Travelling back home from a round trip to Glasgow international airport I was able to reflect on my flying experience. Due to availability of flights I flew up from Gatwick using British Airways and back with Easyjet.
It’s worth noting that I have spent most of my life traveling with B.A. and from past experiences I find that I have always had the best service along with most comfortable travel. The trips I tend to take are long haul with short flights, like this, being very rare.
Over the last year or two B.A. has changed the service they offer to short haul travellers in an attempt to compete with their budget airline rivals. But have they lost a part of their iconic identity in the process?
When I think of changes I tend to be reminded of food. I first started travelling with B.A. 20 odd years, back then I remember their being a full breakfast service on their morning flights. As time has passed this dwindled down to a packet of crisps and a cookie. I can understand that a full meal would be costly in today’s economy however for them to fall to the standard of charging none first class passengers for any type of food, which is the current practice, seems a little ridiculous to me. Even water is charged at £1.80 a bottle.
The food served these days comes off from the shelves of M&S and branded as ‘the Best of British.’ I agree that M&S are a noted retailer in the UK however, some of the products in the menu are sourced from places other than the British Isles.
Now when I looked at the menu from Easyjet I found that the price list was more favourable when you took into account their meal deal offers (individually thier products were more costly). Their food included a selection of brands, some well known and others not so.
Whereas both airlines cater for the palates of the consumer one does it without the level of pretentiousness of the other.
To move away from the food side of things we can look at the quality of the cabins. On this occasion both had similar sized aircrafts which left the taller passenger feeling cramped. Easyjet are strict with their one cabin bag policy which includes a man/handbag. Needless to say overhead storage is limited.
Included within the price of a B.A. ticket you are also allowed a checked in bag. Easyjet asks for a charge. When considering the difference here it is also worth noting that B.A. flights are often, not always, more costly in comparison.
Having reviewed the experience with both I wonder what I get more from flying commercial that I don’t get with budget. It is true that the two have areas of improvement however when you consider the difference in price, for a short distance trip, you are probably better taking the cheaper option.
It’s sad to see how British Airways, the once standard of excellence for air travel, has let down it’s local travellers although I guess it’s all about getting the most profit out of fares as possible. I do worry about the further cuts they might make.
For now I think I might be more open to low cost travel. After all I can save a few quid and get to where I want to be just the same.