British Airways ‘to sell M&S food on short-haul’

Following on from my story on Saturday that British Airways is training cabin crew to sell ‘buy on board’ food on short haul – but only after they sign a confidentiality agreement – the Daily Mail reported on Sunday that British Airways has signed a deal with Marks & Spencer to sell food onboard.

You can read the article here.


As I wrote on Saturday, this can hardly be worse than the current situation where a mini bag of crisps is considered to be a ‘snack’.

I would take the article with a pinch of salt (5p per sachet, probably) in some areas.  Whilst it may be true that “executives believe holidaymakers are increasingly prepared to pay for extras if ticket prices are lower”, it is also true that holidaymakers make up a minority of BA passengers and very definitely a minority of short-haul revenue.

And you will see that BA says: “Everything we do is with our customers in mind and we will make changes that reflect their feedback’ …….!

In terms of implementation, it genuinely isn’t clear.  I have heard:

that Gatwick will get it first, but also that it will hit the entire fleet at once

that BA elite members will get their food and drink for free, but also that everyone will have to pay

that Club Europe meals will be scrapped in return for a free sandwich and drink, but also that Club Europe food will remain as it is

So, basically, there is no clarity!  Plenty of fun and games ahead I think.

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  1. If the story is true, then BA should at least lower the prices to reflect it. For me, it is not a big deal since I eat at the lounge before boarding and only have drinks on the plane and the snacks on short haul are not worth the hassle and I won’t be buying BOB anyway. Let’s hope they don’t start charging for the drinks.

  2. Slight O/T. Found out about a little quirk today with BA regarding choosing your seat early. I’d booked Club Europe LHR-AMS T-355 with Avios for our family to position out for our long haul flight and didn’t realise that if you have an infant travelling with you, then everyone in the booking is entitled to free seat selection from the moment you book! Shame it took me 8 months to find that out :-(.

    • …and for regular economy if travelling with kids they will allocate all your seats together
      and you can change them the day before the flight – (they may allocate 2+2 in consecutive rows and you want 3+1 on the same row for example)

      • …remembering that ‘kids’ means 11YO or under

        12 YO are young adults & can sit on their own according to BA

        don’t forget you can also check in online T-24, don’t however print your tickets as this messes up what follows; check in again at the airport using self check in (get there early) and choose any available seats on the plane incl exits FOC

  3. Going BOB will make BA short haul fares even more price sensitive to the likes of easyjet.

    If BA are charging £5 more than easyjet for a hand luggage fare for a short haul flight the vast majority of passengers will choose easyjet.

    Eurowings have got the in flight service right. The lowest basic fares include no free drink, the standard /extra fare includes a drink and a sandwich.

  4. It is being announced tomorrow. All short haul lgw and lhr from 11January will be buy on board food and drink. Club Europe not affected. LCY and STN summer 2017. Baec can use avios to pay on board. This includes drinks not just food.

    • & how are they looking after people who already paid for free drinks & snack?

      • at least my Xmas flights are unaffected

        • you have until 2 Oct to register for the Amex HEX 15% statement credit

          this combines with any other discount you can find

          best I got was moneysavingexpert com /travel /cheap-airport-parking

          2 weeks, ACE M&G, B’ham mid Oct, 20% discount, £82 – but you could leave it hanging for an hour, go back with same search & see if discount increases to 30% (as it often does with HEX)

          use the MSE link, go to payments, don’t pay, drop your booking into Amex link, same price, pay, you get discounted price & the 15% statement credit