BA380
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Improved BA Club Europe Rumours?

Tue May 17, 2005 1:59 am

I keep hearing vague references in this site and on Flyertalk that BA is potentially looking at (or even testing?) an improved Club Europe product to tempt people back into C class.

Is there any truth to this? Any leaks or details?

Flyertalk even had a vague reference to an a/c that was being tested with new product.

Is this all just a load of wishful thinking or is there some truth to it?

It is all very confusing at the moment, as there are also rumours (as discussed on this site) that Willie Walsh wants to axe CE on some routes

Can any BA insider enlighten us?
cabin crew: doors to automatic and cross-check...
 
fbgdavidson
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RE: Improved BA Club Europe Rumours?

Tue May 17, 2005 2:11 am

If WW axes CE then he is a crettin. It is quite apparent that those rumours regarding the axing of CE were just some Daily Mail nonsense spin.

But then I would say that...I'm from Flyertalk  Wink
"My first job was selling doors, door to door, that's a tough job innit" - Bill Bailey
 
cambrian
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RE: Improved BA Club Europe Rumours?

Tue May 17, 2005 4:31 am

Forget about improvements to Club Europe- just fly Swiss Business in Europe- 4 abreast on an A320- and you will never look back!

I flew LHR-BCN-LHR in Club last week and it was distinctly forgettable- especially in the worn out and drab 767's that BA fly. No personal space and not even an attempt at anything resembling personalised service.

Swiss Business leaves BA behind on all fronts and now whenever I go to ATH and places like that, I simply use Swiss and transit very quickly in ZRH. The lounge in ZRH is excellent too.
 
AlanUK
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RE: Improved BA Club Europe Rumours?

Tue May 17, 2005 8:38 am

Actually, yes, I can confirm that BA is trialling Club Europe with 2-2 config on G-EUUM and G-EUUN A320s. This is the first part of a major overhaul of Club Europe...

Cambrian... watch this space!
BA380... don't believe all the media, especially not the Daily Mail/Evening Standard, if WW isn't a fool, he will keep Club Europe and improve it too!

Safe flying.
 
squirrel83
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RE: Improved BA Club Europe Rumours?

Tue May 17, 2005 9:17 am

Quoting Cambrian (Reply 2):
Swiss Business in Europe- 4 abreast on an A320- and you will never look back!

Just curious but why on a A321 for Swiss there is 3 - 2 seating? Is this comfy?
A346, 7E7, 747, 777, Sonic Cruiser
 
miami1
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RE: Improved BA Club Europe Rumours?

Tue May 17, 2005 10:02 am

Swiss have reconfigured their 320s as all 6 abreast. The C section simply has the middle seat blocked out and a table console on the centre seat. The pitch is only 31-32". Seat width is only increased if you raise the armrest.

http://www.swiss.com/web/MACNS4/abou...press-releases-05.htm?newsid=58914

I believe this affects only the A320s at this stage. The seats are new carbon fibre seats that increase the the amount of knee space available. Seats are 31-32" in front of the exits and 30" behind. This makes for a total of 168 seats in all Y.
 
cambrian
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RE: Improved BA Club Europe Rumours?

Tue May 17, 2005 5:38 pm

The new Swiss seats are fab, but it is the service that really counts. With Swiss you get:

Addressed by name throughout the flight

Pre-flight champagne

Aperitif

Meal served course by course with lots of wine refills

Digestif

I am not talking long haul here- you get all this between LHR and ZRH!

Their service is simply excellent and their lounges are very nice. They also offer excellent value for money within Europe in business class.

Their cabins are also very bright and have an airy feel, in contrast to BA's knackered and worn look.

Perhaps BA are changing their cabin photos from black and white to colour- maybe that is the improvement? Wink

Or perhaps they have bought a job lot of grey paint with which to refresh their dreary cabins?
 
ba319-131
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RE: Improved BA Club Europe Rumours?

Tue May 17, 2005 6:35 pm

I myself find the cabins of the Airbus fleet very nice, certainly not drab, however the 763 fleet does look rather tired inside.
111,732,3,4,5,7,8,BBJ,741,742,743,744,752,762,763,764,772,77L,773,77W,L15,D10,30,40,AB3,AB6,A312.313,319,320,321,332,333
 
trekster
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RE: Improved BA Club Europe Rumours?

