British Airways have announced their Speedbird Cafe range, replacing M&S buy on board.
In late 2020, British Airways announced that they would no longer be stocking M&S products on board their flights. Since introducing buy on board catering in early 2017, the airline has relied on the British retailer for the products sold in their Euro Traveller cabin.
By April 2020 however, the M&S products had disappeared from services. Due to the Covid outbreak, initially all food and drink on board was suspended. In June 2020, the airline started offering catering on board again. In their Club Europe cabin, boxes were handed out. Whilst this was a downgrade, those in Euro Traveller received and upgrade in catering. Free catering was back for the first time since the first few days of January 2017.
In Comes Speedbird Cafe
With the announcement that a more standard catering product would return in early 2021, there had been many rumours about who would replace M&S. Everyone from Greggs the baker to Waitrose to Pret had been rumoured. In the end, it was a more in house initiative. Tom Kerridge, who had worked with British Airways during their 100th anniversary celebrations has provided a number of sandwiches.
In addition, there is a steak and ale pie on offer.
The remainder of the items on offer are mostly familiar. Including the infamous afternoon tea, minus the tea. Although it is somewhat more obvious now that you have to buy the tea (or any other hot drink) separately.
The other notable addition is the debut of the new Brewdog / British Airways collaboration. Announced nearly a year ago, Jetstream will now be available to purchase on board. Presumably, this will be offered for free in premium cabins and lounges.
When British Airways initially launched their buy on board, it was promised that the bulk of the items would be priced under £5. This remains the case for the most part. There are a few spirits and mixers that cost a little more, but in general the prices remain in line with what was offered previously.
One notable omission though is the option to pay with Avios. Although this offered horrible value anyway, so this isn’t particularly a bad thing!
The biggest change is the option to now pre order. In the early days, there were numerous complaints about food completely running out on flights. Whilst the situation improved, there were still instances of this occurring. Hopefully with the opportunity to pre order, this will go some way to eliminating shortages.
To view the full Speedbird Cafe menu, see here:
It emerged this morning that the free catering that British Airways have been offerinf during the pandemic would be staying. This is a very positive move, especially considering that there are now precious few airlines providing free catering in Europe these days.
Additional media has also been made avialable.