British Airways has scrapped the long-established option for economy passengers to ask for free snacks between meals on intercontinental flights.
Six weeks before BA ends its policy of complimentary catering for economy passengers flying domestically and within Europe, The Independent has learned that the airline is now selling snacks on long-haul flights, rather than giving them away.
Previously, peckish passengers were able to ask staff in the galley for items such as crisps or chocolate. The “raid the larder” arrangement still exists in Club World, but economy travellers must now either bring food on board or buy items such as Pringles (£1.80) or Maltesers (£3.20).
A spokesperson for BA said the snacks are part of the inflight sales options: “We are always making changes to what we sell through our inflight retail. We are adding a few additional products that will join our current popular confectionary range.”
In the summer British Airways reduced its meal service on flights under eight and a half hours. On routes such as London to New York, it no longer provides two meals to economy travellers.
The airline says that on the longest routes it will serve two hot meals as well as providing a "mid-flight snack box" free of charge.
Virgin Atlantic says it has no plans to charge for food or drink in economy.
From 11 January 2017, BA will be selling Marks & Spencer snacks on board its short-haul planes to and from Heathrow and Gatwick. Passengers will choose from a range of products, from a packet of crisps at £1 to a Ploughman’s sandwich at £3. Cabin crew are already undergoing one-day training courses for the new “Buy on Board” arrangements.