worldoftui
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British Airways To Cut Back On 1st Class

Fri Jul 30, 2004 3:03 am

From a recent Travel Weekly article (summary)

BA will remove its first class product from a number of routes as part of the refurbishment of the 767 fleet. It will be replaced with a larger Club World cabin in 10 767's used on long haul and medium-range routes.

First class will disappear from Dar Es Salaam, Tebi, Lusaka, Nassau, Grand Cayman, Turks and Caicos, Accra, Tel Aviv, Atlanta, Caracas and Bogota.

There have been many cuts and reductions in the amount of First Class offered by the carrier over the past few years. Many believe that BA will eventually phase First Class out. Club World is known to generate more revenue per square foot that first and BA has seen passenger numbers in First fall since the late 1990's.

The aircraft will be fitted with WT Plus and the new World Traveller product. Refitting begins in October in line with scheduled maintenance.


Don't totally believe in the withdrawal of First, as it really is such a fantastic product. However, if people aren't buying, they aren't buying.


Mark
 
Pe@rson
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RE: British Airways To Cut Back On 1st Class

Fri Jul 30, 2004 3:07 am

It'll be sad that people won't have the same level of choice on those routes, but BA is a business and if it's not earning sufficient profit on those routes with first class then it rightly needs to adapt.
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geoffm
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RE: British Airways To Cut Back On 1st Class

Fri Jul 30, 2004 3:18 am

Perhaps one of the reasons why few people are flying first class on BA is simply because it isn't first class? I've only been in BA biz a few times and quite frankly I'd hesitate to pay double the economy fare for even the biz product on offer, let alone the regular 4x Y fare for biz, and certainly not 8-10x to get a 1st class ticket! (luckily it wasn't me paying for the ticket)

You get fed when they want to feed you, their older biz class seats aren't great (don't know what the new ones are like), you get a couple more channels on the small PTV... now, compare it to VS Upper Class where you're treated like royalty.

EK's biz class wasn't exactly much better, but on the other hand the price is far more reasonable - I paid approx 3x the Y fare for a biz ticket.

Geoff M.
 
whitehatter
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RE: British Airways To Cut Back On 1st Class

Fri Jul 30, 2004 3:53 am

First isn't worth the hassle. There may be the market for it on some routes, but on the majority it's just upgrades or the odd punter who isn't paying for it anyway. The North Atlantic is probably a route which gets some F class traffic and that's 747s/777s.

It would make a lot of sense to expand Club World and improve that standard of service for the corporate traveller, as companies have cut back considerably on their travel budgets and cannot now justify those silly F class tickets.

BD and VS both offer a Business product that is their premium offering, and neither is turning away any substantial number of people waving the Amex Black card for a F ticket. If F on BA isn't paying, they would be better off shoving Club World in the section rather than having to crew and cater it for F.
Lead me not into temptation, I can find my own way there...
 
Summa767
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RE: British Airways To Cut Back On 1st Class

Fri Jul 30, 2004 4:03 am

Bogotá and Caracas won't be affected yet, where service is upgraded from the 767 to 777 from the beginning of October.
I wonder if in the refit, BA's long haul 767's will be fitted with PVTs in Economy. When I flew these type in December, seats had the socket for them in the back of the seats, which were fitted with a plastic dummy.
 
Leezyjet
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RE: British Airways To Cut Back On 1st Class

Fri Jul 30, 2004 4:54 am

You also get more for your money on VS Upper Class than in BA's First. Why pay twice as much for F than for Upper Class just to have service that is bit more attentive onboard.  Nuts

The service in Upper on VS is still good, but due to the highter numbers of pax, then obviously it will take a little longer to get served, but hey for the amount of $$$ you save over F, then I'm sure that more than makes up for it.

Also with VS you get the limo's at both ends of the journey (or 3 days car hire), the onboard beauty therapist and the bar too, non of which BA offer in F even though they charge a significant amount more !!!.

I think this could be the beginning of the end for F, not only due to the competition from other carriers but also from the private jet operators too.

