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Don't you wish all flights were like this one! Please comment!

Don't you wish all flights were like this one! Please comment!

Jul 8th, 2006, 06:10 AM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 23,074
- Most US airlines charge the same 50K for a US-Europe reward.

- Despite giving you free booze, BA does charge a premium over most airlines as it gives out little or no FF miles for most discount tickets. A US-London roundtrip can earn someone 7,000 to over 10,000 miles, depending on where you fly from. Not getting miles and elite qualifying miles/points mean the fares are effectively higher.

I think it's fair to get better service for an effectively higher fare.
rkkwan is offline  
Jul 8th, 2006, 06:37 AM
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Interesting point. I do know my parents always got full FF miles from BA, even though their fares were competitive with what the other airlines were charging for the same route. Mom's $700 RT fare was *slightly* discounted and her FF account shows full credit.
BTilke is offline  
Jul 8th, 2006, 06:44 AM
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"I've always had good service in PE--for example, the last time, I asked for a Bailey's, which the FA explained wasn't available to economy or PE passengers. I thanked him anyway and about 5 minutes later he popped back with two mini bottles he'd filched from biz class."
I was travelling BA (in economy) with my mother a while ago and she asked for champagne and got the same reply, that it was only available free of charge for business class passengers... and then 5 minutes later the attendant returned, smiling, with a small bottle of champagne and gave it to my mother with a wink.
hanl is offline  
Jul 8th, 2006, 07:10 AM
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YBH earn 100%.

NVRKMLOS earn 25%.

You cannot even join Executive Club unless you buy a YBH or above ticket. Flyertalk.com suggest you get a BA Visa card to join Executive Club.

And while AA is BA's North American partner, you cannot earn any AA miles on BA flight between the US and the UK.

You tell me if this is strict or not.
rkkwan is offline  
Jul 8th, 2006, 07:14 AM
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You can calculate miles on BA's own website:


One-way JFK-LHR earns a whopping 865 miles in non-YBH economy class.
rkkwan is offline  
Jul 8th, 2006, 07:28 AM
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AAFF probably knows best about this, but I think for an US resident, the easiest way to get FF miles from BA flights may be to deposit them to Alaska Air's Mileage Plan. Same 100%/25% deal as BA's own program, but at least you can join it without buying an expensive ticket or getting a credit card.

I'm also checking out some other partner's FF program. If you fly KLMR fares usually, you may want to deposit them to Asiamiles, which give you 50% miles rather than 25%. But they don't give any miles for the other fares.

This is just a couple of examples. BA has other oneworld or non-oneworld partners which may provide better options if you fly BA on discount economy a lot.
rkkwan is offline  
Jul 8th, 2006, 08:22 AM
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Finnair' FF program earns 50% on BA's GKLMNOQRSV fares. US-Europe economy awards cost 120,000km (or about 75,000 miles). So, still ahead of earning 25% and then spending 50K from Alaska.

Qantas and SN Brussels earn 25% on those fares.

Iberia has a different system, but it seems like a NY-London fare will earn like 160 points while to claim one will cost 2,400. Still better than earning 1,700 miles on the other airlines for JFK-LHR and then spending 50K.

LanChile, AerLingus and JAL doesn't specific state the percentage on their websites.
rkkwan is offline  
Jul 8th, 2006, 09:05 AM
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The "earn/burn" rate in BA's FF plan is vastly inferior to AA's, especially for elite-status flyers.

There's no question BA's longhaul economy service is superior to many US carriers', but BA really operates on a different business model. US carriers overwhelmingly serve domestic markets with many, many times the seat-miles flown of BA or other European or Asian carriers. The US domestic market is so price competitive that overall service levels are established for those travelers, rather than the small minority of travelers who fly intercontinental segments (many of whom fly domestically to connect.)

