Please sign in to post.

Food and drink on flights?

I was just perusing the British Airways site to check on refunds and rescheduling, since I'm assuming our May trip will be postponed, and ran across this (slightly editted for format:)

Will food and drinks be available on my flight?

Unfortunately, special dietary requirements or allergies will not be catered to.
You can eat any food brought with you that does not require heating or chilling.
We‘ll continue to assist parents who need to heat milk for their children.

Short-haul: Food or drinks will not be available to purchase
onboard short haul flights. However, we’ll be offering complimentary
light refreshments and water. Hot drinks will be available on request.

Long-haul: We’ve worked closely with food and health experts to
make available a selection of hot and soft drinks as well as some
light refreshments. We’ll be carefully and hygienically preparing and
packaging each meal before your flight.

Refunds for pre-paid meals will need to be actioned from the contact

If you would like to bring food onboard, we suggest you purchase food
before you reach the airport, as many restaurants and shops at the
airport may be closed.

I hadn't heard about this. Makes flying even less appealing now.

Posted by
6321 posts

Is this a permanent change or just during the pandemic?

Posted by
4573 posts

Nancy, surely it's just during the pandemic! I can't imagine it would be permanent.


Posted by
2270 posts

Is this a permanent change or just during the pandemic?

Last night, my husband and I were talking about how some of the precautions we are taking now to avoid the spread of the coronavirus may end up being part of the new normal when the current crisis abates.

Posted by
1239 posts

The short-haul "complimentary" arrangements are actually an improvement - previously in economy one needed to buy light refreshments such as a cup of tea or a soft drink. I imagine when the current unpleasantness is over, it'll go back to selling them.

Posted by
5608 posts

The world will approach life differently if and when this pandemic ends. It will be a matter of survival.

I’m more concerned about the major hit the world economy is taking, jobs and businesses that are being and will continue being lost. That’s a huge long lasting ripple effect that will affect us all.

Stay safe, stay healthy, STAY HOME!

Posted by
2769 posts

Nick is right. In the good-ole-days of summer 2018, the AC didn't work well, the flight was delayed due to weather and they didn't even have enough water for sale on our flight from London to Edinburgh. I'm not usually claustrophobic but I was in the last row and it was miserable.

Posted by
2733 posts

I received an email from American Airlines (even though I haven't flown their airlines since the 90's). and am not planning to fly anywhere any time soon. I believe this applies to domestic travel. "American has temporarily changed a number of policies in response to COVID-19. These changes include relaxed seating policy, reduced food and beverage service, and suspension of checked pets." Slightly edited.
To see complete format go to

Got to thinking-- Remember when Costco and other markets sampled food? I can recall doing cheese tasting just 2 months ago.

Posted by
1019 posts

Maybe there will be long-term changes, maybe not. I don't see how these changes would impact a future pandemic from occurring. Meals being more hygienically packaged would not have prevented this, for example. People being more vigilant about wiping-down their seats would not have prevented this. What I hope, and sadly doubt, is that this will be the kick in the pants that politicians need (maybe that people need to then kick their politicians in the pants to do something about) to develop the infrastructure to respond to this in the future, because there will be another one in the future. Imagine if we had safety protocols (which, I imagine, is what the Pandemic Response department Obama set up was working on) that snapped into gear the instant there was a threat. Imagine that every person and every industry knew exactly what they should do, and at what stage, when the next virus hits. There would be an entire engine that turns on, a crisis response, that severely mitigates the development of a pandemic. We are doing that piecemeal now, and in the wake of the virus. It's infuriating.
I know this is a bit of a departure from the OP's observations, but all this to say, why should Airlines change their food and drink policy after this is over ... except by using the pandemic-induced changes to justify a policy change that would otherwise get too much push-back?

Posted by
5636 posts

As Janis suggested, the days of "free lunch" at Costco are probably over. And they were way more vigilant about hygiene than the samples station at our local market (grab a chip, sweep it through the dip carton.)
Airline food -- I may settle for unopened cans of soda or fruit juice and bread and cheese I brought from home.

Posted by
9632 posts

Wow do people go off on tangents.

Most major airlines have curtailed food and beverage service on short haul flights during the pandemic. They want to minimize contact between flight crew and passengers, Long haul flights will continue to have some service but it will be cut back. You won't go hungry.

Relax, it is not permanent. Airlines make too much money from selling food and drinks.

Posted by
2916 posts

my husband and I were talking about how some of the precautions we are taking now to avoid the spread of the coronavirus may end up being part of the new normal when the current crisis abates.

In the same vein, I mentioned to my wife yesterday that I've never seen so many people out walking and bike riding before, and that I wondered if, when this is over, many of them will say: "Hey walking and biking is great; I think I'll continue to do that." Or will many say: "Yes! I can start going to the gym again"

Posted by
1767 posts

What amazes me is that people actually seem distressed that they aren't getting inedible food from the airline.

I generally find that bringing my own food on the plane is a the way to go. So the only real difference might be that I would bring it from home instead of buying it at the airport and probably by the time I fly again the airport concessions will be open again.

Posted by
12326 posts

Frank II, when I go to Budapest in April, no planes for me. I'm taking the train until those nasty airlines are nationalized and become efficient.