VSlover
Posts: 1860
Joined: Sat Feb 07, 2004 1:36 am

BA Sleeper Service

Tue Mar 30, 2004 10:49 am

From my most recent Executive Club eBulletin:

The Sleeper Service: A better night for a better day

We invite you to try The Sleeper Service, which is launching this April in Club WorldSM on select East Coast transatlantic flights departing after 7:30 p.m. Club World, with its 180° fully flat beds, has been providing a better sleep in business class for quite some time — and now we've made it even better.

The Sleeper Service is designed to maximise your sleep time on board so you have a more restful journey. It offers you a choice of five dining options, including Pre-Flight Supper, a more tranquil, lights-dimmed cabin with fewer announcements, complimentary spa treatments and more. With The Sleeper Service, you'll enjoy a better start to your day.

****************

WOW, they are trying to make it more like VS Upper Class? Hi, thanks for playing BA.
 
Ken777
Posts: 9022
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 5:39 am

RE: BA Sleeper Service

Tue Mar 30, 2004 1:19 pm

I recall that BA was the airline that first introduced beds in Business (and First?) and everyone is trying to match or beat their product. The enhancements are nice, but the bed is the key. I'd rather sleep than enjoy the spa.
 
LH423
Posts: 5868
Joined: Sun Jul 11, 1999 6:27 am

RE: BA Sleeper Service

Tue Mar 30, 2004 1:27 pm

They did surveys among business travellers in seeing what they wanted most when travelling and sleep was the biggest response. As a result BA has been testing the new Sleeper Service on the 21:00, 22:00, and 23:00 departures out of JFK, and I remember hearing something about one of the Dubai departures, but I can't confirm that. Here in Boston, BA214 (a 20:30 departure) will be getting the new Sleeper Service.

LH423
« On ne voit bien qu'avec le cœur. L'essentiel est invisible pour les yeux » Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
 
Spike
Posts: 1110
Joined: Wed Feb 25, 2004 1:08 am

RE: BA Sleeper Service

Tue Mar 30, 2004 1:35 pm

We've had it on the HKG services for quite a while now.
 
khi747
Posts: 1532
Joined: Tue Oct 31, 2000 6:30 am

RE: BA Sleeper Service

Tue Mar 30, 2004 10:18 pm

So these seats are going to be different then the flat bed opposite facing seats in BA business class at present ??
 
richardw
Posts: 3131
Joined: Tue May 08, 2001 3:17 am

RE: BA Sleeper Service

Tue Mar 30, 2004 11:05 pm

Is the Club world facility a fully reclining seat with a fold down stool or a bed?
It is the former I think.
 
aussiestu
Posts: 752
Joined: Tue Mar 20, 2001 7:32 pm

RE: BA Sleeper Service

Tue Mar 30, 2004 11:14 pm


The seats are not changing at all its just the service you get. All pax will be invited to pre dine so that the flight when they board will just be to get comfortable and go to sleep after take off. A quick breakfast before landing if wanted but again most pax are invited to head to the SPA lounge and have breakfast, shower relax have clothes ironed etc. Basically the plane is just for sleeping on. Arriving refreshed. Yes BA started the flat bed revolution and lots of carriers are providing this product now.........but as the leader in this market it will be interesting to see what BA come up with next. Then the whole catch up game starts again.
 
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Richard28
Posts: 1619
Joined: Thu Aug 14, 2003 5:42 am

RE: BA Sleeper Service

Wed Mar 31, 2004 7:20 am

As VSLover says, this seems to be a copy of the VS freedom menu, the VS snooze zone, the VS clubhouse, and the VS arrivals lounge.

Now that VS have a bigger flat bed it seems BA are having to pull their socks up!

isn't competition great for the customer  Smile
 
PresRDC
Posts: 512
Joined: Thu Jul 22, 1999 5:00 am

RE: BA Sleeper Service

Wed Mar 31, 2004 9:34 am

It seems to me that all this is is a ploy to reduce the level of in-flight service in J class.

Sleeping on planes is great, but the trend in business class toward flat bed seats is being used to justify cutting in-flight service to the bone.

On routes like HKG-LHR, few, if anyone, will be able to sleep for the full 12 hours of the flight.
 
LH423
Posts: 5868
Joined: Sun Jul 11, 1999 6:27 am

RE: BA Sleeper Service

Wed Mar 31, 2004 9:51 am

Bingo PresRDC! At the crux of this initiative is the goal to cut costs where possible. However, it's cutting costs in a way that benefits the customer and gives the customer a flight tailored to his/her needs. The mentality behind this is that most late flights leave after normal hours of eating (20:00 and later) and since the flights are so short (BOS-LHR routinely clocks under 6 hours) that by the time food service in commenced and finished and the passenger relaxes a bit before dozing off they really only have a few hours to sleep before breakfast and arrival into London. By doing this, the passenger still gets a dining experience, only it will be in the lounges before departure but then gets the extra time to sleep on-board. If the passenger is not hungry before departure, or prefers to eat on board and à la carte snack menu will be available.

