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Your photos of BA’s new Club Europe food

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I wrote on Saturday about the introduction of the new ‘improved’ British Airways Club Europe food service.  This began yesterday.

In reality it is a mixed bag:

almost all routes now have a choice of meal where previously there was often no choice

some routes have gained a hot meal (eg Lisbon, Gibraltar)

quite a lot of routes have lost a hot meal, gaining a panini instead (see the list in the article on Saturday)

Here are a few photos taken by readers yesterday.  Click on any of the images to enlarge.

Breakfast

I ran these two pictures in an extra article yesterday morning.

Very little seems to have changed here.  The portion size may be bigger, or it may just be the smaller tray making it look bigger!  The new cup should keep your drink hotter for longer.

Verdict:  no major improvement in food, some improvement in presentation

Club Europe breakfast 1

and

Club Europe breakfast 2

Lunch / Dinner

This is where it gets contentious, as whether this is an improvement or not depends on route.

The photo below is the lunch, and presumably also dinner, served on a Madrid flight yesterday.  This route would previously have had a proper hot meal.  The panini served was cheese and tomato.

Note how the panini comes with a bread plate so you can, erm, have some bread with your bread …..

New Club Europe lunch

However you spin it, what you see above is NOT an ‘improvement’ on the previous hot meal.

Another reader managed to persuade the crew to give him both the hot sandwich and the salad:

Club Europe lunch 2

When you have both items together, it begins to look a bit better – but only the goodwill of the crew will get you this.

Here is a similar salad from a German route:

rsz_club_europe_salad

The reader described it as “A rather unusual combination of chicken salad with coronation chicken and king prawn. The coronation chicken was reasonable, the prawn was tough and tasteless and the chicken was a little bland. Not better no worse than my previous experiences.

On routes which would previously have only had a salad, arguably getting the choice of one of the two items above is an improvement.  The salad option looks smaller than the old-style salad however.

This is the panini given out on Heathrow to Amsterdam last night – it was unlabelled but appears to be some sort of pulled meat with cheese:

Club Europe panini

However, to be fair, you would previously have just had a salad on this route so there is at least now a hot option.

Afternoon tea

Departures between 2pm and 5pm on ‘Short’ and ‘Medium’ routes get a new version of afternoon tea.  The scones have gone.   You must now choose between cold ‘finger’ sandwiches or a ploughman’s salad.

Here is the ploughman’s salad, featuring scotch egg.  The mini victoria sponge replaces the scones.  As a shorter flight, it still gets individual bottles on champagne.  This looks ok although I had a soft spot for the scones:

club_europe_ploughmans_salad

Here, from a different flight, is what the sandwich option is like:

club_europe_finger_sandwich afternoon tea

On longer flights …

Here is a menu from a longer flight – Gatwick to Malta.  Routes like Malta always had a hot meal service so the change here is less dramatic.  The person who sent me this menu said that he found the meal OK:

club_europe_menu

It is still early days for the new service, of course, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see some changes as the months pass.  I think it is fair to say that nothing above passes as a ‘major investment in Club Europe’ or whatever the wording was that was used at the last City investor presentation.

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Comments (112)

  • BA Sucks says:

    If I was given that panini in a sandwich shop, I’d ask for a refund. Also with regard to the goodwill of crew: that will last all of about a week. I’m surprised the front of the menu isn’t titled ‘You’ve shown us the f***ing money’.

  • Michael says:

    Similar to the bread+bread situation I flew premium economy from the US a few days ago and my (vegetarian) meal was udon and veg which was perfectly fine, plus a fruit salad for dessert. Then breakfast was the exact same fruit salad again. After 8 hours I was starving. I wish they’d taken a more ‘holistic’ approach to the meals.

  • Martin C-C says:

    Your photos clinched it for me. Back to economy if route is not flown by an airline that offers value for money. BA business class services both long and short haul were always bad now they show complete contempt for the customer. I would never eat a sandwich with some sort of pulled meat and cheese yuk. It would be so easy to offer really good choice when only providing sandwiches. Cruz is making them lose their way completely, the only advantage they have left are the routes.

    • Tom says:

      I’m just switching airlines altogether.. my silver status is going to lapse in a couple of months and I can see no value in a TP run. I’ve all but switched short-haul flying to other carriers, and I even did premium Norwegian last week to NYC and was pleasantly surprised to find the entire plane packed and a great service for about 30% of what BA wanted to fly at short notice..

  • Worzel says:

    I have tried REALLY hard to get that “panini” to look good-but it’s not working.

    Rob, could you pull the lid down on it- PLEASE !

  • Anon says:

    I wish someone (Rob?!) would go to BA and ask them for an explanation as to how this is a ‘major investment’.

    It’s terrible. The sandwich looks awful, and must be so cheap, all the portions look tiny (I saw a tomato and mozzarella salad on FT that was minuscule), I understand the fruit salad has been removed from breakfast, something I loved, in fact wish more fruit was being added!, deserts/cakes being removed, and as for the wine from large bottles, I bet you spend the entire flight hoping the cabin crew return to refill… something probably unlikely if they’ve had to go to the back to help on BOB as I’ve heard has sometimes been the case.

    I bet if we could see the bottom line we’d see a massive saving, and certainly no major investment.

    They really should explain themselves.

  • Lou says:

    I do wonder about all of this. Why on earth would a leisure customer pay an extra £100+ on the same flight for CE?

    No additional leg room, and a maximum of 10-30 (if you really hammer the drinks) in food and drinks benefit. Ok you get additional luggage allowance, but for the life of me i can’t remember the last time i had a suitcase over 20KG, let alone the need to bring 2!

    • Margaret says:

      Is BA being trashed to help prop up Iberia? These meals look terrible. Afternoon tea without scones could only be done by someone who had no idea what it is! !

    • the real harry1 says:

      I can’t justify it for us – but others see value in the tier points (towards status) plus of course there’s lounge access that others might see as worth £30-£35 – and don’t question the value some people ascribe to boarding & deplaning first with slightly more fawning treatment (the trolley dollies up front are usually better as well)

      • Genghis says:

        Cabin crew are certainly variable. Coming back from TLV on Sat in J the CC member basically called me a liar when she brought me the wrong breakfast

  • Jane says:

    With the exception of the Full English it all looks Kak ( Pardon my language) I avoid BA unless I’m using up points and then only fly economy short haul. No wonder other airlines like Turkish ( now my Airline of choice due to pricing, routes and service) are doing so well.

    • DAZ says:

      Yeah agree, the picture of the “meat” panini looks like a leftover from a Saturday night boozed kebab urge, yuk!

      I have just booked my first flight on Easyjet for the first time in 15 years. The airports closer and I’m not being swindled by a bunch Arfur Daley’s.

      • the real harry1 says:

        it does look pretty awful – I’m surprised they’re not labelling it as obviously pork & beef are not to everybody’s taste/ permitted

        whilst a cheeseburger works pretty well, in the panini’s case the addition of cheese just looks wrong

        • the real harry1 says:

          it is apparently Turkey & Emmental panini

          just looks like something my dog sicked up

  • Matt says:

    Have two final business class flights for leisure this year – Barcelona and Valencia, looks as though my extra 200 odd for each the fares no longer gets me a hot meal and gets me very little based on the bad photos above. Have already switched most of my flying to other carriers after BOB came in, business class switch to other carriers now to follow.
    This is bad economy food offering!