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Saturday 03rd of October 2009
July 31, 2009    

BA cuts costs by axing free meals

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by David Masters

Short-haul passengers are the latest victims in the British Airways’ attempt to steer clear of administration.

Passengers on short-haul flights taking off from London after 10am will no longer receive a free meal, a bread roll, bottled water or sandwiches, as part of cost-cutting measures that could save the airline up to £22 million a year.

All flights of less than two-and-a-half hours will be affected, including those to Barcelona, Madrid, and Malaga.

A BA spokesperson said: “It is not unusual to make small changes to avoid waste and save money where is makes sense and it meets customers’ changing tastes.

“We are still a full-service airline and will continue to offer complimentary food and drink.”

The move is a subtle nod in the direction of no-frills airlines such as Ryanair and easyJet.

Airline comparison site travelsupermarket.com said the changes were “sad but inevitable”.

Bob Atkinson, travelsupermarket.com spokesperson, said: “On the booking page of its website, BA still promises complimentary food and drink and customers may well be disappointed to discover that means little more than a biscuit.”

Unions warned the cut-backs could worsen BA’s finances by pushing passengers to other airlines.

Attempts by BA to cut staff costs have repeatedly stalled as unions fight plans for compulsory job losses and pay freezes.

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