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BA says goodbye to in-flight shopping on short-haul, the Daily Mail and the Daily Telegraph

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British Airways has made an internal announcement that it is phasing out in-flight shopping on short-haul flights from January.

January 2018 sees the arrival of the first A320 / A321 NEO aircraft which will come with new high-density seating.  At the same time, the existing short-haul fleet will begin to be retrofitted to the same design.

One key plank of the new design is the removal of the toilets at the rear of the aircraft.  These will now be built into the back wall, allowing extra rows of seats to fill the space currently taken up by the loo.

The downside is that the space available for storage trolleys is reduced by the width of the loo.  Something has to give, and that ‘something’ is the cart containing the shopping items.

Shopping will remain on the aircraft which have yet to be converted, but as this becomes a bit of a lottery I would suggest that you make your giant Toblerone purchases in the terminal instead.

To be honest, I am surprised that in-flight shopping has survived so long.  Sales always seemed minimal on short-haul flights.  Has anyone at BA ever done the maths on the fuel burn generated by an additional heavy trolley and the brochures?

I can’t help thinking that whatever profit is generated from in-flight sales would be eaten up by fuel costs, and that is before you factor in the crew time required at a time when some flights are struggling to serve all ‘buy on board’ customers.

And newspaper changes too …..

Change is also coming to the British Airways newspaper selection.

From TODAY, the Daily Telegraph will no longer be available on board, in British Airways lounges or at the gates.

From 23rd December, the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday will no longer be offered.

British Airways says that this is due to the scrapping of bulk distribution deals by these two titles.  If this is accurate then they are also likely to disappear from hotel lobbies and other airport lounges amas well.

Other newspapers, primarily The Times and Financial Times, will continue to be offered.

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Comments (131)

  • Daniel Evans says:

    I wonder if the loss of the Mail is more due to the negative feedback they must get for handing it out. I always made a point of explaining why I did not want a complimentary copy of the hate filled rag.

    • mark2 says:

      It is still legal to express some non-PC views, although work continues to abolish free speech.

      Have you ever stood in Waitrose and watched people choosing their paper? You would be shocked at how many choose the Mail.

      • the real harry1 says:

        why would we be shocked? the newspaper distribution figures are freely available, or you can simply see how many of each newspaper the store expects to sell by seeing how many are stocked early on

        if you mean I’d be shocked that Waitrose customers actually buy the Mail, they should be buying better quality newspapers or less right-wing rubbish papers than in other supermarkets – of course not, I’d expect Waitrose customers to buy proportionately more of the Mail than (say) Asda customers

      • JamesB says:

        The issue is not about whether papers are right wing left wing, or politically correct, they and their readers are entitled to their own opinions. What I think the issue is, is many, including many conservative folks, find it very offensive that four of our major daily newspapers hide behind freedom of the press and free speech to promote hate, division and intolerance. This is totally unnecessary and not in the interests of a cohesive culture and society. As an example these newspapers, and the Express and the Mail in particular, will use words such as Muslim, Gay, Scot, Dissabled, Benefits in a headline to promote a story regardless of how tenuous or relevant those links may be to the story. Although my own political views are quite conservative, I find this tone of reporting very offensive. The other newspapers that reflect more left wing or centrist political thinking manage to report the same stories without causing me offence so I fail to see why the most right wing press cannot do the same unless their objective is to spread hate, division and intolerance.

        • David says:

          Well said JamesB.

        • Stevie G says:


        • Pol says:

          Well said.

        • Sam wardill says:

          Good on you JamesB. Great to hear this view expressed by someone identifying as conservative. I’m not conservative but I do agree we have an issue with liberal (of which I am one) political correctness gone mad (to coin a phrase). However, the Daily Mail’s hate crime is not IMHO the way to resolve political correctness gone mad. I personally believe wholeheartedly in Stop Funding Hate

        • Londonsteve says:

          +1. I am a Conservative but think the DM is foul and inflammatory.

        • vlcnc says:

          Hear hear! Well said – we probably have completely opposing politics, but I agree.

      • Lady London says:

        Or the Sun, for that matter. Next most popular after the Daily Mail in Waitrose, I would say. Lots of Waitrose customers get the newspapers free. And yet still a majority seem to choose the cheaper Daily Mail when they could have the Times or the Guardian free costing twice as much

    • Josh says:

      I do the same if I ever see the Guardian being handed out free.

