LondonCity
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Will BA Adopt BOB For Short-haul Flights?

Sun May 15, 2016 6:44 pm

Interesting piece has just appeared on independent.co.uk

It seems that BA is seriously considering charging short-haul economy passengers for food and drinks.

A BA spokesperson would not confirm or deny the rumours but as noted in the news article, having BOB "would turn catering from a cost into a revenue stream and allow BA to offer lower headline fares against rivals such as Easyjet and Ryanair."


http://www.independent.co.uk/travel/...haul-economy-flights-a7030791.html
 
shuttle9juliet
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RE: Will BA Adopt BOB For Short-haul Flights?

Sun May 15, 2016 8:43 pm

I am sure that will go down well with the gold card holders on the shuttle!!!
 
Gazdon121
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RE: Will BA Adopt BOB For Short-haul Flights?

Sun May 15, 2016 8:47 pm

I hope not, I flying to mahoon on Friday with them and pretty much all my euro flights are with BA , they charge then I go with FR in the future most probably.
 
by738
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RE: Will BA Adopt BOB For Short-haul Flights?

Sun May 15, 2016 9:32 pm

Given that the 'Shuttles' have an independent catering policy, they could equally remain immune. I think passengers would need to see a monetry saving in fares to let this slip in. Presumably CE would be exempt! Oh and sort out the carry-on and boarding shambles....
 
wingflaps
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RE: Will BA Adopt BOB For Short-haul Flights?

Sun May 15, 2016 10:02 pm

Mixed views on this one. While we all hate fumbling for change on Easyjet just to get a soft drink I can remember just making a BA flight home from Frankfurt after a busy day by the skin of my teeth and being absolutely starving. Two hours until being able to hit catering at Heathrow with just a bag of crisps to keep going. Would have killed to see a Bob cart on that one!
 
steve6666
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RE: Will BA Adopt BOB For Short-haul Flights?

Sun May 15, 2016 10:38 pm

This was leaked on the Business Traveller forum the other week by someone who I believe is cabin crew for BA. Personally, I can't get particularly excited by it. It's not as if the catering on BA short haul has been anything to write home about for a while, either in Euro Traveller (the wraps are disgusting) or indeed Club Europe. If I'm in plenty of time, then I will have had my fill in the lounge beforehand and really I'm not that interested in what they serve on the plane.
If BOB means they will serve something edible then bring it on.
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Viscount724
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RE: Will BA Adopt BOB For Short-haul Flights?

Sun May 15, 2016 10:49 pm

Quoting steve6666 (Reply 5):
Personally, I can't get particularly excited by it. It's not as if the catering on BA short haul has been anything to write home about for a while,

Agree. It's a non-issue. Why should Europe be any different from the U.S. and Canada where buy-on-board has been almost universal for years. And the average flight in North America is quite a bit longer than the typical 1 to 2 hour flights in Europe. Even 5 to 10 hour nonstops to Hawaii are buy-on-board with HA the only exception.
 
N1120A
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RE: Will BA Adopt BOB For Short-haul Flights?

Mon May 16, 2016 1:16 am

Perhaps BA will take a page from AA's book and give away food and hard stuff to golds and OW Emeralds, like AA does with EXPs and OW Emeralds? That might balance out the backlash.
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Andy33
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RE: Will BA Adopt BOB For Short-haul Flights?

Mon May 16, 2016 7:09 am

Don't forget BA has tried BOB before, in an attempt to stem the tide of red ink at BAConnect, the subsidiary that flew from UK regional airports to destinations other than London. This certainly didn't succeed and the airline ended up being sold to Flybe to remove the liability.
It would be surprising if with BA's new CEO transferring from IAG's low-cost operation Vueling, they didn't look again at this sort of cost-cutting/revenue raising exercise. Doesn't mean they'll necessarily end up adopting it though.
BA's shorthaul catering is designed in bands - Domestic, and Bands 1-4 based on increasing distance.
Band 4 destinations such as ATH and IST still get hot meals in Y, not least because competitors A3 and TK offer hot meals in Y. That competition isn't going away if BA go to BOB on Band 4, but the passengers might...
 
