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British Airways announces new cuts to in-flight service

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In what is becoming a regular monthly announcement, British Airways has announced a new raft of service changes.  Most of these will, I believe, kick in from 1st July although some may take a little longer to materialise.  All cabins are impacted, even First Class.

This is what I understand to be happening, based on comments at Flyertalk and from emails from HfP readers who work for BA.

BA A380

First Class

Amuse bouche to be removed from the meal service

Blanket removed from day flights, provided only on request

Club World

Changes to Club Kitchen stocking (this is not necessarily a backwards step based on what I saw, but it seems that there will be a move to even more ambient – ie chocolate bar – stuff and away from more expensive fresh items)

World Traveller Plus

The second meal is to be removed on shorter routes, to be replaced by the opportunity to take something from a basket of ambient snacks passed around by the crew

Pretzels, cheese and biscuits to be removed entirely

World Traveller

The second meal is to be removed on shorter and medium length routes, to be replaced by the opportunity to take something from a basket of ambient snacks passed around by the crew

The bottle of water will be replaced by a small plastic cup of water

Pretzels, cheese and biscuits to be removed entirely

Toothbrushes and toothpaste will no longer be provided but they will be available on request

Something for everyone to look forward to over the Summer, whatever cabin you fly, I’m sure you’ll agree.

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Comments (114)

  • harry says:

    Unfortunately the believable rumours on FT (believable in that they are coming from the inside & multiple in sources) are pointing to booze becoming chargeable on European flights.

    Deal breaker?

    • C77 says:

      I can envisage that happening before too long.
      I can also envisage the whole Euro Traveller offering going buy on board too… they just need something to offset it with to sweeten the deal…. On board WiFi perhaps?

      • harry says:

        They could promise that, obviously wouldn’t happen in short term but most folks would like the idea of course

        • C77 says:

          It would also bring BA in line with the IB/EI service model within Europe. As you say, a long term strategy I believe.

          • harry says:

            I can see that no free booze would make an awful lot of people unhappy on intra UK flights. Not sure it would be quite so bad in ET – the Brits would be fed up but I think the other nationalities would just shrug shoulders.

            Shame if it happens as it has always been a nice thought to be flying BA & getting a few complimentary tinnies to start the hols off with a smile instead of paying £4-5 a pop on the LCCs

  • Bob says:

    The timing of this penny pinching list being released looks a lot like something which was prepared in case of Brexit – we can be armchair experts and say they can afford to be more generous, but nobody yet knows the full reduction in value of £ revenues booked and cost of more expensive fuel in $.
    A lot of companies are going to be battening down the hatches sooner or later.

  • Steve says:

    I just don’t get it, with the Middle East three offering every conceivable option going east these days, even from regional airports, and so much choice going west from European and American carriers what do BA think is going to happen by erroding their product every more.

    They are rarely the cheapest either as my travel policy only occasionally allows me to book BA, with Lufthansa, KLM/AF and United being my usual ticketed option for my US travel due to lower cost

  • Kimberly says:

    When did “ambient snack” become the phrase for “cheap, processed, junk food”? This is really a sad bunch of changes, especially the cup of water. Do they think it will be good for them PR-wise if people start getting dehydrated and ill on LH flights because there’s not enough to drink? And this is going to be even more horrible if/when there are severe delays and they trap everyone on the plane without adequate water or “ambient snacks”.

  • MJ says:

    In IAG all of the big promotions are coming from Vueling employees. It’s clear the plan across the group is to strip costs back as much as possible including in BA. There is a feeling in IAG that BA hasn’t moved with the times and has been stuck in an old fashion mindset for too long and many changes need to happen. It seems the BA brand is going to be pulled apart as part of this process. Not giving a second meal on long haul is ridiculous but all down to cost savings as less food on board means lower weight and less fuel will be then used.

  • Joe says:

    Given pretzels only came back to wt less than 6 months ago, find this and the water astonishing (to have to go to the galley when you wake up in the night to get a sip of water!). I guess by second meal they mean bag of sandwiches today. Given they still have to load drinks, meals, wonder how much this saves then, expect less than £1 per pax, and I expect the long haul ba brand premium to be more than that…

  • Joe says:

    Does this mean no econ/wtp breakfast on overnights back to Lhr?

  • Nick_C says:

    One area where BA could save money and improve the customer experience would be to stop serving dinner on flights departing after about 20:30

    I flew back from Montreal last week. Flying time less than 6 hours. Take off at 22:00. Sleep was impossible for the first 90 minutes was impossible because of dinner service going on.

    Who in their right minds has dinner at 22:30? People are just eating because it’s there and its free.

    Flying back from KL in economy a few years ago, I put my seat back after take ff and fell asleep only to be woken by a FA so the people behind me could have dinner. This was a flight leaving after midnight.

    Stop the silly late night dinner service and have a few sandwiches available in the galley for anyone who is genuinely hungry.

    I’m also happy for things like toothbrushes to be on request instead of handed out to everyone. Most of the stuff in the amenity kits doesn’t get used.

    • harry says:

      ‘Who in their right minds has dinner at 22:30?’

      The Spanish, for starters. 10.30pm is early and dinner after midnight perfectly common.

      It’s the Cruz offensive. All Champagne upfront & in the lounges will now be Cava.

      And full service is getting replaced with tapas, ‘eez verra verra populare!’

    • Alan says:

      Agree – have food available for those that want it overnight but don’t keep the whole cabin awake for ages serving it.

    • Nick says:

      I would think many people dine on board after 2230. For a long haul flight, that means getting to the aerodrome about 2030. For those that don’t live nearby, journey to get to airport may be several hours so involves leaving home or hotel late afternoon or early evening. With a family, cost of eating at airport will not be insubstantial so people will elect to dine free of charge after take off. I can sympathise with not serving after midnight – but 2230 is far too early for cut off.

    • John says:

      I agree that for East Coast US/CA to London it is silly to serve dinner at 3am UK time. But for Asia to London it is very sensible to serve dinner at 1am local which would be 6pm UK

      For London to Asia departing at 1800 I would prefer not to eat either, but I can’t sleep with the noise, smell and light.

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