Teetotal and BA

Old Dec 12, 19, 4:45 am
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Teetotal and BA

I know that there have been a few threads about what to drink if one is teetotal and flying on BA but I didn’t want to resurrect them as I think I am coming from a slightly different angle here.

I am teetotal and have been for a number of years now; it would be great if when the CC come round and serve drinks that they didn’t always assume that I wanted wine. I am sure it would not be difficult for the iPad to show something like “no alcohol” and then the CC can offer non-alcoholic drinks as opposed to “would you like some wine with your meal sir?”

I know that lots of people do appreciate being able to drink on the flight, but with nearly 30% of younger adults (according to a few studies that I have found online) either being teetotal or only drinking a small amount should BA be doing more for those of us who do not drink?
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Old Dec 12, 19, 4:50 am
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They carry a range of non-alcoholic drinks on the trolley, even at the stage of the service when they ask you for a wine choice. Is it so difficult to ask for the drink you prefer?

In CW my experience has been that refills of the drink I have requested have then been proactively offered.

I do drink but prefer beer to wine, and mixed spirits to beer. But I’ve never found the BA stock phrase to be an issue. Rather I think they are probably asking people about wine, because on many carriers in Y alcoholic drinks are not free of charge, and otherwise people could be missing out on drinks BA has loaded for them because they might think they need to pay.
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Old Dec 12, 19, 4:53 am
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What's wrong with just saying "No thank you, Coke please" or whatever other drink you prefer. Does it offend you that much ? Some pax drink, some don't. Some may drink elsewhere, but cant on the flight as driving afterwards.
Does a vegetarian get offended when offered a meal containing meat ?
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Old Dec 12, 19, 5:00 am
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I see where you are coming from on this.


Yes a 'something to drink?' works for a general drinks run and it's only in my experience that they ask if you want wine only with the full meal service. And that applies to many airlines not just BA

On my LGW-AMS flights they ask if I want something to drink so leave it open as to what to ask for.

But I can see some people thinking if they didn't offer wine especially with the meal that the CC thought they had already had too much to drink of that it had been 'enhanced'!

And whilst I guess it could be added to the i-pad such a note would only be effective if (a) it got read by the CSD/M and (b) if they did that they then told the rest of the cabin crew.

And that's before you start to look at what else is on there that could be seen as more important than a personal preference (of course it's an important preference for you) such as an allergy or special meal which could have other implications.
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Old Dec 12, 19, 5:02 am
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I'm teetotal (always have been) and don't have a problem CC asking me if I want wine. However, there are a number of reasons why people choose not to drink. I can understand why in some circumstances, it may be preferable not even to be asked. However, from a pragmatic perspective, not sure how practicable that is.

tb
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Old Dec 12, 19, 5:03 am
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No, I don’t think this needs to be another data point on the iPad. You can easily ask for whatever drink takes your fancy.

Using your statistics, if more than 70% of BAs customers might drink wine, an offer of ‘would you like some wine?’ strikes me as an hospitable, customer focused question, rather than an attempt to throw everyone off the wagon.
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Old Dec 12, 19, 5:10 am
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I think it is entirely laudable that you are teetotal, however, I think it is a bit much to ask that people - effectively - stop proposing anything for fear that they might hurt sensitive customers. I am one of those people who drink "very little" as you say. At times, I can spend a full month without having a drop of alcohol. On flights, if nothing alcoholic tempts me, I won't have a drop of alcohol, if it does, I'll have one glass of something, occasionally two glasses in F if the wine list really tempts me. However, I have to say that in my experience, a vast majority of customers around me (in cabins where it is not for purchase) tend to have at least one alcoholic drink during their flight and often a lot more, and indeed, in F and J, wine (including Champagne) is the clear winner.

I don't see what is wrong with asking people "will you have a glass of wine with your meal?", it remains by far the dominant cultural expectation in quality restaurants and a normal part of their ordering process (regardless of people accept, which many do, or decline) in the same way that the vastly dominant cultural model is for people to end up having a meal that would include animal proteins alongside fruit/vegetable and carbs even though many people nowadays are indeed vegan and others on various types of diet including carb free. I'm not strictly carb free but I have 99% of my airline meals without bread, I just tell crew members: "I won't have any bread with my meal" so they know not to bother/bring bread plate (if in F or on other airlines in J). I certainly don't take offence when they show me the bread basket.