BA, on the other hand, is overwhelmingly an international carrier, and heavily weighted toward business travelers at that. They've had recently to slash European short-haul economy fares to compete with the many low-cost carriers that offer £3 fares to Malaga, and as a result BA's shorthaul economy service has fallen to competitive standards, too. But try to buy a business class ticket on BA (roughly equivalent to "first class" on most comparable US domestic routes) and see what the cost/mile turns out to be. It's no surprise that many BA frequent flyers take "mileage runs" all the way to the US to fly first class on American Airlines on domestic routes in order to earn enough points to maintain their elite status in BA's Executive Club. Even the cost of the transatlantic trip is worth it compared to equivalent mileage-earning opportunities in Europe.

BA gives you free booze over the pond, it's true. And positive attitude from flight crew is a huge element in making BA "the world's favourite airline" (marketing campaign hype.) But one pays a price - fuel surcharges, Heathrow Hell, charges for various cross-London connections that don't appear on the airline ticket bill but sure do on your credit card bill.

The US airlines are now in recovery mode - from post-Sept. 11 market collapse, high fuel costs, bankruptcies leading to consolidations and uneconomic carriers "surviving" when they probably should have been allowed to fold. I suspect that 5 years from now the comfort/cost equation over the north Atlantic will be a very different scene than it is now.

In the meantime, glad you enjoyed your cocktails, Wally, and the UK government thanks you for supporting British jobs and taxes.
Gardyloo is online now  
Jul 9th, 2006, 07:28 AM
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I forgot to mention that when I paid the $235.00 on my British Airways credit card, I received "double miles." Yes, I received 470 miles. And when I purchased my ticket to Sydney (VIA) LHR on BA and Qantas for $2,100 for Christmas, I received 4,200 miles. It was cheaper to fly to London then through Los Angeles and last year when I did this, I earned 29,000 miles with BA. And, opening the credit card was 15,000 miles.

I think my strategy in the future will be to buy the ticket in either Economy Plus or Business and get more miles and use the miles in Economy.

How many people do you know that flew to Europe on 50,000 miles during June or July?

And Gardyloo, last least I'm not shopping at Wal-Mart and buying those imports.

wally34949 is offline  
Jul 9th, 2006, 07:43 AM
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I would much rather connect at Heathrow then in Newark or JFK. When I flew from Berlin to Miami, I didn't need to deal with my checked bag at Heathrow. Yes, you do need to go through security again, but at least you don't need to remove your shoes. And that took about five minutes. But I didn't see any deals in the Heathrow Duty Free stores.

Here is a good money saver idea for Heathrow. I walked into a drug store and purchased a turkey sandwich at 2.8 pounds on my credit card.

And Rkkwan, not everyone is a frequent flyer. One lady on the plane tried to give her filled out customs form to the flight attendant twice.
wally34949 is offline  
Jul 9th, 2006, 08:14 AM
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Curious, Wally - what credit card/affinity/mileage program did you use for a 50K peak award?
Gardyloo is online now  
Jul 9th, 2006, 08:33 AM
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I'll be travelling with 2 kids on United with United FF miles (50,000 each of the 3 of us) in 2 weeks - into Zurich and out through Paris. I hope I have such a nice flight and that they still give the free wine! For fun, I think I'll ask for champagne and see if I get the 'wink'. Sometimes we get the individual TV's, sometimes not, depending on the aircraft being used.

In addition, my 17 year old will be travelling to Vienna and leaving from Paris using 50,000 United miles and my husband, travelling with him, will be paying $1200, which I felt lucky to get after months of seeing only $1600 - 2200 fares for his flight. (Sure wish we had had enough miles for that 5th ticket!)

kwren is offline  
Jul 9th, 2006, 08:42 AM
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We haven't had free wine on United in the coach section to Europe in a few years that includes 4 trips.
mikeyb is offline  
Jul 9th, 2006, 08:51 AM
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oh darn - it's been about 2 1/2 years since my last trip, with the last of the fee wine I guess. I suppose I don't have too much cause to complain since I'm using miles. You get what you pay for!
kwren is offline  
Jul 9th, 2006, 09:22 AM
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The BA Visa does have a $75 annual fee, which is about average for airline credit cards. If one flies BA relatively often, it's worth considering, and it's a good way to enroll into Executive Club.

