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BMI Offering Free Flights Now!? + Strategy  
User currently offlineSabena 690 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (8 years 7 months 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 5310 times:

Hi all,

I was browsing through a few BMI flights, and was baffled when I saw that BMI are offering domestic flights for 0 GBP + tax  Wow!

I can't believe that their cost base is low enough to afford this kind of fares.

Try for yourself: I found 0 GBP fares for LHR-EDI, 1 GBP for LHR-MAN and 2 GBP for LHR-ABZ (the three domestic destinations I tried). Of course, if you add the taxes, you end up somewhere between 20-25 GBP one way.

I know that there is a big anti-BMI sentiment over here (and, although lot's of arguments are true, some people are really exaggerating in my opinion). However, if an airline has to offer this kind of fares to fill their planes, it's not a good sign I'm afraid.

The only reason why BA can afford a loss-making, or barely break-even European network, is because of the very profitable long haul business they have from LHR. BMI doesn't have this amount of high yielding connecting traffic, so I perfectly understand why they went for a low-cost business model from LHR. However, they made one mistake.

Instead of offering a (lousy) Business Class (on a few routes), and Economy (with BOB), they should have offered two new classes: Economy Class and Premier Economy. Passengers paying for Premium Economy (those who pay for the more expensive Economy Class tickets right now) would end up in this separate section, with a good service, and perks like lounge access, full frequent flyer miles,...

Those who are on cheap tickets would receive what they get right now: a (comfortable 32inch) seat, and a flight to/from a main airport for a good price, with the current BOB product.

In this situation, everybody get's what he/she pays for.

Actually, compare my suggestion of a new service concept with the new concept of BA Connect, with the difference that passengers booking the most expensive tickets would get a complimentary service (this is a big mistake of BA Connect in my opinion).

Unless the opinion of one person in particular on this website, BMI certainly isn't a low-frills carrier (offering a BOB product is not the same yet as being low-frills). I've flown on BMI eight times till now, and have enjoyed all of those flights. Things like a 32inch seat, assistance for all passengers offered by a BMI representative after arrival of every flight, assistance and rebooking options when a flight is cancelled (not the Ryanair "come back tomorrow, for in case that we have a few open seats"-style) ARE frills. There are however a few things I would change:

- change the service concept (like pointed out above)
- change the business model, in terms of destinations/aircraft types. Unless what some people might think, a full A332 from MAN is not necessarily a profitable flight, and longhaul expansion from MAN without offering decent connecting possibilities is not something I would risk. Instead, why not considering adding A319CJ's for niche markets? Don't keep yourself busy with routes like LHR-MUM where there is so much competition, focus on niche routes instead with smaller planes, a good frequency, so that you can justify higher fares
- making flights to Europe profitable from an expensive and slot restricted airport like LHR is difficult. Limit yourself to where money can be made, and use your slots for A319CJ expansion
- looking at the often very cheap fares BMI asks for regional flights in the UK, I can't believe that their BMI Regional operation (with expensive ERJ's) is profitable. BMI can perhaps sell it, or integrate profitable routes with enough potential into BMI Baby (a division I would sell as well).

Only a few thoughts about an airline I still like to fly with! If there is one thing that passengers like, it's clarity. BMI is a complicated mess at the moment, and urgently needs a vision/direction, and clarity. I hope that they will realise that you can't be everything to everyone, before it's too late.

Frederic

[Edited 2006-02-19 17:13:17]

64 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinePe@rson From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 19230 posts, RR: 52
Reply 1, posted (8 years 7 months 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 5279 times:

Quoting Sabena 690 (Thread starter):
I can't believe that their cost base is low enough to afford this kind of fares.

They don't.

Quoting Sabena 690 (Thread starter):
Of course, if you add the taxes, you end up somewhere between 20-25 GBP one way.

