Interesting quote: This move brings us in line with other carriers such as United who currently charge for alcoholic drinks
Maybe, but it totally differentiates them from British Airways and Virgin who do not charge on trans-Atlantic, nor does it bring them into line with ANY carriers on LHR-BOM.
The management at bmi are totally nucking futs. Leaving aside the behavioral merits of the availability of [free] alcohol for a moment, how they hell do they think that they'll attract punters on MAN-ORD, MAN-LAS and MAN-BOM when their service is becoming totally inferior to BA, VS, AI or 9W?
Hey, don't anyone tell BD management that airlines used to charge for headsets!
Bmiexpat From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2005, 175 posts, RR: 0 Reply 2, posted (7 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 4752 times:
What's the problem with offering paid for snacks in between meals? The meals will still be free, as they are now. All bmi are doing in this respect is enhancing their economy product in order to enable people who get peckish in between meal services the opportunity to purchase extra snacks, which at the moment are not available.
As far as charging for alcohol is concerned, why not? Are people really going to pick one airline over the other because you get free alcohol? Seems rather shallow to me. Surely other factors such as price, time and frequent flyer programme are more important to customers, whether travelling for personal or company business? It's not as though BA or VS (or bmi at the moment) give you that much free alcohol in economy anyway.
Why should it be free anyway? Airlines have a duty to feed their passengers on long haul flights, but not to get them pissed. If this can bring about an extra source of revenue for bmi then good luck to them.
Bmiexpat From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2005, 175 posts, RR: 0 Reply 4, posted (7 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 4716 times:
Quoting PMN (Reply 3): It's more a principle thing!
The principle of getting something for nothing? I see where you're coming from! As I said airlines have a duty to feed their passengers, not let them starve, but where's the principle in giving them free alcohol?
I very much doubt that your average business traveller spends hours or even minutes searching the web to find a long haul flight that with save his company a few quid. You also need to recognise that while the business traveler can charge items such as his airline fare back to his company, no company will accept a receipt for their staff's alcohol bill. So there is more than a tendency for business travellers to use all-inclusive services of all types because then there is no problem with reimbursement and most importantly the expense claiming paperwork is minimised.
Bmiexpat From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2005, 175 posts, RR: 0 Reply 6, posted (7 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 4689 times:
Quoting VV701 (Reply 5): I very much doubt that your average business traveller spends hours or even minutes searching the web to find a long haul flight that with save his company a few quid.
I quite agree, but I'm sure the business traveller who doesn't have to worry about how much he spends on his airfare is the type of business traveller who will be travelling in the business or premium economy, where this new policy has no effect. The business traveller who is travelling in economy is quite possibly the one who's company's travel department makes his bookings for him to ensure the cheapest option is taken, regardless of whether there is free alcohol or not.
I don't see how this makes bmi's management "totally nucking futs".
VV701 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 6618 posts, RR: 17 Reply 8, posted (7 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 4661 times:
The business traveller travels in the class that his company decrees for someone of his or her status (in the company) and the distance or time of the flight. So, for example when I and a colleague were flying London-New York in the early 80s we were permitted to fly club. At that time I believe it was Western Airlines who had just started a JFK-LGW-JFK service and my colleague found that the F fare on Western was cheaper than the C fare on any other airline. So we flew Frst.
When the trip was over I was hauled over the coals by my management as I had broken the rules bysaving company money. I simply was not senior enough to travel First.
What class we were allowed to travel varried with the prosperity of the company and the (micro and macro) economic climate. I flew to NY more often in Y than C and only that once in F. As I needed to travel on a fully flexible ticket my company was paying a lot more for my ticket than most of the passengers around me. BA now addess this anomaly with World Traveller Plus.
PMN From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2005, 562 posts, RR: 1 Reply 10, posted (7 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 4626 times:
Quoting Bmiexpat (Reply 4): but where's the principle in giving them free alcohol?
Principle is perhaps the wrong word. Maybe the word is example. Why should BMI provide free alcohol? Well...In a sense I agree, there is no principle as such as to why they SHOULD provide free alcohol, but to me it's yet another example of how BMI, as a formerly great airline is now making its way rapidly down the toilet.
