ZeeZoo
Topic Author
Posts: 284
Joined: Sat Jan 31, 2015 9:30 am

How true was British Airways' "The World's Favourite Airline" tag?

Sat Feb 25, 2017 11:39 am

If I recall correctly, it was introduced in '89 and removed in '04, so how true was that tag? Was British Airways truly a premium and immensely iconic airline during the 90s and early 00s? Was its service of one of the highest standards around or was it merely a marketing gimmick?
 
StTim
Posts: 3513
Joined: Thu Aug 08, 2013 7:39 am

Re: How true was British Airways' "The World's Favourite Airline" tag?

Sat Feb 25, 2017 11:54 am

I believe at the time BA flew more International passengers than any other airline - thus the tagline.

Of course it was marketing - no one said there wasn't a better passenger experience.
 
Bongodog1964
Posts: 3542
Joined: Wed Oct 18, 2006 6:29 am

Re: How true was British Airways' "The World's Favourite Airline" tag?

Sat Feb 25, 2017 12:32 pm

Complete and utter rubbish. It was just a slogan dreamed up by an advertising agency. I'm sure once they had worked out the slogan, they will have carried out some sort of research to justify it, but as with all such things, the methodology used is such as to ensure the correct answer !!

How could you be the World's favourite airline when you are by no means the largest, and do not compete on the vast majority of routes ?

Of course they could validly claim to be the World's favourite airline if you are flying LHR - SAN or LHR - AUS (on the basis that no one else does) but that doesn't sound as good.
 
User avatar
OA260
Posts: 23756
Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2006 8:50 pm

Re: How true was British Airways' "The World's Favourite Airline" tag?

Sat Feb 25, 2017 12:38 pm

Bongodog1964 wrote:

How could you be the World's favourite airline when you are by no means the largest, and do not compete on the vast majority of routes ?

.


Well to be honest you could be a medium sized carrier and still be the worlds favourite in terms of passenger feedback.
 
User avatar
BobPatterson
Posts: 3416
Joined: Thu Nov 26, 2015 7:18 am

Re: How true was British Airways' "The World's Favourite Airline" tag?

Sat Feb 25, 2017 1:01 pm

Bongodog1964 wrote:
Complete and utter rubbish. It was just a slogan dreamed up by an advertising agency. I'm sure once they had worked out the slogan, they will have carried out some sort of research to justify it, but as with all such things, the methodology used is such as to ensure the correct answer !!

How could you be the World's favourite airline when you are by no means the largest, and do not compete on the vast majority of routes ?



Please be good enough to tell us what percentage of routes BA did compete on, also the percentage for the top 2-3 competitors.

Thank you.
Facts are fragile things. Treat them with care. Sources are important. Alternative facts do not exist.
 
User avatar
Channex757
Posts: 2370
Joined: Sat Jun 18, 2016 7:07 am

Re: How true was British Airways' "The World's Favourite Airline" tag?

Sat Feb 25, 2017 1:31 pm

As expected, people will get their nighties in a twist and start deconstructing the slogan. It's simple.

BA were the most successful INTERNATIONAL airline at the time. They carried more INTERNATIONAL passengers than any other airline. Their marketing people decided that meant they could tongue-in-cheek state that they were the world's favourite airline.

Got it? Yes, Lufthansa might have offered an extra 10mm blanket thickness or United an extra olive in the salad. BA Marketing (those odd people in trendy suits with goatees who were the hipsters of the time) based it purely on BA being the number 1 international carrier.
 
ZeeZoo
Topic Author
Posts: 284
Joined: Sat Jan 31, 2015 9:30 am

Re: How true was British Airways' "The World's Favourite Airline" tag?

Sat Feb 25, 2017 1:35 pm

Channex757 wrote:
As expected, people will get their nighties in a twist and start deconstructing the slogan. It's simple.

BA were the most successful INTERNATIONAL airline at the time. They carried more INTERNATIONAL passengers than any other airline. Their marketing people decided that meant they could tongue-in-cheek state that they were the world's favourite airline.

Got it? Yes, Lufthansa might have offered an extra 10mm blanket thickness or United an extra olive in the salad. BA Marketing (those odd people in trendy suits with goatees who were the hipsters of the time) based it purely on BA being the number 1 international carrier.

