Cava back in World Traveller Plus from tomorrow … and other BA catering changes

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British Airways has, not unfairly, taken a lot of grief for its on-board catering.  Some additional money has recently been allocated and the impact is beginning to be felt this month.

It is unlikely to have Qatar, Emirates, Cathay, Etihad, Singapore etc quaking in their boots but any improvement is welcome.  Some of these changes have already taken place as they were introduced on July 1st.  Others, such as the cava in World Traveller Plus, start tomorrow.  This is what you will see:

British Airways Club World main course

World Traveller (long-haul economy)

Pretzels introduced!  You no longer need to feel jealous of World Traveller Plus passengers who are given a free mini pack of pretzels.

World Traveller Plus (premium economy)

Cava introduced from tomorrow, July 14th, as a pre-take off drink.  This is currently available on A380 routes only.

Across both World Traveller and World Traveller Plus:

The breakfast box on overnight flights on the US and Canada East Coast flights will be replaced by the substantially larger breakfast box given on West Coast flights.

Cheese and biscuits was added to main meals on flights TO the UK on July 1st.  India, Japan and Korea will not get this.

The food offering to Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Mexico City, Phoenix, San Diego and San Francisco has been upgraded.  In the past, World Traveller and World Traveller Plus customers received a poorer food offering on these routes than they would have received on a similar 12-hour flight elsewhere.  This has now been aligned.  You will receive a 2nd hot meal (either a hot breakfast or hot light meal) and an additional mid-flight snack on day flights.

Flight FROM New York JFK and Boston will get an extra item in the snack box.

All flights FROM the USA will have a higher quality dessert.

All flights FROM the US and Canada will get a tomato and mozzarella salad with basil pesto as an improved appetiser.

Flights FROM the Middle East and West Africa will have an improved breakfast box or snack box.

The Japanese food options on Tokyo routes have been completely redesigned.

Club World appetiser

Club World:

(The photos in this article are BA Club World food)

The food offering to Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Mexico City, Phoenix, San Diego and San Francisco has been upgraded and a second hot meal will now be available.

On Middle East and West Africa routes, the second meal will be pre-set on the infamous ‘small trays’ with improved breakfast fruits, cereals and bakery items.  Plastic pots will be replaced with china.  Because the meal will now be on trays it can be served more quickly and the crew can ‘spend more time with customers’ (apparently serving food does not count as ‘spending time with customers’).

The scones served with afternoon tea will be enlarged!

As with World Traveller and World Traveller Plus, the Japanese food options served on the Tokyo route have been completely rethought.

The menus on Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Kuwait are being changed completely in all cabins.

The ‘breakfast to go’ bags are being scrapped on all routes due to ‘excessive levels of waste’.  Enough said.

British Airways Club World dessert

First Class:

No changes, except on the Middle East routes where some tweaks have been made – primarily the scrapping of the amuse bouche.

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  1. Scott says:

    Flew F to SFO last week (A380) and had no offer of afternoon tea – crew said it had just been withdrawn and replaced with a choice of light meal option.

  2. O/T but Tesco Metro Bishopsgate has approx 30 v3/pay cards right now. Rack is towards the back of the store on the end of an aisle. The pay cards are slightly hidden by dangling Tesco calling cards. Hope this is useful to someone!

  3. Calum says:

    Any idea what the second hot meal on West Coast flights will be? Same sort of thing as e.g. PEK-LHR, ICN-LHR?

  4. UK domestic presumably retains the high quality bag of crisps
    due to customer feedback.

    • Mr(s) Entitled says:

      I would assume therefore that BA were unsuccessful in trying to find a quality provider who would produce a bag of crisp for them. Think of the savings!

    • czechoslovakia says:

      I was offered some lemon shortbreads which were actually quite acceptable last week. No tea/coffee though due to “turbulence” – which didn’t exist.

    • I was on early morning shuttle from LHR to GLA last weekend and was given the option of the cooked breakfast or continental! And it was actually ok.

  5. We travel to Paphos quite a lot in CE and have noticed a definite improvement in food quality over the last 6 months. We even had the good fortune to be allocated a 737 on our latest trip which hadn’t been reconfigured to the ridiculous new seating layout. However, champagne was rationed by the glass rather than the bottle which we found both amusing (the purser pouring from a bottle holding 18.5c! And trying to keep a straight face was a sight to behold!) and intensely irritating although the purser did keep refilling, bless her (she said they were under orders to reduce consumption by 50%!) At a time when BA is devaluing Club in every respect (ok, the food has got better), this seems a little churlish. Interesting to hear there will be no change in the First offering to the Middle East – BA definitely needed to get their act together in CW when faced with such a better offering from the M/E carriers so it’s good to hear of the latest changes but it’s surprising that First will effectively be downgraded with the removal of the amuse bouche. We use Avios for first to Dubai quite a bit and although the food isn’t superb, it’s still very good (or as good as it can be given the equipment available) so this decision seems as odd as the champagne restriction. Whatever next – flights to Dubai terminating in Abu Dhabi for an “improved passenger experience?!”

