BA drops free food: What can we expect next, and how will their Marks & Spencer meals compare?

Simon Calder compares BA's current free offering with the airline’s plans for selling M&S snacks

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The Independent Travel

Would you like food with that economy airline seat? If so, and you happen to be on a British Airways short-haul flight, you’ll soon be paying for the privilege. BA’s long-standing promise of “a complimentary snack or meal and bar service” for every passenger on every flight will be ditched from 11 January (slightly later to and from London City and Stansted). From that date, those of us in the cheap seats invited to pay for some posh snacks. 

But how appealing are the options on the mile-high menu? British Airways supplied The Independent with both the current offering — a selection of pre-packaged baps and wraps — while Marks & Spencer provided examples of what will be available from the trolley at 30,000 feet on almost all flights under five hours.

While the food has changed, the drinks remain mostly the same; you just have to pay for them now. Anyone who likes a drink on board, and flew British Airways because of the airline’s generosity with complimentary beer, wine or spirits will find that the cost of a trip increases steeply unless they decide to go “dry” for the duration of the trip. And even a bottle of water will cost £1.80.

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