Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

New British Airways Club Europe catering starts Sunday with some hot meals scrapped

Links on Head for Points may support the site by paying a commission.  See here for all partner links.

The much heralded improvements to British Airways Club Europe catering begin tomorrow, Sunday.

That said, it certainly isn’t improvements all round – some popular routes are having their hot meals removed.

Let’s look at what is happening.

Club Europe flights are currently grouped into four bands, with a different catering option for each.  These four bands are being regrouped into Very Short, Short, Medium and Long.  These groupings do NOT match the current Band 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 arrangement which is why some routes are losing hot meals.

British Airways Club Europe catering changes

Very Short

Only Leeds Bradford, Manchester and Jersey fall into this band.  You will receive a hot bacon roll, fruit and yoghurt for breakfast (Jersey retains the hot breakfast) and a cold plate for the rest of the day (09.30+ departures).

Short and Medium

‘Short’ covers routes as far as Berlin, Munich, Frankfurt, Bordeaux and Milan.  ‘Medium’ covers routes as far out as Oslo, Bologna, Zagreb, Porto, Madrid and Bologna.

These routes will receive:

  • Breakfast (to 09.29) – the current hot breakfast
  • Brunch (09.30 – 10.59) – a large hot roll or a cold meat plate
  • Lunch (11.00 – 13.59) – salad or a hot sandwich
  • Afternoon tea (14.00 – 16.59) – cold ‘finger’ sandwiches or a ploughman’s salad (no idea what that is!) with tea cake.  No more scones.
  • Dinner (17.00+) – salad or a hot sandwich

On Medium routes, there will be snacks and a bar round before Lunch and Dinner.


‘Long’ is basically everything including, and beyond, Lisbon, Ibiza, Rome, Budapest, Krakow and Stockholm.

  • Breakfast (departures up to 09.29) – a hot breakfast
  • Rest of the Day – a two course meal with two choices of hot main course.

On the longest of the Long routes, liqueurs will now be offered alongside tea and coffee.

New service standards:

  • Club World crockery to be introduced, although glasses will remain the same as present
  • You now get a mug for your tea or coffee
  • Wine and champagne to be served from full-size bottles on Medium and Long routes
  • Trays are being reduced in size, because meals will be served as separate courses

The feedback I have had from people who have seen the demos of the new crockery is very positive.

Who wins here?

Flyers on Short and Medium routes now receive a choice of meals at all times outside breakfast.

Those flying on Long routes which were originally Band 4, outside of the breakfast period, gain an appetiser.

The real winners are those who are currently on Band 3B flights such as Gibraltar, Helsinki or Lisbon – these flights will become Long and so gain a hot meal.  There will be no more afternoon tea on these services.

Who loses here?

My personal view is that removing the scones from Afternoon Tea is a downgrade, especially as my interest in a Ploughman’s salad or BA’s cold finger sandwiches is very low.  I accept that the scones were not popular with a lot of passengers, however.

The big losers are those flying Club Europe on routes of approximately two hours.  These routes are losing their hot meal service to be replaced with a salad or hot sandwich.

The routes losing the hot meal include (I think) Barcelona, Bologna, Copenhagen, Gothenburg, Innsbruck, Mllan, Nice, Oslo, Palma, Pisa, Porto, Prague, Salzburg, Venice, Vienna, Verona and Zagreb.

I am a little thrown by the logic of this, to be honest.  There are high yield business routes on that list which are seeing hot meals cut off, whilst some predominantly lower yield leisure routes are seeing hot meals introduced.

Let’s see how it all plays out.  I don’t have a Club Europe in the diary until May so please post your feedback here if you are flying on Sunday or early next week.

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (June 2024)

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!

In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.

You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

Get 25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £20,000 Read our full review

There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the famous annual 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up and an Economy 2-4-1 voucher for spending £15,000 Read our full review

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points. These points convert at 1:1 into Avios.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 30,000 points (TO 16TH JULY), FREE for a year & four airport ….. Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express

40,000 bonus points and a huge range of valuable benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Run your own business?

We recommend Capital on Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card, along with a sign-up bonus worth 10,500 Avios.

Capital on Tap Business Rewards Visa

10,000 points bonus – plus an extra 500 points for our readers Read our full review

There are also generous bonuses on the two American Express Business cards, with the points converting at 1:1 into Avios. These cards are open to sole traders as well as limited companies.

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and FREE for a year Read our full review

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.

Comments (100)

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

  • dicksbits says:

    I am flying on the inaugural Murcia route on Tuesday (flight time 2h. Afternoon tea outbound, evening flight back on the 1s. I’ll see what is served up and report back

  • Kevin says:

    Does the removal of the hot meal not contradict what is written on relating to hit meals on European flights? They make no distinction between the route lengths.

    • Tim says:

      Yes. But BA has no quarms about breaching contracts. They did it with ET when BoB was introduced

      • AH says:

        that reminded me to chase BA up.
        I feel they was in breach of contract under Consumer Rights Directive 2013, as they did not notify me directly about BoB for a flight I booked in July & took in March.
        1000 avios is a pathetic attempt at compensation. Considering it was a return flight (3hr+), it was not even enough for a cup of tea & sandwich each way.

        • Anon says:

          Do it, RealHarry was pursing a MCOL ..

          I got the paltry 1000 Avios per pax for a rtn, granted not a 3hr flight mind..

  • David says:

    I’d rather have proper leg room than new cutlery

  • Luca says:

    Disappointed with Milan. The 1855 departures I regularly take is when I have my dinner. This is a big downgrade but what should I expect from a BA ‘improvement’.

    • Luca says:

      Also add that a hot sandwich is not a meal. It maybe ok at Lunch but not an evening meal.

  • Vinz says:

    The truth is I’m giving up on flying BA in Europe after 7 years of loyal customs. There really is no point at all. Prices have increased over the last couple of years and service swiftly worsened. I’m going to fly low cost from now on, and save my pennies for long haul.

  • James A says:

    Salad or a sarnie on the majority of routes. Wow.

    • Will says:

      Wouldn’t it be ironic if the buy on board options ended up being of higher quality that CE catering!

  • Lee says:

    How about CE to Scotland?

    • Rich. says:

      Same as a short flight I think. Hot breakfast,…. I hope!

      • Alan says:

        Yep, return of what everyone used to get on that route – was nice in the morning to not have to leave time to go to the lounge when you knew you’d get something hot on board 🙂

  • Ian says:

    Sounds very disappointing.

    I flew Heathrow to Warsaw in Club Europe the other day and there was no hot meal on that route already (and no choice either).

    At the end of last year I flew Warsaw to Heathrow and had a choice of 2 hot meals.

    I spent some time in Colombia at the start of the year, and I have to say the contrast between the business class product offered on short-haul flights there by Avianca (even on 30min routes like Bogotá-Medellín), and the dreadful BA Club Europe is staggering.

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

The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.