  • the real harry1 says:

    btw on-board sales in Europe (EU/ EEA) are not tax-free

    they might seem cheap compared to UK High St but that’s not because any taxes are missing – just because BA negotiated great prices from the suppliers, who like to flash their goods in front of people flying (they’ve got money! apparently)

    never was quite sure how the tax distribution was made with flights; – with (say) Channel ferries, it’s easy – the ferry operator pays tax on sales made before the half-way mark to UK, sales after, to France etc

    but with a plane? do I really think that the moment a sale is struck is recorded so that on a plane flying (say) LHR-FCO Rome, tax from sales made throughout the flight is distributed in proportion to France, Germany, Switzerlan, Italy etc? nope

    does anybody know?

  • Jack Taylor says:

    Great news BA is dropping the Daily Mail – I just wish they’d introduce the Guardian!

    • Just sayin says:

      If you are reading the guardian then you shouldn’t be flying anyway as you are portrayed as some Uber capitalist facist overlord who is destroying the environment by even thinking about flying

    • John says:

      +1 but I think the Guardian’s current business model emphasises actual sales at the normal wholesale and retail rates.

      The Mail has been boosting it’s circulation by offering bulk copies to airlines/hotels etc at vast discounts.

      Suspect BA called time on this, rather than Mail management (Telegraph too).

      • John says:

        That’s a +1 to Jack incidentally although I still prefer the Observer to its Guardian sister paper.

  • Worzel says:

    Rob mentions the time it takes crew to deal with BoB- 1hr(start of serving) to get from the curtain to row 25 last Monday on a 2hr A321 flight.

    As for the papers I am reminded of this:

    🙂 .

    • the real harry1 says:

      nice one Worz 🙂

    • Lady London says:

      OT Ahhhh that clip is from Yes Minister / Yes Prime Minister, my favourite TV program, ever. And just because it’s Sunday and we might get some more comments, it was rumoured to be Mrs Thatcher’s favourite TV program too. I’ve got the popcorn out now… 🙂

    • Lady London says:

      OT Ahhhh that clip is from Yes Minister / Yes Prime Minister, my favourite TV program, ever. And just because it’s Sunday and we might get some more comments, it was rumoured to be Mrs Thatcher’s favourite TV program too. I’ve got the popcorn out now… 🙂

  • James Murphy says:

    No more Daily Mail or Telegraph. Now THAT is the BEST bit of BA news I’ve heard in a very long time. Bravo!

    • Worzel says:

      Can we assume that you write for another Newspaper James ?

      • Crafty says:

        No, just that he’s a decent human being.

        • Josh says:

          And don’t we know it….

        • John t says:

          Deary me I thought travellers were more broad minded. Reading any paper does not mean you agree with everything they write. Bit like flying an airline doesn’t mean you agree with their owning country politics? Enjoy a weekend being nice to people instead.

        • Paul says:

          John, as a well travelled an intelligent human being I am able to discern between differing views. I can also accept that you can be supportive of immigration controls, greater control of your legislation without be rabidly racist or ultra right wing. Similarly supporting social justice, fairer taxation and greater intervention does not make you communist. Extremes of any view however are pernicious and dangerous and in the modern world the right wing currently are the greatest danger to my travel patterns and way of life. There is no place in any decent society for hate peddlers be they the owners of the daily Mail, Daily Express or The President iof the United Stated.

    • Will says:

      What’s wrong with the telegraph?

      • Londonsteve says:

        It’s the weakest ‘quality’ paper I’ve found in the English speaking world. It used to be an erudite rag with serious writing, perhaps 20 years ago. These days articles take about 30 seconds to read, adverts are never less than 1/2 page sized and it’s thin. Compare it to the New York Times and you’ll see what I mean.

    • Stevie G says:

      Can they get rid of the Sun to? A national embarrassment. I’m all for free speech. I’d just sooner the speech wasn’t dictated by tax exiled multi billionaires with axes to grind for their profits.

    • Stevie G says:

      Can they get rid of the Sun to? A national embarrassment. I’m all for free speech. I’d just sooner the speech wasn’t dictated by tax exiled multi billionaires with political axes to grind for their profits.

  • Tom says:

    Long haul and short haul, I’ve never bought anything on a plane other than a drink / crisps / confectionary! It (and the Daily Mail) won’t be missed!

  • Scott says:

    Not sure why there’s a concern over fuel burn.
    They’ve no idea in the first place of how much all the passengers and their collections of hand baggage weigh. My bag could be heavier than the Highlife trolley.