 Smile
"She Rolls, 45 knots, 90, 135, nose comes up to 20 degrees, she's airborne - She flies, Concorde Flies"
 
Guest

RE: British Airways To Cut Back On 1st Class

Fri Jul 30, 2004 4:58 am

I always thought that BA were always known for their First Class product..

My father won't be happy then..

He always fly's first class with BA...

Ah well..

Regards,

Chris
 
whitehatter
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RE: British Airways To Cut Back On 1st Class

Fri Jul 30, 2004 5:03 am

I think this could be the beginning of the end for F, not only due to the competition from other carriers but also from the private jet operators too.


The future of F is with companies like NetJets and Privatair. Look at the number of bizjets flying in and out of airports today, and the steady increase in ops by BBJs and A319CJs.
Lead me not into temptation, I can find my own way there...
 
SafetyDude
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RE: British Airways To Cut Back On 1st Class

Fri Jul 30, 2004 5:58 am

First class will disappear from Dar Es Salaam, Tebi, Lusaka, Nassau, Grand Cayman, Turks and Caicos, Accra, Tel Aviv, Atlanta, Caracas and Bogota.

Quite a few different topics regarding BA's 767s said that DAR and Tel Aviv are already served with 767s that do not have First.

 Smile
-Will
"She Flew For What We Stand For"
 
sleak76
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RE: British Airways To Cut Back On 1st Class

Fri Jul 30, 2004 6:09 am

I seriously doubt BA would phase out First class.

BA has continiously associated itself with flying glamor, trying hard to grab those elites (high-society) onto their planes. No one can deny the grin Eddington puts on when he's in his office leafing through the papers and seeing paparazzi pictures of Hollywood's famous come out of BA's 744 at T4. It's simply free marketing for his airline (and a good marketing as well).

Lets also not forget how dear concorde was for BA. Willing to spend millions in upgrading it's safety to have them fly again. Though i read reports back then analying concorde's viability to fly back with a profit, alot of analysts rightly said that BA won't mind flying it at a loss, as long as those concorde passengers don't defunct BA and go for competitors.

Let's not under estimate the image of BA. And BA would want to keep that image. An international long haul premium airline offering lounges with names like Terraces, across the globe, with a frequent flier scheme that has a level called Premier which is by invitation only.

Honestly, with all those perky stuff they have, I just can't see them throwing out First altogether, and accepting themselves as a J, W and Y only airline. It's just not their style. They kept concorde flying just for the sake of retaining those high-fliers, and when AF decided it was time to accept retirement, that's when BA decided for that as well. As made sure no one else got a hold of flying those concordes instead.

I would say the day major airlines have widely started with J and Y only planes is the time BA will start considering it. But not before other heavy-weights like AA, UA, JAL and the rest start doing it first.
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Trolley Dolley
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RE: British Airways To Cut Back On 1st Class

Fri Jul 30, 2004 6:27 am

In a 747 it might not be too uneconomic. Given the Club World yin/yang, back-to-front layout, I wonder how many more Club World bed seats could be squeezed into the curving nose cabin of a 747 over the current F configuration? The 777 herringbone layout seems to be a less efficient use of floor space. Dropping of F is no surprise in an aircraft as small as a 767. The markets its being dropped from hardly strike me as being high yield business routes anyway. Whether it is a sign of things to come, who knows. F still offers a bed, something that the BBJ's in corporate configuration lack. (All the pictures I've seen have shown a standard J non-sleeper seater in an airline BBJ.)

My experiences of flying in the premium cabins and Concorde indicate that it is not just a seat on a plane. It can be a great place for leaders in a variety of fields to network. J class just doesn't offer that edge of F. I can't see BA dropping first class entirely. Their route structure has important markets like the Middle East with strong F demand and ultra long hauls flights like those to Australia. If anything, I suspect they will drop F on selected routes and boost the facilities on the remaining routes to match or better competitors like EK's mini-cabins. Who knows what F class delights await those flying an A380? (Which BA has yet to order.)
 
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FlyCaledonian
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RE: British Airways To Cut Back On 1st Class

Fri Jul 30, 2004 7:16 am

Why does the removal of First from one aircraft type herald the end of First across BA? Okay, BA already operate a small number of 777s without First too, but it doesn't mean BA will ditch First. As for the 767s, they already operate with one of the lowest seating densities for the type due BA's longhaul layout. As the interior upgrade sees the fitting of Club World Flat beds, plus World Traveller Plus, you wouldn't have too much room at the back left for World Traveller if you kept a First cabin as well!

