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1 hour ago, zuludelta said:

A few years ago, when browsing in a second-hand bookstore, I picked up a musty old business strategy textbook. The content was about usual business stuff - new markets, customer acquisition etc. However, flicking through it, something caught my eye. The author included a case study of one company following a strategy of not continually chasing new customers but relying on repeat business instead. The company in the case study was Brittany Ferries. Transpired the author was from University of Plymouth.

BF, more than any company I can think of, has been built on repeat custom. It has been the bedrock of it's very existence and growth. How many times, have you seen people write on Trip Advisor comments like "we've been using BF for over 20 years...". It built up huge reserves of goodwill and loyalty. Unfortunately, this capital seems to be getting severely eroded now - which is actually quite sad.   

 

 

That was the successful mantra of Alexis Gourvennec who built the company whilst P & O were operating in his back yard. A lot of his new customers, which he also attracted, came by word of mouth from satisfied existing ones. He knew his market, he realised what his customers wanted and he gave it to them. They in return remained loyal. A French Freddy Laker.

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A message from BF (we told you they were watching...)    

New website, new logo, what a waste of money. Just got my Welcome Aboard email, I had look at what they have to say about Bretagne, all the pictures and the video are still showing the old logo.  The

Your response is appreciated Nigel. I think it is fair to say that all the regular members of this forum are very much BF supporters and that criticism is usually considered and offered more in sorrow

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3 hours ago, BZH29 said:

I still find the website a nightmare to navigate. Give it time.  How long ?  

The way the timetables are displayed is confusing. The Print this Page link doesn't print the whole timetable, just one month plus another superfluous page. 

New Livery was it necessary ?, new timetable was it necessary ?  A BF aeroplane for the "Dear Leader".  Wish the money had been spent on people to answer phones instead.

Many travel industry sites are limited by old systems I have found, and a "put it in the bin and start again" exercise unturns a quick shocking number of stones.

Re-branding - admittedly not a fan at first but people seem to mostly agree it looks better now. Not sure if it's worth the expense to them, but there we go.

Airplane?! They owned that since the 80's didn't they?!

 

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Yes, that’s the main issue with the rebranding.  Not whether or not it looks nice, but whether or not the time and expense taken up with it was warranted at a time when there were many more pressing things that should have received attention.

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1 hour ago, Paully said:

That was the successful mantra of Alexis Gourvennec who built the company whilst P & O were operating in his back yard. A lot of his new customers, which he also attracted, came by word of mouth from satisfied existing ones. He knew his market, he realised what his customers wanted and he gave it to them. They in return remained loyal. A French Freddy Laker.

The guy was a genius. He knew his market inside-out, he had instinctual business nous, something they don't teach in MBA courses. I am surprised his name and legacy is not mentioned more often on this forum.

He might have handled this crisis a lot more differently.

 


 

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1 hour ago, Millsy said:

I think you can delete the 'might' and substitute 'would'.

When Prince Charles visited Finistere he’s reported as saying “The prince of Wales gets to meet The Prince of Brittany.”

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1 hour ago, Millsy said:

I think you can delete the 'might' and substitute 'would'.

It’s amazing how one person is often so important to the philosophy and prosperity of a company.  And how often that company loses its way when that person is no longer around.

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3 minutes ago, Gareth said:

It’s amazing how one person is often so important to the philosophy and prosperity of a company.  And how often that company loses its way when that person is no longer around.

Sadly this is in French but you can’t imagine any of the current board of directors getting paraded on shoulders through the streets of Morlaix. 

 

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14 minutes ago, Gareth said:

It’s amazing how one person is often so important to the philosophy and prosperity of a company.  And how often that company loses its way when that person is no longer around.

It's also true that, once a company with an inspired leader grows to a certain size that the sort of management which can work with a sort of benevolent dictatorship becomes utterly unwieldy and not really appropriate. BF now has so many entanglements with financiers and regional governments that it inevitably takes a different type of leadership. And a lot of those entanglements can be traced back to the times their intervention was needed to save BF when it twice nearly went bust on Gourvennec's watch.

None of which is to say the current leadership is necessarily doing a good job or doing the right things, but a pretty mature company like BF with so many vested interests is never going to be able to operate as one man's plaything any more where the decisions of the genius in charge can be risky enough to make or break the company.

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It can work on a big scale too.  Where would the Virgin brand be without Branson?  But Laker is a good analogy too.  They, of course, did go bust.

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Just now, Gareth said:

It can work on a big scale too.  Where would the Virgin brand be without Branson?  But Laker is a good analogy too.  They, of course, did go bust.

Laker had cut his teeth on the Berlin Airlift and flew the company by the seat of his pants..So did Gourvennec and whilst circumstances tried to trip him up he survived the company by force of argument and personality and BF survived...on his watch..

Laker was tripped up by John King and Colin Marshall at BA as well Pan Am and TWA and others who were forced to pay mega bucks to Lakers receivers..

