Sabena 690 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Posted (9 years 7 months 3 weeks 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 5697 times:
I was browsing through a few BMI flights, and was baffled when I saw that BMI are offering domestic flights for 0 GBP + tax
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.
SA7700 From South Africa, joined Dec 2003, 3431 posts, RR: 25
Reply 7, posted (9 years 7 months 3 weeks 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 5592 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.
When you are doing stuff that nobody has done before, there is no manual – Kevin McCloud (Grand Designs)
Cosec59 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (9 years 7 months 3 weeks 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 5592 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
Sabena 690 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (9 years 7 months 3 weeks 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 5561 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.
Ozvirginuk From Australia, joined Jan 2005, 396 posts, RR: 5
Reply 12, posted (9 years 7 months 3 weeks 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 5545 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??
Sabena 690 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (9 years 7 months 3 weeks 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 5545 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!
Cosec59 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (9 years 7 months 3 weeks 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 5545 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
WeeksyUK From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 19 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (9 years 7 months 3 weeks 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 5545 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.
Pe@rson From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 19466 posts, RR: 51
Reply 17, posted (9 years 7 months 3 weeks 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 5507 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."