Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

British Airways pre-ordering of meals starts today for flights from 1 December

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.

Back in August I reported on the rumours that British Airways was about to start allowing the pre-ordering of food in Club World and First.  This has now become a reality with the service set to launch on December 1st.  World Traveller Plus is also to be included.

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.

BA food

With the new BA scheme, you will only be able to choose from the standard menu for your flight.

Today is the first day that you can pre-order a meal via ba.com.

The initial batch of routes will be:

Las Vegas (Heathrow departures)

Phoenix

Rio de Janeiro

Vancouver

Dallas

Seattle

More routes will be added in 2015.  You can book from 30 days before departure until check-in opens.  If all has gone to plan, if you are flying these routes between 1st December (the launch date) and 18th December (30 days from today) you should find an option to select your main course available via ‘Manage My Booking’ at ba.com.

My initial concerns about this scheme remain.

It is a logical conclusion that British Airways will now be able to reduce the number of spare meals loaded for other passengers who have not selected a meal, 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 World Traveller Plus or Club World stop you being upgraded? At present, it is BA policy not to upgrade passengers with a special meal requestThis may or may not end up also applying to passengers with pre-ordered meals.

Let’s see how it goes.  We should get the first pieces of feedback in the next few weeks.


How to earn Avios points from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (January 2022)

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!

There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses.

There are special sign-up bonuses on both of the BA American Express cards until 28th February 2022. The bonus on the free card is doubled to 10,000 Avios and the bonus on the Premium Plus card is increased from 25,000 Avios to a huge 40,000 Avios.

British Airways BA Amex American Express card

British Airways American Express

10,000 Avios for signing up (SPECIAL OFFER) and an Economy 2-4-1 voucher for spending ….. Read our full review

British Airways BA Premium Plus American Express Amex credit card

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

40,000 Avios (SPECIAL OFFER) and the UK’s most valuable card perk – the 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points, such as:

Nectar American Express

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Run your own business?

We recommend Capital On Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card, along with a sign-up bonus worth 30,000 Avios.

30,000 Avios is a special offer which runs to 4th February 2022.

Capital on Tap Visa card

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

30,000 points bonus – the most generous Avios Visa for a limited company Read our full review

You should also consider the British Airways Accelerating Business credit card. This is open to sole traders as well as limited companies and has a 45,000 Avios sign-up bonus.

45,000 Avios is a special offer which runs to 28th February 2022.

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express card

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

45,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios Read our full review

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.

(Want to earn more Avios?  Click here to visit our home page for our latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios this month from offers and promotions.)

Comments (26)

  • Paul says:

    Typical of BA to take years to develop a product which others have been doing for years and then introduce it on a very restricted number of services. Sadly , anyone using a BA premium product for sometime yet will still experience their pretty pathetic catering offer and they remain likely to be refused their first choice. this is a very basic, very poor offer albeit a very tiny step forward

  • Baggageinhall says:

    If you get upgraded then presumably your old seat is filled with someone else who needs feeding. Your preordered meal goes back into the general pool in a way that a special meal can’t. Problem solved for BA.

    In fact, it makes me think that the SQ Book the Cook system is more likely to prevent you from being upgraded.

    • CPEX says:

      Sadly SQ upgrades virtually never happen

      • paul says:

        not sadly….especially if you pay for First. On SQ you get a genuinely First product which is exclusive, superbly comfortable and staffed by knowledgeable and dedicated crew. its exclusive and you get what you pay for.

        Compare that to club world plus filled with staff (entitled and not) upgrades and those of us who hoard aviosi!!! It is a poor product when compared to any genuine First product offered by the likes of CX SQ QF AF LH EK etc etc

        Its ok but I would (and do) choose CX & AA business over BA First whenever possible and these products are a match for it any day and at fraction of the price. I only use First when on Amex 241 and when sites like this give me the heads up on availability.

        • CPEX says:

          I agree with you. The singapore premium cabins are superb. I only say ‘sadly’ because 1/3 of my flights are in SIN J and would be over the moon to be given an upgrade when flying Y. I can see how someone in the next row on a cash ticket would be less than impressed

  • Toby says:

    More penny pinching – dressed up as an improvement.