Is this a cost-cutting measure? Yes. Is it cutting costs in the right way that the company is able to save some money and the customer still gets what he/she wants and pays for? Absolutely.

LH423
« On ne voit bien qu'avec le cœur. L'essentiel est invisible pour les yeux » Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
 
kzba
Posts: 115
Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2004 12:27 pm

RE: BA Sleeper Service

Thu Apr 01, 2004 3:06 am

Just to clarify some things...first, this is a brand new type of service, the only cities that have tested this to date are JFK (BA116 and BA182), IAD (BA222) which has now been renamed to BA292 and DXB (BA106). All of these have late departure times (9:30pm and later) and are around 7 hours in length. The goal is not to roll this out to all stations in the network. So HKG has not done this and they will not be doing it in the future because the flight is too long.

We are doing this based on passenger request, not cost savings. At the end of the day, we are not saving any money at all with the new service. The feedback we received from the surveys that are completed on board is that for a shorter flight (7 hours or less) is that there is too much noise and distraction within the cabin due to a full meal service. Between drinks, snacks, meals, clean-up and more drinks, the cabin crews are in the aisles with the carts for several hours. All of this time is resulting in a reduced amount of sleep for the passengers. Ironically, most Club passengers don't even take full advantage of the meal service on board since there are already other options in place (pre flight dining, arrival breakfast, etc) Their first priority is sleep.

There will still be substantial hot food onboard for those passengers wishing to eat more of a full meal. The best thing about this is that people can eat what they want, when they want to (so yes it is like the VS freedom menu).

Look for the service on the BA114, BA116, BA182, BA188, BA68, BA214, BA292, BA228, BA98 and BA96 in the next few months.
 
RB211LTN
Posts: 123
Joined: Sun Mar 28, 2004 2:40 am

RE: BA Sleeper Service

Thu Apr 01, 2004 3:17 am

As an ex-BA hostie, I'm rather cynical about whether this is genuinely better for the passengers or an attempt to save money. Reducing the onboard catering will save a few pounds and the theoretical saving in fuel with the reduced catering weight.BA already only cater 70% for breakfast on overnight flights, so they want the passengers to stay asleep. To be fair, lots of passengers don't want any breakfast, I never had the embarrassing situation of telling someone we had run out!
The Spa treatments will be in the arrivals lounge, not in the air (unlike VS).
Yes, flat beds are better than normal seats, but the BA Club beds are not long enouhg if you are over six feet tall. They are also very narrow, even I found them a tight fit whilst lying down. I am as skinny as hell so I hate to imagine what it must be like if you are more rotund.
The customer is always right.....unless he is a passenger!
 
Swanhunter
Posts: 24
Joined: Mon Mar 29, 2004 11:22 pm

RE: BA Sleeper Service

Thu Apr 01, 2004 6:43 am

It's a fine idea for the Gulf - LHR flights, all of which leave DXB, RUH, BAH etc at stupid o'clock. All I want to do is sleep, and then have breakfast in the arrivals lounge. I think it makes a lot of sense so long as pax do have the option of getting a 'dining' seat.

I'm not so sure how well the idea will work in the cavern that is the cabin of a 777, but it's perfect for the UD of a 747.
 
shankly
Posts: 1194
Joined: Tue Jan 11, 2000 10:42 pm

RE: BA Sleeper Service

Thu Apr 01, 2004 7:24 am

RB211 you have noted the achiles heel of the otherwise excellent Club World...the seat width.

I'm a modest 5/10 and av build, but can never get comfortable on the damn things when flat, espccially on a long drag like HKG. I have however found that providing a little incline does help one to sleep a little more soundly.

Flew the SQ Raffles seat for the first time last year and although not truly flat that extra width (and big pillows!) allows one to get nice and comfy leading to sleep.

Although BA set the standard, I think a MKIII version is now needed to suprass the opposition
L1011 - P F M
 
bacxboys
Posts: 37
Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2003 6:15 pm

RE: BA Sleeper Service

Thu Apr 01, 2004 7:38 am

Also as an ex BA employee! BA have had the express service for some time! Its not to compete with VS its something most premium passengers have requested and BA listened and changed its service.
I used to travel on duty with BA on a regular basis and to be able to eat a fabulous meal in the lounge and to sleep most of the flight back without interruption was the best thing.
BA have a brilliant product the thing that lets it down is the Cabin Crew! There has and never will be any consistency between them and they after all make the flight!
I work for CX and we model our product a lot on BA but go a bit further and make it special every time.
But please don't always put VS and BA head to head!! VS may have the gimmicks but when it comes to customer service this is not always the case.
 
