British Airways announces its in-flight service cuts for August!

It is hard to believe, but British Airways has now started making a regular monthly anouncement of the latest cuts to its in-flight service.

From early July, as you may remember, we saw:

First Class:

Amuse bouche removed from the meal service

Blanket removed from day flights, provided only on request

Club World:

Changes to Club Kitchen stocking with more ambient – ie chocolate bar – and fewer fresh items

World Traveller Plus:

The second meal removed on shorter routes, to be replaced by the opportunity to take something from a basket of ambient snacks passed around by the crew

Pretzels, cheese and biscuits removed entirely

World Traveller:

The second meal removed on shorter and medium length routes, to be replaced by the opportunity to take something from a basket of ambient snacks passed around by the crew

The bottle of water replaced by a small plastic cup of water

Pretzels, cheese and biscuits removed entirely

Toothbrushes and toothpaste no longer be provided but they will be available on request

BA A380

According to cabin crew reports on Flyertalk, which I clearly cannot verify, this is what we will see from early August:

First and Club World:

Invitations to the arrivals lounge will no longer be given to passengers on flights arriving after noon.  Whilst the lounge stops serving food at 12.30, it has always been open until 2pm – but perhaps no longer?

Club World:

Passengers will no longer receive a choice of starter.  From London, you will receive a compulsory tomato, mozzarella and avocado salad

(This is apparently a trial for one month only and will be retained if successful)

Ice cream removed from the Club Kitchen

World Traveller Plus and World Traveller:

Tuck boxes removed – these are the boxes of small snacks which are loaded on the longer long-haul routes and kept in the galley for passengers to come and take as they wish

On the upside, Fever Tree tonic water will now apparently be available on all aircraft, long and short haul.

Don’t forget to check back here towards the end of August when I should have the list of September service cuts available ……

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  1. Mark Priest says:

    I’ve now decided I will only use BA for avios bookings. They will no longer get any flights for cash.

    It really can’t get any worse!

    I’ve got a couple of CW and F flights coming up, I will be talking to Virgin this week to see if they would like my business instead.

    • barry cutters says:

      I find the virgin upper class seats too small. iv only flown on the a340 mind

      • BA Club seats aren’t big either, I’d say they’re one of the smallest now.

    • I’ve come to the same conclusion. Cathay have some good prices to Tokyo from LGW (and one of the best lounges making HK a great place to transit) so I’ll spend cash on airlines that look after their customers and avios on BA when I have to use them.

  2. Michael says:

    Here’s a thought… How independent is SkyTrax? If BA dropped a star, there would be uproar in the company and something would change. How do we make that happen? Or do BA sweeten them enough it’s not even possible?

    • Lady London says:

      i have never regarded Skytrax, and quite a lot of similar league tables, as genuine and unbiased.

  3. Can we start a petition to keep the ice cream?
    I don’t understand why, with an outside air temp of -56 nobody has found a way of keeping ice cream cold enough to last more than a few hours but its still nice to have.

    • barry cutters says:

      Was given ice-cream on a Dreamliner from Shanghai to Lax with AA- 10 hours in the flight and it was rock solid. I had to wait about 15mins before I could eat it.

      • Maybe they have a store them in a special box outside teh cabin and pull them in when required

  4. Christ, the Club starter is an absolutely proper drop in service.

    • Yes its bizarre not to offer an option especially in the premium products, they seem to have lost track that people who pay a premium price expect a premium product.

  5. Andy Ho says:

    No more Froddos and crisps for us lot back in economy! :-(

  6. Hi can anyone with experience tell me out of the following US destinations if any have arrivals lounges and what the requirements are if they do

    New York
    San Fran
    Las Vegas

    thanks in advance

  7. Ugh. I was planning a trip to the US in a few months – SAS look really attractive with their new business seats. Even AA are looking pretty good by comparison these days.

    • I can recommend SK J – was very good both ways last week when I travelled with them – beat BA hands down in my view

  8. barry cutters says:

    Off topic.
    six months has passed since cancelling my AmEx gold chare card. Im thinking of getting either the gold again or the platinum. I wlll only have the card for a month or so while I hit the bonus and cancel. Havnt quite decided on which one to get and the sign up bonuses are nothing special at the moment…..Anyway my question is can I recommend myself. I currentlyhave the Ba prem Plus , so I know I can recommend other people for the gold/platinum, but can I recommend myself?