What was BA's reputation at the time like? World class service from a world class airline?
 
User avatar
OA260
Posts: 23756
Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2006 8:50 pm

Re: How true was British Airways' "The World's Favourite Airline" tag?

Sat Feb 25, 2017 1:45 pm

ZeeZoo wrote:
Channex757 wrote:
As expected, people will get their nighties in a twist and start deconstructing the slogan. It's simple.

BA were the most successful INTERNATIONAL airline at the time. They carried more INTERNATIONAL passengers than any other airline. Their marketing people decided that meant they could tongue-in-cheek state that they were the world's favourite airline.

Got it? Yes, Lufthansa might have offered an extra 10mm blanket thickness or United an extra olive in the salad. BA Marketing (those odd people in trendy suits with goatees who were the hipsters of the time) based it purely on BA being the number 1 international carrier.

What was BA's reputation at the time like? World class service from a world class airline?


They had a damn good product in the 90's after a revamp. In the 80's they used to be called BA Bloody Awful. I flew them quite a bit and in fairness they were usually always on time, good customer service and decent enough catering.
 
VC10er
Posts: 4201
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 6:25 am

Re: How true was British Airways' "The World's Favourite Airline" tag?

Sat Feb 25, 2017 2:08 pm

While there may have been some data that helped the ad agency develop that line, making a "claim" like: "the world's best airline" or "the world's best vodka" (even from a legal perspective) are 100% legal because it is simply a matter of opinion, because someone, somewhere may actually think that. They also couldn't trademark such a tagline because another airline (or vodka) brand could say the exact same thing, "best" is purely objective opinion. UNITED could say "America's Most Wonderful Airline" and probably get away with it legally...although they would be punished by a backlash from fliers for lying and certainly a HUGE outcry here on A.net (they ain't that stupid to make a claim like that). But it would not be illegal. If BA's line said: "Most people say they British Airways is their favourite airline" then it would be illegal unless they produced the hard data that substantiates that statement to the governing body over "Truth in Advertising".

I recall that campaign very well and it was BREAKTHROUGH. NO other airline had the stones to make such a bold statement and it stood out, and along with often great (IMHO) "creative" (being the TV or print" ad). It was 100% legal because it was an opinion based line that did NOT need to be proven to the consumer protection agencies in the UK or US or elsewhere (although I know that the rules for "Truth in Advertising" in both the UK and US are very similar) - I can even tell you about the ad from Pepsodent toothpaste that was responsible for the need for the "Truth in Advertising" regulations!

That ad sure worked in the USA. It was almost the nail in the coffin when it came to affirming the belief that US airlines are less good than most of their intentional counterparts. So, to sort of answer your question: it was probably mostly a great and effective advertising campaign (I wouldnt use the word gimmick) but was emotionally factual and believable but didn't go so far and requiring BA to present the metrics to the respective gov consumer protection agencies to use it, (although "maybe" they had a bit of a tough time getting it through, but somehow did legally making the claim)...PanAm could have used the same line had they thought of it first (but spell it "favorite") :-) Although it was about the same time that the bloom was coming off PanAm's rose.
To Most the Sky is The Limit, For me, the Sky is Home.
 
Cointrin330
Posts: 1411
Joined: Sat Jul 16, 2016 12:23 pm

Re: How true was British Airways' "The World's Favourite Airline" tag?

Sat Feb 25, 2017 2:17 pm

As someone who flew BA extensively in the late 1980s and early 1990s on US-UK routes, I can tell you BA's service, even in Economy Class, was a far better product than what the US airlines offered at the time. At the time, the tag line was used extensively and at least from my experience, it was mostly true.
 
vv701
Posts: 5895
Joined: Fri Aug 19, 2005 10:54 am

Re: How true was British Airways' "The World's Favourite Airline" tag?

Sat Feb 25, 2017 3:24 pm

The tag line at the end of BA's 1989 and later advertisements was:

'Every year . . . the world's favourite airline . . . brings twenty-four million people together.' 'Favourite' and 24 million were almost invariably linked.

I don't remember whether the 24 million passengers was based on the number of international passengers it flew or the number of non-British passengers it carried. Either way it was based on passenger numbers and not passenger numbers plus those people they were travelling to meet. But hey, that's advertising..

