Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Is London City to JFK really a good idea?

As BA “consolidates” further (otherwise known as retreating into the Heathrow bunker) it’s worth considering how the airline will actually market its much-vaunted London City to JFK service.

To counter the retro “one-stop” service which the length of London City runway and the width of the Atlantic obliges the service to be, BA proposes to have passengers not only stop but deplane and clear US Customs and Immigration at Shannon. This will either be a smugglers’ paradise or a variable delay mechanism to further depreciate the service for the time-conscious business traveller.

According to the various flying blogs, BA has dictated that the landing back at London City can only be made by senior pilots. Great. So what they’re offering is a landing that’s so fraught they’ll only allow their most experienced pilots to fly it - and then insist they do it after a peak-time departure from JFK and at the end of an eight-hour transatlantic flight.

And all this to avoid an hour in a cab - which the business traveller will still have to do at the other end anyway!

The whole thing sounds to me like a marketing plan drawn up by a junior co-pilot wanting to get ahead.

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