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BA quitting Gatwick?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
This would explain why LGW flights to INNs (and elsewhere) are currently being cancelled

https://www.headforpoints.com/2021/08/26/british-airways-to-quit-gatwick-short-haul-but-a-new-airline-will-take-over/
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BA have already stripped down shorthaul offerings/ made everything pay to play and with the exception of eliminating club seats hard to see how they can diminish the experience further. Plus anyone remember Go which they flogged to Easyjet?

I guess business or short haul "convenience" leisure travel may never return but LGW is a lot more convenient for anyone near a Thameslink station from Brighton to North London.
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BA notified us that our GTW to Turin flights for Feb HT were moving to LHR and because of the change of airport we could cancel and get a full refund. We’ve now rebooked again with BA, LHR - Milan Linate and saved over £600 for our family of 5. Slightly longer transfer to Pila but definitely worth it.
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Dave of the Marmottes wrote:
BA have already stripped down shorthaul offerings/ made everything pay to play and with the exception of eliminating club seats hard to see how they can diminish the experience further. Plus anyone remember Go which they flogged to Easyjet?

I guess business or short haul "convenience" leisure travel may never return but LGW is a lot more convenient for anyone near a Thameslink station from Brighton to North London.


As the article I linked says:

"Passengers arrive at Gatwick by every mode of transport from bus to chauffeur driven car. When they arrive at their destination, they will head to hostels, to five star resorts and everything in between. Why does the airline industry believe that none of these people are interested in anything except a zero frills, zero comfort airline experience?"

I'm at an age for sure where I don't really want no frills; I've used Avios in Club for the last 8 years or so to go skiing and elsewhere and now also on occasion buy club tickets.
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This has been the plan for some years now, Covid's just given them an easier way to bring it in.

On the one hand with exclusive use of T5 at LHR and the planned extra runway BA have all the long haul capacity they need out of LHR and just don't need either the capacity or extra staffing/maintenance costs of suporting long haul aircraft out of LGW.

On the other IAG, BA's parent company still want to hold on to a chunk of the landing slots and also need the seasonal capacity at LGW - but don't really want to staff them on the existing BA contact terms. Covid gave them a good (and valid) excuse to close down BA flights from LGW but it would be a fight for BA to restart those flights, re-employing the same staff but trying to force through new contracts. If, rather than return BA to LGW IAG start up a new airline...well it's not BA re-employing old staff (who want their old contracts), it's a new airline employing ex-BA staff implicitly on new 'new airline' contracts.
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@Mjit, I suspect you've got to the heart of the matter.
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buchanan101 wrote:

As the article I linked says:

"Passengers arrive at Gatwick by every mode of transport from bus to chauffeur driven car. When they arrive at their destination, they will head to hostels, to five star resorts and everything in between. Why does the airline industry believe that none of these people are interested in anything except a zero frills, zero comfort airline experience?"

I'm at an age for sure where I don't really want no frills; I've used Avios in Club for the last 8 years or so to go skiing and elsewhere and now also on occasion buy club tickets.

The comparison isn't valid at all. Hotel or hostel you spend a week in, whilst a flight is only a couple hours long.

So no, it's not people want only zero frill, zero comfort experience. They're just not wanting to pay extra for the frill and comfort, for only a couple hours.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
That’s your opinion and is valid for some or even the majority of people. That’s not what the article said - it asked if “none of these people” are interested in anything except zero frills. I’m certainly interested - I travel Club on Avios, and BA Club Europe is pretty busy on skiing flights, and most can’t be using Avios. There are certainly a good number of people who will pay extra for the flight which was the point. And in any case for skiing Club Europe can be quite reasonable -skis go for free, no questions asked with carrying boots in the cabin. Lounge access and meals included also offset any additional cost. Last year I also looked at the £ cost of BA Club and EasyJet in to Innsbruck and there wasn’t much difference in the price once ski carriage was included. This winter BA club Europe to Salzburg in March is something like £240 return.
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I've flown BA business when I wanted/needed to take extra pairs of skis, because it was about the same price as economy + extra bag + lunch. It was pleasant enough having lounge access and a nicer (read: less awful) meal on the plane, but not something I'd pay a massive premium for. It's the same seats on the plane, just with an empty seat next door.
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Tubaski wrote:
I've flown BA business when I wanted/needed to take extra pairs of skis, because it was about the same price as economy + extra bag + lunch. It was pleasant enough having lounge access and a nicer (read: less awful) meal on the plane, but not something I'd pay a massive premium for. It's the same seats on the plane, just with an empty seat next door.


it’s now a (fairly reasonable) meal v no meal. Just sandwiches etc sold in economy. As you say the pricing when the full cost is worked out isn’t that much more. It’s nice to have lounge access at Innsbruck when the airport is heaving.
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I usually do a three week trip in Jan taking my own skis. The extra baggage allowance and 'free' ski carriage make Club Europe a good idea.
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buchanan101 wrote:
That’s your opinion and is valid for some or even the majority of people. That’s not what the article said - it asked if “none of these people” are interested in anything except zero frills.

