Buy on board is returning to British Airways short haul flights. From July 19 the service will gradually be introduced on short haul routes from London Heathrow before rolling out across the rest of the Heathrow short haul network.
Onboard, drinks and snacks will be ordered through BA’s digital platform using the aircraft’s wifi (complimentary if used for this purpose). Items available for purchase onboard will not include sandwiches from the Tom Kerridge range, but will include savoury and sweet snacks, hot and cold drinks, and both soft drinks and alcoholic drinks.
To place an order, customers connect to the on board wifi service via shop.ba.com, click on the ‘shop’ option for their flight, and a virtual menu will display the range of drinks and snack options on offer. Orders can be made via credit and debit cards or through Avios.
For those who have ordered sandwiches using the pre-flight ordering system via the highlifeshop.com website from the Speedbird Café menu, additional drinks and snacks can be ordered, and the airline will continue to offer a complimentary bottle of water and snack to all customers on board.
Tom Stevens, British Airways’ Director of Brand and Customer Experience, said: “The feedback we have had from customers who have been able to travel and have ordered from our new Speedbird Café has been extremely encouraging. The Tom Kerridge range, in particular, has gone down a treat.”
“We know that customers like being able to purchase their food in advance of travel and guarantee their first choice, however we also understand the importance of an extra cup of tea or a gin and tonic, in the moment. We think that this new digital ordering proposition, coupled with our pre-purchase option is a winning combination, catering for everyone’s needs.”
British Airways says that the new digital ordering platform “will not be available on express routes due to the extremely short flight times. This includes Manchester, Jersey, Paris (CDG and ORY), Amsterdam, Brussels, Dublin, Newcastle and Newquay.”
Customers will be advised by crew on board if the digital ordering platform is available and will follow the complimentary drinks and ‘Buy Before You Fly’ orders.
For those reading this who are flying in on a long-haul flight and then connecting to a short-haul flight, note that passengers travelling on an inbound service to Heathrow (or Gatwick) are subject to a cut-off point for the pre-order menu of 24 hours before departure.
As background, British Airways first introduced Buy on Board for economy (Euro Traveller) passengers in 2016
Although it was initially hit by problems around the technology and passenger expectations, it was defended by then-CEO Alex Cruz