The Sunday Times: “BA may ditch free meals on the long haul”

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Seems that British Airways will have something in mind for those that are still willing to fly the airline in long-haul economy.

British Airways BOB Long-haul Economy

British Airways recently enhanced away complimentary snacks, food, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages in short and medium haul economy and introduced paid products. Now the airline is apparently mulling bringing paid food and beverages for long-haul coach as well.

You can access The Sunday Times article here of which below is an excerpt:

Now long-haul British Airways passengers are in line for the “improvement” to services known as paying for your own food and drink.

The airline could start charging long-distance flyers for a menu drawn from the aisles of Mark & Spencer, Alex Cruz, BA’s boss, has revealed.

In an interview with The Sunday Times, Cruz said that after “a rough start” customers now welcomed the chance to pay for M&S food on European flights. The airline’s buy-on-board system, which replaced free food on short flights in January, is “a perfect decision”, he said.

“It’s going great. Customers say to us: ‘Finally, I have good choices. No more chicken or beef’.” The service could be extended to long-haul economy. “We might do it,” he said.


Cruz came to British Airways from Spanish LCC called Vueling that is also part of IAG along with Iberia, Aer Lingus and Level.

Cannot see how the airline could compete with this BOB concept on the long-haul even against the US airlines that are certainly not known for being “leaders” in economy class service. Even less against the ME3 (Emirates, Etihad & Qatar) and Asian airlines when flying east.

It is really sad state even if the airline is merely contemplating something like this. I truly doubt that BA’s customer on the short-haul flights are happy for now having to pay for the crap that was previously included such as snacks and beverages.

I flew BA last year on long-haul economy to/from Montreal. I have no idea about the service in economy, as I was in sound sleep from take off to landing on both flights.

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  • McCaron

    BA is getting worth and worth
    Actually, IAG seems to be a group of LCC now, BA follows the same trend as other sister companies

  • William D

    frankly I don’t mind for food. However for drinks that should still be available for free. At least fruit and other soft drinks

    • Kflik

      or at least just water.
      Paid water on long-haul should be banned as unhealthy.

      • William D

        BA told me via twitter before they launched it there that on short haul they do provide water (it’s a legal requirement if you ask for it). They’d presumably do the same on LH

  • Mike

    BA = Bloody Awful.

    This Cruz is ruining a once great airline. To say customers are now saying “they welcome the chance to pay for food” means this guy is in dreamland.

    Avoid BA wherever possible. I have 500,000 Avios which am using on any airline except BA.

    • Joseph Merrick

      Yes, I do welcome the chance to pay for food – if that means I have more choice and better quality at a reasonable price.

      But I also agree with the other comments that water should be available for free on any flight.

  • David Stevenson

    Transforming BA from a full service airline to a low cost carier may increase short term profits but IMO will lead to its demise in the long term.

  • Tim Sims

    It is now clear that Alex Cruz shouldn’t be in charge of a rubbish removal company, let alone a premier airline. British Airways is now on a steep nose dive to oblivion. Shame on the people who put Cruz in this position