Oh they're interested alright. They're just not interesting in paying for it! rolling eyes

As others' examples show, people will get the frill and comfort if it work out to be similar in cost (you get free ski carriage for example). But nobody is paying a premium for a couple hours of "comfort" on short haul cattle carriages with wings.

A lot of people will even pay extra for a more comfortable ground transfer, because often time that leg of the trip actually is longer than the flight!

Simply put, the "premium" the airlines charge are too high in view of the short duration where you get to "enjoy" it.
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We need to fly to Naples next year and the best times and prices coming out are BA. but only LGW is given as an option.

LHR is far more convenient for us. With this news is it likely do you think that if we book now, our flights will be changed to LHR? If so fingers crossed!!
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Some people are. I looked at prices for late Feb to Salzburg - £400 each way - dynamic pricing meaning it’s pretty full and some would’ve been paying close to that.
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Dave of the Marmottes wrote:
I guess business or short haul "convenience" leisure travel may never return but LGW is a lot more convenient for anyone near a Thameslink station from Brighton to North London.


Once Crossrail is running (it might finally happen this year!!!), that advantage will reduce
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Arno wrote:
Dave of the Marmottes wrote:
I guess business or short haul "convenience" leisure travel may never return but LGW is a lot more convenient for anyone near a Thameslink station from Brighton to North London.


Once Crossrail is running (it might finally happen this year!!!), that advantage will reduce


True, but seems to have been a ludicrously long time.
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Quote:


We need to fly to Naples next year and the best times and prices coming out are BA. but only LGW is given as an option.

LHR is far more convenient for us. With this news is it likely do you think that if we book now, our flights will be changed to LHR? If so fingers crossed!!


Our flights to Verona from LGW in February have been switched to LHR so I'd say there's a pretty good chance yours will be too.
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thanks BA,
we now need to change flights or transfer from Heathrow back to Gatwick to pick up our car as we go out with a different airline, plus a day less as Heathrow flights are only Fri-Sun Sad

re using budget vs premium.

we were planning to fly back on Monday, so off peak. Some months ago we paid £82 plus some airmiles for BA club which I reckon is equivalent to £160 pp, as a comparison I just looked at changing to EasyJet so we get back to Gatwick. By the time you've added luggage it's £150 pp. So they are about the same price but with BA Club you get flexible tickets, 64kg of luggage each vs 23kg, food & drinks, lounge access and a row for the two of us. Will probably change and suck it up to avoid the airport transfer as I don't mind Easyjet.

Out of interest I wondered how prices compared for the Sunday, flying back to Gatwick with Easyjet and one checked in bag is £400 pp! to Heathrow on the same day BA club is £266 and via some wacky pricing anomaly BA economy on the same flight is £420 !!! BA Club is actually cheaper than economy on all BA flights that weekend so it shows it's worthwhile shopping around. Presumably this is because it's peak ski time and TOs have booked out most of economy.

Like @buchanan101 we use Avios for BA Club flights and I like flying from Gatwick. It's not much further from the SW, parking and hotels seem cheaper than Heathrow, also the fast track security is possibly the fastest track security in the world Happy

When we fly BA club it always seem full, I did wonder why they don't make more club Europe seats available as it's obviously a simple configuration in the cabin. However, I noticed that the lounges are often jam packed so wondered if that was the limiting factor.
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olderscot wrote:
Quote:


We need to fly to Naples next year and the best times and prices coming out are BA. but only LGW is given as an option.

LHR is far more convenient for us. With this news is it likely do you think that if we book now, our flights will be changed to LHR? If so fingers crossed!!


Our flights to Verona from LGW in February have been switched to LHR so I'd say there's a pretty good chance yours will be too.