    Only ever seen 2-3 purchases from the trolley.
    At least getting rid of it means people can now bring more hand luggage on board should they purchase items in the terminal!

    They need to drop The Sun as well. Another rag I wouldn’t touch with someone else’s bargepole.

    The Daily Telegraph isn’t too bad. Is it still that massive A1 sort of size?

    • the real harry1 says:

      indeed, I refuse to buy any newspaper at all these days (except Sunday Times Travel Magazine, obviously)

      on the grounds of wealth preservation, I hasten to add 🙂

      my old newspaper budget now gets diverted to broadband connection

    • will says:

      They will run statistical analysis on passenger weight, finnair recently made the news by weighing passengers in order to see if their projections were accurate.

      I bet on a sample as large as an aircraft with something with relatively small statistical variation as human weight the estimates are very accurate.

  • Keith says:

    True to form, any mention of the DM brings the sanctimonious, self righteous brigade out in numbers.
    I doubt anyone is interested that you don’t like it, or that anyone is interested in my comment.
    All just a waste of space.

    • Keith says:

      On reflection I should perhaps qualify I meant “you all” don’t like it rather than HFP

    • Josh says:

      +1 it’s tedious in the extreme

    • callum says:

      I’m very interested whether people like the Daily Mail or not. It speaks volumes of their character.

      • Awkward says:

        I always find it highly ironic that the people who are most vocally anti DM display their own reactionary, judgmental and bigoted tendencies when slurring DM readers! Certainly seems to be a case of projection.

        • Callum says:

          Ah yes, the old “being intolerant of intolerance makes you intolerant” rubbish.

      • James roberts says:

        The whole ‘ Stop Funding Hate ‘ campaign is far more annoying than the trash the Dail Mail publishes.

      • Awkward says:

        The DM certainly brings out the worst in its critics whose reasoning frequently declines to the equivalent of “fours leg good, two legs bad”.

        Its funny how a silly, trite newspaper can engender so much vitriol, like a real life version of the Two Minutes hate. If the whole world was judged to the same standard these people would be perpetually foaming at the mouths like…….. a Daily Mail reader!

        • Callum says:

          It’s funny how you can be so ignorant as to believe that the mindset encouraged by that paper is merely trite and silly.

          Actually, it’s not funny, it’s precisely why this country is increasingly unpleasant to live in.

      • Awkward says:

        Each and every comment you make further illustrates my point. The way you talk about the DM is entirely disproportionate and is indicative of an irrational emotive response based on pre-existing prejudices rather than a considered one.

        I described the paper as trite and silly, yet you completely misconstrue that to reverse engineer back to fit to your own views while also throwing an unjustifiable insult in too. Classy.

        You then moan about the country becoming more unpleasant in a similar way that DM readers are characterised to complain about the country going down the pan! Firstly it’s probably not true, and secondly even if it were, attributing that to a single newspaper is ridiculous and is further proof of your disproportionate response

      • Shep says:

        The Daily Mail didn’t print the “cockroaches” article. Kind of makes the sneering about accuracy in the rest of your comment seem somewhat misjudged on your part.

    • PM says:

      So seeing the DM as the simple waste of paper (the physical thing) and the waste of human eneergy (the content providers, as you can’t call that journalism) makes one self righteous these days?
      Note that I don’t criticize the readers, I do read it sometimes as well. Not out of interest, but it is helpful to see how their readers think and how where they get their ideas from.
      I think the problem of many of its readers lies therein that they don’t read anything else…
      At least my eyes can relax a bit now in the plane as the front page font of the DM is objectively horrible. And the environment will fare a bit better as well by lowering ink and paper consumption. I doubt that many DM readers now pick up the FT or the Times (cf. above) instead.

      • Kipto says:

        PM. please see first comment. You are typical of the sneering self righteous people who slag off readers of the Daily Mail, Personally I find the sport and business pages very good in the Daily Mail

        • will says:

          No, they find it distasteful that you refer to it as a hate rag. The law on incitement of hatred is pretty robust and given the paper goes to print daily they are constantly open to scrutiny. Where they publish lies, they can be held to account.

          Just because the content doesn’t align with your world view doesn’t mean it’s a “hate rag”. You’re certainly free to call it a hate rag but it doesnt make that label correct (and the fact the law doesn’t prosecute it as such points to you being incorrect in labelling it as such) and given that its one of the most widely circulated daily publications in the UK you may do better to try to understand why it is so widely read than simply trying to demonise it and its readership.