Without the 767 would BA even serve some of those destinations anyway? Accra, Lusaka, Entebbe and Dar es Salaam all got non-stop service due to the 767, while it's not too long ago that passengers to Tel Aviv had to make do with BA's European service!
Let's Go British Caledonian!
 
GSPSPOT
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RE: British Airways To Cut Back On 1st Class

Fri Jul 30, 2004 7:19 am

I know I'll probably be chided, but from the viewpoint of a nearly always-Economy flyer, why gild the lily with FC, when there's such a fine Business Class product? I mean, how much more would someone ever really NEED? As long as airlines don't go to all-economy on long hauls, I'll be happy.... Can't wait to try WTP someday!
Finally made it to an airline mecca!
 
MaverickM11
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RE: British Airways To Cut Back On 1st Class

Fri Jul 30, 2004 7:27 am

Business Class across the industry is approaching the dimensions of the domain of traditional "first" so it's only a matter of time before the former replaces the latter. If you have a flat bed in Biz now, why pay thousands more for a bed that is just as flat, to get caviar?
E pur si muove -Galileo
 
Horus
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RE: British Airways To Cut Back On 1st Class

Fri Jul 30, 2004 7:28 am

Quite a few different topics regarding BA's 767s said that DAR and Tel Aviv are already served with 767s that do not have First.

The 763s that fly to those destinations have F class.


I support the move (grudgingly) but if BA thinks it will boost profitability/yields, then who are we to argue Big grin

Where is Tebi?

Horus



[Edited 2004-07-30 00:53:50]
EGYPT: A 7,000 Year Old Civilisation
 
scotron11
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RE: British Airways To Cut Back On 1st Class

Fri Jul 30, 2004 7:47 am

Had the pleasure of Club World JFK-LHR last winter and I can say it is one fine product. Having experienced First on quite a few airlines BA's business class is 2nd to none.

Economically, since 9/11 and the cutbacks in company travel (especially the high-flying investment bankers), BA's premium cabins have not seen the loads like they used to enjoy during the 80's and 90's. In fact there is a trip report on a LHR-PHL flight where they closed F all together as there were no passengers traveling F.

As stated previously, why pay so much more to travel F/Class? For a nicer wine/champagne & maybe caviar? Im sure for the money you could purchase your own!
 
AV8AJET
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RE: British Airways To Cut Back On 1st Class

Fri Jul 30, 2004 7:58 am

So does that mean that ATL will go to the 767 from the current 777? Hate to see BA dropping FC on any route, very sad. It's what I believe sets them apart from other carriers. I've flown on BA's FC cabin in the past and was a wonderful experience. I would hate to see it go, although times are changing I still believe there is a market for a premium product like FC.
"To fly or not to fly there is no question!"
 
Sabena332
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RE: British Airways To Cut Back On 1st Class

Fri Jul 30, 2004 8:08 am

Is anyone wondering? More and more airlines get rid of their First Class on certain routes/planes, the most famous examples are LH and AF. AF is currently removing the First Class on all planes except their 777's (but is also upgrading their Biz Class) and one of LH's latest addition to their fleet, the A 346, got deliverd without a First Class but also with an upgraded Biz.

I can completely understand that some airlines do that on certein routes, why should they fly around with an empty First or a First which is only filled with upgrade passengers when they could fill up a couple of Biz seats with revenue pax instead?

Quite a lot of pax in First are business travellers who got payed the flight by their company, but in most companies are the times long over, management employees mostly fly in Biz instead in First nowadays. A missing First Class is also a good excuse to give frequent flyer elite members not an upgrade from C to F on certain flights (maybe one reason why LH got rid of their First on their longest route from FR.A to SCL via EZE?  Big grin)

And since I flew in BA's Club World Class, I am wondering why they also have a First Class anyway, the service and the comfort is already excellent in their Biz.

