Editor's Blog

BA? No way!
There were a couple of stories in the news this week about British Airways - and neither of them reflected particularly well on the nation's flag carrier.

First up, it was announced that BA is set to stop passengers in economy from being able to recline their seats.

A British Airways spokesperson said that economy seats on its new fleet, set to enter service later this year, will be "pre-reclined at a comfortable angle, meaning that the customer will not have to recline the seat themselves."

These seats will only be on flights of up to four hours, so you’ll still be able to recline on long-haul flights – for now.

However, the move is another clear message from BA that it’s looking to compete with budget airlines, following last year’s scrapping of free alcohol and in-flight meals on short haul flights.

Secondly, it has emerged that passengers with prebooked British Airways flights this summer could actually end up on a different carrier.

The situation has arisen after BA’s owners IAG paid £50 million for space at Gatwick that was previously owned by Monarch, which closed in October. To operate the flights to Palma, Menorca and Gibraltar, BA will have to bring in planes and crews from elsewhere.

A spokesperson said: “Some routes will be operated by BA planes, other services will be operated by BA CityFlyer aircraft and other wet lease carriers on our behalf.

“Customers will be notified ahead of their flight which of these carriers will operate their flight.”

Of course, some customers will be delighted to end up on a carrier that isn’t BA this summer, because at least they will be able to recline their seats.

Joking aside, these stories are just the latest in a long line of bad news days for BA.

For a firm that once proudly styled itself as the World’s Favourite Airline, it has been doing much in recent times to convince passengers that it is just another budget carrier.

As planners, do you still view British Airways as a cut above the rest? Or have the cuts in service levels taken their toll? Do let us know in the comments, we’d love to hear your thoughts.

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