Tue May 17, 2005 6:45 pm

The 76's are old planes. They are just about to overhaul the 76 that fly's on the MAN JFK flt.

I did see somthing on BA.Com saying that they were going to improve Club Europe. Just need to experiecne the thing first lol
Where does the time go???
 
BestWestern
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RE: Improved BA Club Europe Rumours?

Tue May 17, 2005 6:47 pm

Quoting Cambrian (Reply 6):
Their cabins are also very bright and have an airy feel, in contrast to BA's knackered and worn look.

BA's knackered look - only on the 757's... The BA Airbus and Avro cabins are excellent.
You are 100 times more likely to catch a cold on a flight than an average person!
 
BestWestern
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RE: Improved BA Club Europe Rumours?

Tue May 17, 2005 6:52 pm

Oh, and flyertalk is one of the best travel resources on the internet!

I'm just back from a RTW business class, thanks in a great part to extra miles extracted thanks to Flyertalk...
You are 100 times more likely to catch a cold on a flight than an average person!
 
mozart
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RE: Improved BA Club Europe Rumours?

Tue May 17, 2005 6:56 pm

Wow, folks, Swiss Business Class vs. BA Club Europe... you are comparing two contenders for the top prize as Europe's finest short-haul C class. Drab cabin? Impersonal service? Bad seats? Fly Lufthansa, and you will L-O-V-E to go back to BA. And regarding food, even Air France is bad now on European routes. Or has anyone tried Iberia's Business Class? Nothing to write home about either. And someone mentioned lounges: ever been to the cattleyard with the "Senator Lounge" sign at the door at FRA or MUC? In comparison, BA's lounges, especially the Terrace concept are excellent.

I agree that a 2-2 seating would be the biggest needed improvement in Club Europe, but other than that I actually like it quite a bit already as it is.
 
BA380
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RE: Improved BA Club Europe Rumours?

Tue May 17, 2005 7:04 pm

interesting discussion -- does anyone have any photos of the 2 test planes? Or any details? Are the seats just the same wth the B and E seats left empty or are they actually improved seats?
cabin crew: doors to automatic and cross-check...
 
cornish
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RE: Improved BA Club Europe Rumours?

Tue May 17, 2005 7:10 pm

Quoting Mozart (Reply 11):
Wow, folks, Swiss Business Class vs. BA Club Europe... you are comparing two contenders for the top prize as Europe's finest short-haul C class. Drab cabin? Impersonal service? Bad seats? Fly Lufthansa, and you will L-O-V-E to go back to BA. And regarding food, even Air France is bad now on European routes. Or has anyone tried Iberia's Business Class? Nothing to write home about either. And someone mentioned lounges: ever been to the cattleyard with the "Senator Lounge" sign at the door at FRA or MUC? In comparison, BA's lounges, especially the Terrace concept are excellent.

I agree that a 2-2 seating would be the biggest needed improvement in Club Europe, but other than that I actually like it quite a bit already as it is.

I agree Mozart - as far as European short haul is concerned they are pretty much the two best out there - although nothing beats Swissair of old.

For those who are critical of BA, try some of the other European flag carriers and you'll soon realise that their reputation is well earned.
Just when I thought I could see light at the end of the tunnel, it was some B*****d with a torch bringing me more work
 
edina
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RE: Improved BA Club Europe Rumours?

Tue May 17, 2005 7:34 pm

I worked on G-EUUM last Thursday.....not fitted out yet, but on the cards sometime this month.
Worked on - Caravelle Mercure A300 A320 F27 SD3-60 BAe146 747-100/200/400 DC10-30 767 777 737-400 757 A319 A321
 
monkeyboi
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RE: Improved BA Club Europe Rumours?

Tue May 17, 2005 7:45 pm

Cambrian.....Just out of curiousity......What has been the largest Business Class load you have flown on with SWISS?

I agree with you, all the things that you mention SR do are nice touches. When it is possible at BA I endeavour to use names and offer extra bread/drink services as well. I work for BA and CLUB loads between LHR to ZRH or GVA are often hovering around the 75 mark. With a Club Cabin of 75 you will generally have 3 to 4 crew working in the CLUB cabin with such loads. This is for a flight of 80-ish minutes.

I am just curious. Are SWISS still able to maintain the standards you mention when they have a completely full Business Class cabin on a short flight or have the flights you used with them been fairly quiet up front?
 
fbgdavidson
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RE: Improved BA Club Europe Rumours?

