BA may end short-haul free-food policy

British Airways may bring in buy-on-board scheme
British Airways is reviewing its short-haul catering following speculation that a buy-on-board policy may soon be introduced.
UK newspaper The Independent reports that new British Airways boss Alex Cruz, who took over as chairman and chief executive last month, may seal a contract with upscale supermarket chain Waitrose to supply buy-on-board food and drink.
Cruz formerly headed Spanish budget airline Vueling, now part of the International Airline Group that includes BA.
Removing free catering would allow BA to offer headline price parity with easyJet and perhaps even Ryanair, particularly at London Gatwick where, apart from free on-board catering, it has a similar cost base to its budget airline rivals.
BA said it was “constantly reviewing every element of the experience our customers receive, including the in-flight catering” and said it would make changes that reflect passenger feedback.
Some BA passengers will not notice much of a difference if the policy is changed, as on short flights catering is already reduced to a drink and a snack such as a bag of pretzels. A buy-on-board policy in the economy cabin would also help differentiate the Club Europe cabin, which has a full hot-meal service.
BA recently introduced a pre-paid meal option on long-haul economy flights as an upgrade to the normal free-meal service, so this may be one concept being considered for short-haul.
TTG Digital

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