I've often paid £23-25 one-way, all-inclusive, from MAN to EDI or GLA or vice-versa with BD



"Everyone writing for the Telegraph knows that the way to grab eyeballs is with Ryanair and/or sex."
User currently offlineCosec59 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (8 years 7 months 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 5260 times:

I find BMI one of the most competitively priced airlines for short haul out of LHR. I use them fairly often. They are at times cheaper than easyjet from LGW

User currently offlineOrion737 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (8 years 7 months 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 5242 times:

They have to give away seats to get anyone to fly them these days!

The only thing they can do is compete on price seeing as they have reduced service levels and ailienated their loyal customer base.


User currently offlinePadster From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2005, 76 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (8 years 7 months 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 5221 times:

They must be desperate !

They have also in the latest CAA figures merged both BMI baby and mainline to hid the awful passenger figures I saw yesturday ...

Just goes to show how much damage happens when you go from being a full frills airline to a LCC without any thought to what the passengers REALLY want.


User currently offlineOzvirginuk From Australia, joined Jan 2005, 396 posts, RR: 5
Reply 5, posted (8 years 7 months 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 5221 times:

Quoting Pe@rson (Reply 1):
I've often paid £23-25 one-way, all-inclusive, from MAN to EDI or GLA or vice-versa with BD

Same here. I flew LHR-MAN-LHR a couple of years ago for £49 or £50 incl tax.

I did the same trip last year using miles, and the tax cost me about £46.

So that's about £3 or £4 for the fare (and this was when they still offered "free meal"  stirthepot  Wink

Oz


User currently offlineOrion737 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (8 years 7 months 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 5221 times:

They are getting what they deserve. Im sure many of their once loyal business passengers are dying to say 'told you so'.

What next, BMI actually having to pay its customers to fly with them? Big grin


User currently offlineSA7700 From South Africa, joined Dec 2003, 3431 posts, RR: 25
Reply 7, posted (8 years 7 months 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 5205 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
HEAD MODERATOR

Quoting Orion737 (Reply 3):
The only thing they can do is compete on price seeing as they have reduced service levels and ailienated their loyal customer base.

They have lost mine to BA, simply because I don't trust them anymore. IMMHO BD better start doing something drastically positive to win customers back, and giving free seats away is not an option, in order to survive.


Rgds

SA7700



When you are doing stuff that nobody has done before, there is no manual – Kevin McCloud (Grand Designs)
User currently offlineDonder10 From Canada, joined Oct 2001, 6660 posts, RR: 21
Reply 8, posted (8 years 7 months 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 5205 times:

Frederic,
when are the dates you find these fares for?
Cheers,Alex


User currently offlineCosec59 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (8 years 7 months 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 5205 times:

I think some of the comments are unfair here. I have never had a bad flight nor service with BMI. OK, they no longer offer a meal service onboard, but who needs it on a short haul flight? Not only are some of the fares competeive when compared to easyjet, they offer the ease of an allocated seat and therefore quicker boarding

User currently offlinePe@rson From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 19230 posts, RR: 52
Reply 10, posted (8 years 7 months 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 5174 times:

Quoting Cosec59 (Reply 9):
I have never had a bad flight nor service with BMI.

Neither have I.



"Everyone writing for the Telegraph knows that the way to grab eyeballs is with Ryanair and/or sex."
User currently offlineSabena 690 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (8 years 7 months 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 5174 times:

Quoting Padster (Reply 4):
Just goes to show how much damage happens when you go from being a full frills airline to a LCC without any thought to what the passengers REALLY want.

I'm afraid that lot's of passengers want cheap fares these days... and that's exactly what BMI is offering these days. And those passengers on cheap fares have to learn that you can't be served a meal when you pay 2 GBP + tax.

The mistake they made, was that they alienated the passengers paying for flexible tickets. That's why I propose an Economy and a Premium Economy section.

Quoting Donder10 (Reply 8):
when are the dates you find these fares for?

There is at least one flight available for 0 GBP on LHR-EDI between 13 and 25 May 2006.

