BA introduces M&S “Buy On Board” from Wednesday 11 January 2017

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British Airways partnership with Marks & Spencer "M&S On Board"
British Airways partnership with Marks & Spencer “M&S On Board” (Image Credit: British Airways)

This Wednesday, 11 January 2017, marks a significant change to BA’s UK Domestic & EuroTraveller European short-haul flights to and from London Gatwick to London Heathrow.

The current offer of complimentary food and drink will be replaced by Buy-On-Board food and drink from Marks & Spencer. You can view the food menu and the drinks menu on the BA website.

Key points to note are:

  • Payment will only be accepted by credit card or Avios from your British Airways Executive Club account
  • Cash will not be accepted
  • To pay with Avios you will need to have the latest version of the BA app on your smartphone (it will show a barcode on the “My Account” screen of the app)

Ever since the advent of low cost airlines, BA has long sought to differentiate itself by offering complimentary food and drink on short-haul routes.  However, those who have flown with BA for decades will recall plated dishes in EuroTraveller, then replaced by a bagged “All Day Deli” service.  

In recent years, the offer has diminished even further with the food on some shorter routes reduced to barely a biscuit.  Furthermore, the offering has been inconsistent between London Heathrow and Gatwick.

What is more surprising is that the airline has moved to full Buy On Board in one go and has not trialed it at Gatwick which is often a test bed for wider initiatives.  The exceptions are BA CityFlyer flights from London City and Stansted which are expected to add Buy On Board in the summer.

Furthermore, the airline hasn’t sought to softened the blow by retaining complimentary catering for some its Executive Club cardholders or those paying the most expensive flexible economy fares.

The one area of change is that BA will introduce its Club Europe business class on UK domestic routes from an as yet unspecified date later this year.

The introduction of Buy on Board will be quite a radical change and it will no doubt take time for cabin crew to get used to the new changes and for the airline to accurately gauge stocking levels.

You can be confident that customer feedback will be monitored very closely, particularly post flight survey responses.  We would encourage passengers who have experienced the new service to make their views known direct to BA.

We welcome any thoughts and comments below:

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