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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.


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?


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.


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.

  • C77 says:

    I’ve waded through the related articles but cannot see posted/asked anywhere the following:

    Do we know whether exec club avios can be earned by paying for BoB purchases in the same way HighLife Shop does? You get 2 avios for every £1 spent there. Might be a simple (and inexpensive) way of accruing a minimal amount of points to prevent an account from going dormant.

    I cant exactly see me being able to achieve enough avios to afford that F redemption to XXX via Percy Pig consumption alone but they would help if I happened to be purchasing them anyway.

    Also noticing the distinct lack of any meal-deal offer at this stage (by a prosecco and a toastie, get a wasabi peas free style) , although I’m guessing things like that will be introduced later?

    Also all this fresh M&S food will be loaded at London. What happens on the first inbound of the day that has stopped overnight the night before? Presumably the yoghurts and quinoa will be out of bounds as BA have cancelled all their catering contracts at all European outstations. (And before anyone berates me for being over dramatic again, no BA don’t refrigerate their C food overnight at present in this situation or keep the chillers on while the aircraft is overnighting). Roll on the spoiled food threads next summer – M&S fresh food stuff isn’t particularly resilient at the best of times due to its freshness and lack (in general) of long lists of preservatives.

    Percy pigs all round on a breakfast service perhaps? lol

    • Rob says:

      No Avios for purchases – would slow down service.

      No easyJet meal deal.

      Anyone who expects the M&S deal to last more than 12 months before they are replaced by petrol station sarnies at the same price is living in dreamland.

      • tim says:

        I am not convinced that M and S gets a good deal out of this. There is real potential for their brand to be damaged by association with BA which is not exactly well loved at the moment and also by the fact that overnighted and therefore stale products which are eaten at altitude by resentful passengers who have only half their taste buds functioning might not show M and S’s offering off in their best light.

      • Lady London says:


        It’s bait and switch… well, switch anyway.

    • Matt says:

      “What happens on the first inbound of the day that has stopped overnight the night before?”

      BA have been return-catering both club and traveler breakfasts on the last departure from London for a while now. They’re kept in insulated chiller boxes in the galleys, with temperature strips to make sure they’ve stayed cool enough overnight.

      • C77 says:

        Thanks for that – hopefully the M&S offering will similarly kept cool enough
        I guess also the new catering will take up more space as there’s more choice and larger portions being sold than the “ambient” biscuits or breakfast rolls/pastries take up. Not so much an issue at LHR but galley space out of LGW is somewhat limited – often no space for duty free service on the 319’s as effectively only a half galley at the back. It’ll be interesting how all this pans out in reality 🙂

  • Anon says:

    Feel free to join in the banter on BA’s FB page…

  • Fenny says:

    Blimey! I’m not sure which is worse – the number of comments about “race to the bottom” or the number of comments complaining about the people who actually expected to get what they’d paid for.

    Doesn’t really matter. I prefer Virgin.

  • mark2 says:

    I am glad to hear that most of you will never fly on BA again.
    There should be plenty of availability next time I want to book a redemption.

  • John10 says:

    Thanks for the 1,000 avios tip! Sent my complaint off this morning.

  • Dominic says:

    Have received my Avios – just to note that this is not per sector, they only gave 1,000 for a return flight even though the two legs are on different booking references…

    Hardly generous, because this is a flight to PFO which would have previously got a reasonable meal box plus e.g. a coffee, a water and a bottle of wine. You’re not getting that lot for 500 Avios!

  • davetrousers says:

    I complained to BA (using their online complaints page) and this morning I received a £20 evoucher! It seems that I can only use this to pay for future BA flights.

    I replied asking if this could be used towards on board snacks and that I was expecting to receive some Avios as these can be used.

  • Calz says:

    Sent mine off for 3 flights. Two were connected (EDI-LHR-HEL) and another was LHR-EDI following a flight from TOK. Only offered 1,000 avios for all. Its not much but better than nothing. Still a shame as I was told that M&S buy onboard was something customers wanted. Well I still want the complimentary drink and snack – If I want a sandwich I will continue to buy one from Boots

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

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