bmi Takeover: Customer Service Costs Too Much?

I was saddened to read about loss of 1200 bmi jobs today, due to British Airway’s takeover of bmi. I’ve flown with bmi from Edinburgh to Copenhagen twice in the last couple of years, as a standard passenger versus identified as a travel blogger, (although my ticket was paid for by third party on both occasions). I’ve been very impressed by their customer service. The bmi staff at the check-in desks and kiosks at Edinburgh Airport and the cabin crew on the Copenhagen flights were outstanding. I saw further evidence of this high level of customer service again last week, when I was checking in for the bmi Jubilee Flight from Edinburgh to London Heathrow. Staff had obviously built up relationships with regular customers and are very focused on looking after all customers.

bmi takeover

bmi check-in at Edinburgh Airport

However, bmi were making a loss, so things were going to have to change.  A bmi takeover by IAG, British Airways’ parent company, managed to get past the EU Competition Commssion

British Airways don’t employ any of their own ground staff at Edinburgh Airport; they use the airport handling staff which is probably cheaper. The crux is that providing a high standard of customer service costs money.

I’m as guilty as the majority of travellers who are looking for the cheapest flights. Although I could see the difference in customer service between flying with Ryanair and bmi, I am a frequent flier with Ryanair due to their cheap flights and large number of direct destinations from Edinburgh.