Oh, you’ve got to love British Airways and their advertising – especially when the come out with stuff like this.
Ooooohkay. Now that video out of the way (although however signed it off needs to be taken away), there are little things to get out of the way.
So in the video they’ve talked about:
- Fully flat seats
- Noise cancelling headphones
- Touch screen TVs with on demand content
- Luxury Wash-bags.
Except… the elephant in the room is yet to be discussed. And that’s the various different Business Class Seats
If we’re comparing like for like, this means American Airlines who use a mid-density seat (Zodiac Aerospace Cirrus or the upcoming B/E Aerospace SuperDiamond on their 777 fleet, Thompson Vantage on their 767s).
American Airline Boeing 777-300ER with Zodiac Aerospace Cirrus Seats – Image, Economy Class and Beyond
British Airways Boeing 747-400 Club World with BA’s Bespoke Club World Seat – Image, Economy Class and Beyond.
Meanwhile, British Airways operates its custom Club World sleeper seat in it’s ying/yang configuration
The net result is a Business Class Seat count of the following used on US-UK services:
So which better just on this hard data? Well, the based on seat density, I’d be choosing American Airlines. Much less dense configurations and no flying dormitories. Whilst the seat count is broadly the same on the 777s, this doesn’t account for the fact there are also premium economy and First Class sections too.
There is a key differentiator that neither the advert or this data mentions and that’s the soft part of the product – the passenger experience the customer gets on the plane when interacting with crew and of course food.
And it does add up to the passenger experience. Some just want to get on a plane, wait for the plane to take off, and put the seat in bed position for 7 hours plus (or until they land). For others, they want the entire experience from point to point.
Therein is the real challenge for both British Airways and American Airlines – to improve the passenger experience.
Sadly, one of those two are trying to cut everything until they make money… and there’s no guesses who that is.
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