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British Airways launches a new Speedbird Cafe menu for your short-haul Economy flights

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Speedbird Cafe is the name that British Airways gives to its pre-order food and drink service for passengers travelling in short haul Economy / Euro Traveller.

My one and only attempt to order something resulted in the food being ruined during heating, no replacement being available (since most items must be pre-ordered) and the promised refund never turning up. Don’t let that put you off though!

British Airways Speedbird Cafe

One improvement recently is that some items are now loaded onto the aircraft for impulse purchases. Under the old system, you even had to pre-order coffee if you wanted one – it is now possible to be impulsive and order one on the day. Only selected ambient (ie non-perishable) food items are available without a pre-order.

The good news for irony lovers is that the Afternoon Tea package – which doesn’t actually come with tea or any other drink – is still available for £5.

Leaving the building will be:

  • Jose Pizarro Tapas Box
  • Jose Pizarro Veggie Tapas Box
  • Tom Kerridge The Brie Ploughman’s Sandwich
  • Tom Kerridge Chicken, Bacon and Celery Brioche Crunch
  • Tom Kerridge Vegan Spiced Cauliflower and Chickpea Wrap
British Airways Speedbird Cafe

Joining the menu for flights from 21st July will be:

  • Toast Session IPA 330ml
  • PLAYin CHOC Dinosaur ToyChoc Box
  • Scrapples Apple & Mango Crisps 12g
  • Pullin’s Triple Chocolate Muffin 110g
  • MOTH Margarita 125ml
  • Bacardi Mojito 250ml
  • Ploughman’s Meat Snack Box
  • Ploughman’s Veggie Snack Box
  • La Baume Grande Olivette Grenache Cinsault Rosé 187ml
  • Tom Kerridge Mediterranean Chickpea Flatbread (from 11th August)
  • Tom Kerridge West Country Cheddar Ploughman`s Sandwich (from 11th August)
  • Tom Kerridge Chicken, Bacon, Celery Brioche Sandwich (from 11th August)

It’s worth knowing that the Tom Kerridge products are not licenced – they are made in Tom’s own facilities in Marlow to his specifications.

The £4.50 Tom Kerridge Steak & Ale Pie is probably the best item on the menu, as Rhys reviewed here – this article also looks at how you order from Speedbird Cafe.

Cups of tea and coffee are now an inflation-busting £2.70. Aer Lingus was only €3 (£2.50) when I flew them on Monday ….. That said, the Steak & Ale Pie remains at the £4.50 that Rhys paid over a year ago despite high food price inflation.

You can take a look at the full menu, and pre-order, on this special website.

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Comments (82)

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

  • Niall says:

    Off topic or maybe on topic just about…

    Charged twice from buy on board on a BA flight. The guy said his machine wasn’t working even though the contactless made the noise… so then ran it though another machine and charged twice. Arg. Anyone else had this, who do you contact?

    • SH says:

      In theory BA customer service. In practice I would just tell credit card company it was a duplicate charge, charge it back, and let them sort it out. This is very easy with Amex (although I appreciate you must have used another card as BA machines don’t accept Amex using contactless, only when inserted).

    • FazzyBear says:

      As a merchant the sale may not go through if it was recently. If its pending i would wait until its been cleared.

      • Niall says:

        Thanks both. It was a couple of weeks ago. I did hold off in case one was cancelled. But both remained. It’s exactly the internal debate between trying to contact BA customer services vs a chargeback with Amex I was going through. I’ve only once done such a claim through Amex and the amount is tiny, but I’ve now gone through them as no chance of BA sorting soon.

  • Justin says:

    I am amazed at how few people seem to be pre-ordering, on 8/10 flights I have done recently there have been only 1 or 2 pre-orders. On my last flight to CPH the machines went down, and they weren’t able to do any on board sales, as the only pre-order I got some very irate looks from PAX around me while I tucked into my Tom Kerridge Pie, Coffee and G&T.

    • SP says:

      I just don’t trust them to actually provide what I’ve ordered so would rather buy in the terminal and know I have something to eat

      • ADS says:

        Absolutely. Add in the pain of asking for a refund if they don’t manage to pony up what you ordered, and the hassle of pre ordering, and preferring to decide on the day what you actually want, and the high prices … and I just don’t see the attraction !

