This obvious fact was underscored in a typically fawning recent issue, which heralded the dawn of the flag carrier's new TV campaign. But tucked away on the inside pages was a titbit of information which BA conspicuously kept out of its public press releases.
Amid the usual marketing fanfare, Abigail Comber, BA Manager for Brand, Proposition and Insight, let slip her admiration for the campaign's foresight, noting that it had deliberately avoided "making brand promises". And just a few short weeks on, boy can't you see why?
You might recall that BA caused uproar last week after bullishly announcing plans to charge up to £60 to reserve a specific seat.
The move continues an unmistakable trend by the airline away from its legacy past and towards the no-frills sector. It raises the spectre – unthinkable throughout BA's history – of full-fare passengers being told to cough up extra cash or be seated away from their children.
And while the BA press machine has been busy singing a different tune – pleading that it is "giving customers something they have asked us for" – even that rebuttal seems a throwback to low-cost rhetoric. Recall the ramblings of no-frills behemoth Ryanair, which never tires of arguing that mandatory check-in charges help its passengers save money.
Taken by itself the new fee doesn't signify a great deal. It is, after all, perfectly reasonable to attach a monetary value to the convenience and extra legroom that comes with sitting in an emergency row. But as Ms Comber ominously indicated, this is far from a one-off.
In July, BA said it will no longer serve meals on short-haul flights. Last month, it reduced its checked luggage allowance while simultaneously increasing excess baggage charges. In May, there were reports that it was scaling back First Class cabins on several of its new aircraft. The scrimping has even prompted the removal of face towels from Business Class.
These measures make sound financial sense given BA's blistering £401 million losses. But there is a real danger they could backfire.
Though officially no longer the UK flag carrier, BA has a virtually unrivalled reputation for excellence and elegance in the skies. It is a fundamentally classy brand, adored as much for its history as its day-to-day service. While in America President Barack Obama flies on Air Force One, in Britain our prime ministers have long been proud to take to the skies on a BA flight.
Would Gordon Brown fly to Brussels, or Washington, on a Ryanair jet?
More worryingly, on a purely pragmatic level, is BA even capable of competing with the low-cost carriers? For all their negative publicity, no-frills airlines are masters of their trade. If the flag carrier chooses to do battle on their home-ground, it could find itself hopelessly out of its depth.
Mr Walsh is right to say BA is fighting for its survival. And the conflicting messages it puts out – trumpeting a no-frills Value Calculator with one hand; adopting those tactics with the other – betrays that internal struggle.
But let there be no bones about it: BA is on the cusp of the most crucial period in its 35-year history. Public funding is a distant memory, and economic hardships are bearing down on the entire industry like never before. The one thing in the carrier's favour is that it, uniquely, is able to evoke memories of once being the "World's Favourite Airline".
The next time BA runs an ad campaign, it should stand by its brand.