British Airways to start selling Marks and Spencer's sandwiches on board

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  • JonathanCohen09

    Hi Alex,

    I hope you will not mind my contradicting you with regards to Swiss and their BoB offering, it actually lasted less than 2 years.

    The reason that I know this is that at the time, before Lufthansa came on the scene, i was a Circle member and attended a meeting of Circle and Gold card holders in Zurich
    with the senior management including Christophe Franz, the then CEO.

    We told them in no uncertain terms that they were devaluing the brand and were perceived in the market as going down market but without LCC fares.

    It seems that they listened as within a couple of months we were notified that the BoB would end and normal service would be resumed which it was.

    In the case of BA I am not surprised that they have now gone down this road however for me the biggest problem is that they are cutting their service offering all the time but they continue to charge full service airline fares.

    It will be interesting to see if fares fall after the BoB starts as if they do not then it will have been a waste of time as all they will have done is alienate their loyal customers and will not attract any new passengers, although as we all know there are some BA fans who will continue to use them no matter what they do.

    Are there any BA fans out there for whom this is a step too far and you will now consider using other carriers?


    @JonathonCohem09 ….. regarding your last question – Yes I am one of them, despite the fact that the food was rubbish – it was at least something to fill a rumbling tummy and washed down with a couple of glasses of red made the service still acceptable – now what they have done is a miserable move, and will harm the ‘brand’ and as a shareholder I am very upset about this downward move to RYANAIR level. Being married to a Finn as enabled me to criticize FINNAIR mercilessly, as their service is almost ‘scroogelike’ and I hate it, ‘buy this, buy that’ even a comic newspaper has to be bought for a ridiculous sum! I hate it and between HEL and LHR there are, guess what? 2 direct options AY and BA for almost a 3 hr flight! and no other alternatives because AY twist the arm of their Govt/Airport not to let FR or U2 in, and so its a sealed market between the pair of them….. and now not a sandwich or glass of wine to be had… I AM ASHAMED!


    I see in the news today M&S are to close 60 stores, but are expanding their food stores. It would seem the British public have tired of M&S skirts and pants but not their sandwiches and salads. Indeed their food offering is trading exceptionally strongly, thus some of those stores will be retained as food only stores. I figure this bodes well for the future of BA short haul catering on the basis that BOB will be sandwiches and salads rather than pants!!!


    I somehow doubt the availability of M&S sandwiches which have to be paid for would be enough to attract a price conscious traveler to fly BA when others get you to the same place for less. If BA were giving away M&S sandwiches it might have been different.

    M&S food is attracting market share by maintaining price and dropping quality while also trading on past image so they make a good bedfellow with BA and no doubt BA will help M&S to get to the bottom faster.

    It’s no secret that BA wanted Waitrose sandwiches on board and equally that Waitrose did not want to compromise their brand by associating it with a company like BA which is only three star while the JL group is five star.


    What will be interesting to see is whether BA’s launching of BOB will be like ten abreast seating in Y on a 777 – become a new norm. Other legacy carriers will be watching and if they deem it a) profitable and b) not impacting on passenger numbers I can imagine they’d be tempted to follow suit. And as i’ve said before – if it does have a negative impact then BA can revert to the status quo in no time…..just as JohnathanCohan says regarding Swiss.

    I don’t think many people will miss the free ‘meal’ offering. Because apart from the longer intra europe routes it’s predominantly been a tiny bag of crisps or a biscuit. So the reality has been for quite some time – if you want a ‘meal’ BYO. That option still remains – or you can buy on board.

    What IMHO I think is a step too far is charging for soft drinks, tea and coffee. I think that will be seen as pure profiteering. Well when an airline produces a slide titled ‘Show me the f&cking money’ in it’s International markets day presentation what can one expect I guess?


    Can anyone shed any further light on the “show me the ****ing money” slide that was apparently shown at the IAG CMD presentation? Call me old fashioned but was this meant to be funny?


    It has been reported that BA did approach Waitrose about supply , perhaps they had to go to their council meetings to get the ok from the shareholders , sorry partners to allow this to go ahead , to gain extra revenue with little outlay and free advertising , and BA decided to strike a deal with M&S ?

    Also it does seem that supermarket sandwiches are made and supplied by Greencore Ltd for M&S ( it has its own dedicated factory in Northampton ) and it also makes sandwiches for Waitrose , Asda, Tesco and Sainsburys , are the Waitrose ones more special ? Are they never knowingly under filled ?
    I think that supermarkets and airlines in the UK have a similar situation , they are persuing customer loyalty , in fairness they offer basically all the same as each other in terms of core product , they have to attract by price , but the most disguishing feature has to be customer service .
    Waitrose is well known for its customer service , and in my opinion that is what BA should concentrate on , and I also think that the low cost suppliers in both markets are starting to improve in this area as that is what produces repeat customers and loyalty .


    @ anthonydunn – it was a slide allegedly in the original IAG Capital Markets Day release and later removed.



    BA, has yet again hit Business UK customers, unlike their CE or CW peers, we will have to BoB, if we like it or not.
    I can remember when you had a hot meal if you wanted one, irrespective of time of day, but BA changed the onboard service to save money … customers complained, but BA didn’t listen, now BA says “oh you want options, well, you’ll have to pay for it, and through the nose”.
    I wonder what Lord King thinks of BA? I shudder to think …

    Why doesn’t (or they do), have a customer review team made up of Executive Club members of all levels, to pitch ideas to and get feedback.


    So a Sandwich, packet of nuts and a Gin & Tonic £ 10.75 !


    775 avios for a gin and tonic…. that is £25 worth !!!
    Having said that, I would have gladly paid £4.75 for a M+S hot bacon roll in Premium Economy back from the caribbean last month rather than the pathetic excuse for breakfast box that was offered, containing cereal bar and cold, rock hard croissant and nothing else.
    How long before we see this menue on the longhaul ex LGW services I wonder???????????????


    Mr Bond, you are quite correct, it is not inconceivable that The Cruzifier will bring BOB into long haul Economy class in the future, both at LGW and LHR.

    The emerging strategy from what I can see is a continual squeeze on the on-board economy offering (with hopefully the requisite reduction in fares) to match/beat Nowegian. This is the new BA benchmark. To secure the continued profits from the Club World cabin the announced £400 million investment can’t come soon enough. They have seen the forward Club bookings and are scared, very scared!


    Sure CE, is getting investment, First Class, Club World and Club Europe gets investment.
    Business UK doesn’t, it just gets eroded and eroded.
    BoB, is another example of this erosion … a flexible return ticket from Heathrow to Edinburgh is more expensive than a restricted return ticket from Heathrow to Vienna, but Business UK, you want a drink or something to eat – you pay, and through the nose, you don’t have a choice.
    I think this BA are starting to breakaway from the airport catering services, rather than saying this what customers want – actually we want a complimentary meal included with the ticket, regardless of flying First Class, Club World, Club Europe or Business UK.
    This shows that the BA board, have lost touch with their customers!
    It will be interesting to see how much waste there will be compared to the current position?

    I look forward to BA, being taken over, and put back to the position it was, an airline which puts its customers first, delivery first class treatment to their customers and want to stand out from the crowd rather than hide in it!


    CE getting investment ?

    The last investment talked about was its seat pitch being reduced to 28 similar to upcoming economy !

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