Etihad Airways is introducing a limited number of buy on board items on selected routes, which it says will be “in addition to its complimentary inflight service and hospitality offering”.
Economy passengers on flights to and from London, Paris and all Australian destinations can now purchase cold brewed coffee from Coffee Planet, priced at US$4 a glass, while economy customers on all long-haul and ultra long-haul services (except those to the US) can buy glasses of Piper-Heidsieck Cuvee Brut NV champagne for US$8.
Meanwhile travellers in all cabins on ultra long-haul flights (except those to the US) can purchase Christian Lacroix male or female amenity kits with Omorovicza products for US$22, or Christian Lacroix-branded sleepwear for US$35.
Finally from January, again on ultra long-haul flights except those to the US, a paid-for snack box (prices not disclosed) will be available, “featuring both sweet and healthy snacks to suit guests’ differing tastes and cravings”.
It’s not clear whether the above means the end of free amenity kits for business class passengers on ultra long-haul flights – currently Etihad’s website says:
“In business class, you’ll receive an amenity kit on our ultra-long-haul flights and long-haul overnight flights. Our current limited edition amenity kit is inspired by some of the iconic cities from our network. Each kit contains a customised Luxe City Guide and Scaramouche and Fandango skincare and comfort kit.
“On long-haul day flights, dental kits including a toothbrush and toothpaste, sleep packs including socks and an eyeshade, earplugs and shaving kits are available on request.”
It looks like the new paid-for options will be just the start of an expanding buy on board menu, with the carrier saying that “We will monitor guest satisfaction and aim to expand the range of items for sale in the future”.
Earlier this year Etihad removed its free business class chauffeur service at all international destinations, as well as adding the ability for economy passengers to “bid” for up to three empty seats next to theirs, and paid-for entry into its lounges worldwide.
In July the carrier announced net losses of nearly $1.9 billion for 2016, as fuel hedging losses and financial exposure to equity partners including Alitalia and Air Berlin hit the carrier.