  Gourvennec was better placed..

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At the time of the north Atlantic launch I thought Laker was right in the product but just a tad too early - most of the folk I worked with who had the big bucks for holiday  still didn't view flying anywhere as an option and anyway the national carriers still had a cachet that seems unbelievable now. I know there were other factors but coming so close after the collapse of amongst others Court Line and at least one major package group I think punters were suspicious of anything cut price in the travel world for a good while. Right product wrong time. 

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50 minutes ago, Gareth said:

And dubious choice of aircraft.

He got a great deal on them though..Great aircraft to fly and the pilots loved them. Going back to 1980 I was once allowed to seat in the jump seat for a night landing at Manchester back from Faro. Great experience as was BF and visits to the bridge. Never once refused on many of the fleet, my lads loved it. It became part of the holiday BF experience. Gourvennec`s slogan was `` Brittany Ferries..The Holiday Fleet``..simple catchy but something the customers bought into......

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10 minutes ago, Paully said:

Great aircraft to fly and the pilots loved them.

That’s, presumably, when they weren’t crashing.  (Not that a Laker one ever did).

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6 hours ago, Paully said:

He got a great deal on them though..Great aircraft to fly and the pilots loved them. Going back to 1980 I was once allowed to seat in the jump seat for a night landing at Manchester back from Faro. Great experience as was BF and visits to the bridge. Never once refused on many of the fleet, my lads loved it. It became part of the holiday BF experience. Gourvennec`s slogan was `` Brittany Ferries..The Holiday Fleet``..simple catchy but something the customers bought into......

The holiday still starts the moment you step on board you know! :P

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16 minutes ago, hf_uk said:

The holiday still starts the moment you step on board you know! :P

Time will tell whether that is still the case in the post-Covid Brittany Ferries.  If they go down the route of trying to make the Economie experience the new norm (which I can see them doing in an attempt to cut costs) then it will no longer be the case.

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20 minutes ago, hf_uk said:

.Great aircraft to fly and the pilots loved them

Did 8 years on the TriStar L1011all versions. I'm afraid it made the Death Cruiser 10 look rather a truck of the skies. P-M (Pure...Magic).

Stu

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I thought the topic of this thread was the NEW BF Website.

Trying to amend an existing booking and a message appears saying session ended, time out.

Tells me to refresh the page to continue - I refresh and all information is lost.

I log in again and get a message telling me Horizon.thumb.png.eb01929384a32fd7600f9c2eb6727db7.png

Who or what are HORIZONUK ?     Why do BF have such an unfriendly website ?  From past experience when I get in again the price will have gone up.

There is no Live Chat available at present, I don't do Twitter , so please don't suggest I contact Jane !   Please BF get a website that works designed by professionals.

 

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Hopeless.  I've logged in again chosen the crossing, chosen the commodore cabin and then the booking goes no further.

Next click is "Passenger Details", it reloads the accommodation page over and over and over again - time out.

When you actually get to speak to a person the service can be superb. Bring back the old website or employ staff to answer phones please.

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I have seen complaints a few times re horizon  and the response is to try again in 10 mins.

Other bugs can usually be solved using a different browser or going into privacy mode to remove the cookies.

re the phones, people are now getting through if you wait long enough, best time to call is exactly when the lines open. Standard amendments can also be made by ringing the French numbers.

Edited by David Williams
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Just an update to my comments the other day.  I tried again using the website to update my booking without success. I called  Customer Services and got through within a few minutes.

It was so easy to book exactly what I wanted with a helpful assistant. Full marks to Customer Services. Time to change that not fit for purpose website.

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On 12/06/2020 at 16:18, straightfeed said:

Did 8 years on the TriStar L1011all versions. I'm afraid it made the Death Cruiser 10 look rather a truck of the skies. P-M (Pure...Magic).

Stu

When I did a lot of US travel [work-related] in the 70s, I would always look for a Ten-eleven if possible. A smoother flight than any other aircraft – I'm sure straightfeed can remind us what the technolgy was. Such a shame that it was not bought by more operators, but Boeing was able to offer better financial terms because of its range of different models. 

 Later I worked on PR and marketing with the engineering team behind the RAF tanker conversions, although I was never able to fly in one.

These days I've had my fill of airports and air travel – rail and sea are my preferred modes of travel.

 

Edited by kenw
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47 minutes ago, colin said:

Wasn't the TriStar where the fan hit the sh*t?

Yep, let down badly by RollsRoyce. The TriStar had so much redundancy and back up it was possible to disconnect pilot and copilot controls and still fly the plane. Airbus went the other way. Neither pilot can see or feel what the other pilot is doing with his "out of sight" joystick- or  thrust levers that have no relationship with the amount of power delivered. Progress?
It also had direct lift control where instead of the nose bobbing up and down on approach giving constantly changing attitudes/speeds the lift was gained or dumped.
Way ahead of its time.

Stu

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