NEWS & OFFERS: Will BA’s CEO be forced to leave? and great US fares from £1273 including Hawaii

Honolulu

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Will BA’s CEO be forced to leave?

At the weekend rumours started to circulate that BA’s current CEO may be forced to leave the company. As we all know BA has been having a pretty bad start to the year with numerous and ongoing cancellations, IT failures and reduced staffing in many areas. 

A report in This is Money at the weekend said that

Directors at International Airlines Group are said to have already discussed the possibility of removing BA chief Sean Doyle over a string of failures, including the recent cancellation of hundreds of flights. 

The next set of annual results is due to be presented on Friday and it is expected that Sean’s future will be discussed. Analysts are predicting that IAG, BA’s parent company will make a loss of £462m for the first three months of 2022. 

Sean Doyle, BA’s CEO

I’m not the slightest bit surprised by this. Whenever there are failures on this scale, the CEO is always going to be in the firing line. Sean Doyle did a great job at Aer Lingus and really understood the importance of small details in customer satisfaction. He introduced things like free wifi for everyone. However, he was very definitely thrown in at the deep end in October 2020 when he joined BA. The airline is huge in comparison to Aer Lingus and obviously dealing with the pandemic was a massive challenge too.

Sean seems to have the right intentions but is slow in executing them. We all understand the difficulty in getting enough staff currently but is this of their own making? For me, it is all about what they CAN do in the meantime. When things go wrong, apologise properly. Why could they not give out a small token gesture like £25 off a future flight? It may stop someone from defecting to another airline.

They have improved Club Europe catering so even if it has to be one tray, could they not do something about Club World? A choice of starter? A better quality starter? Better quality cheeses? Looking at how they are placing staff in the cabin so you don’t get inexperienced staff in your premium cabins? 

Instead, people are more likely to take their business elsewhere and the worry is they won’t come back. An analyst in the article says,

Analyst Chris Tarry said the pressure facing Doyle is ‘huge’: ‘We’re moving to a stage where BA’s reputation is continuing to decline. 

‘You look at the short notice of cancellations and it is very disruptive. It is easier and costs less to retain a passenger than to win them back.’ 

I do think that it’s likely Mr Doyle will go. If it was one or two single incidents, he may have got away with it. With the ongoing issues stretching as far as the summer with cancellations, I can’t see how he can survive much longer. A CEO makes a great scapegoat to blame all BA’s woes on. However, on the flip side they may not want to unsettle things just as they are hopefully making plans to turn things around. 

 

Great US and Mexico fares from £1273 including Hawaii

Fares to the US have been extremely high since the start of the year with prices reaching over £4000 for the West Coast. However, there are still some great fares available if you are willing to start your journey elsewhere in the EU. Paris, Dublin and Amsterdam are the usual suspects when it comes to cheap US fares. There is now another contender with Budapest offering some great deals and one of the best offer we have seen for Hawaii for a long time.

There are relatively cheap stopovers in Europe at €150 so you could buy your first positioning flights for another time and use the first leg of Budapest fare to return to the UK. This would give you a mini-break in Budapest if you didn’t want to do it all in one go. You can break your journey by up to 24 hours for free on each leg. 

Budapest

If you did the most straightforward routing to Honolulu via Heathrow-Los Angeles (not including any positioning) this would give you 640 tier points for BA, enough for silver even without the 25% reduction. If you wanted to add in more transfers you could change planes in New York en route to Los Angeles which would give you an extra 280 Tier Points. You could also do this option when flying to Los Angeles and San Francisco to add extra tier points. 

The fares:

  • New York £1273
  • Honolulu £1353
  • Los Angeles £1333
  • San Francisco £1338
  • Miami £1437
  • Mexico City £1245
  • Cancun £1264

The rules:

  • Book by: 6 months advance purchase
  • Travel:
    • From Europe – Permitted Tue/Wed/Thu on each transatlantic sector.
    • To Europe – Permitted Mon/Tue/Wed on each transatlantic sector.
  • Minimum stay: 6 nights or a Saturday night
  • Maximum stay: 12 months
  • Transfers: Up to 4 – 2 in Europe and 2 in the US
  • Stopovers: €150 for Europe and €600 for US
  • Refundable: No except in accordance with an airline’s book with confidence policy
  • Changeable: No change fees

Some fares you can book via BA, some will need to be booked via American Airlines. If you are struggling to price the itinerary, our travel agent partners GTC may be able to help. Note there is a small booking fee for flights depending on the complexity. 

