Nutmeg Avios

British Airways announces its in-flight service cuts for August!

It is hard to believe, but British Airways has now started making a regular monthly anouncement of the latest cuts to its in-flight service.

From early July, as you may remember, we saw:

First Class:

Amuse bouche removed from the meal service

Blanket removed from day flights, provided only on request

Club World:

Changes to Club Kitchen stocking with more ambient – ie chocolate bar – and fewer fresh items

World Traveller Plus:

The second meal 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 removed entirely

World Traveller:

The second meal 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 replaced by a small plastic cup of water

Pretzels, cheese and biscuits removed entirely

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

BA A380

According to cabin crew reports on Flyertalk, which I clearly cannot verify, this is what we will see from early August:

First and Club World:

Invitations to the arrivals lounge will no longer be given to passengers on flights arriving after noon.  Whilst the lounge stops serving food at 12.30, it has always been open until 2pm – but perhaps no longer?

Club World:

Passengers will no longer receive a choice of starter.  From London, you will receive a compulsory tomato, mozzarella and avocado salad

(This is apparently a trial for one month only and will be retained if successful)

Ice cream removed from the Club Kitchen

World Traveller Plus and World Traveller:

Tuck boxes removed – these are the boxes of small snacks which are loaded on the longer long-haul routes and kept in the galley for passengers to come and take as they wish

On the upside, Fever Tree tonic water will now apparently be available on all aircraft, long and short haul.

Don’t forget to check back here towards the end of August when I should have the list of September service cuts available ……

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  1. Boris says:

    OT slightly.

    I need a flight and return to Istanbul (ideally Sabiha) to bookend my Etihad Sydney break.

    Given current turmoil, can anyone recommend the best way to tackle that? Is it just out and return economy from Heathrow or Brum if I choose not to travel South. Will last minute tickets be a better option here? (Not tried that before)


    • You won’t get a deal very last minute as there are always desperate business travellers who will pay whatever. Didn’t BA have IST at £99 return in the last sale?

    • Lady London says:

      TK can do some good prices especially on open jaw

    • Genghis says:

      You really want to fly direct to SAW, not into IST as its quite far between the airports (and across Istanbul so probably best avoided currently). Turkish fly direct from Gatwick or Pegasus from Stansted. I flew Pegasus to Izmir at Easter (only direct flight available from London) and they weren’t too bad actually

  2. Kyanvi Lee says:

    Being an ex-frequent LHR-HKG flyer for past 10 years, I am guttered by the cut because getting on more than 6 times a year, the key thing I like about BA is their small bottle of water and the choice of snacks in the tuck box. It’s disappointing to see them go.

  3. Having recently flown a lot of transcon and transatlantic if there is an AA 777ER, or similar new business cabin, on the route then I probably would go with them vs BA. It’s a good hard product, and the extras feel generous in comparison. Air crew and lounge staff were far happier (if not flirtatious!) and more helpful vs the BA staff encountered. Plenty of fizz was made available for my disposal and I’m a sucker for the ice cream sundaes they have offer too.

    • Only problem is by flying AA we aren’t exactly encouraging BA to change. They have a profit sharing JV across the atlantic after all. Yeah, it does add some minute pressure to BA to improve, but it is not nearly as significant as switching JVs. Same applies to JAL and Japan. Unfortunately BA gets a cut of that as well…

  4. Stephen says:

    At this rate BA will be asking for our credit cards to pay for the fuel before take off !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. Darrel says:

    Depends on your status, what airline, which terminal or perhaps you have a lounge membership. Since you are asking about arrivals I assume you don’t have an onward flight. US airlines don’t provide lounge access without paying. However, AA is pretty good to BA Gold. I’ve used the Flagship lounge at JFK as an arrivals lounge (in another airport that I won’t mention I was in transit and AA created a phoney boarding pass for the person I was meeting to “check in ” so he could go past security and we had our meeting in the AA lounge – I will always fly AA when given a choice). SFO no. MIA no. Don’t know about LAS.

  6. While London trials the unichoice CW starter I assume the old (ie, choices!) menu will apply to flights originating from the rest of the world?

    • No, I think you will still get no choice but it will be a different item, ie whatever they can source locally.

      It doesn’t save any money unless choice (and thus overstocking) is removed.

  7. Why didn’t they just make it “pre order your food or else you’ll get a salad”? Saves on waste and retains choice.

  8. BA goes from barely acceptable business product to worse. AA far better with the new aircraft. I wish QR would fly to the US from the UK…

    • Billyk says:

      Not QR but SQ are going to start MAN-IAH later this year

      • Indeed they are. And, perhaps more importantly, this creates a direct MAN-SIN instead of the current diversion via Munich. I will look at this next week.

  9. But they are trialling duvets, mattress toppers and first pillows in CW on the upper deck of BA57/54 for August and Sept and separately trailing a more hand run CW service on the BA295 & BA273 – similar to what is found on the A380/787 flights for the same time period.

