Cranky on the Web (May 12 – 15)

British Airways

The transatlantic view from across the pondBritish Airways Up to Speed
The publisher of BA’s internal magazine asked me to write a column on the benefit BA will receive from having US Airways in the joint venture.

Comfort AnimalsWagaroo blog
Wagaroo is a new site founded by a friend of mine that’s trying to match shelter dogs with owners. I was more than happy to let them republish my post on comfort animals on their blog.

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5 comments on “Cranky on the Web (May 12 – 15)

  1. No matter how you paint BA, for me it is normally a non-starter traveling to or from Europe. Why? Because as soon as you add the world famous airport tax in London the cost of your ticket increases substantially. BA tries to funnel most of its flights through the over taxed and over loaded airport at Heathrow, making BA flights and connections pricey and tortuous. Even with the new terminal the passenger load is many times over the designed capacity. You can figure out the rest. Most frequent travelers to the continent, when possible, will chose anther airline/city to connect to their final destination.

    As a side note, in my opinion you can forget the low priced flights offered by the Russian national airline Aeroflot. They, natuarally, use Russian built aircraft which may not meet Western engineering or safety standards. Historically, the Russian have not fully complied sharing design, engineering or safety data for Western review. Additionally, over flying Europe to Moscow (the furthest major city in Eastern Europe) may keep you there for most or all of a day to connect to your destination. Crime at that airport has always been unacceptably high. Lately it would be very prudent to consider world political matters prior to traveling behind the Russian tanks.

    1. The part about Aeroflot naturally using Russian made aircraft is misleading. While there are Russian built planes in Aeroflot’s fleet, they account for a small minority. The overwhelming majority of Aeroflot’s fleet is actually made up of Airbus planes along with a few Boeing planes mixed in there.

    2. Yes the BA tax is absurdly high, but a lot of the taxes do not apply to passengers in long-haul transit at LHR. It’s a real pain only on BA award tickets. Otherwise BA fares USA-Europe/Asia are usually competitive with everyone else.

      +1 to Cody’s point that Aeroflot is actually reliable. Politics aside, they run a competent airline and are not comparable to Alitalia/Air India in terms of losing money.

    3. Consumer Mike – It’s amazing to me that you ever get on an airplane since nearly every airline is horrible in your eyes. Normally I don’t respond, but in this case, you have several inaccuracies that absolutely need to be corrected for anyone else who might read this.

      As has been pointed out by Sanjeev, connections are not subject to the UK Air Passenger Duty. Of course, that is not BA’s fault anyway. Terminal 5 is not “many times over capacity.” It is, I believe, near capacity at most. But the runways and traffic rules are the true issue at Heathrow and not the physical buildings.

      As for Aeroflot, as Cody notes, you are wrong. Apparently your view of Aeroflot is from 1985. Aeroflot doesn’t fly any Russian airplanes anymore except for the Sukhoi Superjet, which is a modern airplane built in partnership with Boeing. See this:
      The Il-96 has been retired from scheduled operations. Aeroflot is a perfectly good airline. I can’t quite figure out where this rant is coming from.

      In the future, please try to review the facts before posting.

  2. I started my career as a flight attendant at TWA in the 70s when we still flew 707s to Europe. But the 747 was the pinnacle of high flying comfort! In first class, psssengers were offered a choice of 9 entrees, and we would go up to upper deck lounge (UL) to announce the dinner service was about to begin on the main deck. Of course they could elect to dine upstairs, but it wasn’t offered from in aisle carts. We called it an 11 csrt service. We were trained from day 1 to make it an “elegant” experience. I feel really lucky to have flown during those wonderful years when every trip was an adventure!

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