Skymonster
Topic Author
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Bmi To Charge For Alcohol / Snacks In Y Longhaul

Wed Sep 28, 2005 7:24 am

http://www.flybmi.com/trade/en-gb/sectionhome.aspx?p=1904&rid=774

Interesting quote: This move brings us in line with other carriers such as United who currently charge for alcoholic drinks

Maybe, but it totally differentiates them from British Airways and Virgin who do not charge on trans-Atlantic, nor does it bring them into line with ANY carriers on LHR-BOM.

The management at bmi are totally nucking futs. Leaving aside the behavioral merits of the availability of [free] alcohol for a moment, how they hell do they think that they'll attract punters on MAN-ORD, MAN-LAS and MAN-BOM when their service is becoming totally inferior to BA, VS, AI or 9W?

Hey, don't anyone tell BD management that airlines used to charge for headsets!

A

[Edited 2005-09-28 00:31:32]
There are old pilots and there are bold pilots, but there are no old bold pilots
 
AlanUK
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RE: Bmi To Charge For Alcohol Transatlantic

Wed Sep 28, 2005 7:28 am

"paid for drinks and snacks 27.09.05"

What??? Pay for snacks in between meals on bmi long haul too?! Ok this time, it's clear, bmi management has lost the plot!
 
bmiexpat
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RE: Bmi To Charge For Alcohol / Snacks In Y Longhaul

Wed Sep 28, 2005 8:32 am

What's the problem with offering paid for snacks in between meals? The meals will still be free, as they are now. All bmi are doing in this respect is enhancing their economy product in order to enable people who get peckish in between meal services the opportunity to purchase extra snacks, which at the moment are not available.

As far as charging for alcohol is concerned, why not? Are people really going to pick one airline over the other because you get free alcohol? Seems rather shallow to me. Surely other factors such as price, time and frequent flyer programme are more important to customers, whether travelling for personal or company business? It's not as though BA or VS (or bmi at the moment) give you that much free alcohol in economy anyway.

Why should it be free anyway? Airlines have a duty to feed their passengers on long haul flights, but not to get them pissed. If this can bring about an extra source of revenue for bmi then good luck to them.
 
PMN
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RE: Bmi To Charge For Alcohol / Snacks In Y Longhaul

Wed Sep 28, 2005 8:38 am

Quoting Bmiexpat (Reply 2):
Are people really going to pick one airline over the other because you get free alcohol?

Err...Well actually yes, in some cases, although I don't think paying for alcohol is the real issue here. It's more a principle thing!

Quoting Bmiexpat (Reply 2):
It's not as though BA or VS (or bmi at the moment) give you that much free alcohol in economy anyway.

After a recent visit to Canada I beg to differ! Let's just say I wasn't all that sober arriving at either YYZ or LHR after much Stella and red wine courtesy of those nice BA people.

Paul

[Edited 2005-09-28 01:43:35]

[Edited 2005-09-28 01:44:49]
Edith in his bed, a plane in the rain is humming, the wires in the walls are humming some song - some mysterious song
 
bmiexpat
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RE: Bmi To Charge For Alcohol / Snacks In Y Longhaul

Wed Sep 28, 2005 8:47 am

Quoting PMN (Reply 3):
It's more a principle thing!

The principle of getting something for nothing? I see where you're coming from! As I said airlines have a duty to feed their passengers, not let them starve, but where's the principle in giving them free alcohol?
 
vv701
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RE: Bmi To Charge For Alcohol / Snacks In Y Longhaul

Wed Sep 28, 2005 8:49 am

Quoting Bmiexpat (Reply 2):
Why should it be free anyway?

I very much doubt that your average business traveller spends hours or even minutes searching the web to find a long haul flight that with save his company a few quid. You also need to recognise that while the business traveler can charge items such as his airline fare back to his company, no company will accept a receipt for their staff's alcohol bill. So there is more than a tendency for business travellers to use all-inclusive services of all types because then there is no problem with reimbursement and most importantly the expense claiming paperwork is minimised.

So there is little doubt:


Quoting Skymonster (Thread starter):
The management at bmi are totally nucking futs.
 
bmiexpat
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RE: Bmi To Charge For Alcohol / Snacks In Y Longhaul

Wed Sep 28, 2005 8:58 am

Quoting VV701 (Reply 5):
I very much doubt that your average business traveller spends hours or even minutes searching the web to find a long haul flight that with save his company a few quid.

I quite agree, but I'm sure the business traveller who doesn't have to worry about how much he spends on his airfare is the type of business traveller who will be travelling in the business or premium economy, where this new policy has no effect. The business traveller who is travelling in economy is quite possibly the one who's company's travel department makes his bookings for him to ensure the cheapest option is taken, regardless of whether there is free alcohol or not.

I don't see how this makes bmi's management "totally nucking futs".

[Edited 2005-09-28 02:05:09]
 
Avianca
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RE: Bmi To Charge For Alcohol / Snacks In Y Longhaul

Wed Sep 28, 2005 9:01 am

Quoting Bmiexpat (Reply 2):
It's not as though BA or VS (or bmi at the moment) give you that much free alcohol in economy anyway.

it woud be nice if they still would serve 1 alcohol bavarage like, 1 beer or 1 wine when they serving the meal....

DE for example is doing good, they are charging for alcohol but have on the longhaul flights at least 1 or 2 alcohol coctails for free, Vodka and Gin.

regards
Avianca
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vv701
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RE: Bmi To Charge For Alcohol / Snacks In Y Longhaul

Wed Sep 28, 2005 9:13 am

The business traveller travels in the class that his company decrees for someone of his or her status (in the company) and the distance or time of the flight. So, for example when I and a colleague were flying London-New York in the early 80s we were permitted to fly club. At that time I believe it was Western Airlines who had just started a JFK-LGW-JFK service and my colleague found that the F fare on Western was cheaper than the C fare on any other airline. So we flew Frst.