        For comparison – Ryanair manage to always do a full drinks/food purchase service on even very short flights.

    • John says:

      What’s so special about a flight? Do you pre-order your lunch at Pret a month in advance??

      • Justin says:

        No…. but it seems to be the best way to ensure that you can get a coffee on the flight. Right now with Security lines the way they are, including FastTrack, getting to Pret before a flight is hit or miss.

        • Brian says:

          But why would one necessarily need to have a coffee during the two hours or so of the flight? I mean, people go two hours without refreshment all the time – I don’t see why it’s suddenly so indispensable just because one happens to be on a plane.

          • Justin says:

            Depends on the length of the flight, 60 mins to JER/CDG/AMS sure. 4hr45 to DLM can be a long flight without refreshment. Plus with a lower humidity and pressurisation the body reacts differently to being on the ground.

  • Oli says:

    is there a good pre-order option for long haul?

  • numpty says:

    Does Plane Food still do the picnic bags? Had one years ago and it was really nice, but had to give the (branded) cool bag away to relative who wanted it.

    • chrism20 says:

      Yep still available. Fortnums also do a picnic one which IIRC is somewhere between £20 & £25 and is very nice

  • Will says:

    Maybe I’m just very disorganised but I’ve no idea how hungry I’ll be or what I’ll fancy on the day of a flight.

    The whole appeal of food on board is convenience and as such if I’m hungry I’ll get something from the terminal and take it on these days.

    • Jonathan says:

      That is problem, the way around is buying something in the terminal !

  • AL says:

    A while back, I wanted to order a Kit Kat and a cup of tea/grey dishwater from the caff, as the app prompted me to during check-in. I could have the dishwater, but not the Kit Kat — apparently needs 24hrs to get a Kit Kat onboard. I noted that I could get IAG Cargo to put LTL loads on the same flight with 1hr notice…

    • Jonathan says:

      It all adds unforeseen weight to the aircraft, they don’t know if the KitKat(s) will sell or not !

      • TimM says:

        By the same token, the airline doesn’t know how much each passenger weighs when they check-in and how much they will eat in the terminal or, indeed, if they will visit the lavatory, before boarding.

        If you are likely to ‘need’ a Kitkat, I would just carry a couple in pocket permanently. They don’t fall foul of the security rules (yet).

        I seem to remember Rob telling us that BA will give free boiling water upon request, so perhaps carry a few of your favourite teabags too, and some little pots of UHT milk in your liquids bag?

        • CamFlyer says:

          However, I expect that the airlines have a good sense of the ‘average’ weight of passengers. In contrast, an extra 20 KitKat could throw all the calculations off. More significant are likely the complex supply chain logistics involved in even getting the extra 20 KitKats on a truck from the warehouse (assuming they have even been delivered to the supplier), to the airport, through security, to the loading truck, etc. Arranging all that in only 24 hours sounds pretty good to me!😉

          • Erico1875 says:

            Then you have to assume Nestle haven’t sneakily reduced the size of Kit Kats, which could affect the weight, therefore BA putting more fuel than necessary to transport these Kit Kats.

          • Nate1309 says:

            If the KitKats are loaded at the start, whether they are eaten or not surely the weight is the same at landing. if eaten that person weighs slightly more, if left then the weight on the shelf is the same!

          • Dubious says:

            If eaten, the overall weight should be slightly lower, as some of the calories within the KitKat will have been converted to heat and kinetic energy.

  • Marlene says:

    These short haul flights should be flying somewhere to start with…

  • Dawn says:

    Read this yesterday and decided to sort out an order for my husband who was struggling to get online and so I filled out the order for him. It asked his seat number, name etc and the billing address was my info using the Barclaycard. He flew back from LGW to DAL literally a few hours ago – they did not bring him any food so after nearly 2 hours he asked them if his order was received. They said it was in my name (which is a different surname to his) and they had no info of his seat number etc. So if you want to use this service, order it yourself and not for someone else despite the process seeming to allow it. They had his food thankfully and he enjoyed it.

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