Topic Author
Posts: 2196
Joined: Wed May 19, 1999 8:04 am

Virgin Atlantic better than BA !!!!

Sun Feb 14, 1999 12:42 pm

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.

RE: Virgin Atlantic better than BA !!!!

Sun Feb 14, 1999 1:43 pm

This might come as a shock to you all but I must admit I perpher to fly BA. Virgin is good and everything the have cheap fares and good service but if they have a problem with there planes you have a big problem to. BA flies about 2000 seats into LA a day and they have much better aliances. Also it is easier to get jump seat if there is a possibility with BA as Virgin play games and award that privalige to the winner. Also I have some good coneection with BA and I hope that I can get upgraded.
But my mum enjoys to fly Virgin as she has learnt to work the system and she got 1 economy class round trip to the UK and one Premium economy one all for $600. Not bad. I am proud to call some one with that talent my mother!!!
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Joined: Fri Aug 31, 2001 11:21 pm

RE: Virgin Atlantic better than BA !!!!

Sun Feb 14, 1999 2:11 pm

I agree with you Virgin Atlantic BA does have more alliances although I found Virgin to be more punctual in general.

Personally when I fly LHR to NYC I always fly Kuwait Airways due to their low prices.

But it has to be said the in flight service on BA and Virgin is a lot better than Kuwait Airways.

Victor, London, UK.

RE: Victor!!

Sun Feb 14, 1999 5:23 pm

What terminal at LHR do Kuwait Airways fly out of? And what plane?
I have my ways that I get my BA tickets cheap so I normally fly them. I did fly American out of John Wayne the last time I went to the UK last summer. This October I plan to go via BA. Just for your info I am moving back from Southern California to the UK in a while then I hope to fly for BA.
I used to live in a town called Aylesbury in Bucks.
This is turning into more of an E-mail then I post so I will not go on a ramble and tell you my life story.
PS If you want to E-mail please do!!!!!!
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Joined: Mon Jul 25, 2005 2:17 am

RE: Victor!!

Sun Feb 14, 1999 7:14 pm

I think Kuwait fly out of T3 with an A340.
v jet
Posts: 757
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 9:04 am

RE: Virgin Atlantic better than BA !!!!

Sun Feb 14, 1999 8:29 pm

Iain if BA have about 2000 seata a day into LAX do they have some flts that come via other cities in the U.S. The last time I looked in BABS (the BA reservations system), they had definately 2 non stops LHR LAX but I think I have read or heard they are starting a 3rd daily non stop. Even with 3 that is not 2000 seats a day!!

RE: Virgin Atlantic better than BA !!!!

Sun Feb 14, 1999 10:46 pm

I'm getting a bit tired of Virgin bashing on BA the whole time. Quite frankly, it's getting a bit petty and childish. Virgin, grow up, get a life. I was quite amused when it all started and I think Virgin had some good points to challenge BA but as time went on and Virgin istself has become a large and established airline it's all getting a bit old.
Philly Phlyer
Posts: 356
Joined: Sun May 23, 1999 12:05 pm

Virgin Atlantic isn't even #2!

Mon Feb 15, 1999 12:50 am

In the last 18 months, I have flown the following airlines to / from London (out of PHL or EWR)"

> BA (2 PHL - LHR round-trips in Business)
> Continental (1 EWR - Gatwick round-trip in Business)
> United (1 EWR - LHR round-trip in Business)
> Virgin (1 EWR - Gatwick round-trip in Upper Class)
> US Airways (1 PHL - Gatwick round-trip in Business)

Where would I rate the service, etc? As follows:

1. BA - All in all, they were most consistent and competent (747 & 777)
2. Tie: Continental (DC-10) & US Airways (767)
3. Tie: United (777) & Virgin (747)

All five carriers provided good overall service and on-time flights. I would not hesitate to fly either one of them again. United suffered because the ticket price didn't provide car service which Continental, US and Virgin did. Virgin (which served the best food of the bunch) suffered because the 747 used for the EWR run is old and, quite frankly, the bathrooms needed some work (cleaning and/or paint) and the flight back to EWR was 45 minutes late waiting for Virgin marketing employees to board at Gatwick!!


