British Airways is on track to spend £400 million on improving their onboard premium cabin experience. Although not many announcement have been made regarding their First cabin, Club World is getting a lot of improvements. The first announced was the enhanced meals on long haul flights. This was followed by the partnership between British Airways and the White Company to provide bedding and new amenity kits. Beyond this, late last month, British Airways announced premium passenger transfers at Heathrow.
Say what? British Airways Transfers?
Yeah, you heard it right. British Airways will begin transporting their premium passengers if they have a tight connection. This sounds too good to be true, but it will apply to a select number of premium passengers. Given restrictions with customs and border protection, the service will only be available for domestic passengers connecting onwards to an international flight. The customers eligible for this benefit are Club Europe UK, Executive Club Silver and Gold members, and passengers connecting onward to a Club World or First flight.
How Does it Work?
Well, in short it applies to any of the above mentioned passengers who have a tight connection. The service will shuttle them from one gate to the next in a private car. The airline plans to communicate with flight crews so that they can in turn let the passenger know he has a transfer waiting for him. They have not detailed what kind of car will be providing the transport, but if they take a page from Air France or Lufthansa, it would be a Jaguar or Land Rover.
British Airways’ Other Improvements
Beyond the soft product improvements British Airways has been investing on, they have also made some hard product investments. The airline plans to reveal a brand new A350 Club World Seat. It will have all aisle access, which is a major difference to their current seat. BA has also opened a new First Wing at Heathrow, as well as new lounges at Gatwick. Their New York JFK lounge will get an overhaul in the coming months as well. Finally, the airline will be adding wifi on their short and long haul aircraft, and they should all be equipped by the end of 2019.
I am glad to see British Airways offer their premium passengers transfers in cases of short connections. That being said, their European competitors already offer this consistently for all their first class passengers. As a matter of fact, Air France and Lufthansa offer this for all of their first class passengers. It’s sad that BA is playing catch up, instead of leading the pack as they did in the past. I believe the airline will be able to improve further, and offer a globally competitive product soon. There are still many way the airline can improve. Here’s hoping British Airways can finally be a contender for best European First class again.
What do you think? Is British Airways premium transfers is enough of a step on the right direction? Should the airline do more to guarantee its premium passengers their connections? Let us know!
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Images from: British Airways, the author and Wikimedia.