Fab, that’s encouraging then.
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@richb67, they do alter the number of club seats - they just move the divider back and forward depending on how many have booked

@Dave of the Marmottes, tell me about it! I moved near Paddington 8 years ago and they’ve been working on the cross rail station all this time! Most of the scaffolding has gone now and I have seen them testing the escalators so it does look like it’s really happening now
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@richb67, The reason business is cheaper than economy is because of dynamic pricing. Normally this is slow because the odd person booking on the flight. However, with a whole load of LGW Pax added to LHR it throws the algorithm into a fit Happy

It is handy to know because on a couple of occasions I've seen a flight change and suddenly Premium Economy on long haul is cheaper than economy then use miles to go into Biz. Happy
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GlasgowCyclops wrote:
@richb67, The reason business is cheaper than economy is because of dynamic pricing. Normally this is slow because the odd person booking on the flight. However, with a whole load of LGW Pax added to LHR it throws the algorithm into a fit Happy

It is handy to know because on a couple of occasions I've seen a flight change and suddenly Premium Economy on long haul is cheaper than economy then use miles to go into Biz. Happy


yes, I understand that. It just seems an odd algorithm. You'd think it would be best to always charge more for business, if you have spaces as you can usually upgrade someone on the day. But I assume BA know better than me.
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Arno wrote:
@richb67, they do alter the number of club seats - they just move the divider back and forward depending on how many have booked



exactly my point, it's easy to change and club is usually full. So why they don't just move it and sell more club seats ? I wondered if one reason is the number of places they have in the lounges. Often in small airports they are jammed. Again, I assume BA know more about their business than me, some random guy who just flies a few times a year Happy
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@richb67, my point was that they do this already. Business is full because (generally) they move the divider forward when they haven’t sold many Bus seats and push it back when they have sold lots
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Arno wrote:
@richb67, my point was that they do this already. Business is full because (generally) they move the divider forward when they haven’t sold many Bus seats and push it back when they have sold lots

d'oh ! Embarassed
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richb67 wrote:
You'd think it would be best to always charge more for business, if you have spaces as you can usually upgrade someone on the day. But I assume BA know better than me.


There's more to the fare than just the cabin class - the ticket terms are a bigger influence (or at least were, pre-COVID, when cancellation/change terms were incredibly variable).

The cheapest business class tickets were usually less than the most expensive economy class tickets, because the former were non-changeable, whereas the latter would tolerate a no-show. With a full fare ticket, you can fail to check in for your flight, and walk onto the next one. That can be worth a lot more than a limp baguette and glass of cheap champagne.

BA has a massive aversion to upgrades and generally lets the cabin go empty rather than upgrade people.
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An update from HeadForPoints on BA’s plans for Gatwick:

https://www.headforpoints.com/2021/09/04/british-airways-low-cost-gatwick-airport-subsidiary
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snowdave wrote:
richb67 wrote:
You'd think it would be best to always charge more for business, if you have spaces as you can usually upgrade someone on the day. But I assume BA know better than me.


There's more to the fare than just the cabin class - the ticket terms are a bigger influence (or at least were, pre-COVID, when cancellation/change terms were incredibly variable).

The cheapest business class tickets were usually less than the most expensive economy class tickets, because the former were non-changeable, whereas the latter would tolerate a no-show. With a full fare ticket, you can fail to check in for your flight, and walk onto the next one. That can be worth a lot more than a limp baguette and glass of cheap champagne.

BA has a massive aversion to upgrades and generally lets the cabin go empty rather than upgrade people.


Yep I've been a Gold Card Holder for years and rarely get upgraded from economy to business in Europe but have had a few on long haul. Mostly this is when there is a big conference on and there are loads of folk heading back to the UK at the same time. Another upgrade "hot spot" is if you're next to a bassinet seat (row 1 in premium economy) and a couple would like to sit together. I prefer the front row of PE so have been upgraded from there.

But in general BA don't like to upgrade. I even prefer the exit row on shorthaul rather than an upgrade to a row 2-6 in club Europe.
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abc wrote:
...But nobody is paying a premium for a couple hours of "comfort" on short haul cattle carriages with wings...

Be careful not to generalise too much from your own experience and perspective.

I started flying Club on short haul flights because it was often cheaper than paying to take my bike in economy. But these days I stump up the cost even though I have status and can take my bike and use the lounge for free.

I understand that the flight is only for a few hours, but leisure time is important to me. Being at the front of the plane turns flying from being a drudge into a pleasure. I arrive at my destination feeling happy and relaxed, and I'm willing to pay a premium for that.
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Life's too short. All the above calculations. Much prefer using Business as no faff with skis and having flown for 40 years now prefer it to be a bit more comfortable. Okay if there are Southampton flights i would use easyjet for short drive.