Someone83
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RE: Will BA Adopt BOB For Short-haul Flights?

Mon May 16, 2016 7:17 am

Quoting shuttle9juliet (Reply 1):
I am sure that will go down well with the gold card holders on the shuttle!!!

SAS has this and their top ranking frequent flyers can pick from the trolley free of charge
 
bobdino
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RE: Will BA Adopt BOB For Short-haul Flights?

Mon May 16, 2016 7:34 am

Quoting steve6666 (Reply 5):
If BOB means they will serve something edible then bring it on.

That's my thoughts exactly. I'd rather pay for something nice than get a terrible roll+iced bun for 'free'.
 
CPDC10-30
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RE: Will BA Adopt BOB For Short-haul Flights?

Mon May 16, 2016 7:45 am

Quoting bobdino (Reply 10):
That's my thoughts exactly. I'd rather pay for something nice than get a terrible roll+iced bun for 'free'.

Am I the only person who actually likes them?
 
bobdino
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RE: Will BA Adopt BOB For Short-haul Flights?

Mon May 16, 2016 7:54 am

Quoting CPDC10-30 (Reply 11):
Quoting bobdino (Reply 10):
That's my thoughts exactly. I'd rather pay for something nice than get a terrible roll+iced bun for 'free'.

Am I the only person who actually likes them?

Quite possibly.

For anyone flying out of LHR T5, my current favourite is the bar at Fortnum & Mason. Tasty food, and they'll pack you a hamperling to bring on board. The £20 price is steep, but it's way cheaper than an upgrade to Club Europe.
 
G-CIVP
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RE: Will BA Adopt BOB For Short-haul Flights?

Mon May 16, 2016 8:35 am

From a cursory read of the article, it doesn't imply that BA will charge for drinks but will be offering a choice of sandwiches, etc, which can be purchased, presumably above and beyond the usual service.
 
G-CIVP
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RE: Will BA Adopt BOB For Short-haul Flights?

Mon May 16, 2016 8:37 am

"Some BA cabin crew are concerned that an increase in choice, and the need to handle payments, would sharply increase their workload, especially on shorter flights. One long-serving cabin crew member said: "On a busy Amsterdam we hardly have time to serve everyone, let alone take money.”

Leave it out. On every BA short haul flight I've taken the cabin crew are always eating the Club World food in galley after completing the drinks service!
 
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winterlight
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RE: Will BA Adopt BOB For Short-haul Flights?

Mon May 16, 2016 8:53 am

I presume BOB means Buy on Board?
Question everything. Trust no-one.
 
LondonCity
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RE: Will BA Adopt BOB For Short-haul Flights?

Mon May 16, 2016 8:57 am

Quoting winterlight (Reply 15):

I presume BOB means Buy on Board?

Yes indeed. I should have explained it earlier but I assumed that the aviation fans who contribute and read this Forum would know what it meant.
 
jamesontheroad
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RE: Will BA Adopt BOB For Short-haul Flights?

Mon May 16, 2016 9:00 am

Quoting N1120A (Reply 7):
Perhaps BA will take a page from AA's book and give away food and hard stuff to golds and OW Emeralds, like AA does with EXPs and OW Emeralds? That might balance out the backlash.
Quoting Someone83 (Reply 9):
SAS has this and their top ranking frequent flyers can pick from the trolley free of charge

IIRC, towards the end of its existence, BD experimented with complimentary short haul catering for Diamond Club members.

In the long term, surely the in-seat à la carte ordering model demonstrated by VX in the USA has to be the way to go. The principle of allowing customers to order what they want and when they want frees up to the CC to deliver much more personal and responsive service. More efficient for them and more efficient for the airline.

Two problems - with such a huge fleet, BA would take months, if not years to roll it out. Secondly, and again based purely on personal recollections, VX takes advantage of the rather antiquated US model of swiping credit/debit cards without signature or PIN authorisation. Doubt that a European airline would invest in new kit that didn't allow customers to pay from their seat with current or next gen payment authorisation.
 
