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British Airways ‘buy on board’ – how to get a flight refund or 1000 Avios compensation

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I ran a couple of extra articles yesterday about the introduction of ‘buy on board’ catering from 11th January on British Airways services from Heathrow and Gatwick.

Club Europe catering is not impacted and will apparently be improved from January.

City and Stansted will not switch under Summer 2017.  However, the British Airways website implies that free alcholic drinks are being removed from these flights:

Depending on the time and duration of your flight, we will offer you a light snack or something more substantial, along with a soft drink of your choice from the bar.

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My articles from yesterday are repeated at the bottom of this article for the benefit of our email subscribers who did not receive the extra articles yesterday.

Refunds are available

One point worth noting is that British Airways appears to be offering refunds to anyone who purchased a short-haul ticket before yesterday for travel after 11th January as long as they cancel up to 28 days before departure.   Whether or not you feel that strongly about the issue, this is a way of extricating yourself from any non-refundable tickets you may bought but now no longer require.

1,000 Avios are being offered to those with existing bookings after 11th January who make a complaint.  This is worth £8 of free food and so compensates you for having to pay for a snack.

You need to complete this form here and state that you would like to claim a refund or receive 1,000 Avios.  You will see that there is now a box marked “Are you contacting us about Short Haul Buy on Board Catering?”.

The rest of this article is taken from the two pieces yesterday:

What will be on offer?

The British Airways website has the following information:

London Heathrow and London Gatwick

From 11 January, we’re upgrading our food offering in our short haul economy cabins (Euro Traveller and UK Domestic) on flights to and from London Heathrow and London Gatwick.

We’re proud to be partnering with Marks & Spencer, another iconic British brand, to offer you a new ‘M&S on board’ menu that will replace the complimentary service currently provided. You will be able to select from the seasonally inspired menu and buy your food and drinks in one easy transaction.

M&S on board sample menu

Enjoy delicious sweet and savoury treats from British food favourite Marks & Spencer when travelling in our short haul economy cabins, Euro Traveller and UK Domestic, to and from London Heathrow and London Gatwick.

Here are just some of the exciting food options you can look forward to on board.

Fresh food

Classic Fruit Salad £3.10
Includes pineapple, melon, mango, apple, kiwi and blueberries.

Yogurt with Summer Berry Compote and Crunchy Granola – £1.95
Reduced-fat Greek-style yogurt, blackberry and blackcurrant compote and granola with sunflower and pumpkin seeds.

Mature Cheddar Cheese Ploughman’s – £3.00
Farmhouse cheddar cheese with vine-ripened tomatoes, pickle and lettuce on malted brown bread

Aberdeen Angus Beef and Red Onion Chutney Bloomer – £4.75
Soft onion bloomer with Aberdeen Angus beef, red onion chutney and tangy mustard.

Bacon Roll – £4.75
A soft white, buttered roll filled with succulent smoked British bacon. Served hot.

Mozzarella and Tomato Focaccia – £4.75
Buffalo mozzarella, juicy vine-ripened tomatoes and fragrant basil pesto dressing on pesto focaccia. Served hot.

Spiced Chicken with Quinoa and Rice – £4.95
Spiced chicken with quinoa, rice and a smoky tomato salsa.

Savoury snacks

Oriental Snack Mix – £2.00
Sesame-coated roasted cashew nuts, edamame soybeans, and roasted corn with puffed brown rice all with a soy and five-spice seasoning.

Hand Cooked Crisps – £1.00
Salt and Vinegar, or Lightly Sea Salted.

Nut Assortment – £1.60
A selection of almonds, brazil nuts, cashew nuts and hazelnuts.

Wasabi Peas – £1.60
Roasted green peas with a punchy wasabi flavoured coating.

Something sweet

Percy Pig – £1.85
Soft fruit-flavoured gums made with fruit juice…an M&S classic.

Salted Caramel Hazelnut Millionaire Biscuit – £1.45
Made without wheat and deliciously gluten free.

Chocolate Pretzels and Candy Popcorn – £2.45
Milk chocolate-covered toffee popcorn with popping candy pieces.

Super Nut Fruit and Seed Flapjack – £1.45
Soft, chewy all-butter flapjack.

Drinks menu

Choose from a wide range of hot or cold drinks when travelling in our short haul economy cabins, Euro Traveller and UK Domestic, to and from London Heathrow and Gatwick.

Hot drinks

Java Republic Coffee – £2.30
Twinings Tea – £2.30
Cadburys Hot Chocolate – £2.70

Soft drinks

Pip Organic Orange & Apple Juice (200ml) – £2.70
Vita Coco Coconut Water (330ml) – £2.70
Folkington’s Elderflower Presse (250ml) – £2.20
Appletiser (275ml) – £1.80
Harrogate Still or Sparkling Water (500ml) – £1.80
Coca Cola or Diet Coke (330ml) – £1.80

Alcoholic drinks

Spirits (5cl mini bottles) – £4.50
Assorted range including Bombay Sapphire, Johnny Walker Red, Smirnoff Red, Baileys Irish Cream, Bacardi and Jack Daniels.

Mixers (150ml mini bottles) – £1.50
Assorted range including Schweppes tonic water, slimline tonic and ginger ale.

Red or white wine (187ml) – £4.50
Prosecco Bottega Gold (200ml) – £6.00
London Pride (330ml) – £4.00
Becks Lager (330ml) – £4.00
Magners Original Cider (330ml) – £4.00

Will I get free food as a British Airways status member?

No

Can I pay with Avios?

Yes you can.  British Airways sent me some sample ‘pay with Avios’ prices:

Mature cheddar cheese ploughman’s – £3 or 375 Avios

Lightly salted hand cooked crisps – £1 or 125 Avios

Water – £1.80 or 225 Avios

Tea or coffee – £2.30 or 300 Avios

G&T (Anika, please note 🙂 ) – £6 or 750 Avios

Wine – £4.50 or 575 Avios

It could have been less generous, I suppose. At around 0.8p per point there are worse ways to spend your points (but obviously far better ways too).

This topic will no doubt run and run, but I think I will call it a day for a while now.


HFP-Barclaycard-Avios-Card

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (December 2022)

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!

In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.

You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review

There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable card perk – the 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up and an Economy 2-4-1 voucher for spending £12,000 Read our full review

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & four airport lounge passes Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and unbeatable travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Run your own business?

We recommend Capital On Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card, along with a sign-up bonus worth 10,500 Avios.

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

10,500 points bonus – the most generous Avios Visa for a limited company Read our full review

You should also consider the British Airways Accelerating Business credit card. This is open to sole traders as well as limited companies and has a 30,000 Avios sign-up bonus.

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

30,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios Read our full review

There are also generous bonuses on the two American Express Business cards, with the points converting at 1:1 into Avios. These cards are open to sole traders as well as limited companies.

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and a £200 Amex Travel credit every year Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.

Comments (119)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Simon Schus says:

    Stingggggy.

  • Frankie says:

    1000 avios doesn’t cover 5 or 6 G&Ts a sandwich, some crisps and a couple of waters for a long flight to LPA 🙁

    • danksy says:

      Quite – I think it’s going to be difficult to be able to differentiate from other low cost carriers soon at this rate!

    • tim says:

      precisely. I have just sent a letter threatening action before the Small Claims Court unless I get reasonable compensation which I calculate at £12 (or 1500 Avios per leg. On the reasonable basis that that is the cost of a G&T, a sandwich and a cup of tea which is a perfectly normal (and my usual) level of consumption on a flight where the catering was free.

      With 3 bookings next year for a family of they are looking a a claim for £288 or 36000 Avios.which to my mind is worth the hassle of a MCOL claim.

      But if I am honest with myself I am doing this purely for the principle. If BA wants to switch to BoB then fair enough. They are free to do so (and we are free to judge their offering accordingly and make our decision as to who to fly with),. That is capitalism for you and no one has yet devised anything better. But I also believe that capitalism only works when parties are held to contracts to which they freely enter into.

  • Stu R says:

    Assuming the 1,000 Avios is per person, I’ve just claimed 4,000 Avios for the 2 return trips to Europe next year. One of those is to Pisa to fly to Auckland the following day on the QR super business deal so it’s probably a blessing we won’t get free alcohol on the flight to Pisa!

  • Nick says:

    I’ve been calling BA the “M&S of airline companies” for some months now on HFP, when discussing the company’s product positioning & service and, what many people see, as the race to the bottom. This newest change has pretty much proved me right! 😉

  • Ross says:

    One more reason not to fly BA, even though I never eat on any flight (long or short haul) I always enjoyed the BA brew on board, is it worth 2.30, not a chance and as GGL and Gold for life member I’d like to say “Thanks for letting me down BA, it’s clear the loyalty is one sided”

  • Anon says:

    Looks like WT, CE and CW pax on a UK domestic flight will get complementary service, well that’s my interpretation..

    “If you have a booking in our short haul business cabin Club Europe, or are travelling on a long haul flight, you will continue to receive the existing complimentary food and drink service.”

    • Paul says:

      No you will still pay for food on UK formed tic connections even if you have a full fare F/J tickets. Only CE on shorthaul get free food.

      Another kick in the teeth for those who live outside the M25 from Ryan London Airways”

      • Anon says:

        Seriously???

        So if on a CW or F ticket you get nothing on the domestic positioning flight?

        Raffles can you clarify this for connecting to long haul flights from the UK regions???

        • Alan says:

          Yep, that is indeed the case – both from their wording and via confirmation by the Twitter team

    • Phil says:

      That’s not how I interpreted that. It’s missing the word ‘connecting’ when it refers to long-haul.

      • Paul says:

        No the word connecting is not missing. No one on short haul other than CE get free F&B. As there is no CE (currently) on domestic flights then everyone pays. Nothing to stop them using the curtain and changing this but as things stand a full far F/J will still be required to pay for coffee.

        • Anon says:

          That f’kin outrageou & stupid!!

          So fill up a thermos mug with coffee/tea , etc in the lounge instead????

  • James A says:

    Umm they are charging for soft drinks?!

  • Nick says:

    I wonder if we’ll be able to scan our Sparks cards for a laugh

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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