And Wally, I agree with you that not everybody is a frequent flyer, and FF miles aren't important to many people. BA will be a great choice for those.
rkkwan is offline  
Jul 9th, 2006, 06:53 PM
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Yes, BA is great especially in business class UNLESS you need to speak to someone in baggage. When our luggage was lost last year for five days at the beginning of our trip to Italy, we were never allowed to speak to anyone in baggage, never allowed to speak to a supervisor, given a baggage telephone number that was only answered by a machine, and found the people at the regular reservations number for BA very unhelpful. At least when I call American Airlines, I get a human, even in baggage, and a supervisor if I need one.
packed is offline  
Jul 9th, 2006, 07:20 PM
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"I suspect that 5 years from now the comfort/cost equation over the north Atlantic will be a very different scene than it is now."

Gardyloo: I'm curious. Do you expect it to be better or worse for those of us in economy? If worse, as I am getting older, I may have to stop flying trans Atlantic flights. Right now, it is about as bad as I can handle.
tuscanlifeedit is offline  
Jul 9th, 2006, 11:17 PM
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It's no wonder you all enjoyed your BA flights ... with all of that free booze, you must have been half smashed. ;-)

Nina66 is offline  
Jul 9th, 2006, 11:58 PM
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BA's baggage management is no worse than anyone else's. 90% of the times our baggage has gone missing with them, it's been delivered to our door, without fuss, within 24 hours.

There's been one, spectacular, exception: last summer's wildcat strike at an extraordinarily mismanaged American subcontractor led to a gynormous backlog of cancelled flights, misrouted luggage and unloadable meals. BA's service over this period was infinitely worse than crap - as any other airline's would have been under the circumstances (I think it took Mrs F five weeks to get her bags back).

The stories I heard from some (nonstriking) BA staff about the levels of passenger abuse they were subject to were simply horrifying - and certainly had us sympathising with the less than fawning attitude we got from the baggage claim people.

Generalising about the airline from experiences over this period is rather like making generalisations about US airlines' punctuality in the aftermath of September 11. No airline is designed to offer good service when lots of things go spectacularly wrong at the same time.
flanneruk is online now  
Jul 10th, 2006, 05:45 AM
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I have a British Airways Chase credit card VISA Signature card. It has a yearly cost of $75. (I just got an American Airlines credit card which gave me 20,000 miles but a yearly cost of $85.) I booked the flight on the Internet back in January, once my miles from my Australia flight were posted. They had flights available from Miami to Berlin every day of the week except Saturday night. I really didn't want to fly on a Saturday night anyway. I wanted to fly either in or out of Barcelona, but Spain is 60,000 miles and Germany and France are only 50,000.

But these U.S. Airline Executives are just trying to backrupt our airlines by charging $5 or 5 Euros for a glass of wine in economy. In many parts of Europe, Coke is twice as expensive as a glass of wine! In the south of France, I walked into a wine store and he filled my empty 1 liter water bottle with red wine for just 1 Euro!!! And this is the wine from the vat that doesn't contain all of the preservatives--the good stuff.

And as we saw with United, the executives get the big bonus and the employees lost a good part of their pension department when they go into bankruptcy.

I can understand that the U.S. airlines don't want to fly with a bunch of drunks, but a glass of wine with a meal is so much healther than a soda.

Paying $5 for wine on a plane is silly. Might as well get a rum or vodka since the airline provides the setup.

It is simply bad public relations. And if the U.S. airlines need to lower their prices by $200 because they are charging $5 for a little bottle of wine that they can probably purchase for less than a can a tomato juice, that doesn't help the U.S. airlines cope with the cost of jet fuel.

The word is out in Europe. Avoid the U.S. airlines unless you can get a flight using 50,000 or 60,000 miles.

And as one flight attendant said for American Airlines on Fodors, I'd rather fly BA in Economy than American in First Class because of the entertainment.
wally34949 is offline  

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