Patrick

Edit: Typo, please ignore other typos and grammar errors, I had a few beers earlier  Big thumbs up.

[Edited 2004-07-30 01:12:46]
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Horus
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RE: British Airways To Cut Back On 1st Class

Fri Jul 30, 2004 8:15 am

Sabena332, that is true, there is a definite trend in the industry. Egyptair's A330-200s (deliveries began last month) are configured without F class, which is a first for the airline's wide-body fleet.

Horus

EGYPT: A 7,000 Year Old Civilisation
 
donder10
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RE: British Airways To Cut Back On 1st Class

Fri Jul 30, 2004 8:21 am


Where is Tebi?

Lol I wondered this myself but it must be Entebbe.
 
worldoftui
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RE: British Airways To Cut Back On 1st Class

Fri Jul 30, 2004 8:39 am

Tebi! hehehe
I wondered too, but I promise the error was in the article, and not from me. I just thought it was a new one - I am kinda out of touch with all things BA-wise!


Mark
 
kzba
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RE: British Airways To Cut Back On 1st Class

Fri Jul 30, 2004 8:40 am

When the First cabin is closed, its not due to a lack of passengers. It is due to a shortage of cabin crew members. Revenue management tries to look at flights that are booked low in First, but sometimes we are faced with the horrible situation of downgrading F pax to J. I have seen a full F cabin (14 pax) moved to J class or other flights because of cabin crew shortages.
 
radelow
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RE: British Airways To Cut Back On 1st Class

Fri Jul 30, 2004 8:54 am

One person did comment on it but what we are not taking into consideration is the huge increase in corporate jet ownership in the past few years. A lot of these previous First Class flyers are now corporate jet flyers. I work for a Real Estate company with 1100 employees and we have a King Air 350 that will soon be upgraded to a biz jet (I really like flying in the King Air though!).

The market is changing and First Class just doesn't suit the business models on some routes. You can bet that BA will keep First on their premier routes (LHR-LAX, LHR-JFK etc.) but I can understand the smaller markets losing First Class. For most of us Business Class is MORE THAN enough.
 
MD-90
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RE: British Airways To Cut Back On 1st Class

Fri Jul 30, 2004 1:09 pm

The Oracle of Omaha didn't buy Executive Jet for no particular reason, you know (Executive Jet which started NetJets, and I believe has adopted that name for the company as a whole).
 
BA001Concorde
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RE: British Airways To Cut Back On 1st Class

Fri Jul 30, 2004 1:13 pm

First.....You cannot operate a B-767-300ER with four cabins. If you are going to add a premier economy cabin (already our second most profitable cabin behind Club), you have to give up something else.

AV8AJET: ATL will remain a 777 station.

FIRST will not disappear completely, there will always be a market for F pax to JFK, LOS, SYD, JNB, etc. Most of the execs at our top accounts only travel F, and if you take that from them, they may take their accounts from you.

Who really flew FIRST to DEN, or TPA? It's stupid to offer a cabin just so some pax can make note that it still exists while on their way back to the economy cabin.

The name of the game is profit. It's not fair to your staff and share holders to operate something you know is not profitable when your having trouble paying your employee pensions, or your share holders a dividend.

.....Just my two cents.

BA001
Fly with a veteran, not a "Virgin".
 
vsfullthrottle
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RE: British Airways To Cut Back On 1st Class

Fri Jul 30, 2004 1:16 pm

So BA are getting rid of their first class product on the Nassau route just in time for VS to start their Nassau serivce with the Upper Class Suite onboard. Looks like BA are doing VS a favour with out even trying....  Big thumbs up
 
joleb
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RE: British Airways To Cut Back On 1st Class

Fri Jul 30, 2004 4:47 pm

Atlanta will not receive a 767. Atlanta keeps its 777 + First . If they remove BA First then I might have to fly Air France First again.... Sad
 
JGPH1A
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RE: British Airways To Cut Back On 1st Class

Fri Jul 30, 2004 5:09 pm

I believe L'Espace Premiere is being removed from all AF aircraft except the 777-300 - AF are only going to be offering it in premium markets like NYC, LAX, NRT etc. It wouldn't surprise me if BA move in the same direction. First Class is used mostly by airline staff on duty, and upgrades. Since Concorde has gone by the wayside, the whole jetset glamour thing is a bit passé - now that Club World offers just about what First Class offers anyway, ie. Flat bed, eat when you like, seperate check-in, seperate lounge, etc etc - what's the point ?
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cambrian
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RE: British Airways To Cut Back On 1st Class

Fri Jul 30, 2004 5:11 pm

I don't think that First will disappear.

