My experience with the new British Airways lounge catering

I was in the British Airways Terminal 5 lounges last week for the first time since the change of caterers to BaxterStorey.

The new contract – combined with what appears to be a massive budget cut – has led to much passenger anguish, as I reported here.

I arrived at the Galleries Club North lounge at around 9.45am.  And, to be honest, what I found was pretty much unchanged from what was there before.

The cereals were still there:

BA Lounge Food 3

The fruit and yoghurt were still there:

BA Lounge Food 2

The bacon sandwiches had disappeared, but had been replaced by an expanded selection of pastries:

BA Lounge Food 1

There was, luckily, no sign of the gloop, which I believe only emerges at noon:

Lounge Catering

So, all in all, it was what I expected and actually better than I was led to believe.

However, it is fair to say that:

Galleries Club catering has not been downgraded as much as Galleries First or the Concorde Room

Breakfast is the least changed meal of all

I also understand that the bacon rolls are available if you arrive earlier, but are now withdrawn at about 9.30am.  They were previously available for at least another hour.  It is also fair to say that bacon sandwiches are not necessarily a better or worse option than pastries!

You can continue to track the problems with BA’s lounge catering over at the BA Lounge Food website.

Tomorrow I will write about the purpose of my trip, which was to compare British Airways domestic services with the new Virgin Atlantic Little Red flights.

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Comments

  1. andset1191 says:

    Raffles, I have to say it is very much time dependent. My first visit there with the new caterers was between 3-6pm, and I believe this is when the most profound difference is.

    There used to be hot food – pasta and curry, soup salad and sandwiches, cakes, biscuits, muffins and cereal; now there is just soup, sandwiches, cakes and biscuits.

    • Exactly, breakfast isn’t really that different. Evening in LGW now has soup as the only hot option in Club and a bacon roll as the only hot option in the F lounge! I ended up going to the No 1 lounge downstairs to get some hot food last time I was there (via Priority Pass card).

  2. Thunderbirds says:

    I normally travel early, flying to Gibraltar @ 08:00 out of T3 and when I arrive at 06:30 the breakfast at The Gallaries Business Lounge seems fine. Everything you would expect plus the bacon rolls and HP Sauce are in full swing. I do prefer to bring in my own coffee from Starbucks though as the lounge coffee is underwelming.

  3. Courtster says:

    As you say Raffles, I have no issue with the GC catering. Business as usual really.

    As a lowly silver I was guested into GF by my friend a couple of weeks ago. Now that really has taken a turn for the worse. Where are duck legs, the pork belly, the mini pies?!!

  4. AusTraveller says:

    I travelled out of T5 on Tuesday and used Galleries Club North. Arrived at about 2:15pm. In short: it wasn’t appealing. Food was horribly bland and – as expected – the meat had mostly been fished from the gloop! (Warning: avoid the quiche).

    Subsequently spoke to a BaxterStorey manager, who told me the following:
    – They had only taken over the contract from Restaurant Associations (Compass Group) in May so there it is going to be some time before the full service ramps up (… this is ludicrous in my opinion, especially since they were awarded the contract in January)
    – The food service will be upgraded to include more ‘carvery’ style options and that it would be improving, especially because – according to the manager – the ingredients and quality of the RA food was poor and that they would soon have a larger range available for guests
    – The Galleries First catering had been downgraded so that the basic ‘buffet’ style food offering was to match business class/galleries catering, but the a la carte menu would be upgraded
    – Hot food service was withdrawn between 3-6pm at the request of BA who wanted a better experience and hence decided to offer afternoon tea instead

    … so remains to be seen whether things will actually get better…

  5. heading to T5 tomorrow via NCL, hope it is not as bad as I have been hearing, last visit was pre change. Will endeavour to report back, in T5 from 1pm-4pm, wish me luck!