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Buy on board: Implemented on BA short haul - opinions on the concept

Buy on board: Implemented on BA short haul - opinions on the concept

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Old Jan 30, 17, 2:37 pm   -   Wikipost
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This thread is for opinions on the concept of Buy on Board, concerned with the rights or wrongs of the decision to introduce it.

An information thread exists for your questions, particularly if they are on factual matters, here:
Buy on board: Information guide for BA shorthaul economy services

There is a separate thread for experiences, anecdotes, reactions and related comments, which is to be found here:
Buy on board: Experiences and reactions from BA's shorthaul economy services

Useful sub-links
chongcao posted a comparison of other oneworld airlines' BOB prices

Not happy about these changes?
If you have an existing booking, you may be able to complain and get 1000 Avios or cancel for free until 28 days before departure. BA's complaint form.

However, in November 2016, phone calls to BA indicated that "no refunds would be given as food & drinks were complimentary and not part of the T&C."
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Old Dec 9, 17, 3:48 am
  #3736  
 
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Originally Posted by corporate-wage-slave View Post
I think any Apple source is all OK for BA BoB, Android remains a no-go however. There are very few Apple Pay payments onboard, contactless is the most popular usage, followed by PIN. The non acceptance of cash, from what I've seen, is partly to do with some non UK travellers on some routes, since other airlines take cash; but the bigger factor seems to be that passengers often have some pound coins or a note readily available in their pocket, whereas their credit card may be buried in the overhead locker and they are sat in a window seat. Or their bag is in the hold...... But most customers seem OK to use Visa or Mastercard, I don't see many AMEX cards being used.
If a magnetic stripe can be swiped with the BA POS then Samsung Pay should work too as it doesn't require NFC, Android Pay is another thing though.
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Old Dec 9, 17, 4:14 am
  #3737  
 
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Originally Posted by orbitmic View Post
Totally agree - the second part is exactly what I was trying to get at, it sounds like there is a bit of a "don't leave me alone" undertone to Cruz's message. And fully agree on the first part too. Sometimes as a GGL/CCR, it makes me feel as though many crew members are now worried about coming for the "hello, it's nice to have you here, if there is anything we can do please don't hesitate to say" bit they used to routinely do before for fear that one might actually answer: "oh I'd love a cup of tea" which they are not supposed to hand out for free. As a result, they politely/smilingly ignore you which is fine, but then those few minutes of chit chat do tend to have a strong impact on loyalty in my view and that is now 'lost advertising' for the airline.

In short, before BoB, I'd say I had SCCM coming to say hello and speak for a few minute on at least 80% of my ET flights, now it is well below 10%. It is not about feeling important or anything, just that a few minutes of chatting made a flight more pleasant for passengers, and quite conceivably for crew.
The saddest thing in my opinion is that now there is almost no contact with passengers other than the initial ''towards the back to the left'' or ''could you push the bag under the seat please''...that's as far as the customer interaction goes. Quite simply, particularly if you're travelling alone, they've turned the whole flight into a soulless experience. That's OK if you're paying LCC prices, but quite often you're not, and it's unlikely that you would consider it value for money if that's the case.

I never thought food and drinks were the most important part of a flight, but even a cup of coffee, tea, or fruit juice (like you get on Finnair) just makes the whole thing seem much more hospitable. I would now rather fly a host of airlines in Europe other than BA because I just don't get the feeling of being welcome anymore, it's now all about getting my money.
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Last edited by headingwest; Dec 9, 17 at 4:32 am Reason: spelling!
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Old Dec 9, 17, 4:57 am
  #3738  
 
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Originally Posted by orbitmic View Post

.....................................

...............................

In short, before BoB, I'd say I had SCCM coming to say hello and speak for a few minute on at least 80% of my ET flights, now it is well below 10%. It is not about feeling important or anything, just that a few minutes of chatting made a flight more pleasant for passengers, and quite conceivably for crew.
This is as good an illustration as any of the way in which BoB, at a stroke, changed for ever the fundamental dynamic of the relationship between BA’s crew and so many of its frequent customers, not least those who routinely book economy (by personal choice or otherwise) for their short-haul travel. And I guess the real irony is that whilst the decision to introduce BoB was of course driven wholly by financial motives, it has brought with it collateral, damaging consequences that are unrelated to money or indeed anything tangible.

