Some good news on British Airways in-flight food!

Back at the British Airways press event in early April – which now feels like a l-o-n-g time ago – Chairman and CEO Alex Cruz made some passing remarks about reversing some of the cuts on in-flight services.

It seems he meant it.

According to comment from cabin crew on Flyertalk, the following changes were meant to be in place yesterday:

The amuse bouche has returned to First Class

The flowers have returned to the toilets in First Class

Cheese and biscuits, and pretzels, have returned to World Traveller Plus

The contents of the ‘snack basket’ passed around in World Traveller on short routes – which is instead of a 2nd meal – have been improved with passengers allowed to take three items

The latter will undoubtedly please Troy Warfield, BA’s ‘head of customer experience’.  There is an internal BA staff video where he talks about how, when he worked a flight one day to see how it was, he saw cabin crew being forced – due to lack of stock – to reprimand small children who tried to take two items from the snack basket.

Given the huge amount of negative publicity that British Airways has received for its service cuts (it was a weird day when even The Economist started quoting HFP) you can’t help but think that some major mistakes have been made.  The bad publicity has almost certainly cost the airline far more in bookings than the paltry cost of a pack of World Traveller Plus pretzels or a fun-size chocolate bar.

British Airways A350

Meanwhile ….. at London City

You may have seen a story in some newspapers over the weekend about British Airways being forced to put back the launch of ‘buy on board’ catering at London City Airport due to a legal case.  A group had already purchased tickets for travel this Summer when the announcement was made and felt that their contract had been breached.  They claimed £156 in compensation.

British Airways revealed during the case that buy on board catering at London City has now been delayed until October and so the claimant had no claim after all.

Some reports put two and two together to get five and thought that BA had delayed buy on board at City because of this case.   That is not true.  It has apparently been delayed because of issues creating the necessary storage space on the small Embraer aircraft used.

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Comments

  1. BoB, flowers, amuse bouche, food quality, champagne etc…..

    It is all rearranging the deck chairs.

    IB and AA have fully flat business seats transatlantic – with all on IB and many on AA, in cabins with direct aisle access.

    Until BA shows any signs of fixing that……they will never be my first choice.

    And I would rather IB and AA’s new business than BA First!

  2. FlightDoctor says:

    I flew First to JFK last night and can confirm the amuse bouche and the flowers are back! Just a shame that the cabin crew seemed really bored and did nothing to make me feel like a premium passenger.

  3. Jimmy says:

    On the BA2625 back from Nice last night we found another CE ‘enhancement’ – having booked the flight expecting to get dinner on board (as on previous occasions) we were told that the route has been reclassified, and so dinner in CE has been downgraded to a hot snack, eg a croque monsieur.
    I appreciate this is right up there as far as first-world problems go, but for a revenue CE ticket booked in January, it’s a bit blimmin annoying to only find out you’re not getting the meal you expected when the trolley arrives at your seat.

    • Haha. My wife and I returned from AMS in J on Easter Monday and were served lunch of, you guessed it, croque monsieur. The FA was quite embarrassed at having to trowel out the sticky mess from the foil but, surprisingly, it wasn’t that bad and my wife insists not as bad as the Dutch cheese and slice of lettuce as previously provided. Still not great for J, if I’m honest.

  4. I was on a WAS-LHR flight felt starving before they served their 2nd meal, the fun sized snack. As I didn’t know the rule by the time, I attempted to pick up two finger sized kit Kat bar, and was embarrassed to be told off that it was limited to one per passage. I really hated myself not be prepaired for the 8hour flight so I decided to took none. Btw I m a gold memeber( that’s not to say I deserve anything more than other flyers. I am just praising BA for giving same recognition for all its fare paying customers)

  5. I took 4 x CE over the bank holiday weekend, on 3 of those the food was great – chicken or duck salad, warm rolls, oat cakes and stilton plus delicious cheesecake or chocolate mousse. However, the “afternoon tea” on one of the legs was terrible – tiny, dry sandwiches with unidentifiable fillings and equally dry fruit cake. The inconsistency was baffling! They have started serving gorgeous chocolate and coffee/walnut cake in the lounge, so if flight times permit, I would have afternoon tea there in future.

    Cabin crew confirmed that all the bottles of wine – only one of which had more than one glass taken out of it – would have to be poured away at the end of the flight. This practice must be costing BA a fortune!

  6. Chelseafi says:

    O/T can I refer Gold from Plat and receive same referral points as Gold to Gold? Just trying to work out what to do next thanks.

    • Yes, you send a link to Gold but can toggle it to Plat if you scroll down

    • Mzungu says:

      Following on, I posted this last week, but must have been too late for folks to see:

      Re referring, and cancelling BAPP with a 241 earned, I’d just like to canvass opinion from the experts here…

      I’ve just triggered the 241 on my BAPP, and have about 4 weeks to go to renewal. My wife has PRGC (triggered bonus a while back) – I’m thinking of getting her to refer me for Gold, upgrading her to plat etc. Then cancel my BAPP before having to pay the next year’s fee.

      I won’t be able to use the 241 for quite a while, we’ve only just used the one on her account! I think that the accepted wisdom is that cancelling the BAPP will have no effect on the 241, as it resides in the BAEC account? Is there any cause for concern (in spite of what Amex may say when I cancel)?

      Thanks

      • Indeed – no-one can guarantee it, but as you say the voucher is in your BAEC account and no-one seems to have run into problems. I’m due to cancel myself shortly, just waiting to charge taxes/fees for a BA redemption first!