Tue May 17, 2005 7:55 pm

Cambrian, I think BA does pull of a good service In CE although it can be not up to scratch at times. I've had name addressal all the way through the flight and as good as constant attention...was like flying CX  Wink The seats on the Airbus on the port side and centre ones on the 767 do make a 2-3 arrangement and the seat is a little wider with the mini-seat for papers etc. Always best in my view.

The cabins in the new Airbus are far from tatty although the 767s are a little on the ragged side. Having flown to BCN a few times recently I get the 767 on the way out and A319 on the way back. The last time the 767 was missing a cabin divider and part of my neighbours seat was falling off!

I look forward to seeing what the new test cabin is like but my flying pattern certainly means my chances of getting onboard those a/c are about 0.1%!
"My first job was selling doors, door to door, that's a tough job innit" - Bill Bailey
 
cambrian
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RE: Improved BA Club Europe Rumours?

Tue May 17, 2005 10:50 pm

Quoting Monkeyboi (Reply 15):
Cambrian.....Just out of curiousity......What has been the largest Business Class load you have flown on with SWISS?

I have taken a variety of flights- some fuller than others. Of course it is nice from the passenger's point of view to fly GVA-ATH with only 4 other passengers in Business, but I have taken busier flights including ZRH-LHR on Friday night, returning on Sunday nights- busy flights, but still consistent service and product.

Also on Swiss you get the skymap that you don't get on BA. A small thing, but part of why I prefer Swiss every time.

And of course, transiting at ZRH is great. I am not a BA basher- I have taken lots of flights with them in all classes, but their Club product is mediocre.

I would even choose OA over BA when going to ATH, as they fly roomy A300's and their catering is fantastic.
 
edina
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RE: Improved BA Club Europe Rumours?

Tue May 17, 2005 11:06 pm

Cambrian.......all BA A319s, A321s and new A320s (The ones registered G-EUUx all feature the moving map display on the overhead screens). The 767s, 757s and G-BUSx A320s do not, but these aircraft are gradually leaving the s/haul fleet anyway.

The new A320s also feature IFE and laptop power.........
Worked on - Caravelle Mercure A300 A320 F27 SD3-60 BAe146 747-100/200/400 DC10-30 767 777 737-400 757 A319 A321
 
A340600
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RE: Improved BA Club Europe Rumours?

Tue May 17, 2005 11:19 pm

Hey,

BA is a lovely airline to fly with in Y on Euro Services, but their C product does look a bit "naff". It is excellent to see they are upgrading this Smile

I'm surprised no-one's mentioned the 737's, you think the 76's are tatty Wink

Sam biggrin 
Despite the name I am a Boeing man through and through!
 
BestWestern
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RE: Improved BA Club Europe Rumours?

Tue May 17, 2005 11:47 pm

Quoting A340600 (Reply 19):
I'm surprised no-one's mentioned the 737's, you think the 76's are tatty

We wouldn't dream of lowering ourselves to fly from Gatwick  Wink Why do you think the 73's are tatty? Its the ruffian passengers that leisure airport attracts.  Smile
You are 100 times more likely to catch a cold on a flight than an average person!
 
fbgdavidson
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RE: Improved BA Club Europe Rumours?

Tue May 17, 2005 11:59 pm

Quoting BestWestern (Reply 20):
We wouldn't dream of lowering ourselves to fly from Gatwick Why do you think the 73's are tatty? Its the ruffian passengers that leisure airport attracts.

 thumbsup  you beat me to it!  Wink Although the LGW Terraces is superb!
"My first job was selling doors, door to door, that's a tough job innit" - Bill Bailey
 
cambrian
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RE: Improved BA Club Europe Rumours?

Wed May 18, 2005 12:05 am

Quoting Edina (Reply 18):
Cambrian.......all BA A319s, A321s and new A320s (The ones registered G-EUUx all feature the moving map display on the overhead screens).

Yes, I have seen them. It is a pity that they seem to be hardly ever in operation on flights that I take.

Perhaps with the new safety video coming out, they will be in use more on short haul and domestic flights?
 
JGPH1A
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RE: Improved BA Club Europe Rumours?