I would imagine those chats - which you say happen now far, far less frequently - rarely included much, if anything, in the way of real substance. But you clearly consider them a loss, even though they presumably have no material effect one way or the other on your comfort factor ; hardly surprising, given that in so many ways (albeit not exclusively), customer service is about emotion.

On one level, BoB ‘simply’ means paying for a cup of tea / food - items that were, for so many years, provided as part of the onboard product. No big deal, many might say ..... it’s very common these days. But .... your comments show that where an airline with the heritage of BA is concerned, it can actually mean much more. It is, importantly, about the way BoB has impacted on the interaction between staff and customer. And your changed experience put me in mind of a particular definition of customer service ...... one I remember reading many years ago, but which I feel stands the test of time :

I may not remember what you said or what you did. But I will always remember how you made me feel.
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Old Dec 9, 17, 5:12 am
  #3739  
 
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Originally Posted by subject2load View Post
This is as good an illustration as any of the way in which BoB, at a stroke, changed for ever the fundamental dynamic of the relationship between BA’s crew and so many of its frequent customers, not least those who routinely book economy (by personal choice or otherwise) for their short-haul travel. And I guess the real irony is that whilst the decision to introduce BoB was of course driven wholly by financial motives, it has brought with it collateral, damaging consequences that are unrelated to money or indeed anything tangible.

I would imagine those chats - which you say happen now far, far less frequently - rarely included much, if anything, in the way of real substance. But you clearly consider them a loss, even though they presumably have no material effect one way or the other on your comfort factor ; hardly surprising, given that in so many ways (albeit not exclusively), customer service is about emotion.

On one level, BoB ‘simply’ means paying for a cup of tea / food - items that were, for so many years, provided as part of the onboard product. No big deal, many might say ..... it’s very common these days. But .... your comments show that where an airline with the heritage of BA is concerned, it can actually mean much more. It is, importantly, about the way BoB has impacted on the interaction between staff and customer. And your changed experience put me in mind of a particular definition of customer service ...... one I remember reading many years ago, but which I feel stands the test of time :

I may not remember what you said or what you did. But I will always remember how you made me feel.
I normally agree wholeheartedly with your comments in general (not just on the BoB topic), but I have a differing opinion on the BA SH flights. I (mostly) treat sub-2hr flights within Europe as a flying bus. Get on, sit, get off - definitely safely, ideally on time. I am not one for aimlessly chatting with crew, nor do I need it to feel like a valued customer. Short haul flying is a commodity these days, just BA cannot compete with those who are able to provide a commodity product/service (FR, U2 etc). We can lament the loss of interaction with the crew, if it makes some 'feel' better, but at the end of the day I'll fly whoever has the best schedule/price. U2 are (thankfully!) increasing their presence in ZRH and hence are getting much more of my spend. BA ET is a poor overall product in comparison

Long haul, granted, is a different proposition of course - especially when you can be onbaord for 12+ hrs! Fortunately, there are plenty of better J options out there.
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Old Dec 9, 17, 6:07 am
  #3740  
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Originally Posted by subject2load View Post
This is as good an illustration as any of the way in which BoB, at a stroke, changed for ever the fundamental dynamic of the relationship between BA’s crew and so many of its frequent customers, not least those who routinely book economy (by personal choice or otherwise) for their short-haul travel. And I guess the real irony is that whilst the decision to introduce BoB was of course driven wholly by financial motives, it has brought with it collateral, damaging consequences that are unrelated to money or indeed anything tangible.

I would imagine those chats - which you say happen now far, far less frequently - rarely included much, if anything, in the way of real substance. But you clearly consider them a loss, even though they presumably have no material effect one way or the other on your comfort factor ; hardly surprising, given that in so many ways (albeit not exclusively), customer service is about emotion.

