BA to ditch complimentary food on short-haul flights

Flight meal

Passengers in economy class on short-haul British Airways flights will no longer receive complimentary drinks and snacks on board from 2017, as the airline is ditching the popular service and launching a chargeable menu. 

The move effects both short-haul and domestic flights, and will take force to and from Heathrow and Gatwick from 11 January 2017, and on flights to and from London City and London Stansted by summer 2017.

It will see passengers offered a choice of food supplied by Marks and Spencer (M&S) costing from £1 for a packet of crisps to £4.95 for a chicken and rice salad. 

Soft drinks meanwhile, will be priced from £1.50, while alcoholic drinks will start from £4.

You’ll be able to pay for the new menu using credit and debit cards, as well as Avios points if you’re an ‘Executive Club member’ – although you won’t be able to use cash.

British Airways says the change follows “extensive customer research and feedback”, which “highlighted dissatisfaction with the airline’s current short-haul economy catering, and found fliers want more choices that reflect what they would normally select when out and about”.  

It adds on its website that “you're welcome to bring your own food on board, just as you are able to at the moment”. 

But some Twitter users have voiced concerns that the move sees British Airways becoming more akin to budget airlines where the major players all charge for food on board.

However, others think the move is a positive one.

We asked British Airways if short-haul flight prices will fall, given food and drink on board is no longer complimentary, but it's response was: "We are confident our fares are competitive and offer great value. We continually monitor and adjust them to make sure this remains the case."

Business class (Club Europe) customers on short-haul flights will continue to be offered a full, complimentary menu, while catering on British Airways’ long-haul flights remains unchanged with complimentary meals available to all passengers.

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