When the trip was over I was hauled over the coals by my management as I had broken the rules bysaving company money. I simply was not senior enough to travel First.

What class we were allowed to travel varried with the prosperity of the company and the (micro and macro) economic climate. I flew to NY more often in Y than C and only that once in F. As I needed to travel on a fully flexible ticket my company was paying a lot more for my ticket than most of the passengers around me. BA now addess this anomaly with World Traveller Plus.
 
bmiexpat
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RE: Bmi To Charge For Alcohol / Snacks In Y Longhaul

Wed Sep 28, 2005 9:21 am

Quoting VV701 (Reply 8):
The business traveller travels in the class that his company decrees for someone of his or her status (in the company) and the distance or time of the flight.

I understand completely, hence the huge drop in business class travel within Europe (ultimately leading to bmi's decision to drop business class on most short haul routes).

Quoting VV701 (Reply 8):
BA now addess this anomaly with World Traveller Plus.

... and bmi have the alternative of premium economy, for the budget concsious business traveller, where alcohol will still be free.
 
PMN
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RE: Bmi To Charge For Alcohol / Snacks In Y Longhaul

Wed Sep 28, 2005 9:30 am

Quoting Bmiexpat (Reply 4):
but where's the principle in giving them free alcohol?

Principle is perhaps the wrong word. Maybe the word is example. Why should BMI provide free alcohol? Well...In a sense I agree, there is no principle as such as to why they SHOULD provide free alcohol, but to me it's yet another example of how BMI, as a formerly great airline is now making its way rapidly down the toilet.

Paul
Edith in his bed, a plane in the rain is humming, the wires in the walls are humming some song - some mysterious song
 
A340600
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RE: Bmi To Charge For Alcohol / Snacks In Y Longhaul

Wed Sep 28, 2005 9:44 am

...and there is even a spelling mistake silly 
Despite the name I am a Boeing man through and through!
 
Trolley Dolley
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RE: Bmi To Charge For Alcohol / Snacks In Y Longhaul

Wed Sep 28, 2005 9:52 am

Are the management nuts for trying to pass a variable cost onto the consumer? For instance here in the South Pacific Virgin/Pacific Blue is considered a budget airline although it actually provides (depending on route) lounge access, a choice of hot meals, alcohol and personal AVOD systems. The only difference between it and its "full service" competitors is that you have to pay for these services as you use them.

My calculations show that Virgin/Pacific Blue could extract an additional $200-$300 for a family of 4 travelling on a round trip by the time each has a meal, round of drinks or two and hires the entertainment. These are valuable revenue streams for the airline.

What the annoucement raises is the perceptions of "full service" in the minds of the consumer. Does this mean an all inclusive price, or one that offers customers comparable or higher choice of services to its competitors, but at a price? The perception of "full service" varies depending on a person's background and experience.

The danger for BMI is that the airline runs the risk of destroying its profile and history of providing higher levels of service, by these actions. The management will only be considered "nuts" if the loss of consumers who value this to other carriers offering diferent service and products outweighs the gain in revenue from the on board sales.
 
bmiexpat
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RE: Bmi To Charge For Alcohol / Snacks In Y Longhaul

Wed Sep 28, 2005 9:56 am

I agree with you that bmi is not the airline it used to be. However, in today's market place, bmi could not have continued offering the same service it was offering, whilst trying to fight the onslaught of the LCCs and not having access to the highly profitable long haul routes ex LHR that prop up BA's bottom line and justify the existance of BA's short haul network. People reminisce about the days of British Midland's Diamond Service, but in those days, the fares matched the service. These days it's not possible to give this service and offer the fares that people demand.

bmi is not BA and they have demonstrated recently that they are no longer trying to be them, because trying to do so was not making them any money. This has resulted in various policy changes; dropping business class on short haul, buy on board service on short haul economy, the introduction of bmibaby "tiny" fares on mainline, and now charging for alcohol in the economy cabin on long haul services, all of which are intended to return the company to a decent level of profitability.

bmi is changing in order to survive. Nobody likes change, airline employees, airline passengers and least of all posters on this website, however, it is change or die.
 
Nimish
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RE: Bmi To Charge For Alcohol / Snacks In Y Longhaul

Wed Sep 28, 2005 1:30 pm

This is amazing - why would a person choose BMI when he has other options at the same or lower price, with similar or better service, and they offer additional perks like Alcohol or snacks? I think that's the bottom line question.

Only ppl stuck to *A or folks with BMI FFP programs would probably take BD from here on. Others would choose 9W (with better frequency and connectivity in India), or AI (better frequency/connectivity in India), or BA (much better frequency and connectivity across the world). The competetion might be between VS and BD (where VS might again win since they have flights to both BOM and DEL, and they offer a good product on economy).
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bmiexpat
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RE: Bmi To Charge For Alcohol / Snacks In Y Longhaul

Wed Sep 28, 2005 2:43 pm

Quoting Nimish (Reply 14):
Only ppl stuck to *A or folks with BMI FFP programs would probably take BD from here on

...from here on... because bmi have decided to charge for alcohol in economy?

Quoting Nimish (Reply 14):
This is amazing

It is indeed amazing that people are so obsessed about a policy of charging for alcohol.

I still can't see why it's such a big deal. But I completely agree about your comments about cost. In this day and age, the main deciding factor is cost, why would someone fly airline A if they can get a cheaper fare with airline B, unless there are other factors, such as FFP, connections, flight timings etc... Does anybody really believe that getting free alcohol is that important when you take these other factors into consideration?
 
ba319-131
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RE: Bmi To Charge For Alcohol / Snacks In Y Longhaul

Wed Sep 28, 2005 3:01 pm

Not a big issue really. Bmi are really just following suit with one of their *Alliance partners regarding the drinks.