    • nick says:

      If they have to cut costs this does seem a sensible way to do it. It is presumably an attempt to reduce waste, which has to be a good thing. The modest reduction in choice is not a big price to pay.

  • Simon says:

    Is the menu the same in WTP and CW? If so your meal choice would go with you as you upgraded. Obviously more of a problem going into First, although I’m sure that you could demand a CW meal from your First seat and someone in CW would merrily accept a First meal if as a consequence they were really short in CW.

    • Waribai says:

      The menu in WTP and CW is not the same hence why you pay much more for CW! Having said that some airlines like NH allow you to order some snack items from the C menu albeit you do get charged onboard

      • Baggageinhall says:

        From the BA website:

        For your main course for lunch or dinner we’ll also offer you a choice of two of the meals featured on the business class menu. Our team of chefs work with suppliers around the world to ensure that only the finest ingredients are used.

        • Tim says:

          I think the main course is the same so theoretically you could be upgraded without too much hassle

      • Rich says:

        There is a choice in WT+ and the two options are CW entrees / mains.

  • Scottnothing says:

    Off this topic, but on this one (https://headforpoints.com/2014/06/20/british-airways-old-first-class-routes/), I am travelling Club World to Cape Town in December and seat availability in the Old First cabin has just opened up (I am BA Silver). I’m tossing up between the First cabin (which I understand probably means “ropey” seats and the old in-flight entertainment system) and upper deck Club World on the 747-400 (where I have 63K reserved). I have trawled Flyertalk for some perspective but would be interested in HFP reader thoughts on Old First vs upper deck CW if people have strong views.

    • Tim says:

      The old first seat is better for sleeping, if that’s what you’ll mainly be doing. Not sure if they still hand out ipads on these seats to compensate for the poor ife

      • Rob says:

        I didn’t get an iPad coming back from Vegas. It is a moot point now anyway given that you can no longer get Old First when booking a First ticket.

    • Will says:

      You need raffles to chirp in here, he’s flown old F recently and is a sensible chap.

    • Rob says:

      Are you alone? If so, having a seat to yourself by the window in F is fantastic.
      Do you like lots of personal space? Take F
      Do you want to be staring at someone else in the face for 13 hours who you don’t know? Take J

      The IFE is the only reason to consider J. If you are on an overnight Cape Town flight then you will be mainly sleeping anyway so the better bed in F is what you want.

      I have to say that I would take F every time in your situation but then I am not a big watcher of in-flight entertainment.

    • Scottnothing says:

      Thanks for your thoughts/feedback – much appreciated. I’ve moved us to 2A & 2K. Fingers crossed they sell enough CW seats and we aren’t moved back into the main cabin! Cheers

  • James67 says:

    I wonder how long it will be before they charge £50 to preselect our meals in CW! Perhaps we will get a generous discount if we pick the seat and the meal at same time. Last night I priced a ow BKK-LRR CW on BA; it was more than double the price on MAS and over four times higher than Finnair. The time to end BAs monopoly at LHR is long past, don’t know why we should have to suffer outdatwd products and services at overinflated prices.

    • Ben says:

      Who did you book?

      • James67 says:

        None so far, waiting for my return date to open up. If I can get AY return for under £1400 I will take it. If not then I will pay £1000 for WTP if I can upgrade it to CW. Sri Lanka usually have good deals too; I like the service and food, seat is full flat and fine too.

    • paul says:

      agree with you 100%. Fortress Heathrow is being used by BA to keep fares high and deliver products that are long past their sell by date. Only the building of a new airport with capacity for many many more options and true open skies will see BA do anything about the product they offer.

  • Dominic says:

    Is this meant to be both ways round on the routes in question? I’m flying back from Seattle on 5 Dec, but the option is greyed out in MMB….

  • Ben says:

    The lengthy routes used for the trial suggest to me that they expect some teething issues! A sensible option though.

    It will be interesting to see how many people take it up, on a recent AA flight, the cabin crew seemed to ask most what they would like. Although saying that they did the same for me until I reminded them I’d pre-ordered.

    In regards to the issue re upgrades, you wouldn’t have thought it would make a difference as the person upgraded to upgrade you will have the same choice as they ever did (if perhaps more weighted now)

The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.