British Airways Is Selling First Class Place Settings, Hot Towels, and Bar Carts
Alright, a quick show of hands: How many of you had to cancel a trip someplace this year, or aren't getting a passport stamp that you'd been looking forward to? And how many of you are feeling pretty down about it? That's it, keep those hands up where we can see them.
British Airways seems to be taking that whole "not-traveling" thing pretty hard too. Its owner, International Airlines Group, has cut its flight schedule for the remaining weeks of the year, and it reported a £1.16 billion ($1.55 billion) loss for the third quarter. It's also selling off a huge amount of in-flight service items, partially because it could do with the extra cash, and partially because it's retiring all 28 of its Boeing 747s, so some of these things will just be taking up space in storage. (According to One Mile at a Time, its remaining aircraft have smaller first and business-class cabins).
The airline has listed dozens of items for sale on the Whatabuy website, and they're all shoppable by cabin. Would-be First Class passengers can pick up brandy glasses, bread baskets, and even blankets. The William Edwards place settings—which included everything from soup bowls to teacups and saucers to dinner plates—all featured a bespoke "barley weave" pattern that was designed exclusively for the airline. (They also proved to be quite popular, and sold out quickly.)
There are similar offerings in the Club World section, including five-packs of slippers and 10-packs of socks, while the "General" section is the place for anyone who wants their own British Airways bar cart, oven racks that were used to prepare REAL LIFE IN-FLIGHT MEALS, or a politely named "waste disposal trolley."
"This is an incredible one-off opportunity for people to bring the magic of flying with British Airways into their own homes," Carolina Martinoli, British Airways’ Director of Brand and Customer Experience, said in a statement. "We know that these special items will fly and we are delighted to be able to offer them in time for Christmas to give people the opportunity to make it memorable during a difficult year.”
As the Guardian notes, this isn't the first time this year that British Airways has sold some of its unused stuff to raise some cash: It sold £2.2 million ($2.9 million) worth of art from its collection in July. (It must be nice to be a major airline, to know that you can just sell one of your Damien Hirst pieces when things get tight.)
If anyone manages to snag a piece or two of in-flight merch, the airline is encouraging you to share a photo with the hashtag #BAathome. And if you want the full experience, you can eat a bland pasta dish while sitting in your smallest chair and watching a heavily edited version of a flick you saw two years ago.
Man, we can't wait to travel again.