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Bottled Water Is for Business Class Passengers Only

Bottled Water Is for Business Class Passengers Only
Jackie Reddy

A premium economy British Airways (BA) passenger has criticized the carrier for its lack of service after a member of cabin crew refused to provide his wife with a complimentary bottle of water. He says that the pair were also told by staff that this particular amenity is reserved only for business class passengers.

A man has criticized British Airways (BA) for its lack of service on a recent flight from Mauritius to London Gatwick Airport (LGW) after the airline declined to give his wife a bottle of water, This is Money reports via The Mail on Sunday.

The pair were traveling back to the UK in the carrier’s premium economy cabin with their six-month-old baby daughter. The woman’s husband said that his wife was thirsty from breastfeeding their child and so asked a member of the cabin crew for a bottle of water.

After the couple made their request, they were informed that complimentary bottles of water were given only to business class passengers. Instead, a member of the crew offered water in plastic cups.

It’s not clear exactly how much the family paid for their tickets, but the outlet reports that those being offered for September 2018 are priced at £1,226 (USD $1,534) per person for a one-way leg.

The couple has not been publicly named, but the husband spoke out about their experience, saying, “We must have been about four or five hours into the flight and my wife had been asleep with our daughter on her and was thirsty. You’re supposed to drink a little bit more when you’re breastfeeding, so she requested a bottle of water. The attendant, who was pretty stern, said that they didn’t give out bottled water on premium economy – only business.”

My wife was, understandably, pretty unhappy about this and said she was breastfeeding and couldn’t understand why – as a premium economy passenger – she couldn’t have a bottle of water,” he added.

The man also said that he was unimpressed by the rest of his in-cabin experience with BA. “We were warned that premium economy is just ‘economy with a newspaper and an inch more legroom’. He further described the interior of the plane as being “outdated.”

He added, “Premium economy tickets for such a trip cost approaching four times the price of economy, but you definitely don’t get four times the service.”

In a statement, the carrier said, “Our customers are at the heart of everything we do and we regret that the family had a disappointing experience. We’re sorry that we were only able to serve our customer water in a cup, not a bottle, as she requested. All customers on our long-haul flights are very welcome to ask for complimentary bottled water, and we’re investigating why our cabin crew were unable to provide it on this occasion.”

Addressing the man’s concerns over his in-cabin experience with BA, the airline added, “We are investing £6.5bn (USD $8.1 billion) for our customers over the next five years, which will include new aircraft, new cabins to make our existing aircraft look and feel brand new, new catering, new bedding and amenities, Wi-Fi and access to power at all seats.”

[Featured Image: Shutterstock]

View Comments (12)


  1. Flight44

    June 28, 2019 at 3:15 am

    Correction: Members of cabin staff did this, not “British Airways.”

  2. sunguy

    June 28, 2019 at 4:22 am

    Maybe its just me – but – for all the training, it seems that there are now more and more hostesses that have a real attitude problem.

    Sitting in an exit seat on a A321neo(the new one with the thin seats) from Madrid on the approach to LHR, my elderly Mum was “told” to put her handbag up rather than have it strapped in to the free seat between the two of us – this was after the start of descent and long after the seatbelt sign had been lit up. The cabin crew member who had an accent, possibly Eastern European, told her that she couldnt possibly help her do it and it was okay to get out of her seat – despite the aircraft decending and turning!

  3. chitink

    June 28, 2019 at 5:09 am

    Waaa, you want something you don’t get in PE. They didn’t give her water, they didn’t give her bottled water.

    She still had the water she needed. If she wanted to be fancy she could have bought business class.

  4. Trippelone

    June 28, 2019 at 5:55 am

    It happened already multiple times to me that in-flight that they run out of small bottles of water (also in First). They then serve water from a large bottle in a plastic cup. OK for me.

  5. puddinhead

    June 28, 2019 at 6:48 am

    Water in a cup not a bottle. The horror, the horror.

  6. HMO

    June 28, 2019 at 7:28 am

    I could understand if they had denied water for the woman. But no, they gave her water. In cups, not bottled… first world problems.

  7. mvoight

    June 28, 2019 at 11:57 am

    Since he knew this ““We were warned that premium economy is just ‘economy with a newspaper and an inch more legroom’. “, why did he expect bottles of water.
    He could have bought an economy seat and picked up a bottle of water at the airport if that is what he wanted.
    That said, I just flew Premium Economy on Lufthansa for the transatlantic segments on a trip from DFW to Frankfurt to Genoa, with a return from Milan via Frankfurt.
    When I booked the trip PE on Lufthansa was about the same as Economy on American. We had bottles of water waiting at our seats when we boarded.
    It is good to find out what airlines give you in PE BEFORE buying it

  8. NYC96

    June 29, 2019 at 12:47 pm

    company policy. end of story. want a bottle of water, bring one onboard.

  9. SeatOfMyPants

    June 30, 2019 at 2:54 am

    So ask for five cups of water. Problem solved!

  10. davistev

    June 30, 2019 at 5:19 pm

    Just keep hitting the call button to order a cup of water every 10 minutes or so – trust me, they will find you a bottle of water pretty fast.

  11. 1337wafflez

    July 1, 2019 at 7:18 am

    4 times the price of economy for PE? lol this guy is stirring non sense.

  12. stanian

    July 9, 2019 at 4:47 am

    A bottle of water isn’t exactly “fancy”. And it doesn’t say that they had “ran out”.

    BA’s policy is “All customers on our long-haul flights are very welcome to ask for complimentary bottled water, and we’re investigating why our cabin crew were unable to provide it on this occasion.”

    A bottle of water would be easier to manage than an open cup when dealing with a very young child. Comments here show the same attitute to that of the cabin crew on the day and that is that they do not give a damn about anyone but themselves. Simple fact is BA give nothing away, judging by my recent haul to KUL they’d let you sit 13 hours without a drink. Least attentive cabin crew I have ever come across. Waaa, I just want to be treated like a person, people of this world don’t give a damn these days, it’s all me, me,me! BA isn’t BA anymore.

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