What is certain is that in 1989 BA was a very different airline to that it had been in 1979. One of the significant factors that bought about this change was an internal BA marketing programme in the mid 80s titled 'To be the best'. This change was so impressive that the American medical equipment and supplies business I worked for 'borrowed' the BA manager responsible for the BA programme and adopted it for all of our European based staff.
 
User avatar
OA260
Posts: 23756
Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2006 8:50 pm

Re: How true was British Airways' "The World's Favourite Airline" tag?

Sat Feb 25, 2017 3:32 pm

Today still one of if not the best advert ever made :

https://youtu.be/Yxbgm9Bmkzw
 
User avatar
usdcaguy
Posts: 1414
Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2004 12:41 pm

Re: How true was British Airways' "The World's Favourite Airline" tag?

Sat Feb 25, 2017 4:33 pm

BA was very much a premium carrier at the time. Chummy and sexy male flight attendants who would bring you champagne for bringing your dinner late, smiles all around, great uniforms, good entertainment, helpful staff at the airport. Not to mention all the fun you could have in London. I still remember their commercials that had a theme song that was really cool. In my mind, it was the world's favourite airline, if only in spirit and the personal experience offered.
 
User avatar
william
Posts: 3225
Joined: Thu Jun 10, 1999 1:31 pm

Re: How true was British Airways' "The World's Favourite Airline" tag?

Sat Feb 25, 2017 5:20 pm

Yes, BA was popular, but this is before Emirates ascended to its present status.
 
User avatar
Channex757
Posts: 2370
Joined: Sat Jun 18, 2016 7:07 am

Re: How true was British Airways' "The World's Favourite Airline" tag?

Sat Feb 25, 2017 8:08 pm

OA260 wrote:
Today still one of if not the best advert ever made :

https://youtu.be/Yxbgm9Bmkzw

That is it in a nutshell.

BA sold themselves on bringing people together, and doing what they do well. There wasn't any overselling on service quality or the number of olives in the salad, just BA being the right choice for the VFR crowd and by extension the business traveller as they get you where you need to go efficiently and dependably. British style, basically. It keyed into a much wider national dynamic of the time which was selling Britishness in the nation's exports and products which eventually led to Cool Britannia post-97.
 
User avatar
BawliBooch
Posts: 1399
Joined: Mon Nov 28, 2016 4:24 am

Re: How true was British Airways' "The World's Favourite Airline" tag?

Sun Feb 26, 2017 4:05 am

Right up there in the list of dumb airline branding. Along with "Please Inform Allah" and "Kriss My A**"....!
Mr.Kapoor's favorite poodle!
 
User avatar
BobPatterson
Posts: 3416
Joined: Thu Nov 26, 2015 7:18 am

Re: How true was British Airways' "The World's Favourite Airline" tag?

Sun Feb 26, 2017 4:24 am

BawliBooch wrote:
Right up there in the list of dumb airline branding. Along with "Please Inform Allah" and "Kriss My A**"....!


Please save us from such inanities. Thank you.
Facts are fragile things. Treat them with care. Sources are important. Alternative facts do not exist.
 
Osiris
Posts: 105
Joined: Tue Aug 23, 2016 6:53 pm

Re: How true was British Airways' "The World's Favourite Airline" tag?

Sun Feb 26, 2017 7:02 am

BawliBooch wrote:
Right up there in the list of dumb airline branding. Along with "Please Inform Allah" and "Kriss My A**"....!


Oh dear. What an embarrassing post.
 
User avatar
XLA2008
Posts: 414
Joined: Mon May 30, 2016 8:53 pm

Re: How true was British Airways' "The World's Favourite Airline" tag?

