British Airways scraps free food for €5.50 M&S sandwiches
Mile-high food menus
British Airways is borrowing from the budget airline playbook, scrapping free food for a new range of M&S snacks.
The airline is pitching the move as a partnership between "two great British brands", providing food on the move for short-haul fliers.
But will paying up to £4.75 (€5.50) for sandwiches appeal to passengers who enjoy the distinctions between traditional and no-frills airlines?
BA's new in-flight menu, which replaces complimentary snacks on short-haul flights, will be available from January 11, 2017, the airline says.
Initially, the menu will roll out on flights from Heathrow and Gatwick, with departures from Stansted and London City following in summer 2017.
The menu includes a range of Marks & Spencer snacks chosen "for their flavour at altitude", BA says, including store favourites like Percy Pigs (below).
Gluten-free and vegetarian options are also available, with prices ranging from £1 (€1.15) for a packet of crisps to £4.95 (€5.70) for a spiced chicken salad.
Breakfast options include Greek-style natural yogurt with summer berry compote and granola (£1.95/€2.25), while a M&S Café bacon roll costs £4.75 (€5.50).
No item on the menu costs more than a fiver.
The collaboration follows customer research that highlighted dissatisfaction with the airline’s short-haul economy catering, BA said.
Its research found that fliers want more choices that reflect what they would normally select when out and about, it added.
“I firmly believe what we are delivering breaks the mould and sets a new standard in short-haul catering," added Alex Cruz, British Airways’ Chairman and CEO.
As well as cards, passengers can use Avios points to pay for food - via the BA app or with their Executive Club card. Cash will not be accepted.
Soft drinks start at £1.50 (€1.75), while alcoholic drinks start at £4 (€4.60).
The new menus are the latest in a series of updates to BA's short-haul services - including refreshed interiors and a new fares structure.