British Airways is to scrap all free meals, except breakfast, on its short-haul flights in a cost-cutting exercise which will save around £22 million a year.
After 10am, passengers on flights lasting less than two hours will be served only drinks and snacks.
To be introduced from Monday, the economy measure comes at a time when thousands of BA staff have agreed to take pay cuts or go part-time to help the airline cater with the recession.
The changes to catering have come about as part of BA’s review to reduce costs and waste without heavily impacting on the customer experience.
BA research has shown that passengers’ needs on catering change after around 2.5 hours and that is when more refreshment is required.
A BA spokesman said: “When you fly with British Airways, the in-flight catering is top-class and, unlike some other airlines, it is free.
“It is not unusual to make small changes to avoid waste and save money where it makes sense and it meets customers’ changing tastes.”