Change Your Altitude

New Rule: You Have to Pay to Eat on British Airways

British Airways to 'enhance' their catering options

British Airways to ‘enhance’ their catering options

So here we continue on the downward spiral to god to knows what we end up with.

A few days ago we posted about Emirates charging for seat selection

Hey, guess what!? Now you can pay to eat on your next British Airways (BA) flight!



In what will be invariably marketed as a “product enhancement” and giving passengers “more options”, BA has announced that they will be introducing a Buy Onboard Menu for European flights come January 2017.

What this means in the short to medium term is anyone’s guess – we shall see.

But here’s two ways to look at it, especially as a oneworld based – well anywhere if you need to travel in Europe.

One the one hand: the current rubber chicken and red (maybe) tomato sauce pasta options in Euro Traveler leave much to be desired, right? I assume there’s much wastage after a given flight on this front.

On the other hand: the new catering, supposedly to be handled by M&S – as in the high end Marks and Spencer’s food chain – will offer catering options such as a Chicken Tikka Masala wrap, a full British Breakfast, Welsh Drillbit, Scottish North Atlantic Salmon Pilaf and an organic Herdforshire Beef Pie might be an upgrade to the utter rubbish that’s been offered for free at the moment.

It’s a tricky one and we’re a bit on the fence on this one. We’re sad that BA is getting rid of free food, but they’re also offering a notably quality offering in its place.

We still need to see how this plays out.

They might still offer a free (low quality) option with the ‘premium’ option for sale – or they might even offer the M&S food choice for free for passengers connecting from international flights and oneworld elites – we don’t know yet and we’ll report when information becomes more forthcoming – but it all serves to further muddle the already murky waters of the British Airways short haul European product.

What does this mean for US based oneworld elites flying on BA in the coming months? Absolutely nothing.

But post January 2017, it will mean that while your trans-Atlantic flight on BA might have featured free catering (whatever mysterious substance might have been served to you), if you’re connecting to a intra-Europe flight afterwards you will end up having to pay for food unless you’re in Club Europe. Maybe (but probably not).


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