It’s no surprise that in an era of dwindling circulation, newspapers appreciate when airlines buy their newspapers and offer them to their captive customers. But The Financial Times is livid about the recent decision of British Airways to cut ties.
In a half-page ad published yesterday, the Financial Times (FT) lambasted British Airways for no longer providing copies to passengers on its flights around the world.
British Airways has decided to stop providing the Financial Times to passengers on flights, in lounges and at gates worldwide … We regret the inconvenience caused to our regular readers by BA’s abrupt decision to end its long-standing partnership with the FT. Of course, the world’s favourite business newspaper is widely available on a range of other leading airlines.
Travelers were also encouraged to download the FT app before their flight to continue reading the news.
— Lionel Barber (@lionelbarber) April 16, 2019
When asked about the ad, BA shrugged it off, telling CNBC:
We regularly review what is on offer. We offer a wide range of titles to give our customers plenty of digital and print options for news, business and leisure reading material.
BA is also adding more wi-fi to its jets, cutting the need for newspapers. I remember when United Airlines cut newspapers shortly after wi-fi broadly rolled out on its fleet. While I appreciate an actual newspaper, it is hardly necessary when everything is available via app or website.
I view the FT ad as more whining than as a cheeky attempt at humor. Then again, I’ll miss the newspaper era…something my son will probably be oblivious too by the time he’s my age.
Do you care about newspapers on airplanes?