Edith in his bed, a plane in the rain is humming, the wires in the walls are humming some song - some mysterious song
Trolley Dolley From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 12, posted (7 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 4593 times:
Are the management nuts for trying to pass a variable cost onto the consumer? For instance here in the South Pacific Virgin/Pacific Blue is considered a budget airline although it actually provides (depending on route) lounge access, a choice of hot meals, alcohol and personal AVOD systems. The only difference between it and its "full service" competitors is that you have to pay for these services as you use them.
My calculations show that Virgin/Pacific Blue could extract an additional $200-$300 for a family of 4 travelling on a round trip by the time each has a meal, round of drinks or two and hires the entertainment. These are valuable revenue streams for the airline.
What the annoucement raises is the perceptions of "full service" in the minds of the consumer. Does this mean an all inclusive price, or one that offers customers comparable or higher choice of services to its competitors, but at a price? The perception of "full service" varies depending on a person's background and experience.
The danger for BMI is that the airline runs the risk of destroying its profile and history of providing higher levels of service, by these actions. The management will only be considered "nuts" if the loss of consumers who value this to other carriers offering diferent service and products outweighs the gain in revenue from the on board sales.
Bmiexpat From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2005, 175 posts, RR: 0 Reply 13, posted (7 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 4588 times:
I agree with you that bmi is not the airline it used to be. However, in today's market place, bmi could not have continued offering the same service it was offering, whilst trying to fight the onslaught of the LCCs and not having access to the highly profitable long haul routes ex LHR that prop up BA's bottom line and justify the existance of BA's short haul network. People reminisce about the days of British Midland's Diamond Service, but in those days, the fares matched the service. These days it's not possible to give this service and offer the fares that people demand.
bmi is not BA and they have demonstrated recently that they are no longer trying to be them, because trying to do so was not making them any money. This has resulted in various policy changes; dropping business class on short haul, buy on board service on short haul economy, the introduction of bmibaby "tiny" fares on mainline, and now charging for alcohol in the economy cabin on long haul services, all of which are intended to return the company to a decent level of profitability.
bmi is changing in order to survive. Nobody likes change, airline employees, airline passengers and least of all posters on this website, however, it is change or die.
Nimish From India, joined Feb 2005, 3076 posts, RR: 9 Reply 14, posted (7 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 4508 times:
This is amazing - why would a person choose BMI when he has other options at the same or lower price, with similar or better service, and they offer additional perks like Alcohol or snacks? I think that's the bottom line question.
Only ppl stuck to *A or folks with BMI FFP programs would probably take BD from here on. Others would choose 9W (with better frequency and connectivity in India), or AI (better frequency/connectivity in India), or BA (much better frequency and connectivity across the world). The competetion might be between VS and BD (where VS might again win since they have flights to both BOM and DEL, and they offer a good product on economy).
It is indeed amazing that people are so obsessed about a policy of charging for alcohol.
I still can't see why it's such a big deal. But I completely agree about your comments about cost. In this day and age, the main deciding factor is cost, why would someone fly airline A if they can get a cheaper fare with airline B, unless there are other factors, such as FFP, connections, flight timings etc... Does anybody really believe that getting free alcohol is that important when you take these other factors into consideration?
PurpleBox From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 321 posts, RR: 0 Reply 17, posted (7 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 4439 times:
Quoting from the press release:
"Our cabin services and product development are working together to ensure that the amended service fits with our longhaul philosophy of delivering a stylish and personal service."
BD built a good reputation for their MAN services by being "stylish and personal" even in Y and reaped the benefits. But now they seem to want to follow others and be average rather than provide a better product.
AA also fly to ORD from MAN, and while I have always flown BD on this route because of the better service I will have to reconsider. The fact that anything is chargeable in long haul will change the experience - I would rather they stopped serving alcohol than have people around me searching for change all the time like a LCC.
[Edited 2005-09-28 08:46:01]
Next Flights:BHX-INV-BHX(BE), STN-KRK(FR), KTW-STN(FR), LHR-CPT(SA), WDH-JNB-LHR(SA)
Nimish From India, joined Feb 2005, 3076 posts, RR: 9 Reply 18, posted (7 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 4428 times:
Quoting Bmiexpat (Reply 15): Does anybody really believe that getting free alcohol is that important when you take these other factors into consideration?