The snack thing is actually a good idea, why not pay for something better than a small bag of pretzels if you are still hungry after the meal service?
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purplebox
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RE: Bmi To Charge For Alcohol / Snacks In Y Longhaul

Wed Sep 28, 2005 3:24 pm

Quoting from the press release:

"Our cabin services and product development are working together to ensure that the amended service fits with our longhaul philosophy of delivering a stylish and personal service."

BD built a good reputation for their MAN services by being "stylish and personal" even in Y and reaped the benefits. But now they seem to want to follow others and be average rather than provide a better product.

AA also fly to ORD from MAN, and while I have always flown BD on this route because of the better service I will have to reconsider. The fact that anything is chargeable in long haul will change the experience - I would rather they stopped serving alcohol than have people around me searching for change all the time like a LCC.

PurpleBox.

[Edited 2005-09-28 08:46:01]
Next Flights:LHR-BOG,BOG-GYE,MDE-BOG-PTY,PTY-BOG-CTG,SMR-BOG-LHR - all on AV
 
Nimish
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RE: Bmi To Charge For Alcohol / Snacks In Y Longha

Wed Sep 28, 2005 3:36 pm

Quoting Bmiexpat (Reply 15):
Does anybody really believe that getting free alcohol is that important when you take these other factors into consideration?

It would certainly be on my list of considerations - alongside cost, connections, FFP accrual etc. All other things being equal, I would choose the airline that gave me my glass of wine without charging for it.

While I have no hassles with paying for meals/drink on a dirt cheap LCC, I expect a certain level of service when I pay good money for my flight tickets. Given that BMI is NOT cheaper than BA, 9W, AI, VS etc. on the BOM-LHR sector - it just puts them at somewhat of a disadvantage.

And that's not what BD should be aiming for - given the fact that they don't have any particular USP on offer - besides *A membership and *A FFP benefits.

I mean - I can see them going after all these "cost-saving"  sarcastic  schemes which dont' help grow the market (unless you offer a cheaper ticket). Then when loads/yields are low - they'll probably cry saying they are at a disadvantage because of X, Y, Z - completely forgetting their own contribution in reducing their "value" to the traveller.

On a side note - I got a stale yucky pizza as my second meal (it's a 9 hour flight with 1 main meal and 1 smaller meal) on BD the last time I flew them BOM-LHR, and that really sucked. But at that time I made up with a delicious Bacardi-Coke! Now I'll have to shell out for the drink Sad
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uadc8contrail
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RE: Bmi To Charge For Alcohol / Snacks In Y Longhaul

Wed Sep 28, 2005 3:41 pm

to those of you that will fly BA vs any carrier that charges for booze on a trans atlantic flight....go ahead and fly BA....drink before the flight till your gut can handle no more....get on board and about half way across the pond, acting like total morons ask the BA flight attd for more booze, as evidenced on a BA fight back in august.....then tell us how mad you are as the BA staff cut your beloved footballer(still soccer to me) friends off as you cleaned out the coach liquor cart and they will not get any more booze from biz class...get to boston and complain to the BA ground staff that you were treated badly....now fly on a aer lingus flt from ord-dub and you will see a much better behaved passenger as the ones that loaded up bofore the flight were out like a light before we crossed over toronto
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HT
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RE: Bmi To Charge For Alcohol / Snacks In Y Longhaul

Wed Sep 28, 2005 3:45 pm

"No free alcohol and free snacks in Y longhaul" ? Okay with me!

A lot carriers from islamic countries don´t have any alcohol on baord at all !
One of them at least allows (or did so in the past) pax to bring along their own booze for consumption during the flight and will also provide the ice cubes for it: BI.

OTOH, it´s no recommended to drink alcohol during longhaul flights as your body will dehydrate even more severely, but whoever wants to drink alcohol: Fell free ! If your carrier doesn´t provide you with booze, purchase it on board or bring it along.

The same thing goes for "Snacks": Purchase or bring along. I prefer to have a good homemade bread with cheese or salami or similar rather than one of those Croissants (but that is definitely due to personal taste ! ). Yes, if I know that a carrier will not serve me proper amounts of food, I bring along my own !

Just for the record: I´m not an anti-alcoholic and do enjoy a tasty, dry Spanish Red wine ... (but thats another discussion, and best not be done in "civil")
-HT
Carpe diem ! Life is too short to waste your time ! Keep in mind, that today is the first day of the rest of your life !
 
manni
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RE: Bmi To Charge For Alcohol / Snacks In Y Longhaul

Wed Sep 28, 2005 4:56 pm

Nothing is for free, previously alcohol served onboard their flights must have been calculated into the price of the ticket. If BMI is going to charge the consumption of alcohol seperately now, does that mean that the price of a ticket will drop? If not BMI, is charging people for alcohol without serving it, and double charging people for alcohol who'll drink. Scandalous, similar to Delta's practice were one beer is 4$ OR 4€. Last time I checked 4€ was 5$.

