I am a BA
stu and I hope we DO
start charging for drink down the back on our shortest flights (say under 2 hours). Some of the passengers on the cheapest tickets really take the p*** with the free drink situation. Many of them don't even realise they are free so when you say 'would you like a drink sir/madam?; they say, 'oh just water thanks'. Then when you move down to serve the next row and they catch on everything is free they are calling you back 'actually, can i have a gin and tonic, a beer and a coffee?'.
I'd love to see Willie introduce the new concept they have at SAS. On short-haul, the economy cabin (they still have Business as well) is split into 'Economy Flex' (at the front) and 'Economy Basic' behind it. Economy Flex is for passengers on full fare/flexible economy tickets and they get free newspapers, food, drink etc. Those purchasing the 'GBP12.00 each way plus tax' sort of tickets (check out some fares on ba.com from LHR
...GBP13.00 each way!!) will be sat in Economy Basic and have to pay for everything.
I reckon this would free up the crew (there are less and less of us on-board as part of 'cost-cutting) to pay more attention to those spending a lot of money on their tickets and at least make them feel they have gotten a little more for the hundreds more they have paid.