Free cups of tea now available in British Airways short-haul Economy – if you bring your own teabag

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Tea lovers rejoice, for free tea is back in British Airways Euro Traveller (Economy).

Sort of.  And it is a secret, so don’t tell anyone.

Free tea in British Airways economy with new trick

The new Marks & Spencer on-board menu was launched on 1st May.

I will go into some of the changes in a minute, but the key fact is that the tea has switched from Twinings to Teapigs.

Why is this key?  The Twinings tea came with a built-in cup.  Teapigs does not, so British Airways is using its own paper cups.

And ….. they will give you one for free!

You don’t get a free teabag, of course, because that would be c-r-a-z-y.  However, according to cabin crew I know:

you can have a free paper cup

you can have some free hot water

However …..

you must bring your own teabag

HFP readers who have British Airways status will be getting excited now, because loose tea bags are available in the lounges at Heathrow and Gatwick.  You can now pinch a teabag from the lounge and have a free cup of black (I doubt you will get free milk) tea if travelling in Economy 🙂

If you don’t bring your own bag, a cup of tea is now £2.50.

British Airways and Marks and Spencers food

Elsewhere on board, the changes include – and note this is not a full list:

The coffee is now Cru Kafe, which comes in a bag.  Apparently the old coffee, which Anika has consistently raved about, was unpopular with some customers who did not like the filter or having the granules floating around.  Initial feedback online to Cru Kafe has not been great, to be honest.

New lines include Love Cocoa Hot Chocolate, Loveau Raspberry, Strawberry & Blueberry Infused Sparkling Water, Estini Espresso Martini and Pinkster Small Batch Raspberry Gin

Brewdog’s Speedbird 100 IPA is available (£4.45 per 330ml can)

The hot option is a mozzarella and tomato flatbread (£4.95)

Children can choose a Marvin’s Magic Activity Box with snacks and games (£6, not an M&S product)

Afternoon tea with scone, jam and clotted cream is added for £5 (not an M&S product)

British Airways is also offering 15p off tea or coffee if you bring your own cup.  Stojo collapsible cups, see image above, are available for £10.  My wife has one of these and finds it useful, with the 50p saving in Pret soon covering the cost …..

The full Euro Traveller food and drink price list can be found on here.

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  1. Sussex bantam says:

    Ah nuts – I really like the current coffee offering. I was actually quite happy to pay for the much better coffee since BoB was introduced

    • Gin and Tonic Please says:

      +1. I really liked the old coffee. MUCH better than the stuff I’ve been served in CE.

  2. Johnny5a says:

    Do you just ask for the hot water? I’m happy to bring my own coffee cup as well.

    • I’ve done this a few times. I have my bamboo mug and my rooibos teabags. I wait until they’ve finished a BOB service and then wander down to the galley with my mug

  3. Lewis says:

    Is it still free food on back city flyer flights?

  4. Bring your own teabag and mug wow can BA sink any lower with their penny pinching the ex National Carrier is now a National Joke.

    • Dave says:

      Exactly. 15p for a cup of tea if you bring your own mug? The time wasted processing the transaction costs more than 15p. Idiots. I’m so glad I shifted my business to Star instead. Lufty and Swiss and Austrian don’t have this nonsense.

      • Marc says:

        15p off…

      • And SAS ALWAYS gives you free tea and coffee, even on cheapest economy tickets. I guess their calculation of cost vs reputation went the right way (unlike BA’s)

        • Peter K says:

          SAS is crazy expensive though compared to say Easyjet. Man to CPH return is about £200 more on SAS whenever I’ve looked which negates the free hot drink.

      • Discount for using your own cup is becoming more common these days, 50p at Starbucks for example.

        Supposedly for eco reasons, arguably there will also be cost savings – but, hey, user their cups if you want to

        • David says:

          Has it gone up? Starbucks used to be 25p…

          • Lady London says:

            Its more now. The chance to look more politically correct couldn’t be missed.

            I don’t mind Pret Coffee at all. Good to see them in France airport. Its more packed out than the French outlets.

            My other OK coffee is UK McDonalds.

  5. Nick says:

    Ryanair has been doing this for years… although I’ve never done it myself. I’ve seen many times customers with pot noddles and Nescafé Azera Instant cups request hot water without any issue!

    I’d rather earn 50 less Avios points and be offered a free tea or coffee to be honest.

  6. Daniel says:

    Other tea (such as the Earl Grey that I would normally get) have always been served as a teabag in some water in a paper cup. Does this mean that technically we could have done this all along?

    • Shoestring says:

      Free hot water has always been available on request on BA, you just had to ask – the same water is used as for paying customers in case you’re worried on that score – so yes, you could have done this all along but had to bring your own cup

      • Shoestring says:

        and in case you’re wondering, when I asked I was somehow being polite & deferent and asked if I should wait until after the paid M&S service – & the cabin crew said they’d rather give me hot water when they came round with the trolley

      • Correct. BA had to buy some cups to serve the new tea.

  7. Teapots is tea for people who don’t like tea. And the bag is plastic rather than paper so this is a step backwards

    • Peter K says:

      Do you mean teapigs?

      • No, Teapigs teabags use actual tea leaves, rather than the dust you get in most teabags, and the bag is made of silk. They’re so much better than Twinings, whose teabags do have plastic in them.

  8. Nick says:

    What next…bring your own toilet roll…BA have lost the plot and treating people like mugs….glad I stopped chasing status a few years ago. Now I just use whatever airline I decide on which is cheapest/most convenient for my needs.

    • Freddy says:

      Same here! Been quite a few sales which make the use of points redundant. Quite a few people seem to be switching to hotel points, I have as availability doesn’t seem to be as much of an issue on hotels

    • the_real_a says:

      Saving the planet is quite trendy these days, and quite a few businesses offer a discount on your own cup. I dont like waste for waste sake so do usually take my own flask to the coffee house.

  9. Roberto says:

    Flew yesterday.. Had the new coffee bag in my own insulated cup.
    Two things to note (1) it was not as nice as the previous slurpy coffee and (2) they had no idea that it should be £2.35 rather than £2.50 and could not find a way of charging me the lower amount.

    • Shoestring says:

      stick in a compo claim 🙂

      we got 5x 1000 Avios compo for no hot water to make tea/ coffee the other week – European SH in Economy

  10. Mr Dee says:

    This is a good way to save some money!

    O/T anyone having trouble logging into IHG?

    • No, no trouble. I even finally got to see my Accelerate targets

      • Mr Dee says:

        Can’t login today at all :/

        • Brian W says:

          Me neither, but they posted this on Twitter a few moments ago:

          Hi there, Sorry for the inconvenience. The issue you are having online is already shared with our developers. They are working double time to have it resolved. Please try to access your account at a later team. Thanks for your patience – Ronald

          • Mr Dee says:

            Yes just been informed, was worried incase my account was shut down or something

  11. James says:

    Apparently the tonic water has been changed from Fever Tree to Schweppes. If so, that’s a major downgrade and hopefully not happening in club or the lounges. One step forward, two steps back!

    • Harpo says:

      But it was the Mediterranean tonic, not the ordinary one and many find it too citrusy. I think it’s ok, but it’s not a classic Indian tonic water taste. Schweppes is.

      • James says:

        As long as Fever tree light remains in club I’ll be happy

        • Is a teabag ‘food or drink’? Technically it isn’t 🙂

        • Lady London says:

          I like the elderflower fevertree version. Has been trialled on planes I flew but now dropped. Lidl does an uncannily similar own brand to the fevertree line at some branches sometimes.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Thought it was the premium 1783 stuff

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