Sun Feb 26, 2017 10:11 am

BY FAR my favourite commercial is the to fly to serve flying through history, what an amazing airline commercial, personally I feel the best airline commercial I've ever seen, and British Airways may very well not be the "worlds favorite airline" however it is one of the most well known brands in the world, it also carries a sense of upper class with it, by that I mean you have the "oh I fly British Airways" type of person... and despite it not nessacarly representing that upper class feel anymore, it is still very much attached to the name and brand! You don't get that with many airlines! I mean here in the states you get the "oh I only fly United" but my immediate thought is why lol, when you hear somebody say that about British Airways it never really crosses mind as to question why (if that makes any sense) It is also an icon of Britain and although people argue about national carries and flag carries and what not, British Airways represents the United Kingdom in a HUGE way! And although it may no longer carry the status as well as it once did, it is still an exceptional brand! Product... well some say Great some say bad but you will get that with even the best airlines in the world! Do I fly British Airways... sometimes, it's always a sense of home when I board a British Airways flight to fly home from the states for vacation! I don't get that sense of home getting on an AA flight to fly back to the states, in fact most of the time I'm wondering how 85 year old Dorris who's working economy is going to manage to get that life raft out of the aircraft if we go down, debating if she could even open the door without help lol!! (No offense, but most of them are ancient)
“For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return.“
 
User avatar
eta unknown
Posts: 2485
Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2001 5:03 am

Re: How true was British Airways' "The World's Favourite Airline" tag?

Sun Feb 26, 2017 10:32 am

This ad started it:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vZu0y-D6BMs

BA service before privatisation was dismal (probably tied with Sabena in Northern Europe), but much improved after all staff went through customer service training (read: how to be nice to customers). There's a reason the BA crest has the words "to Fly, To Serve" as cabin crew especially back then had a reputation for feeling serving someone was beneath them. Staff who were confrontational during retraining were sacked. Afterwards BA service was better than PA & TW, but let's be honest, the benchmark was pretty low- BA service wasn't at LH & SR levels.
 
User avatar
Faro
Posts: 1953
Joined: Sun Aug 12, 2007 1:08 am

Re: How true was British Airways' "The World's Favourite Airline" tag?

Sun Feb 26, 2017 10:37 am

william wrote:
Yes, BA was popular, but this is before Emirates ascended to its present status.



Yes and no...up until 2014 or so, LHR was the busiest airport by international departures...it is still No 2, the 2nd most popular international destination and/or O&D hub...BA just happens to be the biggest operator at LHR...that I should think accounts for the lion's share of having onetime been the world's prime international carrier...BA's intrinsic passenger appeal quite apart from LHR is I think a matter of (marketing) rhetoric...


Faro
The chalice not my son
 
G-CIVP
Posts: 1563
Joined: Tue Mar 20, 2001 6:38 am

Re: How true was British Airways' "The World's Favourite Airline" tag?

Sun Feb 26, 2017 10:38 am

usdcaguy wrote:
BA was very much a premium carrier at the time. Chummy and sexy male flight attendants who would bring you champagne for bringing your dinner late, smiles all around, great uniforms, good entertainment, helpful staff at the airport. Not to mention all the fun you could have in London. I still remember their commercials that had a theme song that was really cool. In my mind, it was the world's favourite airline, if only in spirit and the personal experience offered.


Quite ironically given the comments (on this thread) about US airlines at the time, it was an American on the BA Board member who changed BA to make it more corporate, premium and personable in the 1980's. I'm unable to recall the person's name, but compared to the anything goes attitude on BA these days, there was a noticeable difference.
 
User avatar
JannEejit
Posts: 1418
Joined: Sat Jun 18, 2016 4:04 pm

Re: How true was British Airways' "The World's Favourite Airline" tag?

Sun Feb 26, 2017 11:42 am

My memory of that slogan was that it of course was pure marketing and based on their then wide global route network and brand recognition/appeal. The advertising industry was at the height of it's game around then, with countless agencies competing against each other to come up with the killer tag line, and I think this one played a blinder. So much more effective than Virgin Atlantic's '4 engines 4 long haul' gimmick, which incidentally, to this day is still presumed by some (a.nutters and alike) to have been a quotation from the company's operations manual... ;-)
 
GDB
Posts: 13277
Joined: Wed May 23, 2001 6:25 pm

Re: How true was British Airways' "The World's Favourite Airline" tag?

Sun Feb 26, 2017 11:57 am

As stated, it was about the number of international pax, which was clearly stated at the time, allied to that advertising push.
It was certainly a lot less BS ridden than a certain other airline's CEO's whose gems include '4 Engines 4 Long Haul'.

Popular Searches On Airliners.net

Top Photos of Last:   24 Hours  •  48 Hours  •  7 Days  •  30 Days  •  180 Days  •  365 Days  •  All Time

Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos