Times Online says:
In a money-raising move worthy of Ryanair, British Airways is to start putting advertising from other companies on its boarding passes.
The loss-making airline will also host adverts on its website — the present one is for Jaguar’s new XJ car.
The airline said that it issued more than 12 million boarding passes last year and has 500,000 daily visitors to its website, which would give it plenty of opportunity to raise extra revenue from third-party advertising.
BA said that ads on boarding passes would appear from the start of October and could be tailored to the passenger and location.
Abigail Comber, the airline’s manager for brand, proposition and insight, said: “We hope it will be a positive revenue stream for BA.”
BA lost £401 million last year because of a collapse in its premium traffic due to the recession. It is trying to cut costs by reducing headcount and also encouraged employees to work for free.
Last month, it announced that it would stop serving meals other than breakfast in economy class during flights of less than two and a half hours. Passengers will instead be offered snacks such as pretzels, although the complimentary bar service will remain. The move has led to accusations that BA was following the budget airlines towards a minimal service model.
BA’s decision to put ads on its boarding passes and website also copies the no-frills carriers, although BA insists that its advertisers will have a “strong heritage”.
Ryanair, Europe’s largest budget carrier, has a reputation for finding ingenious ways to raise money and has even considered charging for using the toilets on its aircraft.
Ms Comber said: “It’s a great way for our customers to be brought messages on products and services that are relevant to them. We’re seeking brands with a strong heritage and parity to British Airways’ own brand values. Our customers would expect us to bring them brands that they trust and respect.”