You can book direct with British Airways here or American Airlines or find the cheapest online travel agent price with Skyscanner.

There are also a couple of reasonable (in the context of current prices) Qatar flight prices from Budapest.

  • Johannesburg £1660
  • Seychelles £1978

 

 

23 Comments on "NEWS & OFFERS: Will BA’s CEO be forced to leave? and great US fares from £1273 including Hawaii"

  1. I’ll keep my BA status, but I’m already booking alternatives for long haul wherever possible.

    My last two club world flights have been a joke in terms of food / service (new seat is fine though).

  2. Positioning anywhere into Europe on BA remains a massive risk at the moment, either from having your flight cancelled or changed or from losing baggage. You are effectively being forced to travel hand luggage only by the failings of the airline, or to add in extra nights to mitigate the risk of cancellation.

    • That is a good point but obviously there are ways to mitigate that such as going the day before (not always practical for everyone), splitting it into two trips as I mentioned and taking clothes with you in your hand luggage. To be fair there is always a risk with these sort of flights but it is definitely worse at the moment. I always travel out the night before and have a back up plan for flights should mine be cancelled but that’s not something everyone has the time to do.

  3. A good friend of ours used to work in the BA central finance department and worked with Sean Doyle as he rose through the ranks. He speaks very highly of him – sharp mind and effective with people. If IAG is looking to scapegoat him they need to be sure that their next appointee is better.

    I’m unenthused by BA at the moment (Michele, your A350 review this morning was reflective of our recent experience). It’s impossible to book CW flights to where we want to go using our 2for1s so we are booked with Etihad to ICN and Swiss to DXB up next.

  4. I like Sean Doyle, I think he has set the right tone in how relationships between management and staff ought to be. But I am cabin crew and the nature of the management prevents anything he intends for the better from reaching me and most of my colleagues. Just reading the BA related articles here today and finding that some people I work with have been clever enough to try and bring influence by way of a traveller’s forum reminds me of how low we have sunk. An email came today from cabin crew management reminding us to follow published service and delivery standards but most of them are out of whack with reality. If he goes, then he should be leading a line of people unqualified to run the airline. Covid hasn’t done anything other than unmask their incompotencies.

  5. From Walsh onwards, BA leadership form the top has been atrocious. This has spilt out into service in J and Brexit, Covid, whatever you want to blame, has been the cherry on the icing. BA can have a great CEO if IAG take their blinkers off and look at the ideas within other airlines. The mess that BA is in is all of their own making – just compare their current predicament with other airlines that have raced to take off – United transatlantic springs to mind!
    The sooner the legacy of cost cutter Walsh is flushed out, BA will start to thrive again, as long as they respect their staff!! Their staff are their interaction for many hours with passengers and that is what we recall and will base future flights on.
    In the meantime, reward loyalty (Avios collections and 2 4 1’s) with decent availability of premium seats tgo decent destinations and RECRUIT!!! BA sacked their cabin crew and it has not surprisingly come back to bite them on the bum!

    • You are so spot on in your analysis of what happened to Ba!! In a sentence they sacked over 10,000 staff and now it’s proved they can’t get away with it!! Walsh stripped BA to its bare bones with the help of the share holders

  6. “Selection of cheeses”. Sure Michelle. You’ve clearly got an insight into what’s important.

  7. Last time I wrote on here it was to defend BA but, like everyone else, I’ve not had great experiences. I was in Mexico at the time. Flight back delayed by >3 hours and the 4 of us in my party documented the evidence, but compensation refused because it was due to “operational reasons” (I wasn’t aware this could be a get out!). Needless to say, the lounge was closed during those extra 3 hours. Additionally, CW flight back from Lisbon next month already being messed around with cancellation.

