British Airways to introduce buy-on-board F&B on short haul services?

Back to Forum

This topic contains 318 replies, has 69 voices, and was last updated by  Tom Otley 18 Sep 2016
at 08:56

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 319 total)

  • Anonymous



    There’s a rumour on FT that BA shorthaul is thinking about going buy onboard (presumably not in business class.)

    Personally (and given the levels of fares for short haul economy flights, which preclude proper offerings) I like BoB in Y, so long as it is done well, by which I mean

    – Card payment only (no cash)
    – Decent products offered
    – Stocks available

    IMHO, Norwegian are very good at BoB, easyJet not bad (I love the couscous dish) – here are their menus

    I’d rather pay for something decent, than get a free nasty snack – what do others think?


    Great topic, FDOS_UK

    I agree that serving low quality, unwanted food is pointless and, as much of it is refused, ethically questionable. I frequently take the 06.00 KLM flight out of Glasgow where the Economy offering is a stale roll (loaded in Amsterdam the day before, probably prepared a good while earlier than that). It is, frankly, inedible at that time of the day.

    I like the Finnair compromise – the Sky Bistro is buy on board but coffee, tea, water and blueberry juice are offered free to all passengers, perhaps reflecting the length of most Finnair European flights.

    If BA do go down this route, I wonder whether it will apply to Domestic services where cooked breakfasts are still offered to all passengers and free drinks/ (in my view) quite good snack options are offered on flights after 09.30?


    I think BA may have missed the boat on this one, especially from Heathrow.

    The take away options now available from places like Pret, make taking food on board very easy and cost effective – not to mention the choice/variety.

    I wonder though whether any airline will stop you taking food on board…


    It’s an excellent idea.

    It would also help differentiate CE from economy. CE = free food and drinks etc. Y = free tea/coffee/water or BOB.


    Hi Martyn

    I doubt any airline will stop you taking food onboard – especially given individuals dietary requirements. the Norwegian flight I took from ARN to LGW ran out of food before row 10 or 12 on Friday I was on. Would imagine the carnage that ensues if people refused to take food onboard and then not enough to sell.

    One thing I would like to see all airlines do at the very least is offer free water as you can’t take bottles through security. Otherwise I don’t have an issue with BoB as long as offering is good.


    Given that many Gold and Silver card holders eat in the lounge before hand – it may not be a big deal especially if they keep water free (which I think they should).

    That said, they’ll lose a significant product point of difference when compared to Easyjet, Ryanair. They may also annoy many European customers transiting to/from long-haul in the UK who will get product A on longhaul and Z on shorthaul.

    Personally, I don’t like the idea unless it results in a reduction in the fare (which it won’t). But I can see why BA would want to reduce their catering costs and bring in a new revenue stream where they can actually make decent margin on a pack of crisps and a can of Coke.


    The thought about ‘Product A’ and ‘Product Z’ is an interesting one, but on reflection that is how some airlines currently operate, e.g.

    Aer Lingus

    There seems to be a pattern there.

    I doubt BA would wish to stop people taking their own food onbard, after all it’s a win-win (the airline doesn’t have to provide free food for them) and it also means the cabin crew have less people to serve.

    On the upside, on longer leisure routes, there should be less reports of running out of booze, because people having to pay may be more restrained and BA more motivated to carry more stock – I’ve never seen a loco runout.


    LOT offers a minimum of water plus a wafer biscuit free on their European flights. They have BoB as well offering sandwiches plus a tasty pasta salad, the latter of which I normally buy.

    UIA (Ukraine International Airlines) also offers free water on their European flights.They also have BoB as well as pre-order meals. For EUR 9 I got a mixed salad/chicken kiev with veg/chocolate cake and a choice of juice/coffee/tea. Was told its prepared by Do & Co and was tasty (and a big improvement on what was offered before free!)


    I seriously hope passengers are not able to bring a free for all alcohol supply. Where on earth would that leave cabin crew or passengers having to deal with one of the ‘I’ve had too much’ brigade!!


    I flew on a Ryanair flight recently where a couple consumed 3/4 of a large bottle of whisky within 1.5 hours of takeoff – whilst seated at an emergency exit! And the crew had no idea.

    If people can bring their own bottles of duty free wine / spirits – consumption will likely need to be monitored. It’s one thing to fly Ryanair with a bunch of pissheads and another to be flying BA where you’ve paid a premium for ‘quality’ – only to have that premium lose its relevance.

    As for food – childhood memories of flying Olympic Airways 20 hours from Sydney to Athens and me passing out from the overwhelming smell of my neighbour’s grandma’s meatballs overloaded with garlic and mixed spice, has made me a firm believer of airline catering rather than BYO.

    In enclosed spaces – bland is best.

    BA – for the sake of all your anally retentive customers – PLEASE DON’T DO IT!


    MartynSinclair – 21/03/2016 14:43 GMT

    Rferguson will confirm that it is BA SOP to let pax bring and drink their own alcohol.

    I don’t know of any other airline (apart from Egyptair, LOL) that allows that, FR doesn’t, obviously the pax Alex_Fly mentions were concealing their actions.


    FDOS_UK – 21/03/2016 15:03 GMT

    Yes, they were indeed! I was sitting opposite them and when I saw the covered bottle I had a quiet word about whether their actions were appropriate given their exit row seats.

    I wasn’t aware that FR didn’t allow bring on board booze. That said, the example above shows that the crew don’t really police it anyway.


    Just for reference (I know you are not challenging me.)

    When crews turn a blind eye, it’s seldom good news.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 319 total)
This topic is marked as closed to new replies, however your posting capabilities still allow you to do so.
The topic ‘British Airways to introduce buy-on-board F&B on short haul services?’ is closed to new replies.
Business Traveller September 2019 edition
Business Traveller September 2019 edition
Be up-to-date
Magazine Subscription
To see our latest subscription offers for Business Traveller editions worldwide, click on the Subscribe & Save link below