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Buy on board: Experiences and reactions from BA's shorthaul economy service

Buy on board: Experiences and reactions from BA's shorthaul economy service

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This thread focuses on experiences and reactions for the implementation of buy on board for shorthaul, mainly led by impressions taken from flying on board British Airways' shorthaul services.

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

If you have an opinion about the concept of Buy on Board, the right thread is:
Buy on board: Implemented on BA short haul - opinions on the concept

Photos of current BoB menu (September 2018) post #125 in information thread
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Old Sep 28, 17, 11:14 am
  #1936  
 
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Second to be served on GLA-LGW yesterday. Only one bottle of the Chenin blanc. Theoretical seating or whatever it is called also didnít work - someone next to me when rows behind had empty seats including the emergency exits.
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Old Sep 28, 17, 11:32 am
  #1937  
 
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Originally Posted by cme17 View Post
Second to be served on GLA-LGW yesterday. Only one bottle of the Chenin blanc. Theoretical seating or whatever it is called also didnít work - someone next to me when rows behind had empty seats including the emergency exits.
Unlikely but they could have been a gold who fancied the front middle?
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Old Sep 29, 17, 3:57 am
  #1938  
 
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Originally Posted by cme17 View Post
Second to be served on GLA-LGW yesterday. Only one bottle of the Chenin blanc. Theoretical seating or whatever it is called also didnít work - someone next to me when rows behind had empty seats including the emergency exits.
On a recent shourthaul flight, the intake was very low. Max of £12 of sale. Service completed in 10 minutes with 2 trolleys and 3 CCs on an A320. As I went back to the toilets I had a chat with the 3 cabin crews serving ET and asked them about BoB.

They said the following:
- Intake for short routes is decreasing a lot. They even told me today's intake was only 5 coffees. They weren't impressed by that.
- Still huge issues on longer routes (especially holiday routes) with slow service and in many occurrences lack of supply and service not completed in time. One of them told me, they are on their feet from take off to landing and that could be 2h30.
- Passenger are frustrated on the longer routes because of slow service and low supply of food.
- One of them told me she's a bit demoralized because dynamics have changed. She is now mostly ignored by passengers in shorter routes. She feels she provided a better service with the old service. She could talk to everyone and provide a service to most of the cabin. Whereas now, she feels a bit weird having to repeat "any drink or food to buy" in each row especially when people are just ignoring her or sleeping.
- They are frustrated with the POS machines. They said they are rubbish.
- They met the management and reported all of the issues and the fact that many business travelers have told them they are not impressed and that they were considering switching airlines. They asked the management to at least provide drinks for free. Management said that (and they mimicked a manager with tablet browsing charts) profits, loads and revenues are up and that there was no reason to make any change.
- I told them that there are still some legacies with free food and drinks like AF, LH, OS or LX. They were surprised to hear that. Told them AF has even G&T in short-haul and they told: Good for them. They are right to provide a service for passengers.
- They said they can't really do anything anymore and that passengers should complain. I said we are already doing that..

The flight attendants were clearly not very impressed and not happy with the changes. They thanked me for the chat. I thanked them and wished them good luck.
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Old Sep 29, 17, 4:20 am
  #1939  
 
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Flew this morning BA832 early morning LHR-DUB.A321 about 75% full,not many takers.Orders for hot food were taken after take off and the trolley was back before descent.

I had an excellent breakfast in the CCR with mrs rapidex so we did not partake.
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Old Sep 29, 17, 5:25 am
  #1940  
 
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Originally Posted by BA6948 View Post
On a recent shourthaul flight, the intake was very low. Max of £12 of sale. Service completed in 10 minutes with 2 trolleys and 3 CCs on an A320. As I went back to the toilets I had a chat with the 3 cabin crews serving ET and asked them about BoB.

They said the following:
- Intake for short routes is decreasing a lot. They even told me today's intake was only 5 coffees. They weren't impressed by that.
- Still huge issues on longer routes (especially holiday routes) with slow service and in many occurrences lack of supply and service not completed in time. One of them told me, they are on their feet from take off to landing and that could be 2h30.
- Passenger are frustrated on the longer routes because of slow service and low supply of food.
- One of them told me she's a bit demoralized because dynamics have changed. She is now mostly ignored by passengers in shorter routes. She feels she provided a better service with the old service. She could talk to everyone and provide a service to most of the cabin. Whereas now, she feels a bit weird having to repeat "any drink or food to buy" in each row especially when people are just ignoring her or sleeping.
- They are frustrated with the POS machines. They said they are rubbish.
- They met the management and reported all of the issues and the fact that many business travelers have told them they are not impressed and that they were considering switching airlines. They asked the management to at least provide drinks for free. Management said that (and they mimicked a manager with tablet browsing charts) profits, loads and revenues are up and that there was no reason to make any change.
- I told them that there are still some legacies with free food and drinks like AF, LH, OS or LX. They were surprised to hear that. Told them AF has even G&T in short-haul and they told: Good for them. They are right to provide a service for passengers.
- They said they can't really do anything anymore and that passengers should complain. I said we are already doing that..

The flight attendants were clearly not very impressed and not happy with the changes. They thanked me for the chat. I thanked them and wished them good luck.
On the longer routes if the service is slow and the crew are on their feet for hours (which I do not dispute) it doesn't really chime with low supply of food. On the shorter flights of which I have taken dozens this year (1-2 hours) my experience is that the speed of service has increased, the dreaded POS machines are finally working and the take up has increased. In contrast after 3 hours on a Virgin train there was no chance of buying anything due to "gross overcrowding permitted by the regulations which stops us serving you or checking tickets" - quote by train "manager".
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Old Sep 29, 17, 7:17 am
  #1941  
 
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Originally Posted by Porky Speedpig View Post
On the longer routes if the service is slow and the crew are on their feet for hours (which I do not dispute) it doesn't really chime with low supply of food.
The complaint about not having enough of food choice for everyone. Every transaction will have some drinks and some other food items. Customers might not have their first choice. In that case, they go back to the menu and look for an item, make up their minds and then give it another try.
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Old Sep 29, 17, 8:37 am
  #1942  
 
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Originally Posted by Porky Speedpig View Post
On the longer routes if the service is slow and the crew are on their feet for hours (which I do not dispute) it doesn't really chime with low supply of food. On the shorter flights of which I have taken dozens this year (1-2 hours) my experience is that the speed of service has increased, the dreaded POS machines are finally working and the take up has increased. In contrast after 3 hours on a Virgin train there was no chance of buying anything due to "gross overcrowding permitted by the regulations which stops us serving you or checking tickets" - quote by train "manager".
Good to hear evidence of the BoB experience improving.
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Old Sep 29, 17, 11:33 am
  #1943  
 
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I see that AF are starting to move to BoB with the launch of their new sub-brand Joon. These BoB flights will replace regular AF flights to a number of places, including BCN. I know people don't like it, but it seems that more of the remaining European carriers are shifting to BoB.

I notice that AF's Joon will offer complimentary soft drinks, perhaps BA will rethink its approach on this front too. I know that people say it's not possible to combine BoB and complimentary offerings, so it will be interesting to see how this plays out.
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Old Sep 29, 17, 11:37 am
  #1944  
 
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Originally Posted by Flexible preferences View Post
Good to hear evidence of the BoB experience improving.
I would not say that it is improving because everything has more or less been fine with BoB, at least in my experience. There will always be instances when something runs out. It's just impossible to predict what the uptake will be. I have taken a few KBP-LHR returns since January, and everyone seemed to be able to get what they wanted, I even got a sandwich and Prosecco on my last flight just to test the payment system (and because I really like Prosecco that BA offers). The demand, even on this long flight, is rather low, as I suspected it would be since people do not really want/need to eat on shorthaul flights. In the past few years I have mostly flown BoB airlines (AA, IB, PS), and this has always been my observation - BA is no exception here.
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Last edited by Andriyko; Sep 29, 17 at 12:15 pm
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Old Sep 29, 17, 2:51 pm
  #1945  
 
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So, considering the menu before me, I see that the sandwich or salad options are:
Bacon roll (is that available in the morning only?),
Cheese ploughman sandwich,
Club sandwich (contains cheese),
Mozzarella and tomato sandwich,
Superfood salad (topped with feta cheese).

That is very poor menu planning: four all-day meal items and a major ingredient (and frequent allergen) is repeated four times. That is very disappointing.

I would be be hoping they had some porridge and yoghurt left if I was relying on them to feed me, but resigning myself to a meal of crisps and chocolate.
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Old Sep 29, 17, 3:05 pm
  #1946  
 
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Originally Posted by Dan72 View Post
I see that AF are starting to move to BoB with the launch of their new sub-brand Joon. These BoB flights will replace regular AF flights to a number of places, including BCN. I know people don't like it, but it seems that more of the remaining European carriers are shifting to BoB.

I notice that AF's Joon will offer complimentary soft drinks, perhaps BA will rethink its approach on this front too. I know that people say it's not possible to combine BoB and complimentary offerings, so it will be interesting to see how this plays out.
SK, AY and American legacies still offer drinks for free and items from the menu for their Elite passengers. So it seems it works for them. The fact that BA went from a complementary service to a hard no service shows that the management doesn't care about inflight experience. All that matters is the £££. Happy I got flight attendants reactions about BoB and how it affected them. I guess the die hard BA fans won't change their minds no matter what other passenger or cabin crew say.
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Old Oct 8, 17, 3:13 am
  #1947  
 
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Unhappy Do not ask the BA flight attendants for a cup of ice

Originally Posted by miamiflyer8 View Post
I have a feeling this is going to end up just like it did with US Airways charging for soft drinks.
So I guess this whole BA BoB thing has been going on since the beginning of the year. miamiflyer8 wrote the quote above last January. However, unlike former US Airways, nothing has changed on BA since they initiated this BoB program. I guess all the BA passengers and the FAs are ok with this change and this really is the future of BA? Maybe the 10% commission earned by the FA team is exciting to them?

I was a US Airways Chariman's for several years. Ever since the merger, I've been an American Airlines Executive Platinum, which translates to Emerald in One World (but I'm sure most people on here know that). It's very sad to travel Euro Traveller on BA now and feel like I'm flying on Allegiant or Spirit Airlines in the USA. I have personally only flown a flight on Allegiant once & I will never do it again. I've also never flown on the European budget airlines like Ryan Air, Norwegian, Wow and Wizz. However, I suppose I now know how it feels like after my BA LHR-ATH R/T flight I took within the last few weeks. The total time from take off to landing is almost 4 hours so it's not that short a flight.

I had to take a medication onboard at a certain time. I was not really thirsty since I had just spent 8 hours in the BA Galleries First lounge after my flight to Europe was delayed. I asked the FA for a glass of ice onboard so I could take the medication. She told me she could not give it to me because BA only provides them with a limited supply of ice. I guess the whole One World Emerald status thing means absolutely nothing to BA if I'm flying behind the curtain. On AA, they offer me a free alcoholic drink and a snack when I'm in Economy. It makes me feel special :-) In Economy, AA now even serves a small snack (pretzels or cookie) in addition to the free non-alcoholic beverage for free. Wow, how such a little, non-expensive item can change a passenger's entire perception of an airline! On AY (Finnair), the FAs have recognized my status and offered me a drink of my choice onboard. On every Cathay Pacific or Cathay Dragon flight I've flown in Economy, the lead FA always goes out of his/her way to greet me at the beginning of the flight. She or he tells me to let them know if there is anything they can do to make my onboard experience more pleasant. These other One World airline experiences are such a stark contrast to the BA FA who made me feel so lowly while aboard their plane. How dare I ask for a cup of ice! Maybe she felt I was trying to "cheat" the system. I used to think BA was one of the most decent airline options in Europe for short haul, but not anymore. I thought those Pam Ann BA FA comedy sketches were an exaggeration but maybe it's really closer to the truth nowadays.
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Old Oct 8, 17, 3:31 am
  #1948  
 
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Originally Posted by 2sawn View Post
So I guess this whole BA BoB thing has been going on since the beginning of the year. miamiflyer8 wrote the quote above last January. However, unlike former US Airways, nothing has changed on BA since they initiated this BoB program. I guess all the BA passengers and the FAs are ok with this change and this really is the future of BA? Maybe the 10% commission earned by the FA team is exciting kto them?j

I was a US Airways Chariman's for several years. Ever since the merger, I've been an American Airlines Executive Platinum, which translates to Emerald in One World (but I'm sure most people on here know that). It's very sad to travel Euro Traveller on BA now and feel like I'm flying on Allegiant or Spirit Airlines in the USA. I have personally only flown a flight on Allegiant once & I will never do it again. I've also never flown on the European budget airlines like Ryan Air, Norwegian, Wow and Wizz. However, I suppose I now know how it feels like after my BA LHR-ATH R/T flight I took within the last few weeks. The total time from take off to landing is almost 4 hours so it's not that short a flight.

I had to take a medication onboard at a certain time. I was not really thirsty since I had just spent 8 hours in the BA Galleries First lounge after my flight to Europe was delayed. I asked the FA for a glass of ice onboard so I could take the medication. She told me she could not give it to me because BA only provides them with a limited supply of ice. I guess the whole One World Emerald status thing means absolutely nothing to BA if I'm flying behind the curtain. On AA, they offer me a free alcoholic drink and a snack when I'm in Economy. It makes me feel special :-) In Economy, AA now even serves a small snack (pretzels or cookie) in addition to the free non-alcoholic beverage for free. Wow, how such a little, non-expensive item can change a passenger's entire perception of an airline! On AY (Finnair), the FAs have recognized my status and offered me a drink of my choice onboard. On every Cathay Pacific or Cathay Dragon flight I've flown in Economy, the lead FA always goes out of his/her way to greet me at the beginning of the flight. She or he tells me to let them know if there is anything they can do to make my onboard experience more pleasant. These other One World airline experiences are such a stark contrast to the BA FA who made me feel so lowly while aboard their plane. How dare I ask for a cup of ice! Maybe she felt I was trying to "cheat" the system. I used to think BA was one of the most decent airline options in Europe for short haul, but not anymore. I thought those Pam Ann BA FA comedy sketches were an exaggeration but maybe it's really closer to the truth nowadays.
I don't know where you are based but I think you can avoid BA if you don't live in London. BA has unfortunately become an expensive budget airline with no service whatsover on shorthaul economy and a mediocre offering on longhaul economy. There are still other airlines in OneWorld that still offer a better service in Economy and a more personalized approach to Status passengers. Alrx Cruz and his gang will only react if passengers walk away and vote with their feet.
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Old Oct 8, 17, 3:44 am
  #1949  
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Originally Posted by 2sawn View Post
I had to take a medication onboard at a certain time. I was not really thirsty since I had just spent 8 hours in the BA Galleries First lounge after my flight to Europe was delayed. I asked the FA for a glass of ice onboard so I could take the medication. She told me she could not give it to me because BA only provides them with a limited supply of ice.
The shortage of ice was an issue on EuroTraveller since time immemorial on routes like ATH: it's a long flight by European standard, they get the same amount of ice as Leeds Bradford and need it to somehow survive the return as well. There is often a large Club Europe cabin and that only makes it harder to conserve the ice. So there is only a partial BoB component to that specific complaint, moreover I think you would been within your rights to ask to see the Senior Cabin Crew Member, do a very modest and polite DYKWIA/Emerald pitch and the ice should have been forthcoming. I would perhaps send the final paragraph off to BA (or even better via AA if you were on a 001 ticket). It won't on its own change things but it will add to the feedback they are getting. Cups of water should have been forthcoming without issue, however.
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Old Oct 8, 17, 3:52 am
  #1950  
 
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Originally Posted by BA6948 View Post
I don't know where you are based but I think you can avoid BA if you don't live in London. BA has unfortunately become an expensive budget airline with no service whatsover on shorthaul economy and a mediocre offering on longhaul economy. There are still other airlines in OneWorld that still offer a better service in Economy and a more personalized approach to Status passengers. Alrx Cruz and his gang will only react if passengers walk away and vote with their feet.

BA are in danger of turning into Tesco - for non UK board members, that is a supermarket that had a lower-premium position but decided to mix it with Asda/Walmart and ended up being neither the cheapest nor premium, with a cataclysmic outcome.


What keeps me with BA? Lounge access and status. Yes, it's stupid, but it works. If Cruz decides to turn his penny pinchers on that, I have great options elsewhere for travel. Cost cutting is great for the bottom line, every £1 saved transfers directly, but it's a negative approach to growth (if that makes sense) in comparison to creating innovative products customers actually love and get excited about.


Having said that, I like the idea of BoB and the options look good. I'd like to be able to pre-order and pre-pay. I'm not usually fussed about eating or drinking on short haul though.
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