Still the 'World's Favourite Airline?' - Virgin Atlantic Challenges BA's Claim -
NORWALK, Conn., Feb. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- Virgin Atlantic has challenged British Airways' long-held claim of ``World's Favourite Airline'' with a complaint to Britain's Advertising Standards Authority.
British Airways today announced a loss of US $123 million for the third quarter of 1998. BA has also acknowledged their diminishing market share in the premium class cabins, losing First and Business Class passengers to other carriers. Also this week, the carrier scaled back its U.S. agency compensation system for travel agencies from 7% to 5% for Business Class, and from 5% to 3% for First Class and Concorde. (Virgin pays travel agents 8% commission in all classes.) What's more, the airline's troubles have arrived on the heels of recent industrial action and employee dissatisfaction.
Which begs the question: with whom exactly is BA considered ``favourite?'' Shareholders? Business travelers? Travel agents? Employees?
It would seem the industry and traveling public have a different opinion on the world's favourite airline. This year, Virgin was named ``Best Transatlantic Airline'' by Travel Weekly for the ninth consecutive year, from 1988 to 1998, and Virgin Freeway won the Freddie Award for ``Best International Frequent Traveler Program'' by InsideFlyer. Virgin's Upper Class was voted ``Best Transatlantic Business Class'' by the readers of Conde Nast Traveler in 1998, ``Best International Business Class'' in 1997 by SmartMoney, and ``Best Business Class'' by OAG/Executive Travel magazine for the ninth consecutive year, from 1988 to 1997. Virgin's Economy service also was named ``Best Transatlantic Coach Class'' for the third consecutive year from 1996 to 1998 by Entrepreneur magazine.
Virgin Atlantic serves London from eight U.S. gateways: four times daily from Newark; twice daily from New York (JFK), Los Angeles and Orlando; and daily from San Francisco, Washington (Dulles), Miami, and Boston. From London, the carrier serves South Africa, Greece, the Caribbean, Japan and Hong Kong. For reservations and inquiries, please call Virgin toll-free at 800-862-8621 or visit the Virgin Atlantic web site at www.fly.virgin.com.