RE: my previous post

Mon Feb 15, 1999 12:58 am

Just to difuse any misunderstandings right here and now, when I was critisizing Virgin Atlantic it was the airline I was critisizing, not you Iain :)
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Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 2:54 am

RE: my previous post

Mon Feb 15, 1999 2:06 am

I believe that Virgin has switched from a B747-200 to an A340-300 on the EWR-LGW route for the time being as they expand to the Carribean with their 747-200 fleet. I think or hope that it will revert to the 747-200 again when the new aircraft arrive. I have flown Virgin twice. Both times the service was exceptional and the aircraft immaculate. G-VMIA and G-VOYG.
"History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or timid." D. Eisenhower

RE: CX747 Coolcat V-jet

Mon Feb 15, 1999 2:48 am

The way I came up with the 2000 seats. They fly 4 747-400 from LHR to LAX
They come in at
They used to fly a 767 from Manchester to LAX but I think that they fly a 747-400 there now.
And with all those 400 it comes to 2000.

I think you have missed the whole point of the Virgin Group. They go into a business and make a better product and make it cheaper. I can not imagen what BA wouldbe doing if it was not for the comptition from Virgin.
Also about Virgin you know Virgin Banks that was created to challenge Barcley(spelling) as of the the SH** they gave the Virgin group in the past. ANd he create Virgin Life Insurance as his life insurance cut him of. I think he just has fun challengeing big corporations.

You said you flew on the spirit of sir freddie G-VMIA is it a 747-100 or 747-200. I have heard that it was a 200 with blocked windows like TWA 800 was but I have also found out it was the 83 built so when did the 200 come out?

RE: Virgin Atlantic better than BA !!!!

Mon Feb 15, 1999 8:26 am

I do see your point Iain. I do realize what Virgin is doing and in a way it's quite good what they are doing. It does get the prices down and challenges companies that are a bit stuck up and think they have made it. What annoys me sometimes about Virgin though is how they try to focus on the negative parts of somebody else (like BA), rather than on their own positive sides (and they have many).
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Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 2:54 am

RE: Virgin Atlantic Iain!!!

Tue Feb 16, 1999 4:09 am

G-VMIA "Spirit of Sir Freddie" was a 747-100 series aircraft. I flew it from EWR-LGW. I performed excellently. I flew for LGW-EWR on G-VOYG "Shady Lady" which is as you know a 747-200 series aircraft. At Newark I saw G-VFAB "Lady Penelope" a 747-400 series at its gate (With preparations beginning for the flight home to LHR.) It had just arrived as we were taxing out. At Gatwick I saw an A340-300 but couldn't see the name because it was parked away from the terminal in the parking spots that are paralell to the British Airways terminal along with Delta and others. I also saw G-VBIG "Tinker Bell" a 747-400 series aircraft at the satellite terminal (Where my aircraft was) preparing for a flight to Orlando I believe. I also saw G-VMIA taxing away from the satellite terminal on its way to Boston.
"History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or timid." D. Eisenhower

Cause of Branson's frustration

Tue Feb 16, 1999 4:30 am

This is the way I would explain Branson's frustration:

a) UK-US Aviation open market negotiations failed.

b) The establishment of OneWorld Alliance. It's route network competes directly against Branson's current route network.

c) UK government ownership of BA. UK government LOVES and FAVORS BA.

Though I am not very happy with UK government always support BA's bottom, protecting BA is still a right policy. Consider this: If US-Uk do have a open skies agreement. BA and Virgin Atlantic have to compete against a dozen giant US airlines. BA is always seen as the jewel of England, it cannot afford to loose dominance at LHR. On the other hand, most of the U.S. airlines have multiple hubs across the United States, while BA has only LHR and LGW. In other words, in order to keep BA as a major successful, profitable airline in the world, these are the things the UK government has to defend:

a) Make sure BA dominates flights out from Heathrow.

b) BA is always the NATIONAL carrier of UK.

c) Yes, I know that more airlines, lower the ticket prices will go. However, British pride is just as important.

In conclusion, if BA is not protected properly by its government, it will be crushed by the U.S. airlines instantly.
Posts: 5748
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 2:54 am

RE: Cause of Branson's frustration

Tue Feb 16, 1999 10:52 pm

I agree with PW4056. BA does need to be protected from the U.S. Carriers. Also, BA is not always favored because Virgin Atlantic just won two different deals from the government. 1. To transport politicians and other government officials to and from Washington. 2. To transport soldiers and others from Washington. That 747-200 sure is going to be full alot.
"History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or timid." D. Eisenhower

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