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Not the world's favourite airline any more
British Airways in general
Member Name: anonbg
British Airways in general
Advantages: Good safety record, longstanding reputation, sales prices
Disadvantages: Usually not cheap, living off past glories
I have been flying with BA for many years now - I am not a regular, or even loyal customer, its just sometimes they have the most convinient route or the cheapest fare.
Booking has been a trouble free experience for me. Although I used to prefer booking in Regent Street!) BAcom is probably one of the best reservation websites and is quite easy to navigate. You can book your flight and also check in, request cabin / aisle seat and order vegetarian meals (if they offer it on that flight).
As far as service is concerned, I have found BA cabin crew to be generally polite, but not overly helpful on short hall flights. However, the 6 - 8 long haul flights were different, as the crew were really quite helpful - although those flights were far from being full.
The food aboard over the years has alternated between excellent and poor. Due to cost cutting I'd say the food is overll about average at the moment. I haven't tried them, but have been told that the vegetarian meals are good. On long haul I'd say the food is above average. I haven't been on a very short hall flight recently, but I seem to remember reading about a cut off point of 2 hours, so if your flight is less than 2 hours, don't count on receiving free food. A sandwich and a free drink or two is all you can expect on a 2 hour flight, with a biscuit or something similar - maybe this is all one can expect these days, but for me its below average.
As far as fares are concerned they are usually somewhere around the middle of the price range so if you are on a budget, its much better to use a low cost airline. However, they do have sales, and if you are lucky enough to have reason to use a route that they have regular sales on, it is worth snapping up a ticket. To give an example in the past I have flown to Belgrade during a BA sale for cheaper than the local airline Jugoslav Airlines, even though usually Jugoslav Airlines is the cheapest on that route.
I was fortunte to not take part in the 'circus' at Terminal 5 when it was opened, so have no experience of huge delays to claim my baggage and the chaos that came with it. I know some people were genuinely angry at the way they were treated due to this and to the attitude by BA customer service.
From my own experience I recommend BA when they are offering a sale to your destination and also to try it out on different routes, provided they are not too expensive.
I'd also like to say that strikes at BA are nothing new, so predictions of the demise of BA are premature - although the aviation industry is much more competitive than it used to be. In total I'd give them 3.5, but will give them the benefit of the doubt.
Summary: It takes more than good advertising campaigns to restore the airline
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