As for Club World replacing First, it won't happen.

Once you have tried BA First, you will never "put up" with Club again.

It is also a myth that all First passengers are corporate fat cats- many people in First- including myself- actually pay for their own tickets- because they like the space, comfort and service!

 
JGPH1A
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RE: British Airways To Cut Back On 1st Class

Fri Jul 30, 2004 5:19 pm

I admit that I would love to be able to fly First Class all the time, but having worked in the industry for a long time, I know how much money the airlines make off First Class seats, and you would be HORRIFIED to know what kind of margins they have on those seats. First Class fares are a complete rip-off, and even if I had the money to pay them, I couldn't bring myself to do it. Its like throwing money away.
Young and beautiful and thin and gorgeous AND BANNED ! Cya at airspaceonline.com, losers
 
sleak76
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RE: British Airways To Cut Back On 1st Class

Fri Jul 30, 2004 9:01 pm

JGPH1A,

Yet others still see the need for First cabin, regardless of price. It's the prestige associated with flying (and being seen in) the First cabin. This conception is very common in the Gulf and that is why you tend to see First cabins get full in First before Club fills up, for BA's Gulf flights.

In fact I know someone who was confirmed on First with BA KWI-LHR back on the 14th of July. At checkin, the staff were asking him if he was willing to be downgraded to Club and get offerred 750 USD as compensation. The reason was because 17 passengers were all confirmed for the 14 First seats and by the time he checked in (one hour before departure), it seems that the First no-shows was not happening as BA expected (one reason to over-book is due to no-show passengers). Needless to say, none of the first 14 pax who checked in accepted the downgrade (with one passenger saying 'If i can afford First and I want to travel First, why would an airline entice me with money to downgrade, when i don't mind the fare in the first place'. Which is true with a First passenger mentality. Money is less of an enticement for them). In the end , the last 3 First pax to checkin got downgraded to the 'dreaded' Club cabin.

I still dont see BA eliminating First class on their prime routes. It's there to stay if only for BA to distinguish themselves as a full-service airline catering to the Elite. Though First is the third most highest revenue maker in terms of rev per sq feet, yet they'd prefer to keep those First customers' custom than see them walk over to a competing airline's counter.

Cheers.
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Skyteam10001
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RE: British Airways To Cut Back On 1st Class

Fri Jul 30, 2004 9:05 pm

JGPH1A
AF 772s will keep their 1st class cabin as well (not only the 773s)

btw does anyone know if the AF 380s will have a 1st class cabin ?
 
donder10
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RE: British Airways To Cut Back On 1st Class

Fri Jul 30, 2004 9:16 pm

So BA are getting rid of their first class product on the Nassau route just in time for VS to start their Nassau serivce with the Upper Class Suite onboard. Looks like BA are doing VS a favour with out even trying

How many times will Virgin serve Nassau each week?I heard it will only be once weekly but doubt this is true.


 
BA380
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RE: British Airways To Cut Back On 1st Class

Fri Jul 30, 2004 9:55 pm

BA First is such a great product. Elegant, understated, just really good. I have only flown it once, but loved it. However, I can't imagine that that many people actually pay for it. So don't know how profitable it is.

If they do axe it, it better not be soon - I am planning to use miles to fly F next year on vacation!
cabin crew: doors to automatic and cross-check...
 
crugs1
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RE: British Airways To Cut Back On 1st Class

Fri Jul 30, 2004 11:55 pm

Where's Tebi?
Never heard of it
 
Venezuela747
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RE: British Airways To Cut Back On 1st Class

Sat Jul 31, 2004 2:52 am

Is BA upgrade to a 777 on the CCS & BOG route, seasonal or will it stay a 777 untill demand goes down???
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