It might be handy to select the 'flexible date'-button when you look for fares, as you immediately get a 14-days overview.

Regards
Frederic


User currently offlineOzvirginuk From Australia, joined Jan 2005, 396 posts, RR: 5
Reply 12, posted (8 years 7 months 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 5158 times:

Quoting Orion737 (Reply 10):
Cabin staff are also getting a bit more 'sharp' as a result of reduced staffing, having to try and deliver a BOB product and expalin this and being very stretched playing shopkeeper on a short LHR-BRU flight!

By "sharp" do you mean unfriendly, or just having more to do??? I did the short LHR-MAN hop recently, and they had no trouble getting through the BOB service. Most pax didn't seem that bothered. Afterall if they pay £2 for a one way fare.... what do they expect??


User currently offlineSabena 690 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (8 years 7 months 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 5158 times:

Quoting Cosec59 (Reply 9):
I think some of the comments are unfair here. I have never had a bad flight nor service with BMI.

I fully agree!

Quoting Orion737 (Reply 10):
Yes but they have reduced frequencies on prime routes. Its not just the meal, they now charge for soft drinks and tea and coffee, while their main domestic competitor out oh LHR does not.

Cabin staff are also getting a bit more 'sharp' as a result of reduced staffing, having to try and deliver a BOB product and expalin this and being very stretched playing shopkeeper on a short LHR-BRU flight!

You will never get it I guess?

Frederic


User currently offlineCosec59 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (8 years 7 months 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 5158 times:

Quoting Orion737 (Reply 10):
while their main domestic competitor out oh LHR does not.

The past few times I flew with BA (due to times) all that was on offer once onboard was tea and coffee. The fares were more expensive than BMI by quite a margin.
The flights were usually delayed on arrival back at LHR due to gate problems. So all in all I would rather fly BMI despite the fact I have to pay for my coffee


User currently offlineWeeksyUK From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 19 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (8 years 7 months 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 5158 times:

Along the lines of BMI free flights my mate got a return ticket in Y+ from MAN-ORD for £0 + tax - the total fare was £125.90. I think that was a mistake on BMI's behalf though! They have honoured the booking and paper tickets have been sent out.

User currently offlineOzvirginuk From Australia, joined Jan 2005, 396 posts, RR: 5
Reply 16, posted (8 years 7 months 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 5130 times:

Quoting Cosec59 (Reply 15):
So all in all I would rather fly BMI despite the fact I have to pay for my coffee

Exactly. And let's face it..... can some people not go 35-40 minutes without a coffee???

When I went back home last year, I flew SYD-BNE-SYD on DJ (a 1.5hr flight). I sat and read. I managed the WHOLE flight with out purchasing a coffee. It was easy... realy it was...


User currently offlinePe@rson From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 19230 posts, RR: 52
Reply 17, posted (8 years 7 months 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 5120 times:

Quoting Ozvirginuk (Reply 17):
And let's face it..... can some people not go 35-40 minutes without a coffee???

It's the 'flying syndrome' - people wouldn't careless on a coach or a train trip because they're not used to getting anything. But people used to expect food and drink, almost as a right, so they complain nowadays when it's not offered - even on absurdly short trips. I mean, 35-40 mins. You'd do less than 30 miles in a car in that time. Can't you live without a drink or food?



"Everyone writing for the Telegraph knows that the way to grab eyeballs is with Ryanair and/or sex."
User currently offlineSA7700 From South Africa, joined Dec 2003, 3431 posts, RR: 25
Reply 18, posted (8 years 7 months 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 5098 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
HEAD MODERATOR

Forgive me for asking, but does BD still offer interlining? As I understand the situation, apparently there are issues with interlining as well?