I tend to avoid American carriers for their inferior inflight product, I hope I do not have to avoid Europrean carriers aswell in the future. Luckly just about all my journeys are either intra Asia or Europe-Asia, and Asian carriers lowering their inflight product is just something that I dont see happening...  Wink
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AirbusA6
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RE: Bmi To Charge For Alcohol / Snacks In Y Longhaul

Wed Sep 28, 2005 5:19 pm

Quoting AlanUK (Reply 1):
This move brings us in line with other carriers such as United who currently charge for alcoholic drinks

Shouldn't the quote day, "This move brings us in line with bankrupt US carriers in Chapter 11 such as United who currently charge for alcoholic drinks, rather than the profitable long haul airlines in the rest of the world who don't charge for alcohol"
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BestWestern
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RE: Bmi To Charge For Alcohol / Snacks In Y Longhaul

Wed Sep 28, 2005 5:56 pm

I've held fire for 21 posts. Will BD for once and for all decide what they want to be, and stop confusing the hell out of customers by changing their minds every fifteen days or so. Only three weeks or so ago we were told that full serivce long haul operations will be here for the future. Then we learn that they have reduced mileage earning levels on lower long haul fares, and now hacked back service. So, BD, what are you.. full service or low cost, or 'modular' where nobody knows what you are, including your staff, and especially your customers. Name one (non bankrupt) star alliance carrier that charges for drinks on long haul flights.

Other wonderful and insightful BD decisions of late....

Lets remove Business class... But keep it on some routes, and change our minds on others days before the changes are supposed to happen. But then only remove it from Heathrow, but keep it on regional routes, but then days later drop it on some regional routes.

Lets remove free food, but only from heathrow. Then days later, announce that some regional routes arent going to offer free food either.

Lets spend millions launching a long haul from Manchester, and within weeks start playing with frequencies. Then after spending a fortune launching an excellent business class, replace it with a clapped out 757. Then wonder why the route finally tanks. Then decide to get a 767 to kill other routes from Manchester.

Lets launch Long haul from heathrow, and dedicate an entire aircraft to it. But balls up on the route prooving for RUH, so leave the aircraft rusting at heathrow for three days a week. Then announce daily bombay, then change your minds.

Lets reduce frequencies so far on routes so they dont work anymore for high yielding business passengers.

Lets confuse the hell out of staff and customers by launching bmibaby from heathrow on Bmi aircraft, and then half follow through on the changes we were planning, because we all really know that we are pissing off our frequent fliers, only to piss them further off because we half introduce changes, so nobody knows whats the proper service is anymore.

Cherry on the cake I - lets lease an ATR for LCY routes, then change our minds when surprise surprise the route fails, just like it did for FlyBe.

Cherry on the cake II - lets bid for Irish regional routes

Cherry on the cake III - lets announce LTN BRU using regional jets, offering free food down the back to confuse the customer who will pay for food from Heathrow on the exact same city pair.

Cherry on the cake IV - lets relaunch Bmi Baby from Gatwick, so we can have three product offerings from the same city.

Cherry on the cake V - lets ban our most frequent customers from our diamond club lounges when they travel on lowest fares - even though they give us thousands on an annual basis on other flights.

Cherry on the cake VI - lets stop interline baggage even within the same alliance.
You are 100 times more likely to catch a cold on a flight than an average person!
 
Nimish
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RE: Bmi To Charge For Alcohol / Snacks In Y Longha

Wed Sep 28, 2005 6:17 pm

Quoting BestWestern (Reply 23):
Will BD for once and for all decide what they want to be, and stop confusing the hell out of customers by changing their minds every fifteen days or so

There's consistently been a change in mind every 15 days or so - now that's the consistency BD seems to be aiming for  sarcastic 

Quoting BestWestern (Reply 23):
Name one (non bankrupt) star alliance carrier that charges for drinks on long haul flights.

And even UA has free drinks on the Asian long-haul sectors.

Restating what I've said before - so what is BD's USP in the crowded market (ex: BOM-LHR)? Neither is it price, nor service, nor frequency, nor connections, nor ethnic flavor. Prior to this at least it was "Full service at a competitive price". Now it's reduced to "less service at the same price".

How much do they hope to save by scrounging on a couple of drinks in Economy? If even one-two pax base their decision on the free booze - does it still work out for BD in the end? And if they reduce their prices to an LCC level - then their margins are anyway hosed.
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Skymonster
Topic Author
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RE: Bmi To Charge For Alcohol / Snacks In Y Longhaul

Wed Sep 28, 2005 6:25 pm

Quoting Bmiexpat (Reply 13):
bmi is not BA and they have demonstrated recently that they are no longer trying to be them, because trying to do so was not making them any money. This has resulted in various policy changes; dropping business class on short haul, buy on board service on short haul economy, the introduction of bmibaby "tiny" fares on mainline, and now charging for alcohol in the economy cabin on long haul services, all of which are intended to return the company to a decent level of profitability.

Indeed. And now bmi have made those choices, they have to live with the consequences. If bmi want to play games and focus only on the once-a-year (and then only maybe) brigade, that's fine. Just don't expect the frequent traveller to fall into line and accept it all.

On some occasions, I have to travel long haul in economy. bmi was at one time without a doubt the best way to do that. Now, I get more frequent flyer points on United or Virgin, I get inclusive drinks on Virgin or British Airways, and if I decide to travel with United even though I pay for drinks I get an economy plus seat at no extra cost that has far more leg room than bmi provide in their standard economy cabin (as a result of my *A gold status). And finally, bmi are NEVER cheaper than all the other alternatives but they offer an inferior product. bmi now offer nothing, zero, to make me want to travel with them anymore. As a former long time BD employee, I find that sad. As a regular transatlantic traveller, I am a long way from being alone in moving all of my business away from bmi - and now I'm moving my economy business away from bmi, I also move my premium business away too.

Quoting Bmiexpat (Reply 15):
why would someone fly airline A if they can get a cheaper fare with airline B, unless there are other factors, such as FFP, connections, flight timings etc... Does anybody really believe that getting free alcohol is that important when you take these other factors into consideration?