Lofty
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RE: Will BA Adopt BOB For Short-haul Flights?

Mon May 16, 2016 9:17 am

My understanding is this will not be BOB, you will order and pay in advance.
 
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OA260
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RE: Will BA Adopt BOB For Short-haul Flights?

Mon May 16, 2016 9:21 am

Quoting steve6666 (Reply 5):
If BOB means they will serve something edible then bring it on.

Yep totally agree. I would rather pay for something like a hot option than get a free packet of peanuts/pretzels. Aer Lingus has a good BOB.

Quoting Someone83 (Reply 9):
SAS has this and their top ranking frequent flyers can pick from the trolley free of charge

Good system. Back in the BMI days it was great  
Quoting G-CIVP (Reply 14):
"On a busy Amsterdam we hardly have time to serve everyone, let alone take money.”

Aer Lingus their now partner can help train them on how its done  

Anyway Gold and Silvers and OW Equiv can eat in the lounges and usually do.
 
LondonCity
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RE: Will BA Adopt BOB For Short-haul Flights?

Mon May 16, 2016 9:23 am

Quoting Lofty (Reply 18):
My understanding is this will not be BOB, you will order and pay in advance.

That sounds logical ...until you remember that short-haul travel is unlike long-haul and passengers can change their plans or flight schedules can be disrupted (by ATC or bad weather).
 
factsonly
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RE: Will BA Adopt BOB For Short-haul Flights?

Mon May 16, 2016 10:23 am

Quoting G-CIVP (Reply 14):
One long-serving cabin crew member said: "On a busy Amsterdam we hardly have time to serve everyone, let alone take money.”

I must be getting old!

Tell this crew member that BA short-haul, such as LHR-AMS, used to have classic F/Y cabins; shorter block times - no holding, a full load of pax on Trident 3B, L1011 or B757, and.......a full 'paid' bar service in Y class. That meant lots and lots of gin and tonics, bloody mary's, whiskey soda's - with odd non-decimal prices - so change needed to be given back to the pax.

Plus...all duty free boxes had to be locked before landing, it was a race against the clock, but the cash register always chimed !!

In those days cabin crews did double LHR-AMS-LHR-AMS-LHR, so four consecutive race tracks and smiles all around.

Say again?
 
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OA260
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RE: Will BA Adopt BOB For Short-haul Flights?

Mon May 16, 2016 10:29 am

Quoting factsonly (Reply 21):
Say again?

       
 
G-CIVP
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RE: Will BA Adopt BOB For Short-haul Flights?

Mon May 16, 2016 10:52 am

factsonly

Indeed. BA used to do full tray service on the majority of short haul flights. When I came back from a European trip to Germany on BA last year, the service was so slow; for example, the last couple of rows of passengers were just receiving their drinks ten minutes before landing.
 
LondonCity
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RE: Will BA Adopt BOB For Short-haul Flights?

Mon May 16, 2016 12:42 pm

factsonly

Indeed. And think back to the days of the Super Shuttle when BA served passengers a fully cooked breakfast on those crowded early morning flights from BFS/GLA/EDI to LHR. I believe it was a continental breakfast for MAN-LHR ...but that's a pretty short flight anyway.
 
Bongodog1964
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RE: Will BA Adopt BOB For Short-haul Flights?

Mon May 16, 2016 12:48 pm

Quoting wingflaps (Reply 4):

Mixed views on this one. While we all hate fumbling for change on Easyjet just to get a soft drink I can remember just making a BA flight home from Frankfurt after a busy day by the skin of my teeth and being absolutely starving. Two hours until being able to hit catering at Heathrow with just a bag of crisps to keep going. Would have killed to see a Bob cart on that one!

How long ago was this ? My last flight of this duration on BA had a very tasty pack of sandwiches served. (choice of two types)
The food offering has been slowly getting better of late form the low point of 2009/10 when catering was severely scaled back.

Quoting G-CIVP (Reply 14):
Leave it out. On every BA short haul flight I've taken the cabin crew are always eating the Club World food in galley after completing the drinks service!

This may happen on the longer routes, but there's little time to spare on the shorter ones.
 
