Your photos of BA’s new Club Europe food

I wrote on Saturday about the introduction of the new ‘improved’ British Airways Club Europe food service.  This began yesterday.

In reality it is a mixed bag:

almost all routes now have a choice of meal where previously there was often no choice

some routes have gained a hot meal (eg Lisbon, Gibraltar)

quite a lot of routes have lost a hot meal, gaining a panini instead (see the list in the article on Saturday)

Here are a few photos taken by readers yesterday.  Click on any of the images to enlarge.

Breakfast

I ran these two pictures in an extra article yesterday morning.

Very little seems to have changed here.  The portion size may be bigger, or it may just be the smaller tray making it look bigger!  The new cup should keep your drink hotter for longer.

Verdict:  no major improvement in food, some improvement in presentation

Club Europe breakfast 1

and

Club Europe breakfast 2

Lunch / Dinner

This is where it gets contentious, as whether this is an improvement or not depends on route.

The photo below is the lunch, and presumably also dinner, served on a Madrid flight yesterday.  This route would previously have had a proper hot meal.  The panini served was cheese and tomato.

Note how the panini comes with a bread plate so you can, erm, have some bread with your bread …..

New Club Europe lunch

However you spin it, what you see above is NOT an ‘improvement’ on the previous hot meal.

Another reader managed to persuade the crew to give him both the hot sandwich and the salad:

Club Europe lunch 2

When you have both items together, it begins to look a bit better – but only the goodwill of the crew will get you this.

Here is a similar salad from a German route:

rsz_club_europe_salad

The reader described it as “A rather unusual combination of chicken salad with coronation chicken and king prawn. The coronation chicken was reasonable, the prawn was tough and tasteless and the chicken was a little bland. Not better no worse than my previous experiences.

On routes which would previously have only had a salad, arguably getting the choice of one of the two items above is an improvement.  The salad option looks smaller than the old-style salad however.

This is the panini given out on Heathrow to Amsterdam last night – it was unlabelled but appears to be some sort of pulled meat with cheese:

Club Europe panini

However, to be fair, you would previously have just had a salad on this route so there is at least now a hot option.

Afternoon tea

Departures between 2pm and 5pm on ‘Short’ and ‘Medium’ routes get a new version of afternoon tea.  The scones have gone.   You must now choose between cold ‘finger’ sandwiches or a ploughman’s salad.

Here is the ploughman’s salad, featuring scotch egg.  The mini victoria sponge replaces the scones.  As a shorter flight, it still gets individual bottles on champagne.  This looks ok although I had a soft spot for the scones:

club_europe_ploughmans_salad

Here, from a different flight, is what the sandwich option is like:

club_europe_finger_sandwich afternoon tea

On longer flights …

Here is a menu from a longer flight – Gatwick to Malta.  Routes like Malta always had a hot meal service so the change here is less dramatic.  The person who sent me this menu said that he found the meal OK:

club_europe_menu

It is still early days for the new service, of course, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see some changes as the months pass.  I think it is fair to say that nothing above passes as a ‘major investment in Club Europe’ or whatever the wording was that was used at the last City investor presentation.

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Comments

  1. Tom Murray says:

    It is a general shame. Many of us still fly the flag and despite everything and still choose to fly BA whatever happens as we’re hard wired – it’s our loss not BA’s. It’s not so easy to vote with your feet.
    We’ve found Mixed Fleet crews to be generally accepting of the cutbacks as they are ‘cutback’ hirings themselves. Mainline crews seem genuinely embarrassed about the downward trends and you can believe that serving the new and ‘improved’ menus will cause some of them even more discomfort.
    A tallish mug of coffee on a 320 series squished ‘club’ seat that has little enough tray space as it is, is going to be challenging – especially when served, as is now the trend, the minute you’ve got your main course.

  2. Having spent the weekend in Berlin and visiting various Stasi places, i’m beginning to wonder if Mr Cruz is a fifth columnist, who is secretly working for a rival airline :)

    i had the afternoon tea today, sandwiches were bland, but at least the coffee was warmer for longer and seemed to taste better – but that may have just what Mr Cruz wanted me to believe

    • the real harry1 says:

      Like all short little fat men, Alex Cruz has a clinical condition: Napoleon complex.

      ‘It is characterized by overly-aggressive or domineering social behavior, and carries the implication that such behaviour is compensatory for the subject’s stature. The term is also used more generally to describe people who are driven by a perceived handicap to overcompensate in other aspects of their lives. Other names for the purported condition include Napoleonic complex, Napoleon syndrome, and Short Man syndrome.’

      It is no surprise to me that enhancements with British Airways always mean reducing the size of something.

      He is bringing everything down to a smaller perspective, so that he doesn’t need that step-up stool any more if a photographer comes around.

  3. Great photos but a great shame. My last flight to Malta had three hot options and was a difficult choice..

    Cut backs dressed up on rectangular plates is such a shame but worst of all I fear the BA panini will soon rival the British Rail Sandwich of the early 80s as a travel industry joke. The Turkey & Emmental panini served on long haul CW flight from Shanghai yesterday was not worthy of a motorway service station with processed ‘meat’ and brown goo marking where the cheese had allegedly been.

  4. Slightly OT

    I thought that Club UK didn’t start till April – on BA1489 today and the first 8-9 rows haven’t got anybody in the middle seat!

  5. That minute salad /panini for lunch might be acceptable but for dinner? Outrageous . If BA can do hot breakfast they could have offered same meal for dinner.

  6. Has anyone had a gluten free meal since the changes yet? Not sure how they could make that any worse than it already was, but if anyone can, its BA!

  7. The pictures reveal lots of processed meat, bread and chicken – cheap meats, high salt, high fat food – low cost foods. The only positive being there is not much of it as portions look small apart from the pannini loaf.

  8. Funny how last week my IB flight LHR-MAD was spectacular(on a A346 I admit) yet now I am sitting in the lounge at MAD contemplating my growingly frustrating loyalty to BA if that panini is served on my BA flight later on. Oh and few weeks ago on BA to Marseille, a HOT MEAL was sreved both ways during the evening hours, and LHR-MRS is shorter than MAD. IB to MAD for me from now on then.

  9. I flew Club Europe on Friday (24th March) and subsequently Sunday (26th March), so was able to see the difference. I was hugely disappointed with the new Afternoon Tea offering on the 26th – I went for the two finger sandwiches option and was astounded at how little food Club Europe passengers now receive. And as for ‘no scones’, have BA completely lost all sense of Britishness…Britain is the home of of the concept of Afternoon Tea of which scones are a CRITICAL part. The national carrier could at least get this right. No doubt another Alex Cruz decision to ‘improve’ the premium offering.

    • the real harry1 says:

      get real

      scones are for fat people – cut out the fat

      it’s not the national carrier, we don’t have one

  10. Brian Paddick says:

    I am Gold Guest List and a Concorde Room card holder and I am leaving BA after the Club Europe meal changes. The cost cannot be justified for a disgraceful meal offering and an economy seat. The panini was disgusting and the salad tiny.

  11. Adrian says:

    My vegetarian partner just flew Club Europe on a domestic route between Heathrow and Glasgow. His dining options? Nuts, or the option to “buy on board”.

    There was no ability to give a meal preference in advance, so it looks like vegetarians shouldn’t bother with Club Europe.