Is British Airways now worse than Ryanair?

Discussion in 'British Airways | Executive Club' started by JoeD, Mar 13, 2017.

  1. JoeD

    JoeD Active Member

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  2. Ian

    Ian Active Member

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    It's hard for me to give a definitive answer, as I have managed to avoid flying Ryanair, but it's a fair question and the obvious comparison to make.

    Personally, I feel an affinity with British Airways, through a sense of patriotism. There's nothing like getting on a 'plane in a foreign country and hearing the reassuring tones of Captain Fotherby-Smythe, and his plummy British accent welcoming you aboard your flight back to good old Blighty.

    I disagree most strongly with BA's current attempts to compete on price by cutting service, and suspect the likes of Ryanair, EasyJet and others are chuckling to themselves as they are held up as the pinnacle of what the average British traveller wants. Well, it's not what I want.
     
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  3. Ian

    Ian Active Member

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    oh, and being 6'4", efforts to reduce legroom are particularly unwelcome.
     
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  4. JoeD

    JoeD Active Member

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    Yes I'd agree with that actually - particularly for long-hauls if you've been away a while or to somewhere a bit 'exotic'. There was nothing quite like going from eating chips with a toothpick off a tin plate at Santos bus station to swigging LPGS in BA First Class in the space of a few hours!
     
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  5. litefoot

    litefoot Active Member

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    Ryanair flights are *always* rammed. BA flights aren't. I prefer the latter.

    If it's a short hop, I don't mind Ryanair.
     
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  6. RichT

    RichT New Member

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    I've flown both "nasty" and "nice" Ryanair, and more recently BA. I think it's only fair to compare BA's shorthaul offering as Ryanair doesn't compete longhaul.

    Perhaps Norwegian would be a better comparison for longhaul?

    Nasty Ryanair - yes it was a miserable experience and I particularly remember the sad sight of an elderly lady who had purchased priority boarding being sprinted past by standard passengers back in the unreserved seat days. It really was vicious, and the cabin was painfully yellow for 4hrs back from Gran Canaria with a hangover (not forgetting that bloody arrival fanfare!!!!).

    Nice Ryanair - Ridiculously cheap fares out of peak season, flights from pretty much every regional airport so no need to slog to London (and pay a small fortune in parking). Orderly boarding process, priority queue rigorously enforced. Nice new, clean planes. All 737 fleet you know what you're getting, even with aircraft substitutions. Exit row seats available for a reasonable price with excellent legroom. Expect no frills, get no frills unless you've paid for them!

    BA Shorthaul - My BIGGEST gripe with BA is they only really fly from London. The recent random LCY aircraft rotations to MAN and BHX don't count as they are seasonal and not regular services. If you want to be a truly BRITISH airline, they need to offer services beyond the M25 - no, feeder flights into LHR/LGW don't count, I mean real origin/destination flights.

    The cost in both time and money of having to get to London is the biggest reason I don't fly regularly with BA except for special longhaul avios redemptions. The CE experience was nice with good food and booze, but blocked middle seat isn't particularly mind blowing or anything to write home about. Lounge was No1 so again not special. Boarding chaotic.

    So to cut a long post short - why would I traipse to London, probably taking longer than the actual flight, pay a premium, not get exit row unless I'm a Gold card holder, just to fly BA, when Ryanair or Easyjet will take me from my local airport for under £100 including an exit row seat, and the option for a £5 glass of wine!
     
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  7. JoeD

    JoeD Active Member

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    Oh I don't know - certainly busier on average I think, but not always bad. I've had whole rows to myself twice in the last few months!
     
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  8. JoeD

    JoeD Active Member

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    Excellent summary that mirrors my experience completely. Ryanair used to be genuinely bad, but is actually ok now. The convenience / value from the regions makes any discomfort easy to stomach - and as you say, you can pay a little more for an exit row seat.

    When BA connections were included on short-haul Avios redemptions I'd fly CE quite often as it was a fairly enjoyable way to spend the day, but it wasn't quick (even with LBA being just up the road from me). SInce then though, it's just not tempting from a value or efficiency perspective.
     
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  9. RichT

    RichT New Member

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    I'm wondering if BA will spin off their shorthaul a la Lufthansa/Eurowings. That would allow them to go full LCC on shorthaul where FR/EZ are hurting, without continuing to damage the full service BA brand.
     
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  10. JoeD

    JoeD Active Member

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    Something along those lines would have seemed the sensible option I think, but they'd have been better off starting a new brand 'BA Lite' or something and maybe starting it by doing point to point from the regions to European destinations initially. Instead, I think they've now already damaged the brand.
     
