I’ve trailed it long enough, but today marks a day which I’d thought I’d never see on British Airways (well the main line element of it) – with Buy on Board now being offered instead of a complimentary product on UK Domestic and EuroTraveller cabins.
To buy, to eat and drink – now arriving aboard British Airways
Buy on Board will be for UK Domestic and Short Haul “EuroTraveller” flights where food and drink is seen as a cost centre rather than a passenger experience benefit.
It will mean all food and drink will be chargeable from today on British Airways departures from London Heathrow and London Gatwick in UK Domestic and Eurotraveller. Services from London City Airport will switch over to the Buy on Board format at a later date.
Club Europe services will still have complimentary food items.
Food will be catered by Marks and Spencer’s, witch crew offering their wares in the air. I’ve complied a price list here (or you can lose the will to live and head to the British Airways Short Haul catering site.
Payment is cashless – so you’ll need a debit card, credit card or some spare Avios kicking around in your British Airways Executive Club account.
I’ve got to be honest, for a full service airline to do this – it feels cheap. The food wasn’t that bad in EuroTraveller (although there are plenty of other comments to the contrary out there), and the supplied beverage always helped when boarding an evening flight back to London.
To a point, I would had preferred a model such as American Airlines/United offer – which is free soft beverages in the economy cabin, with food and alcoholic beverages chargeable.
None the less, it seems British Airways is trying to get every penny out of you before and when you fly.
How this will play out in the long-term will be another matter. There appears to be a backlash building on Twitter already today, and I’m sure this isn’t the end of it by a long way.
The other thing to keep an eye will be the other major legacy airlines in Europe (Air France-KLM group, Lufthansa Group) and if … or more likely when they pull the trigger on copying this on their own airlines.
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