It would certainly be on my list of considerations - alongside cost, connections, FFP accrual etc. All other things being equal, I would choose the airline that gave me my glass of wine without charging for it.
While I have no hassles with paying for meals/drink on a dirt cheap LCC, I expect a certain level of service when I pay good money for my flight tickets. Given that BMI is NOT cheaper than BA, 9W, AI, VS etc. on the BOM-LHR sector - it just puts them at somewhat of a disadvantage.
And that's not what BD should be aiming for - given the fact that they don't have any particular USP on offer - besides *A membership and *A FFP benefits.
I mean - I can see them going after all these "cost-saving" schemes which dont' help grow the market (unless you offer a cheaper ticket). Then when loads/yields are low - they'll probably cry saying they are at a disadvantage because of X, Y, Z - completely forgetting their own contribution in reducing their "value" to the traveller.
On a side note - I got a stale yucky pizza as my second meal (it's a 9 hour flight with 1 main meal and 1 smaller meal) on BD the last time I flew them BOM-LHR, and that really sucked. But at that time I made up with a delicious Bacardi-Coke! Now I'll have to shell out for the drink
Uadc8contrail From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 1782 posts, RR: 10 Reply 19, posted (7 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 4426 times:
to those of you that will fly BA vs any carrier that charges for booze on a trans atlantic flight....go ahead and fly BA....drink before the flight till your gut can handle no more....get on board and about half way across the pond, acting like total morons ask the BA flight attd for more booze, as evidenced on a BA fight back in august.....then tell us how mad you are as the BA staff cut your beloved footballer(still soccer to me) friends off as you cleaned out the coach liquor cart and they will not get any more booze from biz class...get to boston and complain to the BA ground staff that you were treated badly....now fly on a aer lingus flt from ord-dub and you will see a much better behaved passenger as the ones that loaded up bofore the flight were out like a light before we crossed over toronto
HT From Germany, joined May 2005, 6471 posts, RR: 27 Reply 20, posted (7 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 4418 times:
"No free alcohol and free snacks in Y longhaul" ? Okay with me!
A lot carriers from islamic countries don´t have any alcohol on baord at all !
One of them at least allows (or did so in the past) pax to bring along their own booze for consumption during the flight and will also provide the ice cubes for it: BI.
OTOH, it´s no recommended to drink alcohol during longhaul flights as your body will dehydrate even more severely, but whoever wants to drink alcohol: Fell free ! If your carrier doesn´t provide you with booze, purchase it on board or bring it along.
The same thing goes for "Snacks": Purchase or bring along. I prefer to have a good homemade bread with cheese or salami or similar rather than one of those Croissants (but that is definitely due to personal taste ! ). Yes, if I know that a carrier will not serve me proper amounts of food, I bring along my own !
Just for the record: I´m not an anti-alcoholic and do enjoy a tasty, dry Spanish Red wine ... (but thats another discussion, and best not be done in "civil")
Carpe diem ! Life is too short to waste your time ! Keep in mind, that today is the first day of the rest of your life !
Manni From South Korea, joined Nov 2001, 4221 posts, RR: 23 Reply 21, posted (7 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 4356 times:
Nothing is for free, previously alcohol served onboard their flights must have been calculated into the price of the ticket. If BMI is going to charge the consumption of alcohol seperately now, does that mean that the price of a ticket will drop? If not BMI, is charging people for alcohol without serving it, and double charging people for alcohol who'll drink. Scandalous, similar to Delta's practice were one beer is 4$ OR 4€. Last time I checked 4€ was 5$.
I tend to avoid American carriers for their inferior inflight product, I hope I do not have to avoid Europrean carriers aswell in the future. Luckly just about all my journeys are either intra Asia or Europe-Asia, and Asian carriers lowering their inflight product is just something that I dont see happening...
