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.