Two weeks ago, we published a thorough review of the new short haul economy snacks on offer on British Airways. You can now choose between a tiny flapjack or a tiny slice of banana bread.
At the end of my article, I noted that it was better than nothing – “which is what you get on most other major European airlines”.
As some of you noted in the comments, I was wrong. To be fair, I should have known better, having flown Air France in February.
So, on my my recent trip to Paris for the opening of the new Star Alliance lounge, I chose to fly Air France in order to compare what was on offer. (I also love the A220s that Air France now flies to Heathrow, which is like the A350s of single aisle aircraft.)
On my outbound flight at 9am, the offering was comparable to what BA supplies: a 25g packet containing two sables aux amandes almond biscuits:
Size-wise, this is the same as the new banana bread or flapjack. You may also be offered a Kellogg’s Nutri-Grain bar by BA on some morning departures.
On my return flight just after 6pm, things were a little better. Instead of biscuits you get something resembling an actual meal – half a sandwich:
I’ve never had a grilled Mediterranean sandwich before. To be honest, my hopes were not high. It doesn’t even look that good. Rather than spread, the filling is a mushy lump at the centre (click to expand on desktop, it really is something):
The taste test confirms that it doesn’t taste like much of anything.
On both flights I was also given a choice of soft drink, including tea, coffee, water, sparkling water, juice, cola etc. This is a substantial improvement over British Airways, where you only get a mini bottle of water.
So, which is better, BA or Air France? In terms of food, I think it’s fairly even. Whilst the half-sandwich is fine in theory, the execution is rubbish and I saw other passengers leave it uneaten once they saw what it was. How hard is it to offer a sandwich with a filling people actually want to eat?
When it comes to drinks service in short haul economy, however, Air France is in the lead. At least you get a choice!
How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (December 2023)
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:
There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:
You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points. These points convert at 1:1 into Avios.
SPECIAL OFFER: Until 9th January 2024, you will receive 30,000 Membership Rewards points (convertible to 30,000 Avios) with American Express Preferred Rewards Gold. You receive 25,000 points if you spend £3,000 in three months and a further 5,000 points if you hold the card for 15 months. You can apply here.
SPECIAL OFFER: Until 9th January 2024, you will receive a huge 100,000 Membership Rewards points (convertible to 100,000 Avios) with The Platinum Card. You receive 75,000 points if you spend £10,000 in six months and a further 25,000 points if you hold the card for 15 months. You can apply here.
American Express Preferred Rewards Gold
Your best beginner’s card – 30,000 points (TO 9th JANUARY), FREE for a year & four airport ….. Read our full review
The Platinum Card from American Express
Crazy 100,000 points (TO 9th JANUARY) and a huge range of valuable 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.
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.
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.
Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.