British Airways: hi flyers get more, Economy gets tougher

British Airways strategy has grown even more starkly obvious of late in its relations with customers. If anything it has decided to reinforce the class system even more rigidly, offering more and improved service to business and first class travellers, while mostly ignoring premium economy and yet degrading economy even further.

Yesterday we saw how the 10 seat across Economy 772 refit will bring more revenue and allow them to compete with Norwegian. Debasing economy and pushing it further down market is the perception, while not really meeting the standards Norwegian offers on its 789’s. All it really does is make Norwegian look like a better deal. 

The entrance to BA’s new Boston lounge above.

However if you fly in business, not only is millions (£400 million to be exact) being spent to entice you into a seat; look out for revised lounges – and better food on board is the next big one. 

BA have started offering choices- new glass fronted trolleys and menus that sound, well just a tad pretentious. Just like business users like it. One item stood out for the blatant lie it must be; using the word “Homemade”.  How can anything in airline catering served en-mass, no matter how fancy, be “homemade”?  

It sums up images of little old ladies in aprons deep in rural Berkshire making every last thing manually on a small Aga. I don’t think so.

With new lie flat business seats, new catering just launched, refurbished lounges and offerings, new amenity kits, allegedly higher service levels, now one more thing has been added. Direct transfer from your domestic flight by car, to your BA connection if your in danger of missing the flight. 

In First Class the perks just keep coming, with new First Check In and Lounge, more direct access to avoid the peasants in business and economy, and once again, allegedly greater service levels.

There has always been a gap, a class divide, but this time BA are seriously pushing their economy passengers further down the back, and the gap to the top is even more insurmountable than it ever has been. 

People fly a flag carrier legacy airline like BA with a certain expectation, they don’t want easyJet or RyanAir service – but that’s what they’re going to get unless they pony up more cash than most of them would even consider.

Taking this route BA is saying take it or leave it. There’s no half way mark, no way to gain a better experience without at the least, quadruple the expense. Long term, that damages and depletes the Brand, something that’s already well underway.