Trying British Airways Buy on Board


The flight between London and Dublin was a non-event on the way out as well as back on the way in. Standard Economy class on both legs, however on an Embraer Regional Jet on the way from London City to Dublin, and on the way back we got an Airbus A321 operating the flight from Dublin to London Heathrow. So no trip reports here. However, given the roaches in the food at the Dublin Airport Lounge, I was now hungry on my flight to London, so this gave me an opportunity to try out British Airways’ Buy on Board Service.

For those of you who don’t know, British Airways did away with the (functional) catering in Economy class at the back of the bus on Short-haul routes (i.e., within Europe) as of January 2017, and introduced a buy-on-board catering service. Before that, I’d frequently receive a stroopwafel, bag of chips or something like that to munch on the way on short-haul flights, along with a drink of water, a hot beverage or a cold beverage.

British Airways A321 Dublin to London Heathrow

British Airways A321 Dublin to London Heathrow

No longer. So this time around I’d have to buy my sammich if I wanted to survive the hunger pang getting into London. Hence, I pulled out the BoB menu, and have to say, it was impressive with all the options on the table.

British Airways Buy on Board Menu

British Airways Buy on Board Menu

The food was all from Mark & Spencers, and looked premium. Of course, you can thank the photographers for that. Here is the Menu as I flipped through it.

Snack Menu British Airways Buy on Board

Snack Menu British Airways Buy on Board

Sandwich Menu British Airways Buy on Board

Sandwich Menu British Airways Buy on Board

Healthy Eating Menu British Airways Buy on Board

Healthy Eating Menu British Airways Buy on Board

Confectionary & Hot Beverages Menu British Airways Buy on Board

Confectionary & Hot Beverages Menu British Airways Buy on Board

 

Hot Beverages Menu British Airways Buy on Board

Hot Beverages Menu British Airways Buy on Board

Cold Beverages Menu British Airways Buy on Board

Cold Beverages Menu British Airways Buy on Board

Adult Beverages Menu British Airways Buy on Board

Adult Beverages Menu British Airways Buy on Board

Most items were very affordable and ranged from 2 to 5 pounds. You could also redeem your Avios for the purchase usually at the value of 8/10 of a penny which is horrible value, trust me!

I went with one of the special sandwiches BA/M&S had for the day, that cost me 4.85 GBP. Not bad I say.

British Airways Buy on Board Sandwich

British Airways Buy on Board Sandwich

The BA cabin crew brought along a massive machine to punch the credit card for the purchase and went away for a while to bring me the sandwich from the oven. Walking around the cabin, I did notice a lot of people buy on board (maybe 25-30%) of the people on the flight.

Now while I miss free cookies, I think I’d take a reasonably priced sandwich over that given it is at least slightly healthier and makes for a fuller meal than just eating a dose of carbs.

Bottomline

I’m pretty impressed by the buy-on-board experience of British Airways. However, those machines are a task to handle, so I’m sure there is a less complicated BA could figure out along the way to execute the process of collecting money or Avios for these purchases.

What has been your experience with Buy on Board on British Airways Regional Economy?

Comments

  1. There has been lot of hue and cry over this in the UK. Nobody can associate the flag carrier of UK and a brand like BA charging for food and drinks. whats the differenciation between easy Jet and others and BA then ! yes M&S is ok but still! Further they have even made mid -haul european sectors in the same league as short haul. For example I fly LHR- Larnaca (Cyprus) frequently during the summer and it is almost a 4.5 -5 hours flight. It is bothersome in those sectors as everybody is buying on board (though some reluctantly ) and service can really become slow given the time taken to take payments etc. Its not a matter so much about cost, it is more about what you expect from an airline like BA!

    • @Deepak I agree, but then most western carriers have moved in the direction, so BA is just following the lead of the American big 3 here. I’m guessing others will follow soon. And yeah, I do expect more from BA, like fresh planes and no screwups at Heathrow, does not happen, no! So, BA has fallen and it is living off its old halo.

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