As for the idea of BA keeping a listing of whether you are teetotal etc, for goodness sake, no. The airline already has far more information about me than I wish it to have and I strongly object to it collecting more private data about what (or who) I like and dislike. I don't know them to know in advance if I have special dietary requirements, a given view of alcohol, whether I smoke or not, whether I am single or in a couple and who I sleep with, what I read, what films I want to watch, where I like to travel, what is my ethnicity, or if I always tend to choose the fish dish. "Window or Aisle" is perfect, anything else should be none of their data business as far as I am concerned, and as they already collect a lot more of the above than "window or aisle", any suggestion that they should collect more get a big bold: "not a chance" from me.
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Old Dec 12, 19, 5:12 am
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I drink - I don't fancy wine - I might want a lager.

The options are endless.

Don't see why the cabin crew should change anything
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Old Dec 12, 19, 5:14 am
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I'm with the OP on this. I am not teetotal but I don't see why people should be steered towards wine. What is wrong with asking a more generic "Would you like a drink with your meal?"

I don't think it needs to be iPad specific though.
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Old Dec 12, 19, 5:22 am
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Originally Posted by WLX View Post
They carry a range of non-alcoholic drinks on the trolley, even at the stage of the service when they ask you for a wine choice. Is it so difficult to ask for the drink you prefer?
Originally Posted by chris1922Mk2 View Post
What's wrong with just saying "No thank you, Coke please" or whatever other drink you prefer. Does it offend you that much ?
I think that will be a natural reaction amongst many people. It was certainly my immediate one. However....

Originally Posted by trueblu View Post
I can understand why in some circumstances, it may be preferable not even to be asked.
Choosing my words carefully here, and without wishing to read between the lines to find meaning where there is none intended, I wonder if the OP is alluding to a group of people who may be described as having an "unhealthy relationship" with alcohol, and for whom even the act of being asked may be troublesome. Again, I do not wish to imply anything about the OP here, and I cannot claim to know anything about the psychology of addiction but I would presume that it can in some cases be a little more complex than "just say no" (otherwise would addiction exist in the first place).

With that said, like trueblu, I am not sure how such a scheme to avoid offering alcohol could be practically implemented in a reliable manner, that didn't impact other elements of the service.
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Old Dec 12, 19, 5:58 am
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I don't drink coffee. I don't get upset over being offered coffee after a meal. You need to toughen up
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Old Dec 12, 19, 5:58 am
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Can we for the love of [whatever deity, to avoid offending anyone] stop the "I am offended by everything that does not suit my needs" culture?
People are free to ask for whatever they want, and are not forced to consume anything they do not want. Honestly, if the bar service offends anyone, please go fly Saudia, PIA, Kuwait Airways or Royal Brunei (the only dry airlines I can think of right now).

What's next, being offended of there being a 3:1 ratio of meat dishes on a menu?
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Old Dec 12, 19, 6:02 am
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I am in no way offended by being offered wine or any other drinks, I simply like having a more personalised service. And I am, of course, more than happy to say “No thank you, a coke please”.

On my flight from ZRH earlier this week, the person sitting across the aisle from me was confused at the offer of wine with his meal and wanted something else and rather sheepishly asked the CC “do you have anything else other than wine?” Which would have been negated by asking “would you like a drink with your meal sir?” instead of asking if he had wanted wine.

I had not thought of those with an “unhealthy relationship” with alcohol and I am not sure of the best way to deal with a situation such as that.
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Old Dec 12, 19, 6:08 am
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I don't drink alcohol on board very often, in fact I don't think I've had one on my admittedly very limited year of flying - yet when they offer wine, I'd politely decline, or make a little quip about being on good behaviour and ask for some water instead. Does not bother me in the slightest.
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Old Dec 12, 19, 6:13 am
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Originally Posted by wilsnunn View Post
On my flight from ZRH earlier this week, the person sitting across the aisle from me was confused at the offer of wine with his meal and wanted something else and rather sheepishly asked the CC “do you have anything else other than wine?” Which would have been negated by asking “would you like a drink with your meal sir?” instead of asking if he had wanted wine.
but then again, had your flight been either breakfast or afternoon tea, he/she would have been asked ‘would you like some tea or coffee?’ Or even just ‘would you like some tea’. And even after the lunch/dinner if service allows, they will be asked ‘would you like some tea or coffee?’

I don’t drink tea, and whilst I love espresso I don’t drink either brewed or instant coffee which are your two options in ce so that’s no use to me, but then I feel perfectly entitled saying ‘no thanks, but I’d have a herbal tea’ or ‘no thank you but I’d love some more sparkling water’. Ultimately, those are mostly guesses based on dominant orders because replacing everything by completely neutral, generic terms would sound awkward and extremely impersonal.

i mean think of the f dining concept which is on demand. Crew do ask ‘will you be having some dinner?’ and then again breakfast or tea or whatever. Of course one may prefer to wake up mid trip for a midnight supper but ‘will you be having anything to eat at any point?’ Would just sound weird and could easily be misconstrued as not welcoming!
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