See above... Alcohol is just the last straw. bmi offer nothing anymore. Less FF miles, lower frequency, worse connections (at least in the US due to dropping IAD), charged for drinks, less legroom (compared to UA E+ which is no cost)... In almost every case, there is now a better alternative than bmi and in most cases its likely to be price competitive or cheaper. Why anyone would make a positive choice to travel bmi long haul (as opposed to just take it because its there or offered and they don't know better) is now totally beyond me.

[Edited 2005-09-28 11:27:22]
There are old pilots and there are bold pilots, but there are no old bold pilots
 
PMN
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RE: Bmi To Charge For Alcohol / Snacks In Y Longhaul

Wed Sep 28, 2005 6:31 pm

Quoting BestWestern (Reply 23):

Well, that pretty much sums it up! I don't have a 'problem' with paying for alcohol, and I realise that in some way you pay for everything anyway. I pay for alcohol on LCC's all the time and don't mind because that's just the way it is. As I said previously, to me it's yet another reduction in the level of service BMI provide as they continue to leave their roots behind and adopt a LCC way of operating. However, as bmiexpat quite rightly points out, things have to change. It's just disappointing to watch.

Paul
Edith in his bed, a plane in the rain is humming, the wires in the walls are humming some song - some mysterious song
 
cornish
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RE: Bmi To Charge For Alcohol / Snacks In Y Longhaul

Wed Sep 28, 2005 6:46 pm

Quoting BestWestern (Reply 23):

Agree 100% BW. Its not the alcohol issue - its all the other stupid decisions that have been made of late. How many different new polices/ideas have their been this year. Instead of a complete overhaul of the business, their products and their strategy, it seems to be a little bit here, a little bit there each month. Nothing shows me that they have any confidence in their product, or any idea where they are going at present.
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
 
BestWestern
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RE: Bmi To Charge For Alcohol / Snacks In Y Longhaul

Wed Sep 28, 2005 6:54 pm

Quoting Nimish (Reply 24):
Prior to this at least it was "Full service at a competitive price". Now it's reduced to "less service at the same price".

I was going to sum up my original posting by saying "low cost without low expectations my arse", but you did it nicely!

Quoting PMN (Reply 26):
things have to change.

I agree, but why dont BD just say that, and do it once, rather than being afraid to announce the changes. What they are trying to do is make changes, without telling anyone, or masking the changes in PR Spin.

BD is becoming the new EI. However, unlike EI they are afriad to tell anyone. EI is a good low cost carrier, and proud of it. BD is becoming a crap stuck in the middle part full service carrier part low cost carrier wannabe.

For me, i'm 5k miles off target for renewing my BD gold by year end. Not sure if I will bother trying. So far in September I've taken 8 BD flights.
You are 100 times more likely to catch a cold on a flight than an average person!
 
Skymonster
Topic Author
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RE: Bmi To Charge For Alcohol / Snacks In Y Longhaul

Wed Sep 28, 2005 7:10 pm

Quoting BestWestern (Reply 28):
For me, i'm 5k miles off target for renewing my BD gold by year end. Not sure if I will bother trying. So far in September I've taken 8 BD flights.

And I'm 800 miles off of BD Gold after four months of my membership year. I'll let it go over to gold again on some cheap-ass LH trip in Europe so that I have *G until the end of May 2007, but everything else of mine is now going to UA MP - both points and where possible business. Farewell BD, I've supported your business for the last nine years, but with the erosion of every aspect of your on-board service without a comensurate reduction in fares, now you don't make it worth my while to use you anymore.
There are old pilots and there are bold pilots, but there are no old bold pilots
 
cornish
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RE: Bmi To Charge For Alcohol / Snacks In Y Longhaul

Wed Sep 28, 2005 7:14 pm

Quoting Skymonster (Reply 29):
Farewell BD, I've supported your business for the last nine years, but with the erosion of every aspect of your on-board service without a comensurate reduction in fares, now you don't make it worth my while to use you anymore.

Eight years for me - but I've already sadly given up on them.
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
 
cricket
Posts: 2085
Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2005 8:23 pm

RE: Bmi To Charge For Alcohol / Snacks In Y Longhaul

Wed Sep 28, 2005 7:15 pm

Well, lets ee now, loads on the BOM-LHR are going collapse. 9W, AI, BA and VS offer far better service (and don't charge) and connectivity and if I really wanted *A points, I'ld fly LH. While all the BD employees might say, this is good and all, I'ld hate to see the BOM flight fail, because something like this will surely make it.
A300B2/B4/6R, A313, A319/320/321, A333, A343, A388, 737-2/3/4/7/8/9, 747-3/4, 772/2E/2L/3, E170/190, F70, CR2/7, 146-3,
 
richardw
Posts: 3142
Joined: Tue May 08, 2001 3:17 am

RE: Bmi To Charge For Alcohol / Snacks In Y Longhaul

Wed Sep 28, 2005 7:27 pm

When did they close down the 'customer retention' department?
 
PMN
Posts: 547
Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2005 7:44 am

RE: Bmi To Charge For Alcohol / Snacks In Y Longhaul

Wed Sep 28, 2005 7:50 pm

Quoting BestWestern (Reply 28):
I agree, but why dont BD just say that, and do it once, rather than being afraid to announce the changes.

Possibly because they don't really have the slightest clue what they're doing  Big grin

Paul
Edith in his bed, a plane in the rain is humming, the wires in the walls are humming some song - some mysterious song
 
cornish
Posts: 7651
Joined: Fri Feb 18, 2005 8:05 pm

RE: Bmi To Charge For Alcohol / Snacks In Y Longhaul

Wed Sep 28, 2005 7:55 pm

Quoting PMN (Reply 33):
Possibly because they don't really have the slightest clue what they're doing

The expression "BMI Business Strategy" being an oxymoron of course  Wink
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
 
BlueShamu330s
Posts: 2569
Joined: Sun Sep 23, 2001 3:11 am

RE: Bmi To Charge For Alcohol / Snacks In Y Longhaul

Wed Sep 28, 2005 7:58 pm

Quoting Richardw (Reply 32):
When did they close down the 'customer retention' department?

