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Should BA have buy on board short haul flights?

Should BA have buy on board short haul flights?

Old Jun 24, 12, 7:45 am
  #1  
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Should BA have buy on board short haul flights?

I know some friends who are used to flying low cost and charter. They were disappointed on a recent BA flight with the onboard offering. They wanted something more substantial on their flight than a coffee and a biscuit and we're surprised they couldn't buy anything else. They couldn't see any benefit of BA over low cost and said they will avoid them in future.
Is this you think something BA should consider on their longer short haul sectors ?
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Old Jun 24, 12, 10:08 am
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No. If you want food, fly in CE (In the case of UK Dom flights, eat before or after as the sectors are so short that no one can get hungry on the flight).

Or eat in the lounge (albeit the varying food selection across the shorthaul lounge network).
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Old Jun 24, 12, 10:24 am
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I think domestic sectors are too short that it really doesn't matter. bmi has a buy on board service on their UK and Ireland flights but the current offering is very poor (only snack food, no sandwiches, etc - the infamous cheese toastie disappeared a while ago).

I do agree that sometimes buy on board can be better in certain circumstances. East Coast trains are a good example, used to have a full service restaurant on some trains, all trains had a full range of buy on board food options and a wide selection of drinks. Complimentary in those times was limited to tea, coffee, biscuits and water for first class. When they switched to a full complimentary offering in first class, the restaurants were no more and the catering quality had declined. Many of us would have been happy to go back to the paid for catering.

But on BA, a domestic is too short to mess about with buy on board, for longer flights it may be worth considering, but only if the offer is good and there's still the basic complimentary service.

Also remember taking payment can slow down the service.

Last edited by layz; Jun 24, 12 at 10:33 am
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Old Jun 24, 12, 10:36 am
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Originally Posted by layz View Post

But on BA, a domestic is too short to mess about with buy on board, for longer flights it may be worth considering, but only if the offer is good and there's still the basic complimentary service.
In the days before the low costs - you used to get two drinks runs and a three course meal on evening domestics. It was great if you had a full business day and couldn't get any food before the flight.

Now the lounge compensates - but sometimes I still manage to be in a rush and when all I'm offered is a tiny packet of poppadoms - I feel like I could do with 10 packets.

Easy Jet and FlyBe manage BOB on domestics pretty well.....
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Old Jun 24, 12, 10:39 am
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bmi has a buy on board service on their UK and Ireland flights but the current offering is very poor (only snack food, no sandwiches, etc - the infamous cheese toastie disappeared a while ago).
To be fair, I think bmi's selection was more indicative of the malaise within the company and lack of scale than anything else. EI is an example (for once) of how to do BOB well, and how to do it efficiently on even short hops.
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Old Jun 24, 12, 10:46 am
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Originally Posted by colmc View Post
To be fair, I think bmi's selection was more indicative of the malaise within the company and lack of scale than anything else. EI is an example (for once) of how to do BOB well, and how to do it efficiently on even short hops.
I've heard good things about EI's offering, particularly the breakfast. The poor offering on bmi was definitely to do with poor decision making within the company. It was actually fine (not brilliant, but decent enough) before they introduced the 'flexible economy' concept on their domestic+DUB+HAJ services where those in flexible economy got complimentary catering. They decided at the same time to reduce the BOB offering to something very poor.

Prior to that it, they came up with a good idea, the diamond club meal deal, that gave everyone from blue plus and above a sandwich and a drink for free, anything else you wanted you had to pay for, which seemed fair to me.
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Old Jun 24, 12, 11:07 am
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Yes.

And as a means of generating revenue for BA.
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Old Jun 24, 12, 11:11 am
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There are more (to me) important factors to consider when choosing which airline to use than whether they have sandwiches for sale on board (or not)

Total price is a big factor - including any luggage (and other) charges

Then comes the airports involved - not just departure but arrival. And how much does it cost for me to get there and back.

A few years ago I flew to Stockholm. Afterwards I learned that some friends were also there. I flew on SAS they on either ryanair or easy jet.

Whilst their ticket was cheaper than mine, taking into account the costs of getting to and from the airports (they flew into an airport two hours from Stiockholm by coach) mine actually worked out cheaper.
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Old Jun 24, 12, 11:17 am
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Originally Posted by highpeaklad View Post
They couldn't see any benefit of BA over low cost and said they will avoid them in future.
Free baggage is the main reason you choose BA over LCC´s
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Old Jun 24, 12, 11:48 am
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Originally Posted by rossmacd View Post
No. If you want food, fly in CE (In the case of UK Dom flights, eat before or after as the sectors are so short that no one can get hungry on the flight).

Or eat in the lounge (albeit the varying food selection across the shorthaul lounge network).
That assumes of course you are on an O&D and are not taking two shorthaul sectors back to back. I had a particularly nasty connection from Italy where the only options in the airport were snacks (the only restaurant was landside)... a short connection at LGW where we didn't have time to eat due to a late departure on the first flight and a late evening arrival into EDI meant we hadn't eaten anything beyond a couple of packets of crisps and the measly morsel given by BA on board.

It's a bit dangerous to tell people what they should be able to do. All very well making those assumption for yourself, but your travel patterns don't always apply to others.

I think the issue I have is that BA still claim to be a full service airline, while cutting everything to the nth degree - which for those on board depending on the service provided is frankly pants. While I don't like airlines which make you pay in a captive environment, I'm at the point where BA's short-haul offering has become so poor, if the only way to get food on board to eat when I'm hungry and don't have time to eat at the airport then I'd prefer to pay than starve.

But it is a sad indictment that a supposedly 'full service' airline isn't actually that anymore, such that their passengers would prefer to pay than suffer the 'full' service.
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Old Jun 24, 12, 11:59 am
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Yes - inaddition to acceptable level basics.

It should be the appropriate drinks service(s) to correspond with distance, and the appropriate basic snacks/meal to correspond with distance, but full meals and futher or more substantial snacks should be available as well in addition.
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Old Jun 24, 12, 12:07 pm
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Originally Posted by David-A View Post
Yes - inaddition to acceptable level basics.

It should be the appropriate drinks service(s) to correspond with distance, and the appropriate basic snacks/meal to correspond with distance, but full meals and futher or more substantial snacks should be available as well in addition.
+1
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Old Jun 24, 12, 12:16 pm
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Here's the solution:

BA buy a few dozen of these and keep them in the galley to sell at £5 a pop if someone is really hungry.

(I am kidding - I reckon half a dozen would do...)
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Old Jun 24, 12, 12:18 pm
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Originally Posted by Jenbel View Post
That assumes of course you are on an O&D and are not taking two shorthaul sectors back to back. I had a particularly nasty connection from Italy where the only options in the airport were snacks (the only restaurant was landside)... a short connection at LGW where we didn't have time to eat due to a late departure on the first flight and a late evening arrival into EDI meant we hadn't eaten anything beyond a couple of packets of crisps and the measly morsel given by BA on board.

....

But it is a sad indictment that a supposedly 'full service' airline isn't actually that anymore, such that their passengers would prefer to pay than suffer the 'full' service.
Indeed, PSA is like that IIRC. Workplace-style cafe landside, not much other than duty free selling fake Chianti bottles the other side and if it's tight at LGW you're SOL.
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Old Jun 24, 12, 12:22 pm
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No, BA shouldn't offer buy on board service. It just screams LCC to me.
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