Wed May 18, 2005 12:12 am

Haven't flown CE is a few moons, but it was always pretty good NCE-LHR and v.v., although no lounge access at NCE except for high-tier FQTV nobs. The meal service is nicely presented but a tad predictable - rather too much taboulé salad when I was flying back and forth, possibly that has changed. Always sit on the left hand side facing forward on narrowbodies, the Club seating on that side is only 2, with the middle seat converted to a nice wide armrest.
Young and beautiful and thin and gorgeous AND BANNED ! Cya at airspaceonline.com, losers
 
Speedbird2155
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RE: Improved BA Club Europe Rumours?

Wed May 18, 2005 1:06 am

Edina, Cambrian obviously has his mind made that he doesn't like CE and that it is the worst thing available, so no matter what you say he will try to prove you wrong. Thankfully we have many customers out there that know that BA offers a quality product even in CE and that it may not be perfect, but it's good. Added to that, they trust BA to meet their needs and choose to fly us.
 
cambrian
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RE: Improved BA Club Europe Rumours?

Wed May 18, 2005 3:19 am

Quoting Speedbird2155 (Reply 24):
Cambrian obviously has his mind made that he doesn't like CE and that it is the worst thing available, so no matter what you say he will try to prove you wrong

Speedbird 2155, I have not made up my mind about any such thing! I fly BA regularly- spookily enough, quite a lot on your namesake, flight 2155 to Barbados in First- lovely and can't fault it!

BA is by no means the worst available, but forgive me for saying that it is somewhat churlish of you not to be able to accept that there is a better product out there somewhere else. If you work for BA, then surely the opinions of customers who pay for Club Europe tickets are important? In the business where I work, such customer intelligence is key, and if anything, the opinions of unhappy customers are even more important than those of the happy ones.

Quoting Speedbird2155 (Reply 24):
Thankfully we have many customers out there that know that BA offers a quality product even in CE and that it may not be perfect, but it's good.

Yes, and I am one of them!

But Swiss still kicks a**!  Wink
 
Speedbird2155
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RE: Improved BA Club Europe Rumours?

Wed May 18, 2005 4:31 am

Cambrian, I never said that there weren't products out there at are better than BA. I've actually stated that we aren't perfect and some customers recognise this. However, when others on here have sought to point out things to you, you have returned to find fault, for example with Edina and the IFE. The only opinion that can be reached is that you do not like CE. There however is a point when we have to accept that no matter what is said to try to convince someone, you have to stop. Customer feedback is important to BA so that we can seek ways of improving.
 
cambrian
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RE: Improved BA Club Europe Rumours?

Wed May 18, 2005 6:33 am

Quoting Speedbird2155 (Reply 26):
The only opinion that can be reached is that you do not like CE.

No, I do like it- who wouldn't! It is not consistent, that's all. Of course, one could say that no airline can be totally consistent- it depends upon the crew and the kind of day they are having, but in my experience Swiss does manage that consistency.

I also think that the product could be rebranded. To me the use of the word "club" implies something exclusive, personalised and intimate. Few airlines seem to manage that.

I would add that I had fantastic service from the ticket agent and check in staff at Barcelona airport when I was changing my flight ticket- they made me feel really good about BA.

Onboard, BA is not providing the service levels and product of Swiss- that does not mean that BA is bad- just face it and accept it from a regular traveller. I am sure that BA would prefer to have its own balance sheet rather than that of Swiss right now, but I am talking from the passenger's viewpoint.

I am not a BA basher; read some of my trip reports about First.

Quoting Speedbird2155 (Reply 26):
Customer feedback is important to BA so that we can seek ways of improving.

Good to know that.
 
fbgdavidson
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RE: Improved BA Club Europe Rumours?

Wed May 18, 2005 7:11 am

Quoting Cambrian (Reply 27):
I am not a BA basher; read some of my trip reports about First

Talking of which I found a wooden comb in an Anya BAg at home the other week!  Wink
"My first job was selling doors, door to door, that's a tough job innit" - Bill Bailey
 
Speedbird2155
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RE: Improved BA Club Europe Rumours?

Wed May 18, 2005 1:06 pm

Quoting Cambrian (Reply 27):
I also think that the product could be rebranded. To me the use of the word "club" implies something exclusive, personalised and intimate. Few airlines seem to manage that.

I'll happily admit to this. It can get a bit odd on some of the Euro routes when up to half or more of the aircraft is designated as Club. It doesn't seem as exclusive, personalised or intimate as you would imagine. The quality is still good, even if it could be higher. Maybe these reported changes will do this.