ConcordeLoss
Posts: 376
Joined: Sun Nov 02, 2003 11:50 pm

RE: BA Sleeper Service

Thu Apr 01, 2004 7:46 am

Is this service offered to everyone or just business travellers?
"You're not as stupid as you look, or sound, or our best test indicates" Burns to Homer
 
LH423
Posts: 5868
Joined: Sun Jul 11, 1999 6:27 am

RE: BA Sleeper Service

Thu Apr 01, 2004 8:10 am

ConcordeLoss, the new Sleeper service will be available to all travellers in Club World on certain overnight flights departing the US and Canadian East Coast after a certain time in the evening.

According to KZBA's list, the cities this service will be offered in will be JFK (BA114, BA116, BA182), BOS (BA214), PHL (BA68), YYZ (BA96, BA98), IAD (BA292), BWI (BA228), and EWR (BA188).

LH423
« On ne voit bien qu'avec le cœur. L'essentiel est invisible pour les yeux » Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
 
carduelis
Posts: 1388
Joined: Wed Dec 05, 2001 8:24 pm

RE: BA Sleeper Service

Thu Apr 01, 2004 8:18 am

A similar service has been available for BA's First Pax for over ten years, mainly on the overnight transatlantics!

One of my colleagues from BA Catering at LHR did a 14 day exercise some years ago, checking inbound trolleys, and found a tremendous wastage of Breakfasts, not just part eaten, but not even served, hence the reduced uplift mentioned by RB211.

Some BOS flights have around a 5.5 hr flight time, and by the time the drinks are served after t/o, and then the dinner service, plus duty freeze, there's only a couple of hours remaining - just enough time for an OJ or Coffee, and to join the loo queue - before they were banned by the US.

Being in the receiving area surrounded by hundreds of inbound catering trolleys (carts) from early morning arrivals, and waiting to be cleared is quite an experience! As the rotable parts are saved, the remainder of food is literally tipped into a fast flowing river under the clearing areas. I'ts affectionately known as the Ganges!


Per Ardua ad Astra! ........ Honi Soit Qui Mal y Pense!
 
PresRDC
Posts: 512
Joined: Thu Jul 22, 1999 5:00 am

RE: BA Sleeper Service

Thu Apr 01, 2004 9:44 am

As long as passengers choosing to eat on board are given choices of equal quality to those eating on the ground, I have less of a problem with this. A passenger who wants to eat on board SHOULD NOT be made to suffer with less of a variety or food of less quality than was offered on the ground. If they are, it is a cost cutting measure, pure and simple.

If I am going to catch an evening flight to Europe, even one leaving "late," I will not have time to eat dinner before getting to the airport. Depending on the time of the flight and other variables, I may niot have time to eat on the ground at all. I should not be penalized for this.
 
kzba
Posts: 115
Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2004 12:27 pm

RE: BA Sleeper Service

Thu Apr 01, 2004 9:59 am

PresRDC--I wish everything was "pure and simple". As my team is testing and trialing these new types of service we are always making sure that we try to stay one step ahead, in both product innovation as well as the BA customer service standard. Nobody will go without a meal on board. We have some Club pax who do fly us for the full luxury "soup to nuts" service. They will still be well looked after.

Also, we are not going to zone certain areas to full service dining and sleeper service. If you are still looking for a more substantial meal, you will get. However, you will get it without the trolley! The feedback from the JFK, IAD and DXB trials were truly outstanding. I'm curious to see how it plays out in each city.
 
AR385
Posts: 6735
Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2003 8:25 am

RE: BA Sleeper Service

Thu Apr 01, 2004 1:07 pm

The first airline to come up with Beds in First was AF, with L'Espace 180
 
JOSEMEX
Posts: 1437
Joined: Mon Oct 04, 1999 11:44 am

RE: BA Sleeper Service

Thu Apr 01, 2004 2:36 pm


>>The first airline to come up with Beds in First was AF, with L'Espace 180<<

If I'm not mistaken, some asian carriers (Philippine Airlines, for instance) have offered beds in First Class before. In fact, JAL used to offer beds on their upper-deck in their MEX-YVR-NRT flights in the late 70's/early 80's (just ask Raul Velasco, who once did a report on it during his trips to Japan to make his TV show from there. I know, life's not fair) Big grin
 
AR385
Posts: 6735
Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2003 8:25 am

RE: BA Sleeper Service

Thu Apr 01, 2004 4:47 pm

JoseMex,

You are absolutely right. But I assumed the thread was about the current bed trend that started in the 90's. I think even Swissair offered beds in its DC-10 in the 80's.
 
Swanhunter
Posts: 24
Joined: Mon Mar 29, 2004 11:22 pm

RE: BA Sleeper Service

Thu Apr 01, 2004 9:58 pm

I think not zoning the flights is a mistake. One of the things that prevents me from getting a decent nights kip is the light, noise, movement associated with the meal service, whether by tray or trolley.