BA makes Club Europe meal improvements following feedback

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It is only a couple of weeks since British Airways brought in its new Club Europe catering.  The first genuine improvements to the original offering are already live, having been rushed through with impressive speed.

Unfortunately the two biggest problems with the relaunch – the removal of hot meals from a lot of key routes and the removal of fruit from breakfast – have not been addressed (yet?).

This is a shame as there were some positive changes made, primarily to the longest Club Europe routes.  Almost all flights irrespective of length now get a choice of food where there was previously nothing.

Unfortunately, drastically reducing the meal quality on a small but important selection of routes has wiped out any goodwill that may have been generated.  These include Barcelona, Bologna, Copenhagen, Gothenburg, Innsbruck, Milan, Nice, Oslo, Palma, Pisa, Porto, Prague, Salzburg, Venice, Vienna, Verona and Zagreb.

Dusseldorf meal

Anyway, this is what appears to have changed as of last Thursday:

  • Fruit plates have been added to ‘brunch’ options
  • The salad has got a little bigger and cheese and biscuits have been added
  • The panini has gained a side salad

The picture above is a meal served out of Dusseldorf a couple of days ago, with added cheese and biscuits and a slightly bigger salad.

Things are picking up a little although there is still a long way to go before we can genuinely say that Club Europe food has improved without needing to add a list of caveats.

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  1. andyinflitwick says:

    BoB in LH Y? BA can no longer call themselves a “full service” airline if they go ahead with that dreadful idea. I agree with CV3V, perhaps Snr Cruz may actually like to take some flights with their competitors. He will generally see that BA is a 5 or 6 out of 10 at best. It’s not just the fact that this is more cost cutting, it will ruin the in-flight experience for many people and comes across as just greedy.

    To echo Arun T, for me this would really be the final nail in the coffin. I’ve already switched most of my EU business travel (two trips per month) to alternative carriers. I actually quite like U2 in comparison!

    Alex Cruz is frankly deluded. I can no longer justify the additional cost to keep loyal to a business that frankly doesn’t seem to care.

  2. Brian Cleator says:

    BA are heading down the pan, what planet is Mr Cruz on? I have been flying with BA for work since the 1990s and just recently the economy long haul package has become very poor. Short haul, the idea that people want more choice equals ‘people want to pay for a coffee’ is arrogant and ignorant. I have heard that justification from two customer care staff so I suspect that it is a party line but it comes over as cynical and dismissive. I have noticed how few people use the service on short haul, frequently people complain about it to each other or the cabin crew who genuinely seem to agree and are embaressed by what they see as a reduction in quality. Mr Cruz needs to wake and up realise what his company brand stands for before he demolishes it . Today’s economy passengers are tomorrows business class passengers, I become loyal to BA because their product was better than the competition, way before I travelled in Club. Now I am about to switch to an alternative.

    • Talay says:

      So true about moving from economy to business and first.

      When young and with my own finances, we always flew economy, except for MR Virgin Atlantic upgrades to Tokyo and the occasional use of the business class JAL seats on the same route on their 2nd evening service.

      Today, I refuse to fly economy long haul. Personally, I couldn’t care less short haul unless I can get a proper business class seat.

      I have 241 on BAPP booked and will likely cancel before using. My other half and child may be happy with 12 hours in BA business seats but the proof will come in an couple of months.

      I envisage a strong desire to dump BA for the ME3 even with Amex 241.

    • Mzungu says:

      Very good summary. I travelled economy until about 15 years ago, then started doing a lot of long haul business travel in business, mostly with other airlines. As that slowed down, and I had a taste for business class travel, I got into this hobby, and started to use BA again. I’m now looking for alternatives – I have two 241s to use up, and I don’t think I’ll look to generate any more – I used my last one on a RFS as I wasn’t keen on taking another BA long haul.

      Another point on the BoB tea/coffee – a few weeks ago I bought a tea on LHR-MAD. It was a paper cup with a tea bag dunked in warm water from a flask. The tea was tepid, and it made it tasteless with scum on top. I pointed it out to the FA, who said that water boiled at a lower temperature at altitude! Whilst that’s technically true, it doesn’t account for what I was served. At least when they made a pot of tea and brought it along the aisle, it was more-or-less drinkable. Now we pay for a far worse product.

  3. David S says:

    Cruz doesn’t care about what you or I think. He obviously has been given a brief by his bosses since otherwise he would have been sacked by now.
    He and his bosses will continue to get richer by cost cutting in the short term till the customers stop flying with BA. By that time it will be too late for BA as a brand to recover quickly but I suspect Cruz and possibly his bosses will be long gone elsewhere. (See what happened at Vueling)
    Only way things can change is if people start leaving BA, which by the sounds of the people on this forum, has already started.
    Lets hope VS pick up their game and not go the same way as BA since they may be picking up all the people leaving BA, certainly going West. The ME3 are also probably licking their lips with glee as they see all this cost cutting (sorry, enhancements) at BA.

