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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 Nov 23, 20, 11:29 am
  #3826  
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: London, UK
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BA have very strict testing requirements and rules on where potable water can be uplifted, and require full details of processes and access to testing and sanitation records. There's a "banned list", and crew will know not to depart for one of these destinations without a full tank.
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Old Nov 23, 20, 11:30 am
  #3827  
 
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Originally Posted by hfly View Post
I am very happy to hear that the water trucks used at LHR are maintained and cleaned regularly, I expected nothing less. That unfortunately has little or nothing to do with this however. There is much written on this forum and others, but in essence an A320, which for the most part is what we are speaking about here has a 200 lt water tank that services everything, toilet, sink, coffee, tea, etc. Depending on the load and time/distance about 75% of this is reserved for waste and basins. So you are talking about 25% for for "drinking" whether coffee, tea or drinking water. And I am not even going into the fact that at times BA as a "cost saving measure" has been known to have flights go out with half empty tanks. So forgetting hygiene, which I will get into in a moment, we are talking about a maximum of 50lt of drinking water for 180 passengers, and it is always less, for flights up to 6 hours now.
The only time Iíve heard of an aircraft running out of water (or when Iíve experienced it myself) is either a defect or the midhaul A321s on a Moscow and back because the tanks are relatively small and we arenít allowed to uplift water there. Maybe youíve experienced it more often? But in my experience, itís extremely rare to get even close to running out.

It is a cost saving measure to not fill the tanks full, but only because it wonít be used. It saves fuel mainly as thereís less unnecessary weight. I donít believe any of these flights have run out
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Old Nov 23, 20, 2:05 pm
  #3828  
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While we are reaching for a cure for all the BOB related ills, Iím not aware of any issues with on board bottled water stocks. So in the event youíve forgotten to fill up your personal water canister before boarding, there are flat and fizzy alternatives to the potable water
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Old Nov 23, 20, 2:22 pm
  #3829  
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Ejetter. Which part of what I wrote do you have the problem with or are doubting? The size of the tanks? The amount apportioned to toilets vs. "potable". How often they are in fact inspected? All of that is PUBLIC INFORMATION! You are welcome to research it from literally dozens of sites around the internet. As for E-coli and the like, here are some references just from FT, starting with the T-wiz survey that I mentioned earlier, you can go and find the subsequent WSJ article which paints the situation even worse:
WSJ: How Safe is Airline Water? A story initiated by our youngest FTer, here are a few others for you:
https://www.flyertalk.com/the-tarmac...s-it-safe.html, and from just last year
https://www.flyertalk.com/articles/d...est-water.html.

In fact these are such basic facts that they really are not to be questioned. As L1705 has helpfully pointed out, this does in fact often occur on what he correctly describes as "mid haul" but which BA services with a SHORT HAUL aircraft. To add more to what L1705 speaks about, what happens if the tanks are dry or at under 10% for the return from such a place where you are "unable to uplift" water? Well what happens in fact is that they DO uplift water, from the ground handling agent and it all the "directives" go out the window.

Also let's all please be honest, the ban on "uplift" had NOTHING to do with water, it was a Cruz era cheapness thing to do away with ground handling. How many times have I been in Club short haul, in the first row and asked for something exotic, like A COKE, and been told, "sorry sir, we have run out"......and then when I dig, get the excuse that, "on the flight out from LHR we served a lot of Coke and we are not able to upload anything at XXX"

Ejetter, so you are saying that before BoB, the tank water was safe? Then was it then very strongly stated NOT to ever drink the tank water? A LOT can happen to any tank of water in the THREE MONTHS between inspections (hell, at the moment it could be 6,9 or 12 months as it has to do with cycles and flight hours, not strictly time, and many of these aircraft have seen few cycles or hours since March). Other than have a "no uplift policy from some airports" (which in fact was due to other things, not water), BA has done nothing to change its water rules, servicing, etc since about 2004.

