BA delays scrapping free airline food following passenger's legal battle

Nicola Harley
The airline was due to introduce the measure at the height of the summer holiday season at London's City airport until one disgruntled passenger complained on the grounds that he and thousands of others had booked tickets before the move was announced.  

British Airways has delayed scrapping free food and drink for passengers on short-haul flights after a passenger threatened to take legal action.

The airline was due to introduce the measure at the height of the summer holiday season at London's City airport until one disgruntled passenger complained on the grounds that he and thousands of others had booked tickets before the move was announced.

BA had been providing a drink, snack and sandwich as part of the price.

The airline was due to introduce the measure at the height of the summer holiday season at London's City airport until one disgruntled passenger complained on the grounds that he and thousands of others had booked tickets before the move was announced.  

But from January it has started to introduce charges for passengers to purchase Marks & Spencer food on its short haul flights.

John Barber bought eight tickets for he and his family last September to travel to Majorca in August.

He estimated the withdrawal of the refreshments would cost his group an additional £156.80 and decided to take BA to a small claims court which consumer campaigners believe would have opened the door for thousands of other claims.

As a result BA have now changed the introduction of paid-for meals at London's City airport until October.

Mr Barber, 40, from Peterborough, told the Mail: "I suspect the only reason they changed the cut-off date is because they did not want to go through a court case and open the door to lots of other claims.

"However, that doesn’t mean they are in the clear. We also need BA to make absolutely clear to everyone...exactly when this change is going to come into effect."

Marc Gander, of the Consumer Action Group, added: "BA was clearly in the wrong. It acted very unfairly and in breach of contract. Anybody who brings a small claim like this should be congratulated."

A spokesman for BA said: "We now offer a range of M&S sandwiches and salads for under £5, and snacks from £1. Customers say they prefer the new selection.

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