British Airways is reported to be planning to follow budget carriers by introducing economy seats that cannot recline on flights lasting up to four hours.

The move may prove controversial for BA amid criticism of its increasingly budget-style service and cost-cutting measures, The Sunday Times reported.

The airline recently removed free food and drink in economy class for short-haul flights and faced a computer meltdown that stranded 75,000 passengers over last year’s end of May bank holiday weekend.

Passengers may soon be forced to do their shopping solely in the airport as the airline is “reviewing” selling duty-free items, such as perfumes, on short flights.

BA will fit non-reclining seats on its new fleet of 35 Airbus A320neos and A321neos that will start to enter service later this year.

The plans could signal the end to “legroom wars” when rows break out among passengers over whether or not they should move their seat back. The new economy seats will mean there will be limited legroom to fight over.

BA told the newspaper: “These changes will allow us to offer more low fares to customers.”