British Airways will introduce food for purchase on their European network from 11 January 2017. Passengers in Euro Traveller and UK Domestic were hitherto provided with complimentary food on board so this is a huge change. Online reactions have been mixed. Some people vow never to fly British Airways again and others are completely ambivalent to the idea. Here is why I think this is the right decision.

Complimentary does not equal good!

The current complimentary food British Airways serves on some routes is quite frankly insulting. Unhealthy choices such as a small packet of crisps or a bag of spiced nuts is not really fitting for a premium airline.

From reading around the web, it seems everyone up in arms about the changes have been booking with British Airways because of a free bag of crisps. Is this really the case?

No, it is the booze, stupid!

What will the thirsty British executive do at the end of a hard week without a free Gin & Tonic or five? Rather than being complimentary, a drink such as this will cost £6.00 when the changes come in. I hazard a guess that most of the bleating from the frequent flyer community is due to this fact. Waddling off the aircraft tipsy courtesy of British Airways will no longer be possible without some personal spend – and that probably won’t be reimbursed by payroll.

All of that being said, surely bringing in buy on board food lowers British Airways to the level of airlines such as Aer Lingus and Iberia or budget carriers such as Ryanair and easyJet?

Newsflash – BA have been on this level for a long time!

Aer Lingus are a Skytrax 4 star airline along with British Airways and they have had food for purchase on their European network for years. Aer Lingus food has a decent variety, is popular and most importantly provides a choice for passengers.

Passengers are spoiled for choice with options to suit any time of day. The complimentary offering currently provided by British Airways doesn’t even come close.

Why would I now pay extra to fly British Airways?

Four immortal words – British Airways Executive Club. The price premium is the price paid to have Avios miles and all the options and perks the programme provides.

In addition, British Airways has a competitive long haul product backed up by a decent array of lounges which holds them far above the low cost carriers.

Overall Thoughts

The downward spiral of the European aviation product means BA are now raising their standard to that of their competitors and this is long overdue. A partner known for quality food such as M&S helps reinforce the premium image the airline strives to maintain. The fact British Airways continues to be a traditional full service carrier in every other cabin class (not to mention its ground offering) should mean people will continue to fly with them. Thank you for reading and please leave any comments or questions below.

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