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British Airways scraps free snacks on short flights
September 29, 2016 / 10:35 AM / a year ago

British Airways scraps free snacks on short flights

LONDON (Reuters) - British Airways said on Thursday it will no longer provide free snacks and food in economy class on short-haul and domestic flights, joining budget carriers like Ryanair and easyJet which charge for sandwiches and other items.

British Airways' new Airbus A380 arrives at a hanger after landing at Heathrow airport in London July 4, 2013. REUTERS/Paul Hackett/File Photo

BA, owned by IAG, said from January it would sell food from British retailer Marks & Spencer to economy class travellers. Passengers travelling in the class above economy will continue to receive free meals, as will passengers on long-haul flights.

The change comes as BA’s parent company IAG tries to cut costs at a time of increasing competition in the European short-haul market and will narrow the gap between flights offered by BA and its low-cost, no-frills rivals.

The airline said the switch to selling M&S food was driven by customer dissatisfaction with the its current short-haul economy catering.

“They’ve told us we are experts in flying and service, but when it comes to catering on short-haul flights, they want to choose from a wider range of premium products,” BA chief executive Alex Cruz said in the statement.

BA said it would sell an M&S Aberdeen Angus beef and red onion chutney bloomer for 4 pounds 75 pence, a hot bacon roll for the same price, plus other breakfast options, nuts, crisps and chocolates, and customers could pay using Avios points, part of a BA loyalty scheme, if they wanted to.

Reporting by Sarah Young. Editing by Jane Merriman

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