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Bits: British Airways launching buy-on-board?, Etihad 30% discount code, Concorde memorabilia

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News in brief:

British Airways believed to be launching buy-on-board catering

There are a steady stream of rumours at the moment that British Airways is poised to announce the launch of buy-on-board short-haul catering from early 2017.

My understanding is that cabin crew are currently being invited to meetings at the Waterside headquarters building where the new policy is being outlined.  They are being required to sign confidentiality agreements before entering.  (This could all be nonsense, you understand. I am just repeating what I hear.)

My personal view is that – as the company clearly refuses to invest any money in short-haul catering and is currently giving Euro Traveller customers no option except to starve, assuming you don’t count a mini bag of crisps as a meal – it is probably for the best.  The good news is that you will be able to pay with Avios, apparently.

A bigger issue is what happens to all the people who have booked flights for 2017 and are expecting free snacks.   The mini bags of crisps may continue to be free for a year.

It would be interesting to see if they remove free drinks as well.  Many employers do not allow their staff to reclaim expenditure on alcohol for personal consumption, and having to switch from a free G&T to an overpriced, not reclaimable, BA G&T may be the final straw for some.

If you work for Gate Retail Onboard, Alpha LSG, Gate Gourmet or even BA cabin crew and have any insights, please drop me an email at rob at

Etihad A380

30% discount code for Etihad business and economy flights

Etihad has released two new discount codes which are valid for flights from the UK booked before Monday evening.  These give a 30% discount on fares before taxes.

STFBUS will get you 30% off the base fare on flights with outbound travel before 23rd November and return travel before 30th November.  There are no black out dates.

STFECO gives a similar discount on economy tickets, although the saving is less impressive because the base fare is a far smaller percentage of the total cost in this cabin.

You can book on the Etihad website here.


Concorde and Airbus memorabilia auction

Finally, a reader sent me a link to this fascinating auction of Concorde and Airbus memorabilia [link deleted as now dead] which is taking place in Toulouse in early November.

My French isn’t good enough to tell if they accept ‘bidder not present’ bids or not, but just looking at the items on offer is fascinating.

Comments (114)

  • Luke says:

    Think etihad codes are STFBUS and STFECO
    Now works for me

  • Roger says:

    Does anyone know how do I get an offer which is on Amex connect but not on my Amex issued card within Amex (my account offers section)?

    Tried registering on AMEX connect which does not like Amex issued cards only barc/mbna/lloyds etc.

  • Gavin says:

    O/T – I apologise for asking something so basic but I could do with a second opinion.

    I have Bronze BAEC, 200 TPs earned in year, and no further travel planned in my collection year, which ends 08 October. My Bronze card expiry date is 30 November, at which point I’d expect to drop back down to Blue.

    I have a trip planned at the start of November which will net 350 TPs. Will I receive Bronze benefits during that trip (bonus Avios, essentially); and will my Bronze be effectively renewed until 08 October 2017, after that trip?

    • Allan says:

      yes I think you will be Bronze until end of November and will then requalify with your trip for another year

    • John says:

      Well your Bronze would actually be renewed to 30 Nov 2017.

    • Peter Taysum says:

      You’ll get bronze benefits, as below. As you’re in a new Tier Point year, you’ll get Bronze till end Nov 2018. You get Status for the rest of the current membership year, and the following year, before dropping to blue in December 2018.

  • Flight Detective says:

    I think it will be fine if BA go Buy on Board. It’s certainly going to be better than what is being served in Euro Traveller at the moment.

    It already works very well for Aer Lingus with a decent array of hot and cold meals.

    I’m all for this as long as there is absolutely no change to Club Europe. I’d expect Club Europe to have no change to the meals and no change to the drinks on offer. If there was any change to the Club Europe offering, seeing as the food is now the main point of difference, I’d switch carriers as there would be no reason for me to remain loyal.

  • Peter K says:

    OT. I’m sure I read on here the other day about getting priority pass with a discount and for 15 rather than 12 months. I’m planning on getting one for my mother but for the life of me I can’t find the article on it or the comment on it in a comments section under another recent article!

    • Kevin says:

      Can this discounted pass be used to pay for lounge access your companion/family members or only the card holder?

      • harry says:

        guests are £15 each, not sure if there is a limit on number of guests

        • Peter K says:

          I know about the Groupon deal but that only lasts 12 months and the extra 3 on the other deal I read about would be very handy.

  • MIM says:

    Always reminded of a former colleague, who it’s fair to say liked his travel and liked the finer things in life.
    He was Gold with BMI, and with traveling LBA-LHR every week got friendly with the cabin crew.
    He had a flight with BMI Baby to Tenerife or somewhere, and didn’t fancy the LCC dining options. So managed to convince the crew on the LBA route to acquire and let him borrow a full set of 1st class plates, cutlery and wine glasses – then made a trip to Selfridge’s food hall.
    I can just imagine the looks he got, as the trolley was going round offering overpriced tubes of Pringles, as he and his companion got out their picnic of delights and set it out on China plates…

  • Czechoslovakia says:

    CSA Czech Airlines has got the right approach to catering in my opinion. All short haul flights have buy on board, with the option of a prebooked hot business class meal. For 12 euro you get a full business class dining experience at your economy class seat. Proper cutlery, china dinnerware, 3 course’s and full bar service. Plus envious looks from the rest of the pax for free 🙂

    • zsalya says:

      AirBerlin has prebooked meals too.
      The food is certainly much better quality.

      The problem I have had with BoB on both Easyjet and AirBerlin is that they tend to run out of the hot options very quickly.
      I think this is bad planning – I realise that wastage is a potential cost, but one would have thought that their data-mining would enable them to manage that, and I would expect they could get more profit by using the space for this rather than more “Duty Free”.

  • Anon says:

    With reference to BA potentially stopping meal service on short haul flights, I perhaps have a different view. I really don’t see why there should be a necessity to provide free meals and drinks to passengers on short haul flights. We live in a world where there is no shortage of food/ drinks available at the airport or from elsewhere and we really are not going to starve if we don’t eat for a couple of hours. When we get a bus, train, taxi for a short journey, we don’t get free meals served to us, so perhaps it is time that airlines also aligned? It must cost a lot of money to operate a meal service and I just don’t think it is a necessity. Perhaps it is a generational thing, but airplane travel for me is not as exclusive as it was for my parents and along with many of my similar aged peers, I just don’t see what the fuss over free short haul meals is all about!! It’s always difficult to accept changes but sometimes we may need to think whether we are losing something we really “need” vs something that was a “nice to have”.

    • harry says:

      length of journey door-to-door

      drive to airport – park – wait 2 hrs – fly – get luggage – drive to destination

      easily10 hrs for us

      sure, we can buy a snack at some stage/ take a snack from home

      but full service means you get catered for by the airline when you’re hungry due to travelling time

    • DV says:

      If you fly for work, then the 1-2 hours spent on the aircraft travelling out in the moring, and the 1-2 hours travelling back after a day’s work, are a good time to have a meal. You don’t want to wait until later or live off sandwiches if you can help it.

      • Leo says:

        But lets keep this in context – you aren’t getting a proper meal in BA economy shorthaul anyway. You are getting a small roll and an iced bun.

    • HAM76 says:

      The employer is paying whatever is included in the ticket price. Everything else is ones own money. Lots of people are flying on business.

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