    • Jo’burg has unique dynamics. The flight goes at bedtime, is 12 hours and has minimal time difference. You can sleep a full 8 hours easily and all passengers want to do that. Giving decent bedding is the least they can do.

    • Genghis says:

      Just read your TP run website. Did you ever finish it? Was it an OSL-SJU return with a nested SJU-KOA return?

  10. Bonoglobetrotter says:

    BA continues spiral downwards. It is ACUTELY aware that the Mid East airlines offer a much better service and price. It clearly can’t / won’t compete on service and has decided to milk BAEC loyalty base as much as possible – classic short termism but understandable given short tenure of management these days.

    I have been a loyal BAEC member for decades. I am seriously looking for an alternative programme. Any recommendations? I am UK based, considering QR at present to maintain access to installed base of OW lounges. Any thoughts? Pros and cons much appreciated. Thx.

    • All ME3 airlines, in their latest planes (which London gets) beat BA easily. Etihad Business is probably the best on A380 but Qatar and Emirates can get you tier points and Avios and are not far behind.

      • bonoglobetrotter says:

        Thanks, have used QR and QF/EK for TP runs and BA is no comparison. Should I be swapping entirely out of BAEC (Gold) though as I dont typically earn Avios tier bonuses on OW partner flights?

        Q: have you or anyone done a recent comparison of FF programmes in “simple” tabular format eg QR vs AY vs BA? Some metrics would include points per mile flown, tier progress, expiry of points, and if even possible, range of cash miles required per redemption mile by making a few base assumptions? Would be tremendously helpful 😉

        • No, partly because I think people would take it seriously when, actually, it is far more fluid than that. There are so many other things to consider, eg BA has peak and off peak, Iberia has its terrible ‘no refund’ rules on non-IB redemptions, airlines put different countries in different zones for redemptions, each has different redemption partners etc.

          For all BA’s faults, the Avios scheme remains (for London based people anyway) exceptionally good value for short haul redemptions and no other programme is going to match that. If you’ve got an Amex 241 then long haul looks OK as well, although Virgin is now much cheaper than BA if you don’t have a voucher. BA also has the route network though …

        • bonoglobetrotter says:

          Thanks Rob. Appreciate your thoughts.

  11. Well done BA, or should I say London Airways, now being run by mean accountants who do not understand that people who pay huge amounts of money to fly first/business demand a bit more for their pound.
    Living in the wilds of Snowdonia our nearest airport is Manchester. About 10 years ago BA stuck two fingers up to anyone north of Watford and effectively pulled out of Manchester leaving just a shuttle to LHR. Very convenient.
    Since then Emirates now flies out of MCR thrice daily, 2 A380s and a 777, Etihad & Qatar twice daily (so far) and from next year Oman Air. Add in Singapore, Cathay Pacific and several other eastern airlines and you have thousands of people who potentially would fly BA spending their money elsewhere.
    In between the Emirates and Etihad aircraft on the ground you can see the feeble BA shuttle scuttling like a little mouse to whisk a few poor souls to LHR to connect to their ‘convenient’ connection. With lowering standards BA seems to be modelling itself on Aeroflot, circa 1978.
    BA deserve everything they get, it’s a competitive world out there.

    • Fenny says:

      Don’t blame the accountants for stupid decisions. Most accountants have far more sense than just slashing at the things that look like they make the best savings.

      • Genghis says:

        🙂 most of us have common sense. My wife seems to think otherwise.

  12. BA and IAG (the parent company) are being taken over by employees of Vueling more and more (Vueling employees are the ones getting promoted within the group), particularly at a senior level. This means the focus is cost, cost and more cost reductions. Expect the service to keep getting worse. There is no consideration for passengers.

    • bonoglobetrotter says:

      I recall when the IB deal was announced we were concerned that BA will become more like IB than vice versa. So much for the reassurances of mgmt at the time ….

  13. Rich. says:

    Not much else to cut back on is there?..?

  14. Ahh well, the race to the bottom continues, nothing new there then.

  15. If anyone is interestyed, BA’s “The Club” magazine today states:

    “Premium travellers who feel peckish during their next long-haul flight will be able to help themselves to a wider range of onboard treats. Following customer feedback, those flying in Club World can enjoy a greater variety of both indulgent and healthy snacks from the Club Kitchen. Lemon drizzle cake, Cadbury’s chocolate and retro sweets, will all be available, as will cold salad pots and fresh yogurt. Flights to India will also feature Indian-specific snacks, including curry and naan wraps.”

    • Genghis says:

      Interesting. So healthy stuff is staying?

      But what’s a naan wrap or indeed a curry and naan wrap? A naan (with or without some curry sauce) inside a tortilla? Weird.

  16. bigglesgirl says:

    Me and the other half have just flown BA First Class from LHR-HKG… more slippers, only socks in the amenity kit. Apparently you now have to ask for them – request only. We were talking to the crew and even they were saying how the service cuts were pretty bad, especially in Club World – not looking forward to my return CW fights to San Diego in October now 🙁 Only booked BA because they fly direct and I could spread my payments by booking through BA Holidays.