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Any glance at the Google news feed for British Airways suggests its PR department might not be winning many awards soon… but is the level of criticism justified? To take it to extremes: Is British Airways worse than Ryanair these days?
Your initial reaction might be something along the lines of “that’s ridiculous – things aren’t great with BA, but they’re not that bad!”. Following the latest batch of BA cutbacks though (and a focus on improved customer service at Ryanair), I think it’s a debate worth having.
I’m going to put (some) of the case against BA here to kick things off, but where the conversation goes from there is entirely up to you! It’s happening on the forum already, so get yourself over there and join in now!
Let’s have a quick run through the greatest hits (or rather, misses…):
- No more free food and drink included on short-haul flights. Everyone loves Percy Pigs of course, but I’d rather have the option of a complimentary Gin & Tonic!
- The introduction of Hand Baggage Only fares led to confusion for Elite Executive Club members and for passengers booking through online travel agencies.
- Removing proper cleaning between flights.
- A range of Avios devaluations that make long-haul Premium Cabin redemptions extremely expensive and uncompetitive compared to other loyalty programmes.
- The apparent bad attitude from the top, including the infamous ‘show me the ******* money‘ investment slide.
- Last but not least, the plan to offer less legroom than Ryanair!
Ryanair, on the other hand, have been on a relative charm offensive in the last few years – we’ve seen:
Is British Airways worse than Ryanair? – what do you think?
I know I’ve only covered one side of the argument here, but I’m not actually looking to push my own personal view too strongly either way, but rather get the conversation started.
The aim of InsideFlyer UK is much more about providing a place for everyone interested in travel to share their thoughts and engage with each other, than it is about blog writers issuing decrees from above. I hope we’ve managed to do some good work with that in the last ~ 18 months, but I think there’s still a lot more to be done as the site continues to grow.
If readers seem to enjoy the discussion, we will look at running similar ‘controversial’ and/or topical discussion pieces every week or two.