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British Airways to charge £15-£18 for ‘enhanced’ World Traveller meals

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Two weeks ago, a Head for Points reader sent me an odd market research survey he had received.  It wanted volunteers who were planning to fly certain BA long-haul routes this Summer because “BA is trialling a new service on a select number of routes … if you are flying on one of these routes, we (sic) may have the opportunity to take part in a special task with a cash incentive as a thank you.”

At the time I didn’t know what it was about.  Now I do.

From May 12th, British Airways is launching ‘paid for’ food in World Traveller on selected routes.  The standard meal will still be available if you want it.  However, you have the opportunity to pay up to £18 for an upgraded meal to replace your existing one.  These must be pre-ordered online.

The first wave will cover just Atlanta, Austin, Denver, Dallas-Fort Worth, Baltimore / Washington, Mexico City, Seattle and Phoenix.  My understanding is that the second wave is likely to include New York, Newark, Boston, Calgary, Chicago, Houston, Johannesburg, Miami, Montreal, Newark and Philadelphia.  In any event, they will only be offered on outbound flights initially.

It is not clear what quality of meal will be delivered for £15-£18.  If we look (again) at the last Club World main course I ate:

British Airways Club World main course

…. I doubt you would be able to convince many people that it was worth £15-£18 – although the fee covers three courses.

I’m not sure what you get these days on a long flight like Johannesburg in World Traveller but the difference between the existing meal and what I picture above cannot be huge.  After all, the BA website says that World Traveller serves “a delicious assortment of fine foods designed by world renowned chefs to keep your taste buds entertained throughout the flight”.

There will be five meals to choose from:

Gourmet Dining (prawn starter, beef main, chocolate ganache bar)

Taste of Britain (smoked salmon, pork belly, Summer berry pudding)

Great British Breakfast (bread , full English breakfast, cherry compote)

Healthy Choice (rice rolls, cod, Greek yoghurt / honey mouse / grapefruit carpaccio)

Vegetarian (goats cheese salad, polenta, lemon meringue)

This is not necessarily a bad idea.  Anything that offers passengers more choice is clearly OK.  My initial concern – apart from customers rejecting their £18 meal because it looks like the one above – is that they are poor value for money, especially as BA is saving themselves the cost of your standard meal.

The food will not be of Club World standard because it will be served on one tray and handed over in one go, rather than plated course by course.  The courses must also fit on the tray so you are presumably not going to get much more food than usual by volume.  I await the first photographs …..

If you are travelling on any of the routes listed above from May 12th, you will be able to pay for your enhanced meal online from April 23rd.


How to earn Avios points from UK credit cards

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

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

In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.

You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review

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

British Airways BA Premium Plus American Express Amex credit card

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable card perk – the 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

British Airways BA Amex American Express card

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up and an Economy 2-4-1 voucher for spending £12,000 Read our full review

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

EDIT: Until 25th October 2022, there is an exceptionally generous sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card. You will receive 60,000 Membership Rewards points – double the usual amount – and £200 to spend at Amex Travel. You need to spend £6,000 within six months to earn the bonus.

American Express Amex Gold

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

60,000 points, £200 travel credit 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 10,000 Avios.

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

10,500 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 30,000 Avios sign-up bonus.

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express card

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

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

There are also generous bonuses on the two American Express Business cards, with the points converting at 1:1 into Avios. These cards are open to sole traders as well as limited companies.

Amex Platinum Business American Express

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and a long list of travel benefits Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year 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 (71)

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This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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