AirbusA6 From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2005, 1906 posts, RR: 0 Reply 22, posted (7 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 4320 times:
Quoting AlanUK (Reply 1): This move brings us in line with other carriers such as United who currently charge for alcoholic drinks
Shouldn't the quote day, "This move brings us in line with bankrupt US carriers in Chapter 11 such as United who currently charge for alcoholic drinks, rather than the profitable long haul airlines in the rest of the world who don't charge for alcohol"
it's the bus to stansted (now renamed national express a4 to ruin my username)
BestWestern From Ireland, joined Sep 2000, 6429 posts, RR: 58 Reply 23, posted (7 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 4291 times:
I've held fire for 21 posts. Will BD for once and for all decide what they want to be, and stop confusing the hell out of customers by changing their minds every fifteen days or so. Only three weeks or so ago we were told that full serivce long haul operations will be here for the future. Then we learn that they have reduced mileage earning levels on lower long haul fares, and now hacked back service. So, BD, what are you.. full service or low cost, or 'modular' where nobody knows what you are, including your staff, and especially your customers. Name one (non bankrupt) star alliance carrier that charges for drinks on long haul flights.
Other wonderful and insightful BD decisions of late....
Lets remove Business class... But keep it on some routes, and change our minds on others days before the changes are supposed to happen. But then only remove it from Heathrow, but keep it on regional routes, but then days later drop it on some regional routes.
Lets remove free food, but only from heathrow. Then days later, announce that some regional routes arent going to offer free food either.
Lets spend millions launching a long haul from Manchester, and within weeks start playing with frequencies. Then after spending a fortune launching an excellent business class, replace it with a clapped out 757. Then wonder why the route finally tanks. Then decide to get a 767 to kill other routes from Manchester.
Lets launch Long haul from heathrow, and dedicate an entire aircraft to it. But balls up on the route prooving for RUH, so leave the aircraft rusting at heathrow for three days a week. Then announce daily bombay, then change your minds.
Lets reduce frequencies so far on routes so they dont work anymore for high yielding business passengers.
Lets confuse the hell out of staff and customers by launching bmibaby from heathrow on Bmi aircraft, and then half follow through on the changes we were planning, because we all really know that we are pissing off our frequent fliers, only to piss them further off because we half introduce changes, so nobody knows whats the proper service is anymore.
Cherry on the cake I - lets lease an ATR for LCY routes, then change our minds when surprise surprise the route fails, just like it did for FlyBe.
Cherry on the cake II - lets bid for Irish regional routes
Cherry on the cake III - lets announce LTN BRU using regional jets, offering free food down the back to confuse the customer who will pay for food from Heathrow on the exact same city pair.
Cherry on the cake IV - lets relaunch Bmi Baby from Gatwick, so we can have three product offerings from the same city.
Cherry on the cake V - lets ban our most frequent customers from our diamond club lounges when they travel on lowest fares - even though they give us thousands on an annual basis on other flights.
Cherry on the cake VI - lets stop interline baggage even within the same alliance.
Nimish From India, joined Feb 2005, 3076 posts, RR: 9 Reply 24, posted (7 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 4248 times:
Quoting BestWestern (Reply 23): Will BD for once and for all decide what they want to be, and stop confusing the hell out of customers by changing their minds every fifteen days or so
There's consistently been a change in mind every 15 days or so - now that's the consistency BD seems to be aiming for
Quoting BestWestern (Reply 23): Name one (non bankrupt) star alliance carrier that charges for drinks on long haul flights.
And even UA has free drinks on the Asian long-haul sectors.
Restating what I've said before - so what is BD's USP in the crowded market (ex: BOM-LHR)? Neither is it price, nor service, nor frequency, nor connections, nor ethnic flavor. Prior to this at least it was "Full service at a competitive price". Now it's reduced to "less service at the same price".
How much do they hope to save by scrounging on a couple of drinks in Economy? If even one-two pax base their decision on the free booze - does it still work out for BD in the end? And if they reduce their prices to an LCC level - then their margins are anyway hosed.
Latest Trip Report - GoAir BLR-BOM-BLR
25 Skymonster: Indeed. And now bmi have made those choices, they have to live with the consequences. If bmi want to play games and focus only on the once-a-year (an
26 PMN: Well, that pretty much sums it up! I don't have a 'problem' with paying for alcohol, and I realise that in some way you pay for everything anyway. I
27 Cornish: Agree 100% BW. Its not the alcohol issue - its all the other stupid decisions that have been made of late. How many different new polices/ideas have
28 BestWestern: I was going to sum up my original posting by saying "low cost without low expectations my arse", but you did it nicely! I agree, but why dont BD just
29 Skymonster: And I'm 800 miles off of BD Gold after four months of my membership year. I'll let it go over to gold again on some cheap-ass LH trip in Europe so th
