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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)

  • Wivus says:

    Now they are stopping handing out the DM does that mean no more hot towels to clean up afterwards?
    Do not really mind the Telegraph though. Yes, quite right wing but rarely as rabidly fascist as the DM. Sport coverage is decent too. I’ll give them a call and let them know they can keep that one.

  • Steve Shaw says:

    Just a point of note Rob, customers can still buy via highligeshop online, I didn’t see it written in your article.

    Glad to see the back of the daily mail and probably the torygraph, some dreadful rubbish printed in those rags.

    • Steve Shaw says:

      Ps certain routes customers raid the duty free carts, and some they get very vocal when we don’t carry the right shade/colour/pattern of neck strap/watch strap/scalf.

      Last week I had a Basle customer who was a GGL complain about everything under the sun and was hugely rude to all the crew, a vile creature, looked him up and he was the CEO of a charity!!!!

  • Nick says:

    Yes Rob, they do make that calculation… everything on the aircraft is weighed and they know exactly how much it costs in fuel! Short Paris sectors don’t sell much, but the same aircraft is bound to fly to Norway or Switzerland at some point – and the catering contract is to load a trolley in the same place regardless of destination (so they don’t accidentally mess it up!) – and the sales on those routes more than cover the cost of it being loaded.

    • Volker says:

      I assume the High Life Shop magazine will also disappear from the seat pockets? That would save BA a considerable amount of weight and money, too 🙂 Btw, I have done quite a number of on board purchases and I’ll definitely miss this particular kind of in-flight entertainment 😀

  • Stu N says:

    Very glad they are dropping the Mail.
    It’s not the politics of it that I object to – it’s the inflammatory way it presents them.

    Shame about the Telegraph, often amuses me to get a Telegraph and Guardian and try to work out if they are talking about the same reality.

  • Mark says:

    Apologies for being in grockel/gricer mode, but according to the Jethros web site, the first A32x NEO aircraft for BA is due in March 2018.

  • Leo says:

    Whatever you think of the Daily Mail itself, and I don’t really care what anyone here does think of the Daily Mail because I come here for points info – I have always struggled to understand why BA wanted to link its own brand to it. I didn’t get what was in it for them. I have always thought that BA was quite savvy regarding marketing and brand management – even if the actual product may sometimes disappoint. I can’t imagine that anyone has purposely chosen BA for the free copy, I would think that it’s p***ed a few of them off though, as per the views on this thread. So this has to be a sensible move surely. And to those who do like the DM – I’m sorry but it’s not a premium brand and no-one will be impressed in any way if they see you reading it.

  • BA Points says:

    Without seeing people reading DailyMail on the flight how will I identify who the Brexiteers are???

    • Darren says:

      It’s the bloke/lady sitting next to you

    • Anthony Dunn says:

      Something I too had sussed!

    • Will says:

      Not always a give away. Bizarrely my good mother still picks up a free copy in CW to catch up on “gossip” apparently. She is far from Brexity though you might be shocked given she’s a pensioner and reads the DM. It would be nice to think the presence of a fascist mouthpiece on airliners isn’t particularly beneficial to revenue anymore but sure HfP are careful to choose their words carefully to not offend a potential source of income. Ditto the good state of Qatar’s aviation solutions provider.

    • Will says:

      According to the Guardian and BBC it should be quite easy, anyone who is old or illiterate.

      And James Dyson.

    • Andrew says:

      Ignore at your peril the votes of any newspaper reader. They are still more likely to be politically engaged than non-readers – and it’s only the votes of the people who do vote that matter.

      Only by reading, listening and engaging can you possibly hope to correct their views over time.

      I find it a dreary read to be honest. It’s nothing but “The man with a forrin accent from the “Gas Board” phoned me to tell me that there was a virus in the pipeline, I did all that he told me to on the computer and now my bank account is empty! Woe is me and The Royal Barclays Bank of Shanghai has refused me a refund!” Pouting face like a skelped-arse accompanying story….

  • James says:

    I can’t imagine many people were using the service anyway and BA had to cart all that gumpf around constantly.
    I won’t miss it.
    Would rather this goes than something more important.