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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)

  • Jon says:

    Concorde toilet seat anyone?

    • anon says:

      Hey Harry. I understand that the door-to-door journey can be long, but I would ask why it is the airline that has to pick up the tab for feeding you!? The flight is only one component of your end-to-end journey, yet there is no expectation for the car drivers, airport waiting area, car parks to feed you for free 🙂 Its quite interesting when we stop to actually think about it! #firstworldproblems

      • harry says:

        if the trade off is £45 HBO fares in Europe (which it is, currently), I think I can deal with no airline food/ booze

    • anon says:

      If it speeds up the time we spend on the loo and delivers a supersonic experience, then i’m game!! 🙂

  • Andrew H says:

    O/T, an urgent update for everyone who went for the MTX Connect/6000 Lufthansa Miles & More deal…

    A few days ago this offer was discussed in the comments on the HFP article at

    I ordered my SIM card on 14th and it arrived this morning (17th) in the post. I’ve activated the card and added 20 euros to the balance. One important thing worth noting – on the ‘How It Works’ page, you’ll notice this:

    “This marketing offer valid for the first 1000 ordered SIM-cards. Miles will be accrued according to marketing offer conditions.”

    This was rather cunningly buried away. No one will see it at first. I suspect there are going to be a lot of angry people when they find out they weren’t quick enough. I hope we were all quick enough to qualify for the first 1000!

    • Peter Taysum says:

      O/T ish for those in the regions.

      Ryanair is reported to start running NCL to MAD (in Newcastle Chronicle).

      Would allow us to access Iberia more easily.

      My “hubs” were LHR, AMS, PAR, I will now add MAD

      I’m BA Gold dropping to Silver in Nov, and won’t get it back ’till prob July next year. *cries*

      I’ve got 14 flights from NCL to/from LHR over the next year to feed into mostly CE/CW/First. I have my own IFE, noise cancelling headphones, so if I have to buy food too, and an M&S mini bottle of Champers so be it.

      Iberia is pretty dreadful short haul economy, so I guess they’ll make it all the same under IAG’s umbrella.

      • TGLoyalty says:

        not like I’m one for following all the rules but technically drinking alcohol you haven’t bought/got from the airline is illegal, in the UK/from the UK/to? the UK

        • @mkcol says:

          Nope – it’s an airline policy rather than a law about whether you can drink your own alcohol.

      • Rob says:

        They will. All short haul layouts on new IAG planes are identical, bar the seats, so planes can move around the fleets.

    • Brian says:

      Well spotted, Andrew – thanks for sharing that.

    • Andrew H says:

      Further to this, I’ve been doing some googling and the MTX/Miles & More offer started to circulate on social media last week, especially on blogging sites. Judging by the comments section from yesterday on this Polish site (and I can’t be confident of the translation), it appears that the miles have already been distributed. If so, it’s disappointing.

      The 5000 mile offer is still showing on the MTX website. It should have been taken down by now. They’re even charging 5 euros for the SIM card. It’s very misleading to customers.

  • Doug says:

    With the possibility of retaining some free option for status or connecting passengers wouldn’t that just be very complex for the CC, or doesn’t that matter? Family of 4 get one meal to share because one parent has status. Colleagues travel and only one offered free drink because others have no status. All or nothing seems a better option to me.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      If you have the option to pay for 3 members of your family and get one free because of status why would you complain? and the colleagues can pay for their own drinks?

      Not like I have gold and probably never will but I wouldn’t begrudge anyone with Gold getting complimentary f&b, they already get plenty other benefits non status don’t.

  • Kelly says:

    The food charge isn’t a surprise; someone on twitter complained yesterday to regards the food onboard their flight and it was suggested via the BA twitter account that they could always bring their own on board!

  • Leo says:

    I don’t much care about the free F & B on BA sort haul myself. I tend to get Silver annually from a long haul flight or maybe 2 in J usually with another OW carrier. I do then use BA in Europe to get the 4 eligible flights needed. I like the lounge access, priority boarding and ability to book a seat in advance which comes with status. The loss of short haul booze in Y which I do fly, wouldn’t bother me as long as I pay a reasonable price and get my status benefits. But I think some of the folks I holiday with would not see any difference between BA and EZ/Monarch were the “free” snack and booze to go. I don’t think I know anyone who would willingly fly Ryanair. Call it snob factor if you like but there it is.

    • harry says:

      Well you sort of know me – I would very happily fly Ryanair & I don’t understand the objection. Very new aircraft, never crashed into the ground = safe. Cheap/ competitive fares = value for money. Always on time = punctual.

      A massive success story. Just 6 years ago they were on 80 million passengers a year, now they are on 110 million – Europeans love Ryanair.

      I don’t see it as snob, I see it as blind.

  • Andy says:

    Keep the free bar service but introduce pre bookable pay for meals. If BA get rid of the free bar there will be no difference to easyjet.

  • James67 says:

    OT avios&money: if I cancel an avios&money redemption do I still get back all the avios and cash (- £35 fee) paid or has rules changed? Thanks.

    • James67 says:

      Sorry, forget that, it was working out at close to 2p/avios.

    • LondonFoodie says:

      Just for the record you don’t get the cash back on such bookings. They often work out great value (.066p/Avios on my last booking)but the money spent on Avios isn’t refundable.

      • James67 says:

        Thanks, yes, that was what I thought but I asked the question just to double-check because I had reread the old avios university post in which it says both the cash and avios were refunded. I’m sure Rob will get round to updating that and giving it another run at some point. I was looking at 2x ow z7 redemptions where a saving of just 45k avios on the usual 150k was costing about £900 more. I was surprised as I was expecting something closer to the 0.66p you suggest. Would even be much cheaper buying the avios in current sale.

  • Amit says:

    The Etihad 30% code is a decent offer if you can be flexible, booked MAN-PER, MEL-LON in J for around £2150. Think chauffeur service is included

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