Another one of my jaunts to Finland, and unfortunately British Airways didn't offer me the best price. That's no great problem because the national flag carrier, Finnair is pretty good value. Over the years I've used many airlines including some of the low cost carriers such as Ryanair, EazyJet and FlyBe. I have no issues with these outfits as they have their uses, but I dislike the pricing model where luggage, check-in, food on board etc are seen as extras. I was disappointed last time with Finnair to find that they had reduced the food offering down to a sandwich however for an extra £8 or so I could buy the meal 'perk' back. I also saw that they were doing some hand luggage only deals which reminded me of the low cost cowboys.
I know that the flag carriers have to compete with the likes of Ryanair et al, but oftentimes I pick the national flag carrier to avoid the hassle of purchasing luggage handling, in-airport check in etc separately. These hand-luggage only fares also encourage people to carry an obscene amount of hand luggage, which the likes of an A320 is not equipped to carry. On this flight I found myself intervening to stop a passenger from ramming his suitase against my laptop in the overhead bins.
The other thing that narked me a bit was the €3 charge for a can of coke. Historically, soft drinks were free of charge on these flights, where the low cost guys charged these type of amounts for a can of sugary water.
All in all, the national flag carriers now seem to offer very little to differentiate themselves from the low cost guys. Why bother with them now? Do they have any purpose if they're offering nothing over and above the rest, often at a higher price?
Oh and the chicken in a cream cheese sauce with rice and vegetables in a tomato ragu gave me wind.