  4. Andrew says:

    I think the catering on the longer CE sectors is much better. My meal on the flight back from Stockholm yesterday was tasty, well presented and satisfying (I actually felt quite stuffed afterwards). I do normally enjoy a BA bashing and I have to say the T5 lounge on the way out was a joke – limited and terrible food and dirty plates and glasses as far as the eye could see. I actually considered decamping to Plaza Premium in the hope it would be better. But credit where it’s due – CE catering is a big improvement.

  5. Margaret says:

    We flew LHR-JFK in economy on Tuesday. The meal was very poor – a Bob of mashed root veg with a microwaved small dry chicken breast and gravy. The salad was a cm thick of Polish red cabbage salad in a little bowl, the bread roll dry and tasteless and the tiny chocolate put the best part. I was served a new red wine which the steward hasn’t tried yet either, and it was rough plonk which would cost maybe 2 euros a litre in France/Spain. The stewards were great and swapped it for a flowery but drinkable cava. They also gave everyone in economy two of their chosen drink near the start of their flight (so I had 2 g&t’s), which helped tolerate the 1980’s charter airline did they offered! I wondered if this shocking drop in quality is a deliberate attempt to make LH BoB more palatable. Sadly, it looks true. We fly home premium economy (can’t sleep in cattle class). So it will be interesting to that’s changed, and transfer to business on the EDI-LHR connection. Based on reviews here a trip to the lounge might be prudent!

  6. graham says:

    Flew Malaga club last week. On both flights they ran out of the non veg meal by row 7. On the return flight we had to have a paneer curry rather than chicken. I like the idea of a choice but really the choice only exists for the first few rows.

    • Andrew says:

      The two options on the menu card for my flight were chicken or fish. I think you need to preorder vegetarian as a special meal to be sure.

  7. Talay says:

    For all short haul flights, eat before you go on, either commercial or in the lounge.

  8. Tom Murray says:

    Why does everyone that strays off topic say ‘sorry’ – as if they mean it?

  9. Just flew LHR-GIB in CE and back over the last few days.

    First flight was a cock up food wise. They’d only loaded beetroot salad with cheese for the cabin. Complaint will be made to get some Avios via service recovery.

    Flight back, much better. 4 courses including choice of mains – chicken supreme with gnocchi or miso glazed cod. Good flight back to LHR.

  10. OT, but driving me nuts! Trying to decipher the new BA timetables from MAN. The Saturday flight to Ibiza leaves at 19:30 hours, returning to MAN at 00:05 hours the following day (Sunday). However, the return flight from Ibiza on a Saturday leaves at 10:45 hours, arriving at MAN at 12:30. There is no corresponding MAN departure to explain how this flight gets to Ibiza in the first place.

    Where does this flight originate from – I thought all the MAN flights used the same plane?! Sorry if I am being really thick and missing something obvious – but even the BA schedule shows 3 outbound flights and 4 inbound which shouldn’t theoretically be possible.

    • Nick M says:

      I think the idea behind the new routes was to make use of (LCY?) planes that weren’t being used over the weekend? – fairly sure I read that in the original article Rob wrote

      • the real harry1 says:

        logic fails when you assume BA MUST provide both outward & return flights in equal quantities

        they probably do though

      • Correct. City Airport shuts for 24 hours and in any event the demand is not there to fill all the planes BA needs midweek.

        • Sam Goss says:

          From what I can work out the aircraft does LCY-IBZ on the Friday and then MAN-IBZ on the Saturday morning

          I am assuming this is to provide a spare aircraft in the UKm as the schedules are very tight. I am guessing it then positions down to LCY on Sunday when it reopens from wherever it ends up (or operates the MAN-LCY flight leaving that aircraft to position)

          Bit weird to have more seats one way than the other, but in this day of skyscanner and one-way tickets people are mixing and matching anyway to best suit their schedule, so no big deal

  11. The new routes with BRS, BHM, MAN and STN are all interlinked, so if you want to understand the schedule you need to look at all of them.

    I think MAN was planned to operate with one aircraft but obviously they’ve put a slip in somewhere, probably for schedule robustness. Or maybe just the flights are different week by week and your ‘out’ doesn’t correspond with your ‘return’. Without knowing your exact dates we can’t check to be certain.

    • The flights are the same every week. An extra flight from LCY would explain it, however if they are doing all the MAN flights with one plane, then it is scheduled to be returning from Alicante at the same time that it is supposed to be returning from Ibiza!

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