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  11. Lionell

    Lionell Member Staff Member

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    The only times I have flown Ryanair in the past was for positioning fights. When I did I always made sure to book a seat on the first row, otherwise I just don't fit. I'm 6'5...

    Business class on BA short haul in Europe, the leg room for me is ridiculous. I always need to sit sideways to sit a bit comfy. The longhaul flight I did was 2 years ago when I flew in economy on a 747 from MIA to LHR. The crew was, the plane was old, legroom limited and the cabin way too warm...

    Being located in Belgium, I only use BA to score some tier points this year on some short haul flights. For the rest I try to avoid both airlines.
     
  12. TTGLOBE4L

    TTGLOBE4L Member

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    I actually think it would be a sensible commercial decision for BA to make to hive off short haul as it is evident they cannot compete and it has already damaged their brand. Every week in the press, there is a wealth of articles none of which are positive. Meanwhile their long haul proposition is ok in economy and better than ok in business.
     
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  13. tommyl

    tommyl Co-founder Staff Member

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    Give me Ryanair every time. Essentially the same service, just much better value.

    As RichT stated, the new nice Ryanair is markedly improved. OK I want to scream every time they try and flog those scratchcards ('for charity' - really? What percentage? I also believe that if they're offered outside of Irish or international airspace they're illegal too, so Ryanair are essentially operating an illicit gambling den, but I digress) but otherwise, no problem.

    Indeed since Ryanair became nice I have even been able to look at a picture of Michael O'Leary without desperately wanting to punch it.

    For me, the only obvious advantage BA has is for the Avios-rich. Euro routes with the RFS are a good option, and one that Ryanair can't directly compete with, although their fare may well not be too much more than the RFS in any event. In terms of Avios earning on BA short-haul, it's become so derisory I barely see it as an advantage.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2017
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  14. Adam

    Adam Active Member

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    From recent topics covered on BA it appears the great national carrier is no longer so great. The competition is rolling out far superior products in premium classes than BA, the standards in all classes are being squeezed more and more.
    I used to be proud to fly BA, now I actively look for a different carrier..
     
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  15. JoeD

    JoeD Active Member

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    Yes, the press they get for short-haul is genuinely terrible these days so if I were them I'd certainly be looking to do something. There's still a lot of goodwill towards the brand I think - people really want BA to be good, but they're making it hard to like them

    Even long-haul isn't great - one of the worst meals I've ever had on a plane (in any cabin) was in BA First and the 8 across in Club (with no apparent plans to change that) is just embarrassing compared to Qatar, Etihad, Singapore etc. Worse, is that it's not competitive with the new cabins on JV partners AA and Finnair, or IAG stable mates Iberia and Aer Lingus anymore.
     
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  16. JoeD

    JoeD Active Member

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    I don't entirely believe you re no longer wanting to hit O'Leary. Maybe a little less than before, but I'm sure the urge is still there!
     
  17. JoeD

    JoeD Active Member

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    Yes that's the shame really isn't it - as I say, I think a lot of people really want BA to do well and want to support it.
     
  18. Adam

    Adam Active Member

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    The really have to up their game to keep up with their competition and all I read is how they appear to not be interested in saving grace but trying to compete in overly populated short haul routes.
    If they lose their premium rate paying passengers, maybe game over!
    Actually, saying that it's never going to happen as the British government would bale them out at the cost to the tax payer again.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2017
  19. JoeD

    JoeD Active Member

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    Quite possibly - just look at Alitalia!
     
  20. FlyingPiggie

    FlyingPiggie Active Member

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    Reminds me of an article I recently read in the Guardian or Cnn.com or somewhere. Basically it was about how Trump's "Buy America" isn't working because people just want the lowest prices and couldn't care less whether it comes from China, Bangladesh or Texas.

    If BA had tens of thousands of people flying daily saying to themselves "I'm loyal the the flag carrier, my Avios and the better service" then we wouldn't be having this conversation. But since people will fly Ryanair, Easyjet, Norwegian, whoever to save a fiver, then BA is going to "enhance" downwards to try and compete. Otherwise they become just another Alitalia.

    When you see BA doing crazy reward sales or massive Avios bonuses to try and fill planes THEN we'll know that BA has discovered that it is truly worse than Ryanair because people have actually stopped flying BA short haul.

    P.S. I'm one of those people who were irredeemably pissed off by Ryanair and won't ever give them another penny...
     

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