British Airways will bring back free snacks and a bottle of water for all short-haul passengers sat in its Eurotraveller economy cabin a little over four years after the airline controversially ditched complimentary refreshments for a Buy On Board menu with high-end grocery retailer Marks & Spencer.
The Buy on Board menu hasn’t been available since April 2020 as part of BA’s initial response to the Coronavirus pandemic that sought to limit contact between crew and passengers. Buy on Board service was seen as particularly high-risk because it would often take the length of an entire flight to serve every customer that wanted to purchase something.
In its place, British Airways temporarily brought back free snacks like crisps or a breakfast bar alongside a bottle of water. Now, the airline says it will make the change permanent as part of its efforts to go more upmarket in what could be seen as one of the only pandemic service changes that passengers will be happy to see stay.
Passengers will, however, still get the chance to part with more of their cash so long as they are organised enough to do so at least 12-hours before departure. On Friday, a spokesperson for British Airways confirmed that it would soon introduce a wider selection of Buy Before Your Fly pre-order goodies.
The menu has been devised by Michelin-starred chef, Tom Kerridge who has been partnering with British Airways for several years alongside the airline’s in-house product team.
More substantial snack options that will be available to buy include a warm steak and ale pie, a ham hock and smoked cheddar sandwich and a chicken, bacon and celery brioche. British Airways will also be continuing its partnership with Scottish brewer Brewdog with another specially created IPA called Jetstream which will be exclusive to BA.
All food orders will need to be placed via BA’s Highlife Shop web portal at least 12-hours before departure, where passengers will also be able to pre-order Duty Free products for delivery direct to their seat.
“Over the last few months we know that our customers have valued the complimentary refreshments offered, so they’re here to stay,” commented BA’s director of brand and customer experience, Carolina Martinoli.
“But in addition, we also wanted to offer more choice and the ability to buy something more substantial. After a successful partnership with M&S, we have teamed up with another British favourite, chef Tom Kerridge,” she continued.
Martinoli also confirmed on Friday that British Airways would be bringing back china and glassware in its premium cabins from January 20 after the airline was slated for offering First Class passengers cardboard “minimum-contact meal boxes”. The pre-order menu is also expected to go live on the same day.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.