Well, it’s been discussed on end, with denial after denial. And after multiple denials – you know it’s coming true.
British Airways are to partner with Marks & Spencer to deliver in-flight catering – with the entire food and drink range to be paid for in EuroTraveller.
The future of short-haul catering aboard Britsh Airways – Image, British Airways
Going through the PR, it’s one of the biggest pieces of fiction going.
The new buy-on-board programme will replace complimentary food and snacks in EuroTraveller, and will fly aboard British AIrways flights from 11th January 2017 from Heahthrow and Gatwick. Services from London City and Stansted will introduce Buy-On-Board in the summer.
Payment for the new food and drink items will be by credit card, debit card, or if you’re in the mood to get shot of them – Avios too.
British Airways argue the introduction of the Buy on board programme… and I quote:
The collaboration follows extensive customer research and feedback, which highlighted dissatisfaction with the airline’s current short-haul economy catering, and found fliers want more choices that reflect what they would normally select when out and about.
So, no effort to improve the quality of the snacks or catering then at all eh?
Alex Cruz – British Airways Chairman and CEO (ex Vueling) seems happy with himself, stating:
“We know our customers expect a great experience with British Airways. They’ve told us we are experts in flying and service, but when it comes to catering on short-haul flights, they want to choose from a wider range of premium products. Like British Airways, Marks & Spencer is a well-known, premium British brand that is respected and trusted, so it’s an ideal partnership, providing our customers with a choice of products they recognise and value.
I firmly believe what we are delivering breaks the mould and sets a new standard in short-haul catering. We will be providing a selection of premium brand, fresh food options and a menu that will be refreshed on a quarterly basis.
We will also enable travellers to be able to use their Avios, the points they earn as an Executive Club member, to purchase meals. We know they’re always looking for ways to use their Avios and this is a great option for them.”
Considering how many Avios you earn in Economy Class these days, using it on food is a VERY poor use of Avios. Head for Points has done the mathmatics already calculating it at 0.8p/Avios.
So what’s going to cost what? Working through the PR, here’s what I’ve found so far:
- Hand cooked crisps £1
- Balanced for You spiced chicken with quinoa and rice salad £4.95
- Greek style natural yogurt with summer berry compote and granola £1.95
- Classic fruit salad with pineapple, melon, mango, apple, kiwi and blueberries £3.10
- M&S Café bacon roll – £4.75
- Tomato and mozzarella focaccia – £4.75
- Aberdeen Angus beef and red onion chutney bloomer – £4.75
- Classic cheese ploughman’s with nine-month aged farmhouse mature cheddar and vine ripened tomatoes, pickle and mixed salad – £3.00
- Nut assortment £1.60
- Wasabi peas £1.60
- Salted cashews £1.60
- Oriental snack mix £2
- Super fruit, nut and seed flapjacks £1.45
- Salt & vinegar and lightly salted hand-cut crisps both £1.
- Salted caramel hazelnut millionaire bar £1.45
- A grab-bag sized milk chocolate covered popping popcorn and pretzels £2.45
- Packs of mini oat biscuits £1.10,
- ‘The Whippy One’ £1.
- Swiss milk chocolate mountain bars £1.70,
- Percy Pigs £1.80
Percy Pigs for £1.80 aboard British Airways. There was going to be a witty tag line about how these might resemble upper management in BA, but I forgot to write it.
Ladies and Gentlemen. Buy on Board food I could accept without an issue – even alcoholic drinks. But all soft drinks, tea and coffee chargeable? Not even the US Airlines do that.
Heck, this move is making American Airlines, United Airlines and Delta look like they offer high class passenger experience.
And this begs the question: In economy class, where British Airways charges seat allocation, luggage and now food in near enough all cabins… is there any point flying British Airways short haul from London if there is a viable Low Cost Carrier option nearby?
My answer to that would be no.
Whilst British Airways is trying to position itself “above a No Frills Carrier”, from this writers angle, trashing the entire complimentary service and replacing it with buy on board, payable seats, payable luggage…
That’s a no frills cafrrier there. British Airways has the problem of its pension to be a true low-cost carrier.
And I’m sorry – It’s one more reason for me to look elsewhere when travelling with regionally.
British Airways once made a triumphant slogan – To Fly, To Serve.
Today – it’s To Fly, To Make As Much Cash Out Of Out Customers
And as a passenger, that doesn’t impress me a lot.
Welcome to Economy Class and Beyond – Your no-nonsense guide to network news, honest reviews, with in-depth coverage, unique research as well as the humour and madness as I only know how to deliver.