British Airways will charge for hot water


British Airways has confirmed that when the new Buy on Board short-haul service begins in January, “the airline will only provide cups for beverages purchased in flight”.

The statement is in line with instructions to crew which state that only “potable water” will be available on request. All food and drink, including soft drinks and tea and coffee will be chargeable, and passengers will not be able to avoid paying simply by requesting hot water, then using their own coffee granules or tea bags.

If customers do request a tea cup, then this will be charged “at the retail price regardless of whether a tea bag is required”.

The move by British Airways to charge for all food and drink on board short haul flights, while retaining food and drink as part of the price for business class (Club Europe) tickets was announced in September

Defending the move, CEO Alex Cruz said that:

“We haven’t reached this decision because we were going to take a huge amount of cost out of the business. The decision has been taken because of choice and quality.”

The prices for the short-haul items can be seen here, and the Avios prices here.

The decision to charge for food and drink on short-haul services has provoked much debate on our forum.

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  • How cheap and nasty of BA. At least Finnair, who have a buy on board offering, provide free tea, coffee and blueberry juice in economy. I am gold with BA and even I am looking to decrease my flights with them.

  • Dumb move! Now their planes will end up littered with used carry on cups, bottles, wrappers and left over food because if people know they’re going to be charged for food and drink they’ll stock up in the terminal before boarding. This is what happened in the USA when airlines cut back on inflight catering. The added problem is the airline also loses control of what get brought and consumed on board. Trust me there’s nothing worse than the greasy stink of burgers and fries on a flight.

    But then this is Alex Cruz so what do you expect? He is after all the man who brought Vueling (currently bottom of the Which? short-haul airline poll) to the brink of bankruptcy before jumping ship and taking over the BA job.

    • Alex Cruz really is a disgrace. Treats customers and staff alike with contempt and you can bet he is already planning to jump ship before a once great airline goes down the pan.
      What really stinks is if you purchased your ticket a while ago you were told food and drink would be included. They have unilaterally changed the rules without compensation. Nasty little dishonest airline.
      We need to lobby the regulators to ensure that if LHR’s third runway every gets built that BA doesn’t get any more slots. If they didn’t have this stranglehold on our hub airport they would be failed years ago offering the kind of service they do.

      • Cruz and Walsh – I’m sure that nasty little leprechaun is quietly feathering his nest ready for an early retirement when this does all go belly up on him.

  • Disgusting…Cruz has always gone all out to bring British Airways in line with cheap/cut price airlines…Hi along with Walsh seem determined to destroy what was once the best airline in the world…Shame on these people…They will soon feel the effect when people move to other airlines….Disgusting…

  • ““We haven’t reached this decision because we were going to take a huge amount of cost out of the business. The decision has been taken because of choice and quality.”
    we are talking about hot water here not vintage wine. Don’t treat us as idiots it is about nothing other than money.

  • From January 2017 British Airways are heading further downmarket by taking
    away free food and drinks on their European flights. It’s their choice
    to do this and they claim that they are “upgrading the food offering”.

    Many passengers booked and paid for flights BEFORE this was
    announced. Those flights were clearly sold as being with a full service
    airline and including refreshments. On a two hour flight it would be
    normal for a passenger to have say a gin and tonic, sandwich and coffee.
    On their new published price-list this will now cost £11.30 (including
    the cheapest sandwich).

    British Airways will be charging customers £2.30 if they ask for hot water.

    After multiple messages of complaint, BA have offered £3 compensation
    claiming that the food and drinks were complimentary and therefore not
    part of the ticket price. This is the same as a bed and breakfast
    property removing the breakfast and saying that it was complimentary and
    so not paid for.

    BA need to offer a reasonable level of compensation to customers who
    have already paid for something that they will no longer receive.

    Whilst there are much worse things happening in the world, this is
    typical of how a large company treats the public with contempt. Please
    sign the petition and help change.

  • Honestly? Hahahaha…a great move for BA…another innovation to put them in front of the crowd….great thinking!!
    What could possibly go wrong?

  • dump BA … Airline wants to make fools out of their paying passengers

    Maybe BA can introduce lap dances by their cabin staff to increase profits even more

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