L1705, I have seen such situations many times flying TO IST and DME, forget about the return. I mean seriously, an airline that doesn't load 50kg of water for the toilets, and which until about 2 years ago was setting the air exchange to the lowest possible settings for a the previous few years is one that Cruz took to the edge not just in cheapness, but in public safety and the welfare of its passengers. Until about 2 years ago, ever feel short of breath or a bit dizzy on a BA s/h aircraft, even if you had not until about 5 years ago, and not experience it on any other airline? That's why) Honestly L1705, do you drink the tank water? Do any crew members that you speak with drink the tank water (Not Tea or Coffee but water). Every single BA crew member that I have seen drinking water in teh galley is either drinking bottled water (generally from Club) or from tehir own water bottle thing that they have carried onboard. I have NEVER EVER met any member of any air crew anywhere in the World that does.
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Old Nov 23, 20, 3:46 pm
  #3830  
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
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A few facts...
  • Many crew fill their bottles from the gaps. Often using small squash jiggers to flavour it. They also serve it to passengers daily
  • All BA aircraft water tanks are checked regularly, and records kept. If anything is found, action is taken (as we saw last year)
  • Zero water is uplifted at ‘prohibited’ stations
  • Some airlines fill jugs from the tanks and serve to pax with the drinks service

But go ahead, don’t let facts spoil a good rant.
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Old Nov 23, 20, 6:17 pm
  #3831  
 
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Hfly, all I'm saying is that you are wrong to imply water will be uplifted where it's not safe to do so and simultaneously that aircraft will deliberately depart with too little water in order to save money.

The potable water banned list has a reason listed for each banned airport and it's not about cost - the water, the bowser fill point and the bowser itself must all be regularly tested, certified and documented, processes correctly followed and recorded, and facilities for potable water and waste must be adequately separated. If an airport ends up on the banned list it stays there for six months until audited again. If the water and the arrangements at the outstation are deemed safe then the crew can request water if required.

Personally I'm happy to consume water from a brewer or galley tap. You shouldn't drink water from a toilet tap, however.
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Old Nov 24, 20, 12:22 am
  #3832  
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Prospero. Yes we all know that, this is the BoB thread after all. The debate here is much deeper, and seems now to be split between those who believe that BA should not be offering free water and that they would seemingly happily consume unlimited amounts of tank water...as it is so good and clean, and those who realize what is actually going on.

Confus, no crew does NOT do that, those bottles they carry they either fill at the airport, or from bottled water on the plane. No crew ever drinks water from the tanks (yes they often drink tea and coffee which is boiled, before anyone tries that canard). By "regularly" you mean on average approximately every three months, as that is in fact what BA's procedure is (again it varies according to hours/cycles, etc so can be longer or shorter), rather than national and Eu regulations which state "at least once a year". As you have a problem with this actual fact, why don't you inform us what "regularly" means then? Also, please inform us, how BA operates a return flight from a 'prohibited station' if there is no or very low water for the return then? Lastly, please inform us which are these so many airlines that fill jugs from the tanks and serve passengers that way. I do not know of any. I am sure that you'll cite another IAG airline or some sharter outfit that I have never flown on, but I know of no trunk operator that encourages drinking tank water, and many that very clearly state that passengers should not do so. As they provide free drinking water, this really is not an issue. Lastly, how many prohibited stations do you think there are? No, not prohibited from uplifting items as part of the Cruz cheapness phase, where they are not supposed to uplift anything, unless an "emergency" to save money, but specifically JUST water, the amount of destinations can be counted on one hand.

EJetter, you can see from L1705's post above that BA flights regularly leave LHR with less than full tanks. Why don't you inform me how from a St. Petersburg (as that example has already been given) BA operates a flight with an empty or near empty tank. As I asked Confus just now, please tell me what "regular" means, as defined by: ISO 17775? WHO requirements?, EU/98/83/EC? If so we are talking about ONCE A YEAR. So BA does it on average once a quarter, so is safer, right? Except for the fact that no serious non IAG airline encourages its passengers to drink tank water?! Otherwise what you are saying is a bit nonsensical. So BA may test an airports (or rather a suppliers) water at an outstation once a year, and if the water fails they cannot take on water from that station. Who exactly performs this testing? Seriously. 15 or 20 years ago I would have taken that seriously as BA had actual staffs at most of their outstations, I am not talking about just check-in agents, but engineers and all sorts of people. The majority of outstations in Europe now have at best 3 employees in the entire country, and outsource everything imaginable to ground service agents, often the exact same companies which supply the water. Often such water sources are the only game in town or at best part of a "duopoly" that is rarely very competitive, and services many if not dozens of other airlines, the VAST majority of which discourage passengers from drinking tank water.
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Old Nov 24, 20, 12:43 am
  #3833  
 
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I would agree with hfly that none of the cabin crew drinks water from the tank water. Mostly, they have an individual 1.5L Harrogate bottle ( was Highland Springs before ) provided for a rotation, and some drink directly from their individual bottle. I am not 100% sure if these bottles are provided by BA but I have never seen another brand at the rear galley which could convince me that the crew brings their own water.
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Old Nov 24, 20, 12:48 am
  #3834  
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Originally Posted by 13901 View Post
You're making quite a lot of big statements here: on quality of water, on presence of potentially life-threatening bacteria, on the fact that the water shouldn't be drank and forced labour. A source or two on all that wouldn't go amiss.
I certainly don't drink anything that comes out of the plane's water tank.