(Note: I've been off for a few weeks, so note really sure what the reported changes are)

[Edited 2005-05-18 06:19:12]
 
BA380
Topic Author
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RE: Improved BA Club Europe Rumours?

Wed May 18, 2005 6:25 pm

I have to agree with Cambrian, broadly speaking: BA Club WORLD and First are great premium products, but CE doesn't seem all that exciting. It's not bad, it's just not that exciting. That's why I am interested to find out more about the test changes to CE, beacuase I think BA are possibly missing a trick here.
cabin crew: doors to automatic and cross-check...
 
cornish
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RE: Improved BA Club Europe Rumours?

Wed May 18, 2005 6:29 pm

Quoting BA380 (Reply 30):
but CE doesn't seem all that exciting. It's not bad, it's just not that exciting.

But then what short haul Europe business class is ? Certainly not AF, LH, KL, to name a few key competitors....

Quoting BA380 (Reply 30):
BA Club WORLD and First are great premium products

That's the thing of course - long haul premiums can be marvellous things, but nobody tries too much at short haul, because we all know its the frequency and the ability to change a ticket at short notice that counts to the business traveller. It's never going to be that exciting/feelgood on a shorter flight.
Just when I thought I could see light at the end of the tunnel, it was some B*****d with a torch bringing me more work
 
jouy31
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RE: Improved BA Club Europe Rumours?

Wed May 18, 2005 7:07 pm

I usually enjoy short hops on BA in CE to CDG, VIE or TXL. I have consistently been disappointed on my flights to/from ATH when flying on the 767s. Tired cabins, seats no better than in coach, I was on the left side and my neighbor and myself were trying all the time not to hit each other.

When comparing to AF or LH, there is no major difference between the three major European airlines in medium-haul business class. They have a different combination of service elements, depending also on the route, I prefer BA to AF on LHR-CDG and prefer the service I get on AF on CDG-ATH to the one I get on BA LHR-ATH or on LH FRA-ATH.

Anyway, and although I agree it is a different network and business model, it is difficult to beat a TPE-HKG 1h40mn flight in long-haul First Class on CX (even medium-haul regional business class) priced around 700 euros when CDG-FRA in European business class costs more than 1,100 euros.
 
bakrew
Posts: 28
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RE: Improved BA Club Europe Rumours?

Wed May 18, 2005 7:13 pm

The 2 aircraft that will have the new style Club Europe seats being trialled on-board are A320's registered G-EUUM & G-EUUN.

BAKrew  Smile
"Thanks for flying with British Airways-A member of the OneWorld alliance"
 
cambrian
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RE: Improved BA Club Europe Rumours?

Thu May 19, 2005 1:16 am

Quoting Fbgdavidson (Reply 28):
Talking of which I found a wooden comb in an Anya BAg at home the other week!

Maybe someone from BA reads these boards? I am now green with envy, not to mention unkempt...

Quoting BAKrew (Reply 33):
The 2 aircraft that will have the new style Club Europe seats being trialled on-board are A320's registered G-EUUM & G-EUUN.

Will this new layout be rolled out throughout the short haul fleet?
 
BA380
Topic Author
Posts: 1441
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RE: Improved BA Club Europe Rumours?

Thu May 19, 2005 1:31 am

I also have my First comb at home, not to mention the fantastic pyjamas. They rock!
cabin crew: doors to automatic and cross-check...
 
cambrian
Posts: 566
Joined: Sat Sep 27, 2003 1:45 am

RE: Improved BA Club Europe Rumours?

Thu May 19, 2005 4:49 am

Yes, the new black pyjamas are smashing!

I am surprised that BA don't offer them for sale in duty free.
 
fbgdavidson
Posts: 3563
Joined: Thu Oct 14, 2004 6:25 am

RE: Improved BA Club Europe Rumours?

Thu May 19, 2005 8:14 am

Quoting Cambrian (Reply 34):
Maybe someone from BA reads these boards? I am now green with envy, not to mention unkempt...

I doubt someone from BA could be bothered to wade through most of the nonsense to find BA specific threads. We do have an official lurker from the Execuitve Club on Flyertalk, only deals with specific Executive Club issues though.
"My first job was selling doors, door to door, that's a tough job innit" - Bill Bailey

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