British Airways Selling First Class Service Items

Filed Under: British Airways

If you want to recreate the British Airways first class experience at home, you now have the opportunity to do so. To be clear, we’re talking about the former British Airways first class experience, and not the current one, which includes picnic boxes and plastic cups.

British Airways selling items from first class

As of today, British Airways has started selling items from first class and beyond to the general public (though unfortunately it looks like they don’t ship internationally). We initially learned about this through an internal note to employees, which read as follows:

“From Monday 23rd November we’re giving customers, colleagues and aviation fans the chance to recreate the First Class experience from their own home as we begin selling a limited number of items that are used in our onboard service.

Although the at-home experience is no match for the real thing, customers or collectors can pick up items such as William Edwards plates, soup bowls, cups, saucers and even a butter dish.”

Well, dozens of items are now for sale through the website whatabuy.co.uk. The selection of items is huge. We’re not just talking about first class service items, but there’s also stuff from business class and beyond.

First class items for sale range from hot towels, to blankets, to plates, to mugs.

There are similar items available from business class.

You can even buy a waste trolley.

This isn’t the first time that British Airways has gotten creative with trying to raise money through non-flying means, as the airline has done everything from selling its lounge artwork to selling the gin usually served onboard.

British Airways recently sold gin directly to consumers

For that matter, the airline isn’t the first to be selling items from its onboard experience — Qantas has sold 747 bar carts, while Thai Airways has sold everything from napkins to toothpicks.

What’s British Airways’ motive here?

Why is British Airways suddenly selling first class service items? Is this a desperate attempt to raise money, or something else? Well, I’d guess it’s a combination of factors:

  • British Airways’ first class and business class footprint will be significantly smaller in the future, given that the airline has retired all of its 747s
  • With a smaller first class and business class footprint there will also be less need for various service items, so the airline might as well make some room in its warehouse and raise some cash; however, I have a hard time imagining the amount will make much of a difference to British Airways’ bottom line

British Airways has retired all of its 747s, which featured first class cabins

Bottom line

British Airways has started selling first class service items. This comes as the airline is reducing the size of its fleet, with the retirement of 747s (these planes have huge first and business class cabins).

The airline really is going all out here with that’s being sold, as you buy anything ranging from a plates to blankets to waste trolleys.

Anyone buying some items from this British Airways sale?

Comments
  1. British Airways has pyjamas in F…not pajamas.
    British airline = British English spelling.
    I can put up with your endless digs at BA, but this is a step too far.

  2. @A – So according to your logic, he should use pigiama when reviewing Alitalia and لباس نوم when reviewing Emirates?

    The article is in US English.

  3. But the articles are UK English, from an English airline, therefore should be spelled the English way…

  4. Looks like we have a bunch of snobs commenting again. Let’s see I guess in a very strict interpretation BA would be the British “flag” carrier if they were still exclusively British. BA is part of IAG which is incorporated in Spain, head offices in Spain and UK, listen on both exchanges and includes carriers from multiple nations (a true multi national corp). To argue or complain over how to spell PJ’s is really a first world problem to have. If we truly want to see articles published about “national or flag” carriers only in the languages/spelling of those countries most readers on here would need to use Google Translate. I.e. an article about Swiss would need to be in German, French, Italian and Romansh (FYI, PJ’s in German is a mouth full). What about nations with even more languages? If we’re not talking national languages where is the complaint about the missing Welsh, Cornish etc.? We should be happy all of us knew he meant PJ’s no matter which Airline, country or spelling.

  5. I think there may be more to this than meets the eye. Even though they’ve reduced, but not eliminated, their F-class footprint one would think they would simply hold on to what they have and reduce inventory simply by normal shrinkage and breakage. Even if they sold everything, it really wouldn’t amount to a hill of beans revenue-wise.

    I think they may be working on two possible programs. One, eliminating first class altogether, or two, developing a new first class product with new crockery, glassware, etc.

  6. @Gregg – not sure it would be the latter (developing a new soft product), as I’m pretty sure they did this only last year (including new crockery, glassware, cutlery, etc.).

  7. I guess BA can make some money off of these whereas they would normally just be binned. Every little bit counts at the moment so this seems like a better way of getting rid of these items than throwing them out.

  8. I’ve got a bucket load of stuff from my trips on Concorde. I have 30-40 in-flight kits, which didn’t include the overnight toiletries but were filled with cards and pens, baggage tags, your flight certificate, etc. I have cuff-links and calendars, note pads (all Smythson), menus, menu folders, even 2 of the tea cans. I *had* to have them back then, now filling several shelves!

  9. Link please? I have AA F class serving pieces from the 20th C which I use for cocktail parties. Cocktail glass stir sticks, ice tongs, Swid Powell platinum trimmed plates, hundreds of cocktail forks (yes hundreds) and a water pitcher dating from the pre jet era. Would love to compliment my AA crockery collection from BA. Can OMAAT detail how to purchase?

  10. BA sell glasses, amenity kits, chinaware etc to its staff a few times a year at it’s hq Waterside, just to get rid of surplus stock. It’s no different from any other year in this respect so I wouldn’t read anything special I to it. The sales are really popular and I’ve seen loads of people browsing and buying bits and pieces.

  11. The items are available from a website called “What A Buy”, if anyone is interested, from First and Club World off of the 747 plus there are some of the storage boxes available too. Hope this helps.

  12. I bought a single tray, all I need now is a job-hating Donna who yells at me for ordering chicken and a Diet Coke

  13. another BIG strategic mistake by BA!!!
    once the virus is over, all the wealthy retirees (Silver Generation/Retirees) want to travel in F/C-class in droves! pent up travel demand is HUGE!!!
    only a mad person want to be squeezed into 10-across B777s….. (and exposed to ….)

  14. I’ll ring Hyacinth Bucket to let her know. She’ll be disappointed there’s no Royal Doulton on offer, but I’m certain she can pick something nice for Sheridan.

  15. Looked at the website an hour ago, most everything of any consequence is gone. Largely china and glassware.

  16. Hi Ben — if you’re interested, I have a home in the UK and could help your readers order items if they want to. I’m ordering some things. Would just need to chat through the details. Otherwise, these are only available to UK-based folks. There would be a bit of a wait, as I would bring the goods back with me on my next trip to the UK, which will be post-COVID. Just a thought!

  17. Tried to buy a number of items but their payment payment seems to be stuck in a loop and does not let you live anywhere other than the UK. Tried contacting them by email but emails just bounce straight back.Not very organised if you ask me. would have been easier if BA had just done the selling themselves.

  18. @Dermot Phelan if you’d like help, I am able to purchase and ship to the UK. The only catch is I’d have to pick them up the next time I’m over there and bring them home with me (so no drinks carts! lol) I ordered some of the Club World duvets. Anyway, just happy to help a fellow AVGeek. If you’d like you can email me at josephhas [at] gmail. Happy Thanksgiving!

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