    • Interesting to note that the menus on Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Kuwait are being changed completely in all cabins. I fly LHR-KWI-LHR every year and found C/W food to be particularly awful when I flew BA 0156 last month. I could never understand why they serve breakfast at around 09:30 after take of at 08:30. Surely most people would have had some form of breakfast already prior to boarding? They then offer afternoon tea, which was a totally unappealing plastic wrapped sandwich and a slab of indifferent fruitcake! I certainly hope it’s better now.

  6. Considering the changes being rolled out by VS, I’m not surprised. Late to the party BA but still good to hear.

  7. Did CW a few weeks ago to KL. There was a choice of champagnes (one rose), the Asian items on the menu (prawns to start, ginger chicken for main) were very good to the point that I wondered if it was catered in KL. Yes the main was served preplated, but that’s just the same as CX who have a great business class product. The only oddity was the ‘cheese or desert’ option, and with only one desert to choose (strawberry tart which was also good), not too important as it was easy enough to go raid the Club Kitchen. Flight back in First was also of a high standard and the blueberry pancakes for breakfast were great. Although BA lacks the bling of the middle east carriers they do get the job done, although seem to aim for the minimal pass mark and not the highest pass mark.

    • The last part of your post really sums up why we are flying Business class on Qatar next week to KL. We got a deal back in March.

      Whilst this topic points out improvements; a large proportion of frequent flyers do put up with service/products failing to meet the quality line for different reasons. I think people saving long and hard for that one time flight to a dream destination would be pretty miffed.
      I think BA should be pretty ashamed of themselves really, I could get a better meal-deal from Poundland (and buy a toy plane).

      • When in CW I liked the comment made by the chap in seat 10A, who wondered how much money his company had spent for him to sleep in a ‘toilet cubicle’. (I was using an Amex 2-4-1 voucher.)

        Tip for KLIA, your business class boarding pass allows you to use the fast track immigration lanes for both entry and departure.

      • We flew back with Qatar Business Class yesterday. We flew BA CW and First about a fortnight ago. Of the three products we tried recently, I’d rank it:

        Qatar Business
        BA First
        [big gap]
        BA CW.

        BA CW is still a very, very comfortable way to fly and I think it’s easy to lose sight of that fact. You get a flat seat, for goodness’ sake! That’s fantastic really – significantly more comfortable than Economy. The BA lounges were uniformly poor with the exception of the Concorde lounge, but I think the Qatar Business class lounge at Doha was even better than that. BA First is a decent attempt at luxury. The food is good, there is a choice of champagnes, the seat is spacious. It’s great. Qatar Business, however, is (to my mind) better again. The food was better than BA First, the service was significantly better (I actually preferred the old seats on the 777 than the new Dreamliner seats, but both were amazing). I can’t even imagine what Qatar First is like. There is a huge gulf between BA CW and Qatar Business…. I think my efforts in future are going to focus on getting flights on these better airlines. BA has a long way to go to catch up, but I don’t want to lose sight of the fact that flying long-haul business with anybody (even BA) is a treat.

        • Daftboy says:

          I think that’s a very fair assessment of BA. I think the hard product is very solid onboard in CW and I am always able to sleep in the flatbed. Food is generally fine ex-UK, varies greatly on the return (with ex-US particularly bad), I never run short of something to drink. Lounges are fine, not the height of pampered luxury but a pleasant place to spend before a flight. I find CW (and the occasional F) very good value on an Amex 2-4-1, even with the additional charges – although I have yet to redeem longhaul under the new pricing levels. (I also fly CW with work a few times a year).

          Flying QR for the first time in October (787 and A380), looking forward to experiencing what is by all accounts a very high quality offering (hard and soft product).

        • Jason says:

          Personally I prefer the Concorde lounge to Qatar’s business lounge. I also prefer the seat in BA F to Qatar’s 787 J seat. However as you say both are extremely comfortable.
          I also thought Qatar’s food was better than BA F, however it’s nice to sit down with your wife or child, whilst eating, in F, which you can’t do on the Dreamliner.

