FT ad skewers British Airways after airline drops paper from flights

WORLD NEWS


British newspaper the Financial Times (FT) has taken the unusual step of taking an ad out in its own publication. Not to advertise new products or services, but to berate former customer British Airways (BA) for ending their relationship.

Copies of the FT used to be distributed to BA passengers, but the airline ended the contract.

Paraphrasing BA’s famous advertising slogan “the world’s favorite airline,” the ad states that passengers might be better served on rival carriers.

“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,” the half-page ad read, published Tuesday.

The ad also noted that subscribers can download the FT app to read before they board the plane.

Lionel Barber, editor of the Financial Times, retweeted a picture of the ad on Tuesday and wrote: “No FT, no comment,” referencing a tagline for the newspaper that first ran in the 1980s.

One person on Twitter responded to Barber by writing: “A paper dart made from your newspaper would be more comfortable than @British_Airways.” BA responded on Twitter: “We very much doubt that Laurence, however, we enjoy the humour!”

A British Airways spokesperson said in a statement emailed to 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.”

Wifi is becoming more common on airplanes, with BA introducing it on flights in February 2018, costing upwards of £7.99 ($10.43) to stream services such as Netflix.

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