British Airways has announced more details of its short haul catering with Marks and Spencer.
As previously reported
the decision means that in the economy cabin on all short-haul and domestic flights from Heathrow and Gatwick from January 11, 2017, all food and drink will be paid for.
The food provided will be selected from existing “M&S Food on the Move” range and all items have been priced under £5. The drinks (including soft drinks and alcohol) will also be chargeable. London City and London Stansted will be included “by summer 2017”.
Short haul business class (Club Europe) will continue to receive free food and drink.
All payments will be by credit or debit card, or by using Avios using the BA app on phones or iPads (more details below).
Making the announcement, CEO Alex Cruz said that the move was “Two great British brands coming together.” He added that it was in response to customers asking for more choice and better quality in the short haul catering.
“We have reached this point as a consequence of an increasing number of requests from our customers. Today’s launch is in reaction to customer response around choice and quality.”
Cruz said that although Club Europe passengers would continue to receive free food and drink, the airline would be looking at ways of improving that offering.
“We will look at how we can strengthen the Club offering, and perhaps use the expertise of M&S, but for the moment there will be no changes to Club Europe.”
The airline says that the new M&S menus will be changed seasonally (each quarter). Marks & Spencer will supply the “Food on the Go”, but drinks will be supplied via airline supplier, Tourvest.
Details of the prices can be found here
Cruz was asked about the position with regard to passengers who had already booked short haul flights next year and who had been expecting to receive food and drink as part of the price they had paid for the tickets. He said
“Luckily there aren’t a huge amount of passengers who have booked short haul flights for next year. We are sending out emails telling them what we are going to offer them.”
A BA spokesperson provided the following statement on that:
“We believe it’s really important that we communicate the short-haul catering changes to our customers so they are aware of the changes ahead of their flight.”
“Customers who hold a booking for travel from January 11, 2017 will receive a bespoke email today (Thursday) informing them of the changes. We are also working with our trade partners to ensure customers are informed via those channels too.”
“Ba.com will be comprehensively updated and it will be made clear in the booking flow what customers receive. We’ll also be adding a new page about the M&S menu we’ll be serving on flights.”
“We are announcing these changes and updating our communication channels as soon as practical after supplier contracts have been signed.”
“Short-haul flights tend to get booked at shorter notice than long-haul flights so we’re announcing the ahead of the launch in January to ensure we inform as many potential customers as possible.”
“Customers booking short-haul flights are mainly focused on price and ease and those elements remain extremely competitive for our customers. We know food isn’t a driver for them when making a booking as they often pick something up on the way through the airport.”
“Customers who are very unhappy about the changes are welcome to write to our customer relations team. As always we will assess each claim on an individual basis.”
As far as paying for the food – all payments for food will be made either by debit or credit card, or by using avios. The airline believes that this will speed up the service. For more details on the Avios rates, see