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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.

  • James Alexander says:

    Oh please let’s be honest – BA removing hot foods and salads is just plain cost cutting.
    STOP with the cringing apologies and changing your tone towards BA – they are cost cutting across the board – no more flowers in FIRST, meals, etc etc etc.

  • Bob says:

    I wish Virgin would announce dates for fleet replacement on these ‘leisure routes’ to Florida/Vegas. The 744 fleet is showing its age…

    • Mark says:

      Didnt they all recently get a bare metal refurb? Nothing “on show” should be showing its age.

      • Bob says:

        Yes I know about the refit but I guess it just goes to show that refitting a 15 year old aircraft does not bring the experience close to a modern aircraft type – and that the interiors live a hard life as they certainly look more than a few years old. Bit of overhead compartment hanging off most recent flight – UC washroom horrendously cramped and old fashioned. The whole experience a generation behind BA A380 or VAA’s own 787s (or Airbus models – let’s not forget how old the 744 design is in terms of engine noise etc…)

  • Steve says:

    Flew to Corfu on Monday in ET. Got a box with cheese and mustard roll, chicken salad wrap, cheese and crackers and a chocolate and caramel mousse.

    No faffing with knife and fork, all were tasty. I enjoyed this much more that some of the really bad hot food options we have had.

    Perfect for a short three hour flight.

  • Simon says:

    What happens if you order a gluten-free option? The boxes appear very heavily biased towards wheat.

    Have flown Malaysia before and the GFML offering (where regular economy got the snack box) was two apples!

    • DW201 says:

      You get a salad (which is much nicer than the tiny bun thing in the box….

  • Frankie says:

    Norwegian is starting to fly to Vegas from Gatwick from the end of October using the Dreamliner

  • dicksbits says:

    The truth is of course that BA would rather you didn’t know it was removing a salad from CE on a route like this. Even if they ‘announced this’ they wouldn’t like it being discussed online!! It probably irritates them greatly. Unless they saw a lot of salads in the waste from the flights (not sure how they’d measure this), they could have added something else rather than the usual pure enhancement.

  • dicksbits says:

    It does make me wonder how much the bean counters need to cut costs if they constantly cutting the customer experience so visibly. This is the last area that should be cut.

  • Kimberly says:

    Sadly, the salad is usually the best, most edible, part of the meal in CE. There’s no way they can be that expensive to prepare either as they are mostly lettuce and not filled with exciting vegetables and toppings.

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