Well, I got my culture shock today. While flying to Barcelona with Iberia, sitting groggy in economy class (it was early), I was waiting for my free water, coffee and lousy airline breakfast. After some blabbling in spanish over the intercom, I understood from the announcement in broken english that I could order my breakfast from the menu. Hallelujah, a new level of convenience I thought. I can choose my own breakfast. Visions of sausages, bacon and toast flooded my hungry brain… until I looked at the menu, and saw prices next to everything on the list.Interesting… prices… And then the cold hard truth hit me: Iberia changed policies. No more free food, coffee or breakfast on your overpriced flight. Nooohhh… it was paytime. Even still water had to be paid.
Should I care? Not really. It was a flight for my business, paid for by the company and whatever I eat or drink, I can expense. But it’s the principle. If I want to pay for my food and drinks, I’ll go fly Virgin Express or Ryanair, the low cost airlines. From the usual suspects I expect not to have to worry about having my money or creditcard handy to pay for water or food. The flight is expensive enough as it is, without the airlines trying to get more mone from their customers (and wat really ticks me off is that they tell me on the plane… there is nothing about this change on their site).
Now, let’s do some math here. Iberia gets from me about 300 euros for the flight (ok, plus one euro for some water). I get pissed off about this, and decide to avoid flying with them again. So next time, not Iberia but some other airline will get my money (ok, my company’s money), and I will get the free lousy airline food and free drinks. I still don’t see how Iberia thinks this was a good move. Maybe they’ll start charging for using the bathroom in the plane next. Bad move Iberia … bringing your brand down to the level of a low-cost airline.