G-CIVP
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RE: Will BA Adopt BOB For Short-haul Flights?

Mon May 16, 2016 12:48 pm

You still do a cooked breakfast on the first BA flight of the day from LGW to GLA. Actually its very good.
 
BestWestern
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RE: Will BA Adopt BOB For Short-haul Flights?

Mon May 16, 2016 1:00 pm

When buy on board is done well, like on air Asia or Aer Lingus, it is preferable to the 'free' meals that are tasteless and boring. I would prefer to spend £5 and get a tasty sandwich than eat some 'egg' based mush.

I remember the same concerns on EI when BOB was introduced nearly a decade ago.
Greetings from Hong Kong.... a subsidiary of China Inc.
 
bobdino
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RE: Will BA Adopt BOB For Short-haul Flights?

Mon May 16, 2016 2:18 pm

Quoting OA260 (Reply 19):
Aer Lingus has a good BOB.
Quoting BestWestern (Reply 27):
When buy on board is done well, like on air Asia or Aer Lingus, it is preferable to the 'free' meals that are tasteless and boring. I would prefer to spend £5 and get a tasty sandwich than eat some 'egg' based mush.

I've only flown EI once recently, but their BOB was excellent. I pre-ordered a breakfast and coffee and had them served to me about 15min after takeoff. It was an extremely good experience.
 
by738
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RE: Will BA Adopt BOB For Short-haul Flights?

Mon May 16, 2016 2:49 pm

Quoting G-CIVP (Reply 26):
You still do a cooked breakfast on the first BA flight of the day from LGW to GLA. Actually its very good.

All Scottish domestics get a cooked breakfast before 0929
 
superjeff
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RE: Will BA Adopt BOB For Short-haul Flights?

Mon May 16, 2016 3:06 pm

If they go to BOB, maybe they ought to look at the North American example - BOB for meals and snacks, but no charge for non alcoholic drinks and light snacks (i.e., peanuts, mini-pretzels, etc.). BA has spent a lot of money to establish an image as being a "premium" carrier, and to go all BOB, including soft drinks and coffee, coupled with their fairly recent adjustment in pitch to 28-30" on their short haul fleet makes them no better than EasyJet, Ryanair, Wizz, etc.
 
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GCT64
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RE: Will BA Adopt BOB For Short-haul Flights?

Mon May 16, 2016 3:12 pm

Quoting steve6666 (Reply 5):
This was leaked on the Business Traveller forum the other week by someone who I believe is cabin crew for BA.

I was told that BOB would be / was likely to be introduced on short-haul from the Autumn by cabin crew on the EDI route about 4-5 weeks ago. This story matches everything I was told.
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kdhurst380
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RE: Will BA Adopt BOB For Short-haul Flights?

Mon May 16, 2016 3:59 pm

Quoting Andy33 (Reply 8):
BA's shorthaul catering is designed in bands - Domestic, and Bands 1-4 based on increasing distance.
Band 4 destinations such as ATH and IST still get hot meals in Y, not least because competitors A3 and TK offer hot meals in Y. That competition isn't going away if BA go to BOB on Band 4, but the passengers might...

Unless you're unfortunate enough to end up on a Band 4 'leisure' route, not even just from LGW anymore. It's a 'deli box' type thing containing a small sandwich, half a wrap and a dessert.

That said, Club Europe is often cheaper than Economy if you catch them at the right time. At least it will actually add on on board differentiator between CE & ET again...
 
LJ
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RE: Will BA Adopt BOB For Short-haul Flights?

Mon May 16, 2016 4:01 pm

Quoting LondonCity (Thread starter):
A BA spokesperson would not confirm or deny the rumours but as noted in the news article, having BOB "would turn catering from a cost into a revenue stream and allow BA to offer lower headline fares against rivals such as Easyjet and Ryanair."

Who says that the fares will actually go down? Moreover, I reckon BA has a lot of business passengers who pay relatively a lot for their Y-class ticket. Not to mention that some companies actually avoid airlines which have BOB (at least the company I work for) Finally, why would someone remain flying BA if one doesn't get something extra compared to Ryanair or easyJet?
 