On one level, BoB ‘simply’ means paying for a cup of tea / food - items that were, for so many years, provided as part of the onboard product. No big deal, many might say ..... it’s very common these days. But .... your comments show that where an airline with the heritage of BA is concerned, it can actually mean much more. It is, importantly, about the way BoB has impacted on the interaction between staff and customer. And your changed experience put me in mind of a particular definition of customer service ...... one I remember reading many years ago, but which I feel stands the test of time :

I may not remember what you said or what you did. But I will always remember how you made me feel.
Exactly true. And to push the thinking one step further, the clear majority of my short haul BA travel is in Y, and the clear majority of my long haul BA travel is in J or (to a lesser extent) F. Before BoB, as mentioned, I'd get those SCCM chats on most of my flights. Of course, I always knew this was largely a 'commercial' attitude, but still made me feel that on the whole BA crew valued me as a (very) frequent passenger. Nowadays, I get those friendly chats on over 80% of my long haul F flights and at least half of my long haul J flights, but under 10% of my short haul Y flights. I'm sure that some people will feel 'oh well, fair enough, you pay more you get more so I'll fly C rather than Y', but in my case, it just gave me the impression that BA's care comes with strings attached and that loyalty per se amounts to very little, which in turn makes me feel that the nice chats are perhaps more hypocritical than I used to consider. That is sad and in my view counter-productive. Not a big deal, but I just damages the effect of that 'free' and important tool not just where it has disappeared but even where it remains!
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Old Dec 9, 17, 7:19 am
  #3741  
 
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Originally Posted by cwl View Post
Alex Cruz comments on the success of Buy on Board:

"Every carrier in the world will be offering food to buy in the very short flights as we do,"

After a "difficult start" to buy-on-board amid a "logistics issue", the Oneworld carrier has now fixed the problems and offers the "food you want when you are flying at a reasonable price" with "significantly higher" choice.

Demand for the product has "completely surprised us."

https://www.flightglobal.com/news/ar...d-ba-c-443972/
Thanks for the link. ^

What is is a Digital Disruptor?
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Old Dec 9, 17, 7:54 am
  #3742  
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Originally Posted by srbrenna View Post
What is is a Digital Disruptor?
A hot topic this, in UK government circles at the moment, in view of the focus on Bitcoin. It means how new technologies come in and quickly disrupt or undermine well established models of behaviour or well established processes, with risks, threats and opportunities. The view being that we all need to be increasingly agile at being able to adapt, embrace and occasionally destroy new concepts in a fast moving world. New entry to buzzword bingo.
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Old Dec 9, 17, 8:21 am
  #3743  
 
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On the digital front, disruption is indeed largely about processes and changing the way in which things ‘get done’. We know that Sr. Cruz is something of an obsessive where technology is concerned (though some may have their doubts as to his expertise, given certain BoB-related payment issues .....), and when asked at WTM last month about future travel-related developments he commented that ”digital is everything” .

Within the wider business / marketing world, brand or product disruptors can be a) highly beneficial to consumers looking to take advantage of new options, b) very profitable to innovative entrepreneurs, and c) a significant threat and concern to well-established businesses operating a traditional model.

Perhaps two of the most topical, high-profile examples of ‘disruptors’ in the travel & accommodation sector would be Über and Airbnb.
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Old Dec 10, 17, 4:21 pm
  #3744  
 
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With today's snow in vatious airports in Europe and at Heathrow, there are multiple reports of passengers being kept for hours in planes without food and drinks due to BoB. One angry passenger said that cabin crews didn't know what to do as this was not in the manual. Another reporting that the pilot tried to order food with his credit car to be brought to the plane. It shows that the whole set up is a complete mess and does not allow for service recovery when it is neede (limited stock and supply belonging to another company).
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Old Dec 10, 17, 4:31 pm
  #3745  
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It's probably worth be repeating here that after 2 hours delay for trips under 1500 km (LHR-FCO sort of distance) then EC261 does mandate refreshments, so in my view passengers should use the BoB service and reclaim afterwards. Avios payments would be easier to process. BA would be legally find it difficult to deny such claims, unless they had made other provision. For longer flights the delay needs to be 3 hours. Unlike the compensation element, which is based on arrival time, the delay Right to Care is based on departure time. BoB doesn't change that requirement (but does make it easier to resolve, ironically).
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Old Dec 10, 17, 4:47 pm
  #3746  
 
