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Bits: BA removes hot food on long short-haul routes, Virgin Atlantic launches Varadero

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News in brief:

British Airways removes hot food from Band 4 flights

In order not to appear to be unduly criticising British Airways again (see my main article today), I will assume that this is a genuine improvement to services and not a cost cutting move …..

From the end of next week, hot food is to be removed from Euro Traveller on ‘Band 4’ short haul flights.  There will now be no short haul routes serving warm meals down the back.  This includes:

  • Athens
  • Istanbul
  • Larnaca
  • St Petersburg
  • Bucharest
  • Sofia

The new cold meal – which we should assume is an improvement on the old hot meal – will be served in a box and not on a tray.  Again, I don’t want to suggest in any way that this is a downgrade as I’m sure there are good reasons why eating out of a box is preferable to eating off a tray.

Club Europe will continue to receive a hot meal but the side salad is to be removed.  Difficult to spin that bit in a positive way, to be honest, unless a lot of customers were accidentally spilling the dressing onto their clothes or something ….

Varadero Virgin Atlantic

Virgin Atlantic to launch Varadero in Cuba

Virgin Atlantic announced a raft of changes for Summer 2017 yesterday.

The most interesting is that, from April, Virgin will fly from Gatwick to the Cuban beach resort of Varadero, photo above.  There will be one flight per week to complement the existing two flights to Havana.

The other changes are:

Gatwick to Vegas increasing from seven to nine flights per week in April and May

Gatwick to Barbados increasing from seven to nine flights per week in April

Gatwick to Montego Bay reduced from three to two flights per week in May, June, September and October

Belfast to Orlando increasing to four flights per week in late June and early July

Glasgow to Orlando increasing to four flights per week in late June and early July

Manchester to Barbados moving from one 747 flight per week to two flights on smaller A330 aircraft, with an additional third flight during the Summer school holidays

Manchester to Orlando increasing from 13 to 14 flights per week during the Summer school holidays

Remember that these changes are for 2017 and do not impact schedules for this year.


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Comments (92)

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

  • Frankie says:

    Delta First (USA domestic) makes BA CE look like a joke in both seat and food offering (I don’t care if I’ve hurt anyone’s feelings over at BA by saying so..)

    • Alan says:

      In the Far East I’ve flown both Malaysian and Dragon Air local business, both with great seats and IFE and good food options.

    • Anon says:

      We got a free upgrade to Delta First JFK-MCO, v nice product, v friendly crew, Pilot came out at the start and was chatting with pax, great guy, good respectful rapport.

  • Gavin says:

    Don’t think I will fly BA to Larnaca any more now. Almost 5 hours with a cold snack is not what I expect.

    • Alan says:

      It might be less of an issue if there were a decent hot choice in the lounge

      • Gavin says:

        Very true – also the staff seem to have a perverse desire to remove the meagre food options in the 90 minutes before the flight leaves!

    • Rum says:

      I agree. I flew CE to and from LCA last month and it was OK. Will be doing it again next month with the family as well. Wouldn’t be happy doing that in ET though as I may as well go easyJet or Ryanair. That said, LHR-LCA route has good competition from Aegean (A3). May well fly with them more often now as this is a popular route for me.

  • Cheshire Pete says:

    Pathetic penny pinching. The CE product is just becoming beyond a joke really. How much does a salad cost for the whole cabin, less than a small bottle of champagne. For goodness sake.

  • harry says:

    I guess it will be the same box we have enjoyed in shorter haul ET for some years 🙂

    As of last week, it looked like a pastrami bun plus a sweet bun, though I was just looking at what my neighbour got. I would guess that costs BA about £1.50.

    I went for the veggie option as they are generally a bit more interesting (plus I don’t like sweet buns!) Mine was a rather interesting Greek/Turkish sort of couscous salad with cheesy bit. Going out it was mini mozzarella salad but more substantial because of the pulse.

    • Brian says:

      Interesting how they deliberately don’t offer you the veggie option – they’ll just ask if you want whatever the meat option is. Some people will no doubt assume that’s all there is.

    • John says:

      £1.50??? Closer to 15p I would imagine

    • Frenske says:

      I tend to go for the veggie option … they tend a bit more thought-through.

  • Paul says:

    The Vuelingisation begins in earnest. To be fair if you paid £50 round trip including taxes or it was free then this is a genuine enhancement. After all you would not want your colleagues burdened with anything so menial as providing service.

  • LC says:

    I flew BA to Larnaca in March 2015 and received a cold wrap in a box then as well.

    • Gavin says:

      Odd I’ve flown that route loads but always on a 767 from LHR

      • Gavin says:

        And always had a hot meal

        • Rich. says:

          No, there was a problem sourcing catering in LCA for a while, which led to the cold catering.

  • harry says:

    & I don’t get the email exclusive idea lol

  • Ross Parker says:

    Is there any need to unfairly compare what BA will offer now with something so irrelevant as what BA used to offer? It would be much less biased to compare it to the offerings on Megabus, in which case I think you’ll appreciate the quality of service provided.

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