Tag Archives: full service airlines

Should we get free food on a short flight or is buy on board food best?

When I started flying regularly from London to Edinburgh there was lots of free food on board. Massive breakfasts, three course hot evening meals, and lovely afternoon teas with warm scones and sandwiches.

In fact BA and BMI’s caterers were falling over each other trying to out do the other with the amount of their grub.

And this was in economy not business or first class.

On an hour-long flight you would get a drink before dinner, a hot meal with dessert, wine, and coffee or tea afterwards. Breakfast would include cereal, full English, warms rolls and big glass pots of marmalade or jam.

The downside? Fares were high.

Then Easy Jet, Ryan Air and Go came along. They were no frills airlines and they were about cheap fares. They gave no free food away.

If you wanted a coffee you had to buy one – you still do. If you were hungry you could buy a sandwich. You still can.

From then on BA and BMI’s started to cut the free stuff. Hot evening meals became smaller cold salads. Huge breakfast trays became smaller ones with tiny sausages, a couple of mushrooms, and a wafer thin slice of bacon.

buy on board food

At all other times the service is simply a free drink and a packet of nibbles (or birdseed as it is affectionately known by travellers on domestic routes), a tiny drink from the bar or a thimble full of coffee.

By continuing to offer a token free drink BA claims it’s a “full service” airline. But this is stretching it a bit isn’t it?

If I can’t eat before an evening flight home I go hungry on BA but I could buy a meal on Easy Jet.

So is it better to have a buy on board service or pretend to offer a full service which challenges the word “full”?

I think I am now in the place where I think BA should stop pretending with their economy product and consider a move to buy on board food.

Over to you: Do you prefer to buy on board food? Or perhaps you take a picnic? Do you need serving anything at all? Please leave a comment and let me know what you think.