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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!

Old Jul 10th, 2006, 06:37 AM
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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.

Well having predicted France would lose the World Cup because of an idiotic display of temper from a guy with a shaved head, I guess I'm on a roll.

Opinions are free and everybody has some. For me, I think the current configuration used by traditional carriers - high density coach, low density, traditional/upmarket service in business, caviar and free PJs in first - can't survive much longer. More airlines are adding "premium economy" every year, even more are dropping longhaul first class.

So I think what will emerge is a modified 2 1/2 class system - economy minus for the back (many people will pay the smallest fare possible no matter how much they suffer); economy plus in the middle - probably more akin to BA's World Traveler Plus or Virgin's PE than United's Economy Plus (which is just a couple more inches of knee room) - and a premium cabin in the front, call it business or Premier or whatever. I'd expect they will find that people will gripe about how expensive it is to sit in PE for awhile, then the market will reach equilibrium again and that will be that.

The rock-bottom TATL/longhaul fares will still continue to be available, from low cost carriers that will take you only from a few airports to a few others. I'd personally look at Newark - Stansted for instance, since any Open Skies agreement between the US and UK will send the price of Heathrow landing slots through the roof.

But the big traditional carriers on both sides of the water will see that they can't compete with the LCCs and will focus instead on their core markets - connecting pax and business or tourist pax who will be willing to pay a bit more for a bit more comfort.

This is not the first time the market has gone through this kind of restructuring. Time was, you could get charter flights to Europe for a fraction of the regulated prices; you got crammed into antique 707s, got liquored up ("free" or no) and came to in Luxembourg or Prestwick. See you in three weeks, and woe betide you miss the plane back, or that the charter company goes tango in the meantime.

Those went away with deregulation, and the legacies laughed all the way to the bank before Southwest and other LCCs (and then easyJet et al in Europe) came along with a point-to-point route structure and simplified fares, and the rest is history.

What's happening (IMO) is that the number of seats available over the Atlantic will continue to grow, and as more pax become familiar with European (or N. American - it's two-way, y'know) travel, more will see that comfort on the trip is worth a little extra. The LCCs won't be able to offer it, but the reconfigured legacies will. All ships rise.

Oh BTW Wally SAS is now charging for booze in the back over the water. Tick tick tick.
Gardyloo is offline  
Old Jul 10th, 2006, 06:54 AM
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Thanks for posting this! Its always refreshing to see positive flight posts instead of such negative ones all the time. We are flying BA to Croatia (via LHR) in November, and it will be our first flights with BA. I'm very much looking forward to the experience!

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Old Jul 10th, 2006, 07:22 AM
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We are fans of BA as well. We enjoy the BA transatlantic flights much more than the US airlines. The excuse ia always that they must charge for extras because the fuel has gone up etc... Well, duh, the fuel surcharges are being added to the fare along with undecipherbale fees, taxes etc.. The fares themselves have increased and now they are lowering the luggage weight to 50 pounds for a suitcase.
Last year we flew BA from Tampa to Malaga via Miami and London. The meals were decent, the attitude of the attendants was positive and the complementary wine and liquor was appreciated. We were also served a nice meal and free wine between London and Malaga. In contrast we flew a code shared BA/Iberia flight from Malaga to London which was operated by Iberia. We were charged over 20 euros for two small sandwiches and two soft drinks. If at all possible we will fly BA again.
One negative is that you apparently cannot frequent flyer miles if you fly low economy rates.
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Old Jul 11th, 2006, 02:49 AM
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One thing I forgot to mention was that they NEVER mentioned that you must use the toilet in the cabin you are assigned to. Instead, in the front of the coach cabin, a sign says, "Toilets are located at the rear."
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Old Jul 11th, 2006, 09:37 AM
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"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."

The airlines I usually fly have another alternative--maybe it's something new, though. No calories, and it's even supposed to be good for you. It's called water.
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Old Jul 11th, 2006, 10:25 AM
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Glad you had a good flight. Just thought I'd plug Continental which I flew to Manchester recently from the U.S. I was especially impressed with their willingness--cheerful eagerness, in fact--to put me on earlier flights when I requested it. Don't know if they charge for drinks, as I don't mix alcohol with my happy pills (Xanax).
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