British Airways to introduce buy-on-board F&B on short haul services?Back to Forum
Speedbird_ABZ – 15/06/2016 09:48 BST
This is a point I made earlier in the thread (speed of service.)
BA tend to use minimum crew and BoB is more time consuming than offering a free wrap and drink. Also, they do not have the management know how in organising it (whilst the locos have been doing it for years.)
So, if they go BoB, I reckon it will be chaos during the learning curve and before anyone accuses me of BA bashing, the introduction of the A380 showed how long it took to master a new scenario, with a lot of pax reports of slow meal services.15 Jun 2016
FDOS_UK – 15/06/2016 09:56 BST
But now of course they have the know how to introduce BoB – they have Alex Cruz who will know all about it! The fact that he has never done it and has no one around him who has will be irrelevant. Cabin crew will be told to get on with it and penalised if sales are not as great as the Waterside bean counter projections say they should be. I mean after all why can’t four crew sell food and drink on a full A321 between LHR-BRU? It’s only about 50 sales each!15 Jun 2016
I’m going to be a bit of a British Airways BOB basher here.
The Loco’s use Buy on Board as a primary ancillary revenue stream. And are also use it to supplement cabin crews base salary. Which is probably why LOCO crew are so skilled at achieving 2 drink runs and a meal service on a short hop, such as DUB-EDI
Hot meals are generally pre-ordered whilst the plane is on the ground.
Drinks run, then meals delivered , another drinks run and then a trash run.
Remember that profit margins on food and drink is significant, otherwise the loco’s wouldn’t bother.
And that’s my problem with the legacies adopting the practice.
If BA offered me a sandwich and a drink at a price that covers the cost price , then “fare” enough.
However, I firmly believe that BA is just going to use this as a supplemental income stream with a healthy profit margin built in to the venture. Once again forgetting that they market their brand as a full service airline.
Continual creep of extra charges really gets my back up, and why ….. In the case of supplying food, in the grand scheme of costing a flight to operate profitability, catering is a negligible overall cost. Especially if you’re paying for a catering truck to deliver carts full of stuff to sell,15 Jun 2016
But isn’t that the point, BA are all out on creating revenue streams where there previously weren’t any like seat booking charges, baggage charges and so on, BoB is one of the few things that’s now missing.15 Jun 2016
WillieWelsh – 15/06/2016 18:29 BST
You are right and it supports the old adage that it is easier to go upmarket, than downmarket.
Here’s a good example (Marantz).16 Jun 2016
@canucklad – for sure they would do it to improve profitability (lower costs/higher income). There presumably can’t be any other reason.
I don’t really see BOB as the problem – I’d rather pay a few quid for a decent coffee than the stuff that gets served up. With BA crewing levels and the likely level of sales I would also have thought it was deliverable even on relatively short flights.
The challenge of course will be the implementation. BA record on implementing new things isn’t pretty hopeless, whether it’s systems, priority boarding etc etc. I’m certain there will be a long thread on most of the travel forums ripping it all apart until people get bored and life goes on.
For example I think the LGW lounge thread on FT has hit 80 pages but not so many posts recently as people have become attuned. Most are still using BA too as they generally pop up in other threads moaning about other things.
What will be will be, in other words.16 Jun 2016
SimonS1 – 16/06/2016 09:48 BST
Scope – short haul flights only
I don’t think Flyertalk users are typical of airline users, generally.
Most BA flyers won’t have lounge access or priority boarding, for example and many will only care about the price. So they won’t notice how well priority boarding is done or whether the lounge is awful/good.
In chasing this segment, you basically don’t try to differentiate your product and look after your core clients, but accept a lower market position that is driven only on price for a commodity product.
You then need to develop a low cost focus (as BA is doing), but your cost base will then determine whether you have the leverage to boss the other players by using pricing elasticity.
Will be interesting to see what develops.16 Jun 2016
I wouldn’t say any of the travel boards are typical or representative really. People have been moaning about BA on here and FT since the year dot but it doesn’t seem to have made any difference.
Of course the vast majority of travellers are blissfully unaware of the specifics and in many cases really don’t care either way if they get from A to B at the right price. If fact people aged below 30 have grown up in the LCC era and BA is just another operator that comes up when you key it all into some app.16 Jun 2016
SimonS1 – 16/06/2016 11:02 BST
You’re right and the path BA is taking will make it just one of several interchangeable options for many people – the brand is still differentiated (much more than the product), but that will decay over a period of time, as people get used to the new reality.16 Jun 2016
I wonder what the uptake on those short flights will be?
On a flight of 1.5 hours in a seat with 30 inch pitch and girth the size of mine, i’ll be happy to pass on the F&B. Different for longer flights though.
I often use Ryanair on short flights (approx 1 hour) out of Athens and the F&B uptake there is minuscule. That may just be reflective of Greece though.
In the meantime, as others have alluded, the first 3-6 months will be entertaining watching exasperated crew and passengers trying to meet each other’s expectations. Not to mention the inevitable breakdown of the Credit Card machine and painful cries of dehydration from the poor soul in 27E who just wants a glass of water – which should be free?
Change ain’t easy.16 Jun 2016
Quick question SimonS1 …….
As someone who likes decent (black) coffee ‘as well, I wonder if you’d still be happy to pay if BA just started charging you for their existing fare ?
Not a higher quality of bean.
For me, this strategy is all about passing on the cost of running a full fare airline onto us. At this rate , the jolly bean counters will figure out away of subsidising the cost of running the waste lorries!!16 Jun 2016
Hmm, BA coffee through which you can see the bottom of the cup got me drinking tea again after a break of about 35 years. I thought the tea couldn’t be worse and it wasn’t.16 Jun 2016
Struggling to understand why the concerns re: level of crew to deliver the service, given that the “genuine” LCCs operate on min crew too.
It’ll be just as difficult in the beginning for BA as it was for any of them.16 Jun 2016