No M&S sarnies for BA’s cabin crew

By | Category: Travel news
tal fins of British Airways planes

Now food is free just on long-haul flights

From today, if you fly on British Airways short-haul, there are no free snacks and no free drinks. From today, you have to pay.

Gone are the days when I used to get a free cooked all-English breakfast when I flew on the early morning flights from Heathrow to Manchester or Edinburgh. They were one of the very last airlines who would provide a hot meal on a 45 minute flight when we used to wonder why other airlines could only manage a soggy croissant, a yoghurt and a banana. And the breakfast was tasty as I remember or is that just remembering through the foggy mists of time?

As from today, the airline has signed a deal with Marks & Spencer and it is they which will provide the sandwiches albeit at a more expensive price than the high street. Will there be a range as wide as an M&S store? Even if there is a choice of half-a-dozen it will be an improvement on what is provided now. Particularly if they have my favourite – cheddar and carrot chutney!

Cabin crew at the airline claim, according to their union- Unite – that cabin crew start at salaries that can be as much as £6,000 less than customer assistants get in London stores of the retailer. The union also says that its members on strike will “struggle to afford the M&S sandwiches they sell.”

Aside from the union claims, do airlines really need to supply free food and drinks on flights less than a few hours? Airlines are just transport carriers and no different from trains and coaches. They don’t give away free food and I see no real reason why airlines should.

The change by BA means that there is little difference between no-frills and more traditional airlines. Just as I have found flights on BA cheaper than on easyJet or Ryanair from time-to-time, the only thing that differentiates most airlines these days is customer service. How the passenger is treated is both on-board the flight and at the airport is what makes me decide which airline to fly and, tightwad that I am, sometimes that means I have paid more for certain flights than using a cheaper airline.

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