|Your M&S food taking flight......|
British Airways has come under fresh criticism after awarding Marks & Spencer a supply contract for sandwiches on-board short-haul flights, all to be offered at retail prices to passengers and replaces the traditional free of cost in flight catering.
The deal flagged up by The Independent in May, the airline said it would review policy of offering free food and drink on board all flights - the airline previously said was an essential part of its product offer.
Julian Bray Aviation expert says: "British airways has been engaged in a battle of catch up with former 'budget' airlines who have gained massive inroads into BA's traditional market. Passenger loyalty is a thing of the past with business travellers now seeking the most cost efficient deal and essentially the most attractive headline price. Many passengers are already picking up 'gourmet' premium price in-flight meal pack from the airport terminal prior to flight , so this would seem to be a logical development."
The airline claims its not making sufficient profit on short-haul routes due to intense competition from rivals such as Ryanair and easyJet they have a policy of charging for meals.
The move means BA can now offer lower headline fares than rivals but may dent BA's up market image in its quest for revenue.
Nik Loukas, the editor of the Inflight Feed website, told the Mail on Sunday: “I think it is going to be very difficult for passengers to swallow the fact that they are going to have to pay for food after it has been free for so long.
“There will probably be a big backlash. BA has always had a tradition summed up in their slogan ‘To fly, to serve’. I think they will have a battle on their hands.”
The deal is expected to be announced in the coming weeks. Long haul, business and first class passengers will continue to receive complimentary meals.
One long-serving cabin crew member told The Independent in May: "On a busy Amsterdam we hardly have time to serve everyone, let alone take money.”
JULIAN BRAY +44(0)1733 345581 Aerospace & Incident Management Expert, Journalist & Broadcaster, Aviation Security & Airline Operations, Travel / Maritime & Cruise Industry, NUJ, EQUITY, LIVE ISDN LINK, Broadcast ISDN COOBE ++44 (0)1733 345020 e&oe Old faithful NOKIA: 07944 217476 www.aviationcomment.com