They didn't.

They rebranded it ARSE

Anally
Retentive
Strategy
Everywhere

Shamu
So I drive a 4x4. So what?! Tax the a$$ off me for it...oh, you already have... :-(
 
Nimish
Posts: 2911
Joined: Mon Feb 14, 2005 6:46 pm

RE: Bmi To Charge For Alcohol / Snacks In Y Longhaul

Wed Sep 28, 2005 8:03 pm

Quoting Bmiexpat (Reply 2):
As far as charging for alcohol is concerned, why not? Are people really going to pick one airline over the other because you get free alcohol? Seems rather shallow to me

It's not just the alcohol - the question is what's BD's USP? Low cost? Full service? Modular? Frequency? Understand local market? or just plain Confused?

Quoting Bmiexpat (Reply 4):
The principle of getting something for nothing? I see where you're coming from! As I said airlines have a duty to feed their passengers, not let them starve, but where's the principle in giving them free alcohol?

Getting something for nothing? I don't see BD reducing the ticket price after removing the free alcohol. And Airlines don't feed their pax from a sense of "duty" - they charge the price for food in the tickets and when charged for Food & Drinks , I do expect food/drinks in return.

Quoting Bmiexpat (Reply 6):
The business traveller who is travelling in economy is quite possibly the one who's company's travel department makes his bookings for him to ensure the cheapest option is taken, regardless of whether there is free alcohol or not.

True - but is BMI the cheapest? Does BMI offer the best frequency/ connections? - No. Hence there's no overriding reason for the business traveller or the travel dept to choose BD. And in a matter of similar pricing the travel dept will often take the inputs of the pax concerned.

Quoting Bmiexpat (Reply 13):
bmi is changing in order to survive. Nobody likes change, airline employees, airline passengers and least of all posters on this website, however, it is change or die.

In this case - unfortunately though - it seems more of "die through change". While the last statement is certainly overdramatic (more tongue in cheek that anything else) - the leading question is always going to be - what's the USP? So far on BOM-LHR it's been "full service at competitive price". Where's that headed to now, esp considering the competetion that BD faces everyday from the likes of BA/AI/9W/VS etc on this sector?
Incredible India!
 
airways45
Posts: 282
Joined: Wed May 10, 2000 1:26 am

RE: Bmi To Charge For Alcohol / Snacks In Y Longhaul

Wed Sep 28, 2005 8:11 pm

As a bmi gold card holder myself, I have to say that BestWestern's summary was fantastic. You hit the nail on the head.

BMIexpat - if you work for BMI, PLEASE, PLEASE sort this mess out. I'm concerned that you are so convinced that all of these changes are great, that you and your colleagues are thrilled with your new model and think all is well. Passengers are angry. You won't survive if you annoy your travellers.

In addition, it seems that BMI is seeking low cost passengers rather than premium passengers.

As a frequent BMI flyer with over double the number of gold card miles I need to keep my status (and my year hasn't finished yet) - I am another one who is thinking of switching to another scheme...

I am told it will be January before any changes to the FFP are announced. Why so long?

Please BMI - as a long time supported, get your act together. Communicate with your frequent passengers, ask their opinions, let them know first. Sometimes, the first I hear of things are in trade announcements and not via an email from BMI. Shame on you.

Airways45
 
BestWestern
Posts: 7201
Joined: Fri Sep 08, 2000 8:46 pm

RE: Bmi To Charge For Alcohol / Snacks In Y Longhaul

Wed Sep 28, 2005 8:43 pm

Bmiexpat, your attitude towards customers complaining is astonishing. Interestingly I have also seen it in the BD diamond club lounge where the I actually saw a lounge supervisor saying to a gold customer "if you dont like the changes, you can always fly BA". BD are alienating their most loyal customers.

The common 80% of revenue comes from 20% of your customers rule also holds true within the airline industry. Banning gold and silver customers from your lounges on low yield leisure fares is innane, as todays low fare usually is matched by tomorrows high yield business fare. Breaking the link means that I will no longer push to fly BD over BA on more expensive fares as there is no benefit to my leisure travel.

Its amazing how many people onboard flights are talking about these changes - people are actually getting annoyed at BD - and the amazing thing is that there is so much mis-truth about the changes - why - because BD have failed to communicate the changes. (Dont forget that the most important part of communication is what the customer actually hears). The spin and constant changing of changed minds, and delayed implementation dates has created chaos in the customers minds - Tiny fares vs Baby fares vs Standard fares, Premium economy = lounge access short haul Premium economy = no lounge access long haul, Lounge access today, not tomorrow or is it November, or is it January... Mid-economy fares booked on flybmi.com = no lounge no miles. the same fare booked through a travel agency = miles and lounge access (plus service fee). CHAOS .

The best example of chaos theory is to do with the mid economy fares (M,H,V etc) Loyal BMI passengers are booking their mid-economy fares on expedia to ensure they get miles, resulting in increased costs for Bmi, and reduced passenger loyalty (fares compared to the competition). Often there is a £10 difference in fare on expedia - but once the expedia airline charges, etc are paid for I bet that the airline will actually get less revenue than if the fare was paid for online. These fares get miles on Bmi.com today (extended until January as the IT team cant do what the 'experts' want, but confusion reigns due to bad communication, resulting in additional costs for the airline. Name one other airline driving frequent fliers away from their website

Change on board the aircraft was overdue - I'm a fan of the new on-board menu, and I've had three bacon rolls for breakfast so far in September. Charging for Beer and Wine is fine (DL give their medallion passengers vouchers) on short haul, but not long haul, where the competition offer free drinks.
You are 100 times more likely to catch a cold on a flight than an average person!
 
