).
As to the rest of what's happening to BMI, it really IS a shame...but at the end of the day, your average passenger is not willing to pay even 20 pounds more for that "cup of hot coffee" - hence why both BD and BA have had to cut back a few "luxuries" here or there. Hopefully things will work out in the end.
UK_Dispatcher From United Arab Emirates, joined Dec 2001, 2564 posts, RR: 31 Reply 12, posted (8 years 6 months 1 week 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 981 times:
Quoting Airsnaps (Reply 6): I once showed up for a last minute flight down to London in mid-2003 expecting a fresh looking A320/321 outside of the BMI lounge window and was instead squashed onto a European B732 along with 100 other very unhappy paying customers
That was bad timing - that aircraft was used for a few weeks only, and has since only been used by bmibaby, not bmi mainline.
7LBAC111 From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2004, 2566 posts, RR: 42 Reply 15, posted (8 years 6 months 1 week 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 884 times:
Quoting Orion737 (Reply 8): £4,300!!! What business can afford to send one of its employees on that fare? and justify it to their shareholders????
It doesnt need to be justified to any shareholders Orion - time and again. If the company turns a profit the vast majority of shareholders wont be arsed. If the company doesnt turn a profit a travel policy change would likely be enforced, which would be approved by the board. FInally, this is a full YY IATA fare, and 99% of the time the same seats are sold at a consolidated or corporate discount. It would be very rare to pay £4300.00 on this.Our netts on the same cabin in July are around £2800.00.
eg. LON-SYD full F is £14160, but nobody pays that.
Debate is what you put on de hook when you want to catch de fish.
7LBAC111 From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2004, 2566 posts, RR: 42 Reply 16, posted (8 years 6 months 1 week 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 873 times:
Quoting Shamrock_747 (Reply 9): - their website does state the product differences on the IAD route
I would point out however, that BMI UK Sales have made no comments to us, the trade, on the change of aircraft. So the vast majority of agents may not even be aware. Admittedly the EQP code in Sabre does show a 757, but makes no reference to the lesser product.
Debate is what you put on de hook when you want to catch de fish.