I believe return to Geneva about 16000 points and ? £50. I made about 300,000 points in 2021 as had two year anniversary of cancelling Amex cards for self and wife. No choice really unless i wish to pay to get some tier points
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Oops 16,000 points return.
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hawkesbaynz wrote:
I made about 300,000 points in 2021 as had two year anniversary of cancelling Amex cards for self and wife. No choice really unless i wish to pay to get some tier points


is that 300k Avios ? if so how do you manage that ? we'll get about 100k this year but that's only because we did the 2yr switch from me to my wife, also they seem to have started offers for bonus points that I haven't seen before. e.g. 10k bonus Avios if you spend 5k in 3 months.

we use the BA Amex to get the companion vouchers.
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https://www.headforpoints.com/2021/01/22/how-a-couple-can-earn-186875-avios-from-american-express/

I also am a Limited Company and my wife is a partner. I was referred by her from her BA Card to get a Business Gold, then I referred her for a Business Gold. They were offering big bonuses. Then extra poits for adding a second card holder.

Some ruses for getting nectar points via reading HFP. Then transfer to avios. As example 10,000 for getting an estimate for equity release from mailonline.

Referral can reap rewards too. So if anyone want an Amex card am happy to refer. You get more points if you are referred rather than apply direct so win-win
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@richb67, I got about 500k AVIOS from flying in my last job. That is a lot of Jetlag Happy

The way I did it was use AVIOS to accelerate to Gold via Short Haul CE (Club Europe) flights. If you buy the CE and lower back to the ET price then you still get CE Tier points and you also get AVIOS back. Each flight is then about a 3k AVIOS Net. But then because you get to higher status faster, you get the Gold AVIOS bonus on flights so you end up getting it back.

EG GLA-LGW 10 TP's return. However, with CE it is 80-Tp's return. Flying to Paris or AMS is 160 Tp's from GLA.

Then on Long Haul you get about an extra 12-14k AVIOS in Premium Economy Gold Vs Blue (Which you would still be if flying ET GLA-LGW). I got an extra 150k AVIOS/year as a gold so it doesn't take long to build it up.
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@GlasgowCyclops, thanks. Fortunately my days of flying for business are over. We did get some nice club class flights from them though Happy

@hawkesbaynz, we change cards every few years to get the bonuses but having 3 cards each is a new one Happy from a brief skim over that article it looks like the benefit of some of the bonuses are marginal as you're paying a fee but I can see how it might be useful if you are new to Amex, the fees are id by the Ltd company and your getting referrals.

Shame they changed the BA card so you need to pay for the premium Amex to get 2-4-1 vouchers that can be used in club. Still worthwhile though if you get the joining bonus.
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@richb67, TBH I find the value of the companion voucher can be a bit questionable. The taxes and fees on long-haul, coupled with the very poor Avios availability, means there's usually a better deal elsewhere.

We've lucked out and had some amazing family trips (US 3-4 times in First or Business, Singapore once in business) but when I added up the full cost of having the BA amex card, coupled with the alternative uses of the Avios (particularly now they can be used in Sainsburys) for an Asia trip a year ago, it was neutral vs flying on Qatar (albeit direct vs stopover).

Where Avios definitely wins for me is peak period shorthaul to Europe - we've saved thousands on half term and new year flights.
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snowdave wrote:
@richb67, TBH I find the value of the companion voucher can be a bit questionable. The taxes and fees on long-haul, coupled with the very poor Avios availability, means there's usually a better deal elsewhere.

We've lucked out and had some amazing family trips (US 3-4 times in First or Business, Singapore once in business) but when I added up the full cost of having the BA amex card, coupled with the alternative uses of the Avios (particularly now they can be used in Sainsburys) for an Asia trip a year ago, it was neutral vs flying on Qatar (albeit direct vs stopover).

Where Avios definitely wins for me is peak period shorthaul to Europe - we've saved thousands on half term and new year flights.


yep, we've mainly used the vouchers for Club Europe although we did get a good deal to Sao Paolo 2 or 3 years ago, by far the cheapest way to do it, direct flights and also flexible tickets. Nowadays we don't live near London so BA is often not the best for us and one voucher a year is fine.

BA are meant to be offering more Avios seats so we'll see what actually happens. I certainly had no problems getting CE flights to Rome for next month (and it was showing availability for CW flights to Hong Kong in December, or PE to Sydney next year) but these are unusual times so I'm not sure you can read anything into that. We've decided no long haul until 2023 and I guess others will be similarly cautious. It won't help if they reduce flights though, I assume Avios won't be accepted on the discount "BA" from Gatwick
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Unfortunately for the crew I think it is their terms and conditions which will be the discount for BA from Gatwick. Should not effect the flying public. Time will tell.
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