There have been studies which came to the result that the water out of the tanks isn't particularly clean. E.g., a 2019 joint study of Hunter College's Food Policy Center and dietdetective.com tested the tap water on a large number of US carriers. They found it to be contaminated with varying levels of E. coli and coliform. There is another study from 2015 published in a refereed journal which also provides evidence towards less than stellar microbial quality of potable water.

Infrequent cleaning of planes' water tanks seems to be an issue. It's also curious to note that there's often a sign in lavatories warning you not to drink the water. But when water from the same source is served up to you in the cabin, it's suddenly okay to drink.

Further discussion can be found elsewhere on FT.
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Old Nov 24, 20, 12:50 am
  #3835  
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Originally Posted by hfly View Post
Yes we all know that, this is the BoB thread after all.
Indeed. No further comment needed, hopefully.

/mod
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Old Nov 24, 20, 5:29 am
  #3836  
 
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Originally Posted by hfly View Post
EJetter, you can see from L1705's post above that BA flights regularly leave LHR with less than full tanks. Why don't you inform me how from a St. Petersburg (as that example has already been given) BA operates a flight with an empty or near empty tank.
Donít misquote me for your ridiculous argument. A flight would leave with a full tank if it couldnít uplift at the outstation. Plus they only go with less than full tanks if the customer loads allow.
Now give up and do not misquote me again, you clearly donít have a clue
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Old Nov 24, 20, 6:52 am
  #3837  
 
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Originally Posted by hfly View Post
Lastly, how many prohibited stations do you think there are? No, not prohibited from uplifting items as part of the Cruz cheapness phase, where they are not supposed to uplift anything, unless an "emergency" to save money, but specifically JUST water, the amount of destinations can be counted on one hand.
I have the banned list in front of me, with reasons as to why the water is unsafe. Buying gloves must be challenging!

Last edited by EJetter; Nov 24, 20 at 7:07 am
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Old Nov 24, 20, 9:55 am
  #3838  
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L1705, that really depends on destination doesn't it? I am misquoting nothing. Fact is that generally the tanks are full when flying the midhaul routes, no one doubts that. And I am sure that in regular ideal circumstances that all is well with that, however what we are talking about here are less than ideal circumstances, you know the things that happen often. How about that IST,LCA,DME, ATH flight that spends an extra hour at the gate with a full load, or spends an extra hour in the air for the same reason coming from London and has a lot of lav traffic? What do they do then when there is little or no water for the return trip from DME, as it was your example? They fill it. That is what they do. Someone, be it the station manager, the country manager the Captain or otherwise, mutters under their breath, "I'm going to get hell for this" and signs it off.

Ejetter, please share with us the extensive list then.

What I find amazing is how apologetic some are here about the fact that BA is doing what no other airline is doing, which is charging for decent water. I mean seriously, this thread was revived because "LH is following BA's lead" with BoB, yet LH is still going to provide complimentary water, and incidentally LH has a MUCH MORE ROBUST system of checking water tanks on planes, one that is publicly listed (partnership with TUV for many years involving actual laboratories, not just some litmus strip that someone dunks in a tank a couple of times a year) yet even with that, LH is still giving away proper water, why because they know and acknowledge that drinking tank water is not a good idea.
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Old Nov 24, 20, 10:28 am
  #3839  
 
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Originally Posted by hfly View Post
What do they do then when there is little or no water for the return trip from DME, as it was your example? They fill it. That is what they do. Someone, be it the station manager, the country manager the Captain or otherwise, mutters under their breath, "I'm going to get hell for this" and signs it off.
This simply doesnít happen. It just doesnít.
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Old Nov 24, 20, 11:53 am
  #3840  
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Forgetting the fact that in fact it does happen, I can say with 100 percent certainty that I have personally witnessed it. So using that as a barometer, including verbatim the conversation that I personally witnessed and quoted above, I cannot imagine that I have been on the only flight that this has ever happened on - and ignoring the fact that despite whatever certain people think, the water from "approved" places is not as pure as you or BA would wish it to be, or certainly not properly tested. Do you "smiles in the aisles" honestly drink the tank water, based on your handle, I would assume no, as no BA crew members (or on any other carrier that I know) ever drink the tank water. Again, no serious airline serves or advocates that its passengers drink tank water (yes again, other than in coffee or tea...said again to head off the inevitable person who will cite that)
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