By: Daedalus • email: firstname.lastname@example.org
British Airways introduction of Marks & Spencer-branded paid-for food on its short haul routes from January has hit a snag – one that could have meant an embarrassing small claims court case.
The new M&S menu has been introduced on short-haul and domestic flights from Heathrow and Gatwick, and was meant to launch on London City (LCY) flights in August.
However, according to the UK’s Daily Mail newspaper one BA customer, John Barber, was ready to take the airline to court because, prior to BA’s announcement that it was withdrawing free food, he bought eight tickets to fly from LCY to Majorca in August.
He says the new charging policy would have cost him more than £150 extra for his group of eight if he bought equivalent products from BA’s M&S menu. BA has now moved the introduction of paid-for food from LCY to late September and, to be safe, it might make it October.
That way BA should avoid similar claims because it announced the new food policy on 29 September 2016 and it is not possible to book tickets on its website more than a year in advance. Therefore, all passengers flying in October should have been forewarned of the new policy.
Crisis averted, yes. But the case demonstrates the strength of feeling over BA’s move to charge for food. LinkedIn is awash with negative comment about the decision and many are asking what real differentiation is there between ‘full-service’ and low cost carriers. The litmus test will be whether loyal BA travellers stick it out or desert the airline for the short haul cheap seats offered by rival LCCs.