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British Airways cuts the new Club World business class meal service – before it even rolls out

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If you haven’t had the chance to try the new British Airways Club World catering service yet, which is only on the Heathrow to New York JFK route, you’ve probably missed ‘peak’ new food.

According to cabin crew reports on Flyertalk, British Airways has already started to roll out the first series of cuts to the new service.

You are about to lose:

the salt and pepper shakers, which will be replaced by paper sachets (note that Virgin still has Wilbur and Orville in service after 20+ years)

the ‘three in one’ bread roll, which will be retained on JFK but replaced by standard rolls on other routes

the little olive oil bottles, which will only be available on request (assuming you know they exist)

The 2nd small grey pillow is also being removed from the new The White Company bedding.

We are told to expect more changes, because the time taken to serve the meal at present is not sustainable on busy A380 routes and on longer routes where there is a crew shift change.

The good news ….

…. is that the new catering continues to be rolled out, albeit slowly.

January is expected to see:

  • Chicago
  • New York Newark
  • Washington Dulles
  • Boston
  • Philadelphia
  • Baltimore

….. added.  The new bedding will also appear more widely, including some Middle East routes, but there really is no excuse for the slow roll out here as handing out blankets does not involve major crew retraining ….

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Comments (109)

  • Andrew says:

    Funny how other airline crew can offer full service on similar length flights. Just another BA farce. ABBA

  • AV Consultant says:

    The pilot period of new Catering on JFK routes was to prove out operational efficiency and customer demand/use of the new product. The stats drive the decisions which drive the cost savings and efficiency. That second pillow was annoying anyway!

    BA cannot compete with the Gulf based public sector airlines, and for now, it doesn’t need to. When you’re network and code shares are as strong as BA’s, and when you have a cartel over the North Atlantic with AA, and IB, you’re on to a winner. IAG are clever, very clever.

    We’ll need to wait for the likes of easyJet and others to move into the LHR extra capacity…..whenever that happens. Until then, products like easyJet worldwide will evolve (Emirates pulled out as carrying your own bag was part of their desired Customer Experience), and this will challenge the network BA has. easyJet having arguable a stronger network than BA.

    But, remember, the Low Cost Carriers have forced this on BA – economy Short Haul is a commodity now, so why would the legacy carriers incur such high legacy costs for products they don’t need to provide.

    • Rob says:

      But why is it a commodity? Why can I choose between the bus and a Mercedes S-Class to get to the airport (which another load of intermediate options) and between a hostel and a 5-star luxury hotel when I land (with another load of intermediate options) but apparently the market only sustains one model of air transport? I don’t buy it.

      Let’s imagine there are 20 flights a day to Warsaw from London, so about 3000 seats. There are, clearly, a lot of people in that 3000 who are purely price driven and will book the cheapest possible fare together with the cheapest possible route to the airport. There is also, logically, a top end of people who are not price sensitive, together with a large group in the middle who would be ok to pay a bit more for a bit better service. It begins to look like market failure to me.

  • Duck Ling says:

    Just a couple points –

    JFK was selected as the rollout route for two reasons. The most important factor was there is a large Do&Co facility located both at Heathrow and JFK. This was important for what is essentially a test and review phase. Whilst the new product has been operating on the JFK, chefs from Do&Co have been travelling to all the other caterers located throughout the world to liase on the product that these other caterers will load on inbound flights. The second reason is simple – it’s BA’s biggest route by revenue. The rollout will continue to follow these two factors – ORD is the next route as it has a DO&Co kitchen and is a large revenue earner. Followed by the rest of the US routes.

    @ Rob – this is incorrect. The crew do not and never have had to refill the salt and pepper shakers. This was a catering task.

  • Julian says:

    Trouble is all the time BA’s solutions to fixing minor operational problems are those that would be adopted by a Low Cost Carrier yet at the same time they want to play the game of being a prestige flag carrier based at Heathrow and charging exorbitantly high fares that far outstrip those levied by their higher service level Middle and Far Eastern airline rivals.

    Someone should send Alex The Slasher back to Vueling where he quite clearly belongs before he totally destroys what’s left of the BA brand.

    • JAXBA says:

      Demote him to LEVEL, not Vueling – VY don’t want him there either!

      At least LEVEL doesn’t have a brand reputation yet; let Cruz go do his dastardly experiments there.

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