Flights in EuroTraveller on British Airways now feature a buy on board service. Even though I usually fly in Club Europe using my Avios, my first experience with buy on board was eagerly anticipated.
Forums on the Internet have been abuzz with all the problems with the service. Equipment not working, poorly trained crew, running out of menu items and passengers not being served due to time constraints have all occurred during the introduction of the service.
My First Experience
On my flight between London Heathrow and Pisa, I was seated at the very front of the EuroTraveller cabin. I noted a crew member went through the cabin asking if anyone wanted any hot food.
The only reason I knew he was doing this is because I had read about it online. In actual fact, I could not hear anything he said and he was gone before I could ask for anything. Later, the trolley arrived.
I ordered a bottle of water as I like to stay hydrated where possible. Passengers can pay with credit cards, debit cards or Avios points. I chose to pay with my credit card. So far, my first experience was going well!
Next I asked if it is possible to earn Avios on the transaction, and you can. After clarifying that I meant to earn Avios and not pay with Avios, I handed over my mobile phone. The British Airways app has a bar code linked to your account which the crew need to scan.
Astonishment From The Crew
When he took my phone, he put it down on the trolley and mentioned that, “This never works, but I’ll give it a go.” Holding the quite large point of sale (POS) device over my phone, I could see him concentrating carefully.
To my amusement, his mouth dropped open and he went wide eyed with astonishment. For about 4 seconds he stayed like that, then gleefully reported that it had worked and it was the first time it ever had.
My water was handed over happily and he asked the people next to me if they wanted anything. One guy wanted water but stated his wallet was in the overhead. Rather than letting him out, the crew asked if he wanted a cup or bottle. He chose a cup and was brought free water a little later on.
It is pleasing to see that the technical issues with the POS system are being ironed out. It’s hardly a handy device for the crew and looks quite large and cumbersome. It is much bigger than the Aer Lingus POS devices, but I guess British Airways is more complicated all round.
It is also nice that free water is available if people ask for it, as reports this was not available gained many hours of Internet attack on various forums. Anyway, hopefully my Avios will post sometime as they have not yet and next time I will try the food and report back.
Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.