  8. They have achieved their low cost base through replacing experienced, more expensive people with cheaper ones. In so doing, knowledge has been sacrificed and enormous enmity has opened up amongst those who did decide to stay. The cost cutting strategy was kicked off with Walsh, carried on with Cruz and Doyle has not had the spherical things to say enough is enough. I know cabin crew who now hate the airline with a passion and there will be customers too who feel the same. I received £25 stranded for being downgraded to J on QR from F when my BA flight was cancelled! Despite writing to the Exec Office to Sean, £25 was all they would pay. I rest my case.

    • EC261 is the regulation you need to look at, particularly regarding Involuntary Downgrades.

      You’re entitled to a LOT more than £25

  9. *stranded in Oz when BA cancelled their flight from SYD

  10. 11k In F to Sydney.

    We’ve booked Singapore at 9k and we get to use a double bed!

    BA are off their heads currently.

  11. The staff are unhappy too of course – I have a good friend who has worked premium cabin for years – apparently right now the experienced staff are working Economy – its a lot less stressful since the premium cabins just constantly complain the whole way through the flight – economy customers seem happy just to be going somewhere … the whole business needs a rethink.

    • Agreed. I’ll be featuring some cabin crew feedback shortly.

    • Hi Keith, You can see my comments on Michele’s A350 to Vegas Article. There are two reasons why my experienced crew are disappearing to the back of the aircraft. One is the new working position system that has failed miserably and the second is a lot of them are clearly embarrassed at the current service levels in Club and First.It’s turned into the Wild West onboard. But today we have articles on our staff intranet about naming a new BA Branded Trunkie case for kids and a chance to feature in a Father’s Day promotion. For the sake of our customers, I think IFCE need to put their energy into getting our service levels back to the way they were pre-covid instead of lovely fluffy talk news articles

  12. Clive Fletcher-Wood | 4 May 2022 at 8:53 am | Reply

    Les’s comment about BA being ‘off their heads’ is spot on: looking for J flights to the Caribbean in Jan/Feb I can’t find flights for 2 with BA for much under £14,000, as opposed to the usual £5,000. I won’t be paying that ridiculous sum, I wonder who will?

  13. Having worked in the industry all my career and now retired, BA appear to be in complete turmoil. Aside from the service issues outlined by many on here, the complete mismatch between pricing and competitor pricing suggests that revenue management systems aren’t working effectively or they don’t have key people to make RM decisions. Availability on inbounds for reward flights, always a problem, seems impossible at the moment. All of this points to fundamental failures of systems or a lack of people. This past two years has been beyond awful at all levels of the Travel Industry and I know for a fact that good, knowledgeable people are leaving/have left in droves. Salaries are often higher elsewhere and the incredible perks we used to enjoy are not much better than those enjoyed by paying passengers.

  14. We are in LHR BA North Lounge right now. Our BA414 to TFS already 20mins late start (can make up time on way down), but the lounge product has got worse. Dirty, grubby and needs a deep clean. Feel sorry for the guys working here. They try their best.
    Seems more and more people using lounge, but less flying going on and fares out of this world. Can anyone explain ??

  15. James Harper | 4 May 2022 at 6:08 pm | Reply

    I’m no fan of BA but Sean Doyle inherited a run down, dysfunctional company with non-existant staff morale and a culture of cut to the bone when there wasn’t any bone left. The irony of this is that Cruz and Walsh who did the damage were allowed to slash and burn for years and now a man who is trying to repair mistakes not of his own making is in danger of being ousted.

    What a mess and BA for me, remains a company to avoid.

  16. Yet another cancellation!
    Really disappointed!
    Had used two companion vouchers for LHR to Seattle in early September and chose the flight with new Club seats.
    Flight cancelled yesterday and put onto old style seating at 9.40 a.m. instead of 3.30 p.m. … Will probably mean a Heathrow hotel for 4 now too!
    What would the meals be please?
    Thanks.

    • I have had the same on that route. Normally on long haul after 9am it’s lunch as by the time it’s served it will be close to lunch time. On long West Coast you get a full second meal so I’d expect that to be lunch/dinner. If someone has done that flight recently feel free to correct me if I’m wrong.

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