  9. watch this space

    harry’s review of Swissport lounge T3

    did it live up to its reputation?

    you’re all on tenterhooks, I know

  10. The bottom line is that BA are not worth spending money with but the 241 and seats in club world plus is a decent reward. What’s needed is greater competition. That requires a new airport and unfettered rights to fly anywhere by any carrier. I suspect it’s what encouraging QR to invest.
    BAs strangle hold on the UK rewards scene is unhealthy and like their dominance at LHR results in poor service and devaluations.

  11. OT slightly.

    I need a flight and return to Istanbul (ideally Sabiha) to bookend my Etihad Sydney break.

    Given current turmoil, can anyone recommend the best way to tackle that? Is it just out and return economy from Heathrow or Brum if I choose not to travel South. Will last minute tickets be a better option here? (Not tried that before)


    • You won’t get a deal very last minute as there are always desperate business travellers who will pay whatever. Didn’t BA have IST at £99 return in the last sale?

    • Lady London says:

      TK can do some good prices especially on open jaw

    • Genghis says:

      You really want to fly direct to SAW, not into IST as its quite far between the airports (and across Istanbul so probably best avoided currently). Turkish fly direct from Gatwick or Pegasus from Stansted. I flew Pegasus to Izmir at Easter (only direct flight available from London) and they weren’t too bad actually

  12. Kyanvi Lee says:

    Being an ex-frequent LHR-HKG flyer for past 10 years, I am guttered by the cut because getting on more than 6 times a year, the key thing I like about BA is their small bottle of water and the choice of snacks in the tuck box. It’s disappointing to see them go.

  13. Having recently flown a lot of transcon and transatlantic if there is an AA 777ER, or similar new business cabin, on the route then I probably would go with them vs BA. It’s a good hard product, and the extras feel generous in comparison. Air crew and lounge staff were far happier (if not flirtatious!) and more helpful vs the BA staff encountered. Plenty of fizz was made available for my disposal and I’m a sucker for the ice cream sundaes they have offer too.

    • Only problem is by flying AA we aren’t exactly encouraging BA to change. They have a profit sharing JV across the atlantic after all. Yeah, it does add some minute pressure to BA to improve, but it is not nearly as significant as switching JVs. Same applies to JAL and Japan. Unfortunately BA gets a cut of that as well…

  14. Stephen says:

    At this rate BA will be asking for our credit cards to pay for the fuel before take off !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  15. Depends on your status, what airline, which terminal or perhaps you have a lounge membership. Since you are asking about arrivals I assume you don’t have an onward flight. US airlines don’t provide lounge access without paying. However, AA is pretty good to BA Gold. I’ve used the Flagship lounge at JFK as an arrivals lounge (in another airport that I won’t mention I was in transit and AA created a phoney boarding pass for the person I was meeting to “check in ” so he could go past security and we had our meeting in the AA lounge – I will always fly AA when given a choice). SFO no. MIA no. Don’t know about LAS.

  16. While London trials the unichoice CW starter I assume the old (ie, choices!) menu will apply to flights originating from the rest of the world?

    • No, I think you will still get no choice but it will be a different item, ie whatever they can source locally.

      It doesn’t save any money unless choice (and thus overstocking) is removed.

  17. Why didn’t they just make it “pre order your food or else you’ll get a salad”? Saves on waste and retains choice.

  18. BA goes from barely acceptable business product to worse. AA far better with the new aircraft. I wish QR would fly to the US from the UK…

    • Not QR but SQ are going to start MAN-IAH later this year

      • Indeed they are. And, perhaps more importantly, this creates a direct MAN-SIN instead of the current diversion via Munich. I will look at this next week.

  19. But they are trialling duvets, mattress toppers and first pillows in CW on the upper deck of BA57/54 for August and Sept and separately trailing a more hand run CW service on the BA295 & BA273 – similar to what is found on the A380/787 flights for the same time period.

    • Jo’burg has unique dynamics. The flight goes at bedtime, is 12 hours and has minimal time difference. You can sleep a full 8 hours easily and all passengers want to do that. Giving decent bedding is the least they can do.

    • Genghis says:

      Just read your TP run website. Did you ever finish it? Was it an OSL-SJU return with a nested SJU-KOA return?

  20. Bonoglobetrotter says:

    BA continues spiral downwards. It is ACUTELY aware that the Mid East airlines offer a much better service and price. It clearly can’t / won’t compete on service and has decided to milk BAEC loyalty base as much as possible – classic short termism but understandable given short tenure of management these days.