Rgds

SA7700



When you are doing stuff that nobody has done before, there is no manual – Kevin McCloud (Grand Designs)
User currently offlineOzvirginuk From Australia, joined Jan 2005, 396 posts, RR: 5
Reply 19, posted (8 years 7 months 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 5098 times:

Quoting Pe@rson (Reply 18):
I mean, 35-40 mins. You'd do less than 30 miles in a car in that time

Well in London it'd be more like 3 miles..

Quoting Pe@rson (Reply 18):
Can't you live without a drink or food?

Most of us can....... but still there are those who just can't. (or won't!)


User currently offlineSabena 690 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 20, posted (8 years 7 months 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 5086 times:

Quoting Ozvirginuk (Reply 20):
Quoting Pe@rson (Reply 18):
Can't you live without a drink or food?

Most of us can....... but still there are those who just can't. (or won't!)

They don't have to, as they can purchase a coffee on board.

Frederic


User currently offlineOrion737 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 21, posted (8 years 7 months 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 5046 times:

Provided they have the exact correct change and are not in the middle of the cabin where it might be landing time before you get a chance to purchase!

User currently offlineOzvirginuk From Australia, joined Jan 2005, 396 posts, RR: 5
Reply 22, posted (8 years 7 months 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 5007 times:

Quoting Orion737 (Reply 22):
Provided they have the exact correct change and are not in the middle of the cabin where it might be landing time before you get a chance to purchase!

Tell me - when was the last time you were on BD where the cabin crew were in the middle of the plane with a trolley of food whilst landing????

I think not. Even BD aren't that bad...


User currently offlineAntixx From United Kingdom, joined May 2005, 22 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (8 years 7 months 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 4949 times:

Quoting Ozvirginuk (Reply 23):
Tell me - when was the last time you were on BD where the cabin crew were in the middle of the plane with a trolley of food whilst landing????

I think not. Even BD aren't that bad...

Agreed - I've been on full flights lately (a rarity these days for bmi) and they've still managed to do the complete BOB service without any problems.

Quoting Orion737 (Reply 10):
Cabin staff are also getting a bit more 'sharp' as a result of reduced staffing

Lufthansa can do a full service on an A320 with 3 crew, so am sure bmi can cope! The crew probably only get 'sharp' with you as no doubt you moan at them about BOB as much as you do on here!


User currently offlineOzvirginuk From Australia, joined Jan 2005, 396 posts, RR: 5
Reply 24, posted (8 years 7 months 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 4926 times:

Quoting Antixx (Reply 24):
The crew probably only get 'sharp' with you as no doubt you moan at them about BOB as much as you do on here!

