British Airways is on the verge of rolling out a trial of a pre-order food service, Business Traveller reported last week. This will allow passengers in Club World and First to specify their choice of meal in advance and be guaranteed to receive it. At present, non-status customers can find that their first choice of meal is not available.
This is NOT a version of the Singapore Airlines ‘Book the Cook‘ service. Singapore allows you to pick from a substantial range of meals – there are 20 different main courses available for a First Class passenger departing London, including lobster thermidor – so you know that you will be getting something you want.
The British Airways version, based on what has leaked out to date, will not be like this.
My understanding is that it is effectively a cost-cutting move to reduce wasted food. You will only be able to choose from the standard menu for your flight. The airline will then be able to reduce the number of meals loaded for other passengers, reducing the chances that they will be able to have their first choice.
Rather like pre-selecting seating, you are likely to find that you will HAVE to pre-select your meal – whether or not you like picking your food weeks in advance – because the chance of getting what you want onboard has shrunk.
This leads to another question …. would pre-selecting your meal in Club World stop you being upgraded? At present, it is BA policy not to upgrade passengers with a special meal request. If BA did allow you to choose a meal which was not on the on-board menu it would almost certainly block you from an upgrade.
To be fair, we do not yet know the full details of this service so it could turn out to offer genuine benefits. Expect an announcement in the next few weeks.
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