September 29, 2016 / 10:32 AM / a year ago

British Airways scraps free snacks on short flights

LONDON, Sept 29 (Reuters) - British Airways said on Thursday it will no longer provide free snacks and food in economy class on short-haul and domestic flights, joining budget carriers like Ryanair and easyJet which charge for sandwiches and other items.

BA, owned by IAG, said from January it would sell food from British retailer Marks & Spencer to economy class travellers. Passengers travelling in the class above economy will continue to receive free meals, as will passengers on long-haul flights.

The change comes as BA's parent company IAG tries to cut costs at a time of increasing competition in the European short-haul market and will narrow the gap between flights offered by BA and its low-cost, no-frills rivals.

The airline said the switch to selling M&S food was driven by customer dissatisfaction with the its current short-haul economy catering.

"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," BA chief executive Alex Cruz said in the statement.

BA said it would sell an M&S Aberdeen Angus beef and red onion chutney bloomer for 4 pounds 75 pence, a hot bacon roll for the same price, plus other breakfast options, nuts, crisps and chocolates, and customers could pay using Avios points, part of a BA loyalty scheme, if they wanted to. (Reporting by Sarah Young. Editing by Jane Merriman)

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