The Surprising Reason British Airways Doesn’t Fly Its Airbus A350 Long Distances

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About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Re: top travel spots…ok, interesting source with Deseret News, but google data is fairly, ahem, agnostic. That being said, to your commentary, in all honestly everything is the beaten path these days. I came of traveling age in the 90s and 2000s, when there were new and exciting places galore to be “discovered” (quotes because that phrasing, in retrospect, shows obvious geographic and cultural bias). But these days? “Everywhere is Brooklyn”, as the famous article astutely said. A place can come from nothing to completely monetized in a few years, if that – Da Nang being a perfect example.

    In the end, I’ve come full circle – the oldies are goodies for a reason. No, Vienna isn’t undiscovered, but it’s…Vienna. And with just a bit of walking or a quick ride you can miss the big tourist hordes in those places anyhow.

    So, the short version is that I have just gotten over the “discovery” (Discoverist?) mentality and have focused my travels on what I simply enjoy the most.

  2. Recent business class flight from LHR began with an announcement that we should not consume nuts because there was someone aboard with a nut allergy. The cheese course was served with nuts. My main course was a stodgy “tortelloni” in an elastic sauce. Inedible. The catering has certainly taken as nosedive in the last year.

  3. Gary – you need to stop posting this dreck from the self-licking ice cream cone of the blogospheres. The BA “story” about the A350s is being discussed on the BA forum on FT. It’s been debunked by several BA crew who who work the A350-1000. It’s false.

    “thought leadership”

  4. @ Bob — But how does that compare to Gary’s note that “American Airlines reduces fourth quarter revenue guidance”? Gary’s observation is TECHNICALLY true, and I suppose it could matter if you’re daytrading the stock, but it’s hard to see the relevance to a frequent flyer audience. Here’s American’s actual statement about this whopping “reduction”: “the company expects its fourth quarter total revenue per available seat mile (TRASM) to be flat to up approximately 1% year-over-year versus its previous guidance of flat to up 2%.” FWIW, and unsurprisingly, they also said there was no change in their pre-tax profit margin forecast.

  5. @Gary – I know folks like to comment on your negative views of AA . I am right there with you . There is a very lucrative segment of traveler that AA cannot attract . The full fare premium class traveler has no incentive to fly AA . I am a former multi year Concierge Key traveler with 3 million BIS miles on AA . I walked away a few years ago . To some of us , not all , product matters ! I went to DL and as a multi year Diamond, have not been disappointed .

    My profile may be atypical – all premium class and I have discretion over booking all my travel – business and pleasure . On DL , I have found the experience to be quite good . PDB of choice almost always offered .I enjoy personal tv’s – I do not work on planes . WiFi not terribly important but have never had an issue connecting on DL . 20 minute bag guarantee – love it ! – only had to claim the guarantee miles twice . Meals are just fine and have never had a special meal not boarded . DL folks seem to enjoy their jobs and recognize loyalty . You board and are almost always told “ thank you for being a Diamond member.” The few less than desirable situations I have had have been quickly addressed with appropriate compensation offered . I have had HQ personnel and station leaders call me to address my concerns .

    Bottom line – to attract premium revenue , you must offer a premium product from booking to bag claim . Unfortunately, AA does not believe this is true and therefore has to endure a negative revenue gap vis a vis DL . You are not going to get premium revenue with a subpar experience . Just good is not good enough . AA refuses to accept this fact despite what the revenue numbers show .

  6. @ Maxie Dean – Well said. All the same reasons I took my premium revenue to Delta. And no regrets so far.
    If only AA management could see the same thing we do.

  7. While other factors should have ousted Parker it’s still amazing to me that AA’s board hasn’t taken action based on revenue and performance.

  8. It’s interesting to me that folk can have such different experiences — chacun a son goute I suppose. My experience is exactly the opposite of Maxie Dean’s. I was a multi-year Diamond at DL having been driven off by US Scareways after being a multi-year Chairman’s Club member there. All was well until Ed Bastion became CEO at DL then the domestic First experience went downhill in a hurry. The end for me was a seven passenger line up to use the First class lavatory during breakfast service.
    I am now a multi-year Exec Plat/CKey member at AA and am generally very happy. I certainly like them better than DL, I just won’t fly UA.
    Most of my dollars and miles are spent on long-haul flights, not domestic. Maybe that effects my experience, but I don’t have the hard on for AA that @Gary and a lot of his readers do. I feel that they treat and serve me well.

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