British Airways, Once Posh, Has Fallen Far

British Air LogoOnce upon a time, in the not-too-distant past, British Airways was a joy. Excellent cabin service and gracious flight attendants were the norm. Everyone wanted to fly BA.

Unfortunately, this elegance and charm has come to an end. In a blog post, View from the Wing reports on BA’s new “race to the bottom” strategy and how it has transformed BA into an airline that in many cases is best avoided.

For example, BA now charges for food in economy, for tea bags and even for a cup of hot water on short-haul flights.

This graph, from, is telling. It shows how British Air’s own customers feel about the value of the brand. Notice the plunge since Sept. 2016.

British Air Customer Perception GraphI personally recall being treated very well by British Airways gate staff after a cancelled flight. That was about 5 years ago, and I’m not sure I would be so pleased if the same were to happen today.

For a passenger wishing to use frequent-flyer miles for a trans-Atlantic flight, BA adds such tremendous YQ fees that it may be smarter to just pay for a ticket.

This precipitous fall is likely to shift more customers to ultra-low-cost carriers like Ryanair and easyJet, where they can experience the same sorts of challenges at a lower price.

It’s a sad day for BA loyalists as severe cost-cutting runs their favorite airline into the ground.