BestWestern
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RE: Will BA Adopt BOB For Short-haul Flights?

Mon May 16, 2016 4:31 pm

Quoting LJ (Reply 33):
if one doesn't get something extra compared to Ryanair or easyJet?

It's not as if the only difference between BA and FR is a quarter sandwich. .... However, the new breed of low cost airlines like JetBlue or Air Asia have so successfully got the basics right and offer a sensible bundling of services that they are eating into (pardon the pun) what was previously seen as a premium offer at a fraction of the cost.

For about £15 on Air Asia Intra-Asia, you get a meal, priority baggage, priority immigration and a seat in row 1. That is far better than row 61E and a 30 min wait for bags on a 'full service' airline. Savvy pax are moving their travel dollars to a better, cheaper product.

Quoting LJ (Reply 33):
some companies actually avoid airlines which have BOB

If I fly CX in the morning on a Short hop I get a egg and Turkey wrap that is vile. If I fly Air Asia, I step off the plane having eaten something I chose. On longer Intra-Asia CX morning flights you have a choice of congee or an egg mush. With Air Asia, I can have what I pick for about £4.
Greetings from Hong Kong.... a subsidiary of China Inc.
 
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ClassicLover
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RE: Will BA Adopt BOB For Short-haul Flights?

Mon May 16, 2016 5:49 pm

Quoting steve6666 (Reply 5):
It's not as if the catering on BA short haul has been anything to write home about for a while, either in Euro Traveller (the wraps are disgusting) or indeed Club Europe.

The catering in Euro Traveller is woeful. A bag of crisps is not providing a meal in my opinion. The actual "meal" which is a small bun with ham and lettuce and tomato on it along with an iced bun is (quite tasty) but not great.

Club Europe catering is fine. The Continental Breakfast is much more delicious than the full English, the lunch and dinner meals are tasty and I love the afternoon tea of sandwiches and scones (though the cake is usually too dense). Nothing wrong with the meals in Club and they should stay complimentary. If the club meals go BOB, I'd never fly Club Europe again.

Quoting Andy33 (Reply 8):
That competition isn't going away if BA go to BOB on Band 4, but the passengers might...

I doubt it, I'd say most people flying BA to and from ATH would be Executive Club members in one form or another.

Aer Lingus has had BOB for years and it is actually quite decent. If you want to eat, paying €5 to €10 for a sandwich and a drink and so on is well worth the price on a flight. I like to try the food on board so I always buy from the BOB menu.

Where BA is concerned, the food in the Galleries Club lounge is such a pile of slop that I can't wait for my meal on board in Club Europe.
I do enjoy a spot of flying, especially when it's not in economy!
 
YXXMIKE
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RE: Will BA Adopt BOB For Short-haul Flights?

Mon May 16, 2016 6:24 pm

Interesting to read the divided opinion on this one! I do the LON - GLA commute weekly and often on a Friday evening I am running from work to either LGW or LHR and don't have time to stop and pick something up. I would really like BOB option as often it's going to be closer to midnight before I get in the door. If done well, I'd be interested but I hope they don't start charging for that glass of wine...I need that!!

Quoting OA260 (Reply 19):
Aer Lingus has a good BOB.

I've not tried their BOB menu in ages but the last few times I've flown EI it's looked excellent!! The "problem" being that I've been connecting to or from a J class flight to Canada and was either holding back for the feast ahead or stuffed to the brim from the earlier flight!!
 
CPDC10-30
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RE: Will BA Adopt BOB For Short-haul Flights?

Mon May 16, 2016 8:54 pm

Quoting bobdino (Reply 12):
The £20 price is steep, but it's way cheaper than an upgrade to Club Europe.

True, but Club Europe has been pointless since the cabin reconfig anyway, as the seat pitch is too tight. I'd much rather be in an exit row in Euro Traveler than in CE personally.

The BA Euro flights that I take are all under two hours anyway, so I'm really not that bothered with the catering. I'll usually eat in the lounge beforehand. It's a nice bonus.

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