    I have been a loyal BAEC member for decades. I am seriously looking for an alternative programme. Any recommendations? I am UK based, considering QR at present to maintain access to installed base of OW lounges. Any thoughts? Pros and cons much appreciated. Thx.

    • All ME3 airlines, in their latest planes (which London gets) beat BA easily. Etihad Business is probably the best on A380 but Qatar and Emirates can get you tier points and Avios and are not far behind.

      • bonoglobetrotter says:

        Thanks, have used QR and QF/EK for TP runs and BA is no comparison. Should I be swapping entirely out of BAEC (Gold) though as I dont typically earn Avios tier bonuses on OW partner flights?

        Q: have you or anyone done a recent comparison of FF programmes in “simple” tabular format eg QR vs AY vs BA? Some metrics would include points per mile flown, tier progress, expiry of points, and if even possible, range of cash miles required per redemption mile by making a few base assumptions? Would be tremendously helpful 😉

        • No, partly because I think people would take it seriously when, actually, it is far more fluid than that. There are so many other things to consider, eg BA has peak and off peak, Iberia has its terrible ‘no refund’ rules on non-IB redemptions, airlines put different countries in different zones for redemptions, each has different redemption partners etc.

          For all BA’s faults, the Avios scheme remains (for London based people anyway) exceptionally good value for short haul redemptions and no other programme is going to match that. If you’ve got an Amex 241 then long haul looks OK as well, although Virgin is now much cheaper than BA if you don’t have a voucher. BA also has the route network though …

  21. Well done BA, or should I say London Airways, now being run by mean accountants who do not understand that people who pay huge amounts of money to fly first/business demand a bit more for their pound.
    Living in the wilds of Snowdonia our nearest airport is Manchester. About 10 years ago BA stuck two fingers up to anyone north of Watford and effectively pulled out of Manchester leaving just a shuttle to LHR. Very convenient.
    Since then Emirates now flies out of MCR thrice daily, 2 A380s and a 777, Etihad & Qatar twice daily (so far) and from next year Oman Air. Add in Singapore, Cathay Pacific and several other eastern airlines and you have thousands of people who potentially would fly BA spending their money elsewhere.
    In between the Emirates and Etihad aircraft on the ground you can see the feeble BA shuttle scuttling like a little mouse to whisk a few poor souls to LHR to connect to their ‘convenient’ connection. With lowering standards BA seems to be modelling itself on Aeroflot, circa 1978.
    BA deserve everything they get, it’s a competitive world out there.

    • Don’t blame the accountants for stupid decisions. Most accountants have far more sense than just slashing at the things that look like they make the best savings.

  22. BA and IAG (the parent company) are being taken over by employees of Vueling more and more (Vueling employees are the ones getting promoted within the group), particularly at a senior level. This means the focus is cost, cost and more cost reductions. Expect the service to keep getting worse. There is no consideration for passengers.

    • bonoglobetrotter says:

      I recall when the IB deal was announced we were concerned that BA will become more like IB than vice versa. So much for the reassurances of mgmt at the time ….

  23. Not much else to cut back on is there?..?

  24. Ahh well, the race to the bottom continues, nothing new there then.

  25. If anyone is interestyed, BA’s “The Club” magazine today states:

    “Premium travellers who feel peckish during their next long-haul flight will be able to help themselves to a wider range of onboard treats. Following customer feedback, those flying in Club World can enjoy a greater variety of both indulgent and healthy snacks from the Club Kitchen. Lemon drizzle cake, Cadbury’s chocolate and retro sweets, will all be available, as will cold salad pots and fresh yogurt. Flights to India will also feature Indian-specific snacks, including curry and naan wraps.”

    • Genghis says:

      Interesting. So healthy stuff is staying?

      But what’s a naan wrap or indeed a curry and naan wrap? A naan (with or without some curry sauce) inside a tortilla? Weird.

  26. bigglesgirl says:

    Me and the other half have just flown BA First Class from LHR-HKG… more slippers, only socks in the amenity kit. Apparently you now have to ask for them – request only. We were talking to the crew and even they were saying how the service cuts were pretty bad, especially in Club World – not looking forward to my return CW fights to San Diego in October now :-( Only booked BA because they fly direct and I could spread my payments by booking through BA Holidays.