Orion737
Posts: 3044
Joined: Sat Jan 08, 2005 10:14 pm

RE: Bmi To Charge For Alcohol / Snacks In Y Longhaul

Wed Sep 28, 2005 9:21 pm

If you have been lucky enough to get a bacon roll from BMIs Buy on board you must have been sat very near the front or rear and on a longer sector such as LHR-MAD.

Passengers in mid cabin on a very short ex LHR flight have little chance of being served anything by the slower BOB service and reduced cabin crew. If they do manage to see the trolley before landing, they will have run out of customers choice of purchase.

If you want full service on BMI it seems the best thing to do is to get down to the no-frills hub Luton and get a full service BMI flight from LTN-BRU! Crackers!
 
BestWestern
Posts: 7201
Joined: Fri Sep 08, 2000 8:46 pm

RE: Bmi To Charge For Alcohol / Snacks In Y Longhaul

Wed Sep 28, 2005 9:34 pm

Quoting Orion737 (Reply 39):
you must have been sat very near the front or rear and on a longer sector such as LHR-MAD.

Telephone check-in virtually ensures a front row, and an extra 30 minutes in bed in the morning. I lost it last weekend when I was told that Tiny fares cant telephone check-in. I asked the Indian 'specialist' when did the 'no telephone check-in' rule start. Confused (not difficult to get confused with BD Tiny fares) she went off to check with her supervisor, and quickly changed her mind on the matter.
You are 100 times more likely to catch a cold on a flight than an average person!
 
cornish
Posts: 7651
Joined: Fri Feb 18, 2005 8:05 pm

RE: Bmi To Charge For Alcohol / Snacks In Y Longhaul

Wed Sep 28, 2005 9:40 pm

Quoting Orion737 (Reply 39):
and on a longer sector such as LHR-MAD.

Don't get me started on BMI LHR-MAD. It was the removal of any sort of frequency and lousy timings that meant it was a complete business no-no for me anymore...
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
 
col
Posts: 1695
Joined: Thu Nov 27, 2003 2:11 am

RE: Bmi To Charge For Alcohol / Snacks In Y Longhaul

Wed Sep 28, 2005 10:07 pm

Sounds like an airline in serious trouble, especially when you quote what UA do! BA will obviously take them to the cleaners at LHR, they have single handedly destroyed their growing MAN base, and now they are trying to copy LCC's with RJ's out of regional airports. New Management Required!
 
Skymonster
Topic Author
Posts: 3428
Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2001 7:53 pm

RE: Bmi To Charge For Alcohol / Snacks In Y Longhaul

Wed Sep 28, 2005 10:21 pm

The fundamental problem BMI have DISMALLY failed to address is not so much that of the cheapest-fare passenger, but those paying a high-yielding economy fare.

I think most of us, myself included, would fundamentally accept paying for a drink on a £200 ($350) round trip from MAN to IAD or ORD. The problem is that I don't usually travel on those fares. Many times I've paid the best part of £1000 ($1750) or even more for a round trip to the US in economy (last minute booking), and up to £800 ($1400) for a one way trip. If BMI is prepared to put bums on seats for £200 round trip, then its damned well going to give me a couple of gin and tonics for my £1000 without asking me to put my hand in my pocket again. If they don't do that, well sorry but I won't fly with them, nor will many others who travel regularly on such fares.

Is it too much to ask that the full fare paying gets something more than the crap handed down to the lowest fare payer? United actually have this down just right. Pay a full fare or hold a silver/gold frequent flyer card, and UA give you 4" more leg room in economy plus, no extra charge. Taking the choice of paying for a G&T with 4" more leg room, or having an included G&T, I'd take the leg room every time. BMI now offer NOTHING, squat, to those who pay high-end economy fares, so they're not worth using. That's why I'd rather fly UA now, and I do - eight trips to the US this year, four in Y and 4 in C, every one with UA whereas last year all my trans Atlantic was on BD.

And that's their problem - they may well attract cheap and chearful punters, for a while, but they'll drive away their higher-yield economy traffic in droves. And that which they will drive away is that which would make them serious money. They have SO lost the plot.

Andy
There are old pilots and there are bold pilots, but there are no old bold pilots
 
CrossChecked
Posts: 184
Joined: Sat Sep 04, 2004 8:06 am

RE: Bmi To Charge For Alcohol / Snacks In Y Longhaul

Wed Sep 28, 2005 11:25 pm

Quoting Bmiexpat (Reply 2):
As far as charging for alcohol is concerned, why not? Are people really going to pick one airline over the other because you get free alcohol?

I often feel that free alcohol on flights encourages binge drinking - something that the British Government are currently working hard to fight.

I absolutely hate serving people three G&Ts, two beers and a Vodka and Coke (between three people) at four in the morning on the way back from the States. I wonder if they would be drinking that heavily if they had to pay for the booze???

I've also had to scrape a passenger off the floor after landing in the past. He didn't realise that alcohol hits you more as you descend and when he stood up after landing, he hit the deck immediately.
Cabin crew, doors to manual and cross check.
 
Orion737
Posts: 3044
Joined: Sat Jan 08, 2005 10:14 pm

RE: Bmi To Charge For Alcohol / Snacks In Y Longhaul

Wed Sep 28, 2005 11:34 pm

I hardly think the goverment are working hard to fight excessive/binge drinking by relaxing the licensing laws and enabling 24 hour drinking!
 
