Just weeks after writing in this column about the need to explore further smart partnerships, British Airways have announced they are working with two rail companies, Heathrow Express and First Great Western, to offer seamless connections for travellers living in the West of England and Wales on a single fly/rail ticket.
While the Heathrow arrangement will not directly benefit Barbados, the concept offers enormous potential with Gatwick, Manchester, Birmingham and the Scottish cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow.
Frankly I am surprised that British Airways have pipped Virgin Atlantic to the post on this initiative, especially as Virgin Trains are significant rail operators in their own right.
From a recent media release ‘The combined booking takes away the stress and fear of missing a flight, if a train is delayed or a connection missed, by giving customers the peace of mind they’ll be on the next available flight – and even get overnight accommodation if the next service isn’t on the same day’.
It has become increasingly more important, if we are going to regain market share that we assess the whole holiday product components, rather than just focus on the ultimate destination itself. Both from a consumer cost basis, but also to ensure it the most overall pleasurable hassle free experience.
The Smith Commission recommendation takes Scotland a step closer to determining whether their airports will either eliminate the Advanced Passenger Duty (APD) altogether, or dramatically reduce it. There can be little doubt that the overwhelming conclusion amongst the business community is that elimination would substantially boost the Scottish economy and give Glasgow, Prestwick and Edinburgh airports a distinct cost advantage over airlines flying from those in England. Continue reading