 tapedshut 

Oz


25 Orion737 : You dare to present a hostie with a £5 note, let alone a £20 and watch her face, looks like shes sucking on a lemon.
26 Ozvirginuk : I for one, would like to see photographic evidence of this. My £5 was perfectly fine for them.
27 Orion737 : I cant blame them, they have their work cut out delivering a BOB service to all passengers with less crew members than before and now they have to col
28 Orion737 : Ok then, if BMI's new 'service' concept is so popular and only giving people what they want, why is it they have less passengers and are having to res
29 Sabena 690 : Can we go back to topic please? Criticize BMI is easy, however, nobody has bothered yet to reply to any of the strategical points presented above. And
30 Orion737 : Actually, My comments were pertinent to your thread Frederik.
31 Ozvirginuk : I don't think anyone is saying that the BMI service concept is the most popular thing since sliced bread. However, that IS what theyas a company have
32 WhiteHatter : Strange that our resident wailers carry on about BD not being able to fill their aircraft. I've just been online trying to book some shuttle flights
33 Orion737 : Who is going to pay BMI's premium economy fare at those prices and then have to put his hand is his pocket for a drink. Premium economy fare, no-frill
34 Egmcman : To stimulate demand at quiet time of the year. You get what you pay for there's no such thing as a free lunch.
35 Ozvirginuk : Each time I have used BD they have been next to full down the back, and NOT up the front... So they r still doing something right. Excellent point. T
36 Orion737 : Yes but they may have passengers but low yielding ones. The C class and the business passenger are deserting the airline in their droves.
37 Antixx : Focusing on niche markets would be a good strategy - there is no point in jumping into markets that are already well on the way to being saturated. Th
38 Cosec59 : So, what do you suggest their strategy for the future should be?
39 WhiteHatter : of which you have no proof whatsoever. Stop dressing your own anti-BD prejudice up as fact.
40 Orion737 : I think it may be too late to lure back their loyal customers but I think the abandoment of BOB concept and increasing frequencies on key routes would
41 Padster : have you had a look at the AEA figures of bmi's passenger load ? Last month. 61% , down 11% month on month , It may be just be luck that the flights
42 Orion737 : As does their increasing financial losses on short haul. An indication that the high yield passengers have switched to their rival BA on domestic flig
43 Ozvirginuk : C Class pax must have been doing this prior to scrapping business on most routes, or they wouldn't have scrapped it. This has been discussed way too
44 Ozvirginuk : Maybe I was just on full flights. I can only speak as I find, but if the official figures say something else, then that's the case. I would say thoug
45 Padster : I have found LBA only busy on the 7am LHR flight, the other week I was at the CDG lounge going to LBA, a route with C class , I was the only person in
46 Sevenforeseven : VS and BMI a merger made in heaven. It will sure hit BA where it hurts and BA will get what it deserves.
47 Post contains images Ozvirginuk : Agreed. When i get my promotion to CEO, I'll make sure it's one of the first things on my agenda... Oz
48 Post contains images 7LBAC111 : FR give away free seats all the time. Ford give away free cars when they launch a new model. Coke build a stand in every shopping centre in the count
49 Ozvirginuk : I highlighted this earlier, but the penny still fails to drop....... oz
50 Mhodgson : FR don't have a hub in LHR, with flights to the biggest airports in Europe, though. FR started cheap, rather than bmi who still have all of their for
51 Bmiexpat : Do you actually have any figures for this. I didn't realise bmi had released any financial figures since they announced their return to profitability
52 7LBAC111 : No. But BMIBaby and Jet2 have a hub at MAN, easyJet at LGW, etc. And they fly to the high cost airports that BMI serve. BMI are cutting costs in the
53 Babybus : I fly BD LHR-PMI all the time but now I wouldn't purchase a seat that isn't due off within the next 7 days. I don't trust them to survive much longer.
54 Post contains images 7LBAC111 : Oh they have. they just don't know which one to use.
55 Bmiexpat : That's an interesting perspective considering they had two years of consecutive losses in 2003/04 and survived that. All you would be doing by purcha
56 BestWestern : Whitehatter, as someone who flys BD at least twice a week (and loves the airline, but is very concerned with their lack of direction), BD's flights a
57 StarGoldLHR : I agree BMI's flights are empty. To be honest buy on board doesnt bother me, it's the way of the industry . I still have an Austrian Airlines glass fr
58 UK_Dispatcher : It's called supply and demand, as well as the ability to have a flexible reservation. Nothing new here..... What a load of crap - this carrier has be
59 Crosscountry : A lot of C class passengers were, in the past, business travellers. Since the "low cost revolution" more and more firms have woken up, smelled the cof
60 Ratypus : Thanks for flagging this crazy sale up guys! I checked BMI for my flights to Brussels at Easter and they were pretty pricey - checked again when I saw
61 Sabena 690 : Unbelievable... the friendliness of the BMI crews is one of the reasons why I will keep on flying them. Shocking that they can't call the passengers
62 BestWestern : BD have downsized their aircraft on LHR DUB to A320's due to low loads every morning for the past week. This continues till mid march. Even still, the
63 Sabena 690 : I know, from there my suggestion: allow people who purchase discounted Economy fares (= the second lowest class, after Tiny, and usually 5 EUR more e
64 Mhodgson : It seems ridiculous only allowing full fare Y pax to chose their - it costs BD nothing more to offer it!
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