Is British Airways really planning on charging passengers for meals?

Is British Airways actually about to ditch free food in economy class?

Various media reports suggest that the airline could soon begin charging passengers for meals on short-haul flights, however, British Airways has dismissed the reports as being “complete speculation”.

If the airline were to stop offering free food in economy class it would allow it to significantly cut the price of headline fare, raise revenue, and save the airline unnecessary wastage.

British Airways
It’s uncertain whether BA will actually begin charging passengers for meals, but it could be in the airline’s best interest.

However, BA has said that the reports are “complete speculation”.

A British Airways spokesman was quoted by the BBC as saying: “We are constantly reviewing every element of the experience our customers receive, including the in-flight catering, to ensure we’re delivering what they want.

“Everything we do is with our customers in mind and we will make changes that reflect their feedback.”

John Strickland, a leading airline consultant, was quoted by The Guardian as saying that the move would not surprise him.

He said: “In business class, passengers are still getting a very nice product offer. But it’s inconsistent in economy. People are used to going onboard loaded with food from shops at the moment because they don’t know what to expect on BA – a full meal, or a wrap and a packet of crisps. BA is in a no-man’s land at the moment. It needs to bring some clarity to better meet or manage customer expectations.”

Last year British Airways reported revenue of £11.6 billion (down 1%) while operating profit rose 41% to £1.4 billion.