      • NigelM says:

        …the thing about cancelling BAPP before paying next year’s fee… since they refund pro-rata, you know the anniversary doesn’t have much significance, right? The week before paying the fee costs as much as the week after.

        • Mzungu says:

          That’s a valid point NigelM, but I’m close to the end of the year, and I’m ready to start a churn cycle. So it’s as good a time as any…

        • Genghis says:

          I always cancel as soon as I’ve earned the 241 to then reset the clock.

  7. flyforfun says:

    “Cheese and biscuits, and pretzels, have returned to World Traveller Plus”

    I don’t know why this doesn’t return to World Traveller Std as well. Cheese is a food that makes you feel fuller for longer.

    The contents of the ‘snack basket’ passed around in World Traveller on short routes – which is instead of a 2nd meal – have been improved with passengers allowed to take three items.

    Three small fun size chocolate bars counts as an improvement? The shame of it BA.

    Just found out my company has now removed BA from it’s list of preferred airlines for TATL. Cost is one factor and complaints from staff is another. Many were stopping at the airport to get something to eat, even after flying business or WT+ on their return to the UK and claiming it on expenses. Amazing what a little cut can do….

  8. Fenny says:

    As Jed Bartlet says – “post hoc, ergo propter hoc!”

  9. If only one of the other major airlines offered a proper 2-4-1 on their CC… they would totally clean up…

  10. The issue I still have is I fly to Dubai overnight fairly regularly in economy and go straight into the office. The cuts really hit home around 6 months ago when flying overnight for breakfast I was offered a muffin and then on my last trip a soreen (sp) malt bar which was awful to say the least. So quite frankly having 3 items still pretty rubbish

  11. Simon says:

    Good news on the seat selection for HBO fares are back , maybe ba are starting to learn …

  12. Julian says:

    Sorry about the Off Topic post (clearly forced on me here by the comments section for both the recent Nutmeg topics now being closed and there also being no general HFP discussion forum where I could start a topic of my own) but this is for my small but clearly extremely dedicated band of followers on HFP.

    Anyway just to say that Nutmeg credited my avios.com account with 50,000 Avios yesterday (Tuesday 2nd May) only about a week after they had cleared the cheque for £50,000 that Nationwide had sent them in respect of the transfer of my Cash ISA. I did not have to chase Nutmeg in any way to get the Avios credited to my avios.com account but I am told the usual reason they sometimes don’t credit automatically is when customers use a different email address to set up their Nutmeg account from the one that have registered with Avios.

    • Julian says:

      Also coming back on topic I have to say that if the new low level of food in Club Europe is as described (apparently now no Hot Chocolate as well as no port or brandy – already not available last year – and only rubbishy finger sandwiches and no hot meal) and if one looks at Avios redemption availability this summer in Economy (near non existent on most routes to the Med, even in May, June or October low season weeks) vs Club Europe (quite plentiful except for black out periods over bank holidays or the main school summer holiday weeks) one has to conclude that what BA is up to is another form of disguised Avios price rise by making what was a minimum 7,500 Avios old Zone 2 one way redemption + £17.50 in to a 12,750 + £25.00 redemption but with slightly better service, luggage allowance (generally far more than required) and seat room than in Euro Traveller (AKA Economy).

    • Good stuff, glad it worked out.

      Comments close automatically after 3 weeks. This is a spam control exercise (and, frankly, because the old posts are not heavily read so you’re talking to yourself anyway!).

  13. Aspirational Flyer says:

    Currently taxiing at Gatwick on a BA flight to Lima. Will report back on the catering when I have a few spare minutes, although I assume we will be given a second meal given this is a 12 hour + flight.

  14. startupflyer says:

    Glad it seems like some good news, after experiencing a pathetic sandwich & a dried out sponge in Club Europe on BCN – LGW yesterday my expectations have been suitably lowered even further than before. I would have preferred to buy one of the M&S offerings.

  15. Rob Henshall says:

    I’m flying from LHR to Kiev Ukraine. I’m traveling economy. I’m disabled with secondary progressive Multiple Sclerosis and I need to be near the front of the aircraft and the toilet. We booked our seats 7 E & F right behind Club Europe. I use my wheelchair to the aircraft entrance and then use crutches, but I’m very limited on the distance I can walk. BA bumped our seats back to row 12 D & E and they have told me that I can’t use the toilet at the front as this is for Club Europe passengers. They expect me to walk to the back of the plane and use those toilet. I said that would be impossible for me, so they offered to move our seats to row 32 to be near the toilets. I said again, that is impossible as I’m going to find it hard enough getting from row 12 to use the toilet at the front of the plane. Again, I was told the toilet at the front is for Club Europe only. BA said I could upgrade for £360 but I haven’t got that kind of money. So I’m going to the airport on Sunday and hope the crew will allow me to use the toilet at the front. If not, I’ll have to forfeit my 10 day holiday. I’m an Executive Club member, but I’ve dropped down to Blue, I was Silver but due to my illness I’ve slipped to Blue. Whatever has happened to BA?

    • the real harry1 says:

      it’s not ‘BA’ – it’s a single BA representative – I’d get on the phone again to explain the situation to a more sympathetic agent, who would probably get you better seats further forward

      on board, I’d be mighty surprised if they don’t let you use the front loo, they leave the curtains open often enough as it is and often don’t seem to care if people from cattle use the front loo (I used to do it for fun as soon as the stay-in-your-seats light went off 🙂 )