  8. Artem says:

    They still serve just a bun with a slice of cheese and tomato in economy on 4 hr flight to DME 🙁

    • Andrew says:

      Plus the 777/744 rotation has been downgraded to the mid-haul (if I can call it that) A321 next year, so no F RFS any more

  9. “Because the meal will now be on trays it can be served more quickly and the crew can ‘spend more time with customers’”

    Excellent, thinking of introducing an airplane aisle boule tournament on my next flight and it would be great if the cabin crew all had time to pitch in.

  10. nick haley says:

    Flew the 10pm from LAX to LHR in WTP last Friday 10th July. Got dinner, but then also a choice of hot breakfasts (full english or omlette). Wonder if that’s the ‘new’ food then? No cava offered though, so maybe just the breakfast was a trial?

    • nick haley says:

      and now, come to think of it, we started with the tomato and mozz pesto salad, and we had a red velvet cake pudding (in a sealed cup) which was actually pretty good – so that is an example of improved dessert.

  11. We flew LHR to San Francisco mid June in Economy – booked this flight last year before I seriously started collecting miles via this site – we were given a hot meal just after take off then nothing again until an hour out of SF – no snack no nothing in between – I wouldn’t go that long at home without having something to eat! Should have packed a Scooby snack! Not impressed! Next year hopefully we will be in BA CW or Virgin UC!

  12. Lady London says:

    It’s still slop according to the picture. I suppose it’s acceptable though if they’re comparing themselves to the US airlines, at least in Y. I’m very close to just deciding who I fly with at the best offer at the time going forward. Rather than checking BA first and generally flying on them as I have been doing.

  13. Free Cava for WT plus – so what’s available for people who don’t drink alcohol? The bias towards alcoholic drinks is quite astounding. I flew CW a few months ago and there’s a huge menu with lots of flowery descriptions about the “full bar” and all the wines available. I asked what soft drinks were available and was told anything you’d like – but this turned out to be exactly the same as World Traveller offerings: Coke, Sprite, Fanta and Mixers. Basically, British Airways soft drinks are only those which are commonly mixed with alcohol. If they think premium customers deserve a glass of champagne, what is the equivalent offer for people who don’t drink alcohol? Just a little imagination here would be wonderful to see: cordials, smoothies, milkshakes, iced coffee, mixed berry drinks. Even the orange juice is cheap and not the Tropicana squeezed type.

    Is it just me? This winds me up every time! I wrote to customer service with these suggestions and you can guess the response I got!

    • It’s not just you. A few weeks back they ran out of Diet Coke which I’d asked for in preference to alcohol. There was nothing else I even vaguely wanted available.

      Suggested to the CSD that they should try getting cans of Starbucks, Naked fruit juices, energy drinks on board.

      Was politely reminded I could purchase them at the airport before departure.

    • ankomonkey says:

      +1. I will be flying CW later this year and will need to drive home from the airport, heavily restricting how much alcohol I can drink on the flight. I’d really welcome a premium soft drink, but have resigned myself to supermarket fruit juice, water or fizzy rubbish.

    • Glad to hear I’m not the only one! I think the mentality is that alcohol = expensive therefore it looks like we are getting lots of premium things if there’s lots of alcohol selection. But it just shows a total lack of imagination. American Airlines do the Nakd smoothies in the lounges which is much appreciated – just offering this or similar on BA would be a token gesture. I’m flying Qatar business next week and I expect it will be much better (middle east airlines usually better at offering soft drinks).

      • Qatar have some really nice mocktails and fruit drinks, including a really lovely coconut-based drink. They also have a non-alcoholic champagne substitute (although I didn’t try that).

        You are right, Qatar business is much better than BA. They really aren’t even worthy of comparison, the gulf is huge.

  14. Thomas says:

    After flying CW for years I have tried QR for the first time this year. NO COMPARISON really!!! BRU DOH was like a dream(liner) food amazing, seat great, good ambience, addressed by name ALL the time, food as and when you liked it. Even had the CSD coming to my seat on the flight between DOH and DXB(next leg) to say “welcome back on board Thomas, would you like to continue with your preferred drink champagne?” (I had only had champagne on the first leg!) Attention to detail much? CW is a comfortable way of travelling, QR is a special way of travelling! BTW paid £840 PP for a return flight thank you very much! BA will never come close to ME carriers as they do not grasp the concept of hospitality, making pax feel as guests in your home! Its a ME thing I suppose!

  15. Smithy says:

    While BA offering something sparkling to WTP passengers before takeoff brings it more in line with Virgin, I still don’t understand why they dont have a separate check in for WTP like most other airlines. Obviously cost is a factor, but the product is so far behind that of other airlines that this would seem like a easy win to me…

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