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How to (Sort of) Get Free Tea on British Airways Flights

How to (Sort of) Get Free Tea on British Airways Flights
Jennifer Billock

British Airways recently launched a new menu for its short-haul economy flights, and tea lovers are rejoicing—because with the new menu, it appears that if you bring our own teabag, you can have tea for free. There’s also a discount on coffee now if you bring your own cup, so everyone can enjoy a freebie.

As of May 1, a new menu has been launched on British Airways short-haul flights, called the Marks and Spencer menu. And it comes with an unexpected perk—well, sort of. If you bring your own tea bag, you can actually get a free cup of tea in-flight.

British Airways cabin crew explained it to Head for Points: “You can have a free paper cup. You can have some free hot water. However, you must bring your own teabag.”

The change is because the former tea supplier, Twinings, came with a built-in cup; the new tea supplier, Teapigs, doesn’t. This switch is a bonus for people who have lounge access since the lounges at Heathrow and Gatwick offer free teabags. If you just purchase a cup of tea in-flight without bringing your own bag, it’ll cost about $3.28.

The airline is also offering a discount on coffee if passengers bring their own cups.

Other changes to the menu include a new type of coffee called Cru Kafe, other new drinks including Love Cocoa Hot Chocolate; Loveau Raspberry, Strawberry & Blueberry Infused Sparkling Water; Estini Espresso Martini; Pinkster Small Batch Raspberry Gin; and Brewdog’s Speedbird 100 IPA. There’s also a new tomato and mozzarella flatbread, an activity box for kids with snacks and games, and afternoon tea with a scone, clotted cream, and jam.


[Image Source:  Shutterstock]

View Comments (8)


  1. fotographer

    May 7, 2019 at 7:02 am

    what if you like your tea with milk and sugar?

  2. rylan

    May 7, 2019 at 10:26 am

    Milk and sugar are $3.28 :p

  3. J S

    May 7, 2019 at 10:45 am

    Seems like BA is challenging Spirit and Ryanair. This is an amazing level of cheapness for an airline that styles itself as full-service.

  4. Cofyknsult

    May 7, 2019 at 11:01 am

    My standard request, when in Ryanair dba BA Economy, is to ask for “A Glass and a napkin”, which is always granted, then the lounge drinks and snacks come out, usually not from BA lounges as thay have become extra careful not do give anything removable (individual wrapped small portions), but from other OW lounges. Actually, most BA FAs are so ashamed of the service they are made to provide, that they overwhelmingly offer all the trimings, ice, etc… even seasoning for a tomato juice. Although alcohol not provided by FAs is supposedly not allowed for drinking on board, I have noticed that the miniatures have reappeared, brought in by many passengers (not me so far…). Corporate greed has a way of bringing up passengers’ reactions.and clever ways around it.

  5. enggeol

    May 8, 2019 at 5:52 am

    JS – I agree. On a recent flight from Oslo not even water was provided at the seat, only a cup which you could fill up from the tap in the toilet!!!

  6. steviebaby

    May 8, 2019 at 6:02 am

    How very embarrassing. Mr Cruz has ruined the standard of a once great airline! I do hope he is proud of what he has done for (some) shareholders. I say that, as I am one myself, but am truly ashamed at the all around cheapness of BA in its race to the bottom with Ryanair..

  7. Markx

    May 8, 2019 at 12:59 pm

    It really isnt FULL service….about Easy Jet level now and soon to be Ryan Air…terrible

  8. Erik J

    May 15, 2019 at 9:51 am

    I can’t believe they are actually promoting this as some great deal.
    Really sounds rather pathetic to me.

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