It’s been six years since British Airways axed free drinks and meals in its Economy Class cabin on short-haul flights – a product that BA dubs ‘Euro Traveller’ even though the pretty broad category includes flights to North Africa like Marrakesh and Cairo, and even Amman in the Middle East.
A buy-on-board service was introduced under the leadership of former CEO Alex Cruz, who brought a low-cost mentality from his days at Spanish budget carrier Vueling, although the partnership with food retailer Marks & Spencer was decidedly upscale.
Coming out of the pandemic and with a new leader at the helm, British Airways is slowly unravelling some of the most controversial cost-cutting measures introduced during Cruz’s unpopular tenure.
Chief executive Sean Doyle doesn’t have any plans to get rid of the buy-on-board service on most short-haul flights – after all, it’s not only a money spinner but a popular service with passengers who value the ability to buy a wide selection of fresh food and snacks rather.
At the same time, however, Doyle realises that British Airways is catering – figuratively and literally – to consumers who expect a level of service at least one notch above low-cost rivals like easyJet and Ryanair.
To maintain that competitive advantage, Doyle introduced complimentary water bottles and snacks for Euro Traveller customers on all flights, and the airline has recently been experimenting with bringing back free tea and coffee.
And now, BA is bringing back a free bar and a small meal on some of its short-haul flights. Customers flying to or from Amman in Jordan and the Egyptian capital, Cairo, will be able to benefit from the improved meal service on all flights departing from September 7.
British Airways passengers on these services will soon be able to enjoy a complimentary gin and tonic, as well as free tea and coffee and a small cold meal.
The service will launch with a breakfast service or a ‘rest of the day’ option. The breakfast service includes a pastrami-filled croissant, Nutrigrain bar and Actimel milk drink, while the ‘rest of the day’ meal includes a chicken-filled roll, popcorn and a Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate bar.
In addition to the free snacks, passengers will also get a blanket, although BA has no plans to swap out its short-haul Airbus A320 aircraft on these routes with widebody long-haul aircraft with seats that recline.
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.