          I don’t read it, but this undertone of anyone who reads the daily mail or voted for brexit being an uneducated racist xehophobe helps exactly zero and is massively double standards on behalf of any left leaning liberal who takes that position.

          Build bridges not walls (but only with people we like or convert to our opion)?

        • callum says:

          Distasteful to call the Daily Mail a hate rag!? You’re hilarious.

          What the hell are you twittering on about? There’s no law against being a hate rag… Which is IRREFUTABLY is.

          I have never said everyone who reads the Daily Mail is an uneducated, racist, xenophobe. That’s their core audience, it’s not everyone. Though I don’t particularly care whether you qualify under those terms if you’re supporting others to do that anyway.

          I’m not a “left leaning liberal”, I’m “Callum”. So you can stop with your stupid generalisations – ironic given that’s what you’re throwing a tantrum about me allegedly doing.

        • Will says:

          There are actually a number of laws surrounding both hate speech (colour, race, religion, nationality amongst others) as well as laws covering incitement of racial and religious hatred.

          They are quite robust and if any media outlet strays into the realm of printing anything considered to be “hate” related they will be held accountable. Too many people are critical of the DM for it to get away with anything that breaches the law.

          You either consider the law to be inadequate and would like to outlaw some content of the DM which isn’t covered by the current legislation in which case your issue should be with the government or you don’t like that the DM supports it’s articles with enough factual accuracy to be considered a valid news article.

          It’s headlibes may be sensational, some articles may be distasteful but I’d need you to pull out specific examples that have gone unpunished to allow you to call it a “hate rag” without questioning your basis for that statement.

          If it is a hate rag, complain case by case to the police for violation of hatred speech law.

        • Cat says:

          They published the column calling immigrants cockroaches. That’s all you need to know about the Daily Heil’s editorial policy.

          “I don’t read it, but this undertone of anyone who reads the daily mail or voted for brexit being an uneducated racist xehophobe helps exactly zero and is massively double standards on behalf of any left leaning liberal who takes that position.”
          a) Saying that the undertone helps exactly zero is clumsy – you would be better off saying that the undertone is merely unhelpful. Any attempt to assign a precise numerical value to the helpfulness of an undertone is odd, to say the least.
          b) The undertone can’t be massively double standards. Double standards can be implied by an undertone, or you can accuse someone of double standards as a result of an undertone. An undertone is, by definition, subtle and is unlikely to be massively anything.
          c) If you wish to avoid appearing “an uneducated racist xenophobe”, maybe try to edit your posts before you click “submit”, and also, don’t be an advocate for the Daily Fail.

        • will says:

          Just so you clear up your facts, the Sun printed that article not the Daily Mail. Not that it seems to matter about facts as long as the attempt to smear an organisation you don’t like sticks.

          It’s extremely important if you believe in both freedom of speech and law and order that the right of any media outlet to print anything lawful is defended even if you don’t personally agree with it. Lobby for a change in the law if you think it doesn’t cover what it needs to.

        • the real harry1 says:

          any more tips to get cheap points? 🙂

    • Anthony Dunn says:

      I am delighted that BA is no longer wasting its fuel burn on something that wouldn’t even quality as tomorrow’s chip wrapping.

      As you have prompted this, it is entirely my right to loath, despise and deplore just about everything around the porno-bile rag that is the DailyGetsMuchWorse. I take as my definition of pornography the “tendency to deprave and corrupt”. In this respect, the Daily Mail is guilty on pretty much all accounts. That said, my take on demawkcracy (Tim Martin….) is the right to insult and to be insulted. It is my absolute right to loath the Mail, it is other people’s right to read the crap that it publishes. Get over it.

      • Will says:


      • Anna says:

        At least look up the meanings of “loath” and “loathe”!

        • the real harry1 says:

          yep that’s why the Economist writing ‘style guide’ prefers ‘loth’ – it is probably a better alternative, especially as the ill-educated think you have spelled it wrongly 🙂

    • Drav says:

      The anti Daily Mail-haters brigade is even funnier than the Daily Mail hater brigade. At least this latter group have very important points and some discernable morals. The former are the most ironic Inception-wannabes you’re likely to come across

      • Shep says:

        Hilarious comment from Drav, sadly unintentionally.

        Drav makes a sweeping statement about a group of people because stereotypes are easy and don’t require any effort. Drav forgets that this is one of the main criticisms of the Mail.

    • Andrew says:

      I’ve been wondering if the “legal porn” that was alleged to have been found on DG’s computer was just article images from “The Daily Mail” back in 2008 taken out of context.