Lindy
Posts: 4722
Joined: Wed May 19, 1999 10:42 pm

RE: Bmi To Charge For Alcohol / Snacks In Y Longhaul

Wed Sep 28, 2005 11:35 pm

Whats the big deal? Icelandair is charging $2 for snacks and $4 alcohol in Y class. I don't see anything wrong with that.
All of a sudden entire A.net community drinks inflight. How much do you drink while flying? 2? 3 beers? thats $10. Why don't you complain to the Mayor of your city that bars and restaurants made you pay $10 for one alcoholic drink while you were out with your friends.
You people just bitch about anything you can find on BMI. Don't like them, don't fly them.
If you don't want to pay then buy Snickers or chips in grocery store and eat them on flight.

Rafal
BWIADCA - Nikon D100
 
richardw
Posts: 3142
Joined: Tue May 08, 2001 3:17 am

RE: Bmi To Charge For Alcohol / Snacks In Y Longhaul

Wed Sep 28, 2005 11:43 pm

I'm flying LHR-SFO, the choice was between BA,UA,VS.

UA was the first to be discounted, my friend had a poor experience with them,

VS the next - the dizzy service is not appreciated,

BA was the winner - good seats and good service.

The more reasons you give the informed possible passenger to disount your airline the more likely you are to loose business, this is what BD are doing.

Instead of copying UA why not copy SQ instead.
 
laca773
Posts: 2034
Joined: Sat Nov 06, 2004 7:10 am

RE: Bmi To Charge For Alcohol / Snacks In Y Longhaul

Wed Sep 28, 2005 11:50 pm

Quoting PurpleBox (Reply 17):

If I were you, I'd stick BMI. In general, AA is horrible. We don't get ANYTHING on domestic flights here in the US. You will get better catering on BMI than you ever would on any AA flight.

In regards to charging a few dollars for booze. If it helps them out a bit and finances are shaky, hats off to them. It's not a good idea to drink while flying anyway as it dehydrates you very quickly.

LACA773
 
Carfield
Posts: 2041
Joined: Fri Dec 19, 2003 5:49 pm

RE: Bmi To Charge For Alcohol / Snacks In Y Longhaul

Thu Sep 29, 2005 2:31 am

Well I am a traditional type of airline passengers and will pay $50-100 more for a free meal and drinks type... but on the domestic and short haul regions, I sort of know that it is not happening anymore. But for long haul flights, I feel that the games are still played in a different field. For a supposedly high class British airline to take this new BOB and alcohol paying service, I think it is a mistake and BD will pay for it, as we can see the reactions from lots of BMI frequent flyers, who contribute the most to BD's revenues. Selling snacks in between flights is not a bad idea, considered that will not mean that BD will reduce its inflight offerings right now (which I can see coming...) but charing for alcoholic beverages is just much, the European passengers will not take it well.

BMI does not know what airline it wants to be! For US airlines, they are in bankrupcy and I can understand why they do certain things, but BD is a European airlines and flies beyond just LAS and ORD, they do the Mumbai and Riyadh routes too. Competitions with those long haul routes are wholely different games. You are competing with Virgin, BA, Jet, and AI and all (except AI due to its reliability issues) who offere a much better product at a similar price.

For the transatlantic services, BMI is also judged on a different level. Throughout the years, we have already trained to understand that US airlines don't care about services and if they are cheap enough, folks don't care. But European airlines are judged on a higher standard and charging alcohol will further irritate European based passengers (not the US based passengers, who are used to it). They are traditionally offered more in all cabin classes (in which some continues to do so) and their frequent flyer schemes on the other hand are slightly less generous than US airlines (by not much, but not as generous as programs like AA or UA), but the better service sorts of compensate them. But BMI is doing the worst of both sides -- cutting service, while also making their frequent flyer programs less attractive and more stingy. What kind of management does BMI have?

What I am seeing here is that BMI is transiting into a full charter airline or international LCC of some sort and sure, there are still the benefits of free PTV, somewhat a watered-down frequent flyer schemes, and some of traditional service. But I feel that BMI sorts of need all those additional items in order to prove themselves as a better airline and to attract public to fly them because they have a weaker international flight network and their brands are simply less known on parts of world other than UK and Europe. BMI somewhat succeeds in the past because they are a distinctive airline and offer better service than most. But with all these changes, as some of you know, BD will not lower their ticket prices significantly like Iceland Air or Aer Lingus (which is more LCC oriented), and yet they will alienate all of those higher Y fare passengers. You know US airlines' service wise are not good, but they offer generous upgrades and mileage points. With BMI cutting back its frequent flyer scheme, they will further lose that loyal flyer base, which is the bread and butter of the airline.

Every policies established this year have been short-sighted and simply reflect a lack of long term vision of BMI. All the policies have simply irritate the business flyers, who paid significantly more than most of us, leisure flyers. Sure companies cut back, but they still contribute more than anyone. Now these frequent flyers will possibly fly BA if they still want the high end service (and Business class on all routes), and if they are stuck in the price game, they will simply pick the flights with the cheapest fares -- whether it will be BA, BMI, British European, Easyjet, Ryannair... they will not insist on flying BMI all the time, as in the past, and talk about revenue lost. Without generous frequent flyer schemes, folks may not insist on flying BD even if for example BEA and BD are priced the same, but BEA has a better flight schedule. In playing who is the cheapest game, BMI will lose out because its cost base will not allow them to price like Ryannair, Jet2 or Easyjet.

BMI really needs to focus and stop confusing passengers. Make up your mind and make all the changes instead of slowly irritating passengers once every 15 days with new policies. If BMI wants to transit into a wholly LCC product internationally and domestically, they are welcomed to do so, but just say it now, and let us, as passengers, decide whether to continue fly BD or not.

Carfield

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