British Airways has decided to end its complimentary in-flight service for economy passengers on all its short-haul routes.

From January 11 next year the new British Airways menu – which will replace the airline’s current complimentary snacks – will include items from M&S’ ‘Food on the Move’ selection and will be available in the economy cabin on short-haul and domestic flights from both Heathrow and Gatwick. The collaboration follows extensive customer research and feedback, which highlighted dissatisfaction with the airline’s current short-haul economy catering, and found fliers want more choices that reflect what they would normally select when out and about. BA’s Club Europe (short-haul business class) customers will continue to be offered a full, complimentary menu, which is also being improved and revamped from spring 2017 as part of the changes to short-haul catering.

Alex Cruz, British Airways’ Chairman and CEO, said: “We know our customers expect a great experience with British Airways. They’ve told us we are experts in flying and service, but when it comes to catering on short-haul flights, they want to choose from a wider range of premium products. Like British Airways, Marks & Spencer is a well-known, premium British brand that is respected and trusted, so it’s an ideal partnership, providing our customers with a choice of products they recognise and value.”
“I firmly believe what we are delivering breaks the mould and sets a new standard in short-haul catering. We will be providing a selection of premium brand, fresh food options and a menu that will be refreshed on a quarterly basis. We will also enable travellers to be able to use their Avios, the points they earn as an Executive Club member, to purchase meals. We know they’re always looking for ways to use their Avios and this is a great option for them.”

BA’s aim is to deliver bespoke items designed specifically for their customers by Marks & Spencer throughout the year. Elements of the menu will also change on a quarterly basis to reflect the seasons. Payment will be quick and easy via debit or credit card, including contactless transactions. Customers will also be able to pay with Avios via the BA app or with their Executive Club card.

The range will include a number of great fresh options as well as packaged products that are easy for customers to eat on the flight or take with them for their onward journey:

Breakfast options will include Greek style natural yogurt with summer berry compote and granola (£1.95), classic fruit salad with pineapple, melon, mango, apple, kiwi and blueberries (£3.10). Hot options will be the M&S Café bacon roll with pork from British farmers (£4.75) and a tomato and mozzarella focaccia (£4.75).

Fresh sandwiches will be available including the Aberdeen Angus beef and red onion chutney bloomer (£4.75) and the classic cheese ploughman’s with nine-month aged farmhouse mature cheddar and vine ripened tomatoes, pickle and mixed salad (£3.00).

The airline will be the first to serve M&S sandwiches fortified with both vitamin D (good for healthy bones and teeth) and added fibre providing at least 15 per cent of the daily recommended requirement of Vitamin D. Because of their strong umami flavours, the sandwiches work particularly well at altitude, where taste buds behave differently.

Other snacks will include a nut assortment of almonds, brazil, cashew and hazelnuts (£1.60), wasabi peas (£1.60), salted cashews (£1.60), oriental snack mix (£2), super fruit, nut and seed flapjacks (£1.45), salt & vinegar and lightly salted hand-cut crisps (both £1).

Confectionery options will include a made without wheat salted caramel hazelnut millionaire bar (£1.45), a grab-bag sized milk chocolate covered popping popcorn and pretzels (£2.45), packs of mini oat biscuits (£1.10), Swiss milk chocolate mountain bars (£1.70), the famous Percy Pigs (£1.80) and ‘The Whippy One’ (£1). The airline will also offer customers a full bar service with soft drinks priced from £1.50 and alcoholic drinks from £4.