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Originally Posted by corporate-wage-slave View Post
It's probably worth be repeating here that after 2 hours delay for trips under 1500 km (LHR-FCO sort of distance) then EC261 does mandate refreshments, so in my view passengers should use the BoB service and reclaim afterwards. Avios payments would be easier to process. BA would be legally find it difficult to deny such claims, unless they had made other provision. For longer flights the delay needs to be 3 hours. Unlike the compensation element, which is based on arrival time, the delay Right to Care is based on departure time. BoB doesn't change that requirement (but does make it easier to resolve, ironically).
I think passengers should get food and drinks for free in the plane. They are already frustrated and tired. What's the point of making them pay to reimburse them later. BA have lost their mind.
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Old Dec 10, 17, 4:51 pm
  #3747  
 
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This from a passenger from Athens so a very very very long day.
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Old Dec 11, 17, 1:20 am
  #3748  
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Originally Posted by corporate-wage-slave View Post
It's probably worth be repeating here that after 2 hours delay for trips under 1500 km (LHR-FCO sort of distance) then EC261 does mandate refreshments, so in my view passengers should use the BoB service and reclaim afterwards. Avios payments would be easier to process. BA would be legally find it difficult to deny such claims, unless they had made other provision. For longer flights the delay needs to be 3 hours. Unlike the compensation element, which is based on arrival time, the delay Right to Care is based on departure time. BoB doesn't change that requirement (but does make it easier to resolve, ironically).
I must say that I agree with BA6948 on that one. Whilst what you suggest would probably end up solving the situation, I do not think that passengers should really be put to the further aggravation/wasted time of paying and reclaiming the price of their drink. BA should have a proper procedure in place to offer all passengers the required refreshments in cases of extended delays without passengers needing to know what to do. It would be basic common sense and organisation for an airline to plan that and indeed most do. In fact, I believe that BA used to have proper procedures in place before BoB, but somehow, nobody bothered to replace/adapt them after BoB was introduced and that is simply not acceptable. Similarly, whilst such delays occur on the ground, one could always buy their own food or drink at the airport and seek reimbursement, but any decently organised EU airline, even the FR's and VY's of this world has procedures in place to give customers vouchers at airport so that passengers needn't go through such hassle. Onboard should be even easier and I know that U2 and any EU legacy carrier on which I have experienced such issues know what to do.

So yes, in the current context, passengers could/should do what you suggest to not suffer further and by the way, they should complain to BA in no uncertain words that they had to do that in the first place, but in my view it is a significant and unacceptable service failure on BA's part not to have planned for such events which are, after all, hardly unusual (major weather disruption or mechanicals or strikes with pax on the plane, etc)
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Old Dec 11, 17, 1:56 am
  #3749  
 
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Problem is that BoB is not catered to the level needed to provide refreshments to an entire plane. So even if it were opened up, it wouldn't help all that much - imagine if only the first third of the plane got a coffee, there'd be a riot.
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Old Dec 11, 17, 2:03 am
  #3750  
 
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Originally Posted by BA6948 View Post
With today's snow in vatious airports in Europe and at Heathrow, there are multiple reports of passengers being kept for hours in planes without food and drinks due to BoB. One angry passenger said that cabin crews didn't know what to do as this was not in the manual. Another reporting that the pilot tried to order food with his credit car to be brought to the plane. It shows that the whole set up is a complete mess and does not allow for service recovery when it is neede (limited stock and supply belonging to another company).
It shows a service orientated Captain showing outstanding spirit despite working for an employer/company that seems to have forgotten about customers.
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