30 Cornish: Eight years for me - but I've already sadly given up on them.
31 Cricket: Well, lets ee now, loads on the BOM-LHR are going collapse. 9W, AI, BA and VS offer far better service (and don't charge) and connectivity and if I re
32 Richardw: When did they close down the 'customer retention' department?
33 PMN: Possibly because they don't really have the slightest clue what they're doing Paul
34 Cornish: The expression "BMI Business Strategy" being an oxymoron of course
35 BlueShamu330s: They didn't. They rebranded it ARSE Anally Retentive Strategy Everywhere Shamu
36 Nimish: It's not just the alcohol - the question is what's BD's USP? Low cost? Full service? Modular? Frequency? Understand local market? or just plain Confu
37 Airways45: As a bmi gold card holder myself, I have to say that BestWestern's summary was fantastic. You hit the nail on the head. BMIexpat - if you work for BMI
38 BestWestern: Bmiexpat, your attitude towards customers complaining is astonishing. Interestingly I have also seen it in the BD diamond club lounge where the I actu
39 Orion737: If you have been lucky enough to get a bacon roll from BMIs Buy on board you must have been sat very near the front or rear and on a longer sector suc
40 BestWestern: Telephone check-in virtually ensures a front row, and an extra 30 minutes in bed in the morning. I lost it last weekend when I was told that Tiny far
41 Cornish: Don't get me started on BMI LHR-MAD. It was the removal of any sort of frequency and lousy timings that meant it was a complete business no-no for me
42 Col: Sounds like an airline in serious trouble, especially when you quote what UA do! BA will obviously take them to the cleaners at LHR, they have single
43 Skymonster: The fundamental problem BMI have DISMALLY failed to address is not so much that of the cheapest-fare passenger, but those paying a high-yielding econo
44 CrossChecked: I often feel that free alcohol on flights encourages binge drinking - something that the British Government are currently working hard to fight. I ab
45 Orion737: I hardly think the goverment are working hard to fight excessive/binge drinking by relaxing the licensing laws and enabling 24 hour drinking!
46 Lindy: Whats the big deal? Icelandair is charging $2 for snacks and $4 alcohol in Y class. I don't see anything wrong with that. All of a sudden entire A.net
47 Richardw: I'm flying LHR-SFO, the choice was between BA,UA,VS. UA was the first to be discounted, my friend had a poor experience with them, VS the next - the d
48 LACA773: If I were you, I'd stick BMI. In general, AA is horrible. We don't get ANYTHING on domestic flights here in the US. You will get better catering on B
49 Carfield: Well I am a traditional type of airline passengers and will pay $50-100 more for a free meal and drinks type... but on the domestic and short haul reg
50 Nimish: This is exactly the message BMI seems to like giving out these days - and it's not particularly condusive to growing your business.
51 Skytony: I believe the BMI management is trying to run an airline not a charity
52 PurpleBox: Indeed! If you fly Y on SQ long haul you won't get hungry or thirsty as the FA's cruise through the cabin between meal service with free drinks and s
53 BHXFAOTIPYYC: We had an excellent BD service FAO to EMA, Thursdays and Sundays, which Y and C cabins. We used to sell a respectable qty of tickets in BOTH cabins. F
54 Bmiexpat: bmi in fact has a very competitive FFP if you look at the points you earn per trip. From my calculations (source bmi and BA websites) bmi is far more
55 Rossbaku: Doesn't this mean that they should be cutting the prices of longhaul seats in Y class then? RossBaku
56 AirbusA6: Ryanair and Easyjet are low cost carriers, with low operating costs and no frills. Thus, if the price is low you choose them, if the price is the same
57 Highpeaklad: I have tried the link but its not there, and there is no press releaese referring to this news, does this mean they've changed their minds? Chris
58 Airways45: From what I know, and read, BMI is in chaos at the moment, even if the odd comment here seems to back them all the way to Castle Don... BMIexpat - doe
59 Bmiexpat: I'm sorry if I gave that impression, I don't think they are doing a great job, I just think they are trying to find a middle way between BA and the L
60 Pixuk: Ah, what a fun thread. Just to set the scene, I'm an ex-Gold BD flyer as of August. Although I haven't stopped flying with them (yet), the changes to