World in shock as BA’s improved economy food turn out to be quite good

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It is a now a week since British Airways launched its improved World Traveller long haul economy food offering.  I’m pleased to say that the response from Head for Points readers who have tried it so far is very positive.

(Here is my original article which outlines exactly what was changing.)

Here is what one reader got on the relatively short (7 hour) flight to Muscat last Friday, which he described as ‘definitely an improvement’:

First up (the bag only contained three pretzels, however!):

British Airways economy food

followed by a surprisingly decent main meal which – if plated – would not be far off some Club World meals I have had on British Airways:

British Airways economy food

with the sandwiches for a small 2nd meal nearer landing – again, this is not a lot different, apart from the missing scones, to what you would get in Club World (they don’t open the packet for you in Club World either ….):

British Airways economy food

Reader Neil flew to Las Vegas for the massive CES conference and told me:

“Food much improved.  We got the main meal of beef or chicken, then half way through the flight some popcorn and other snacks and then, unexpectedly, about an hour before landing a ‘folded pizza in a box’ with some other bits.  I have to confess, much better than I was expecting/dreading.”

There was also a positive article in The Sunday Times over the weekend, which is here but behind a paywall unfortunately, which was also very enthusiastic about the changes.

The next question is what happens with World Traveller Plus catering.  A revamp of the entire WTP ‘soft product’ (ie not the seat) is expected later in 2018.

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  1. Lower the expectations to the absolute minimum and then any small improvement looks amazing.

    • Yup. The description of the LV meals matches what I had on Delta to Salt Lake City last spring. So this feels like a levelling up to the competition.

      But still – gift horses in the mouth etc.

    • Ha Ha. True.

    • Agree, Qantas did the same in Australia. They stripped everything (domestically) then slowly brought back food, drinks in the evenings- and everyone thought is was amazing. BA I (hope?) is going the same…

  2. Rob Hutchison says:

    Currently in HK outta Heathrow . gotta say the food on the way out looked like this but tasted like crap. Ran out of two choices for dinner and breakfast. giime virgin any day

    • John Stoddart says:

      Rob I flew out to HK on 18th and food was great, though we were in Club. I never expect anything too great from BA in any class but this was def good. They need to improve their wine choice IMHO.

      • Rob Hutchison says:

        Flew on 22nd and only ever fly economy John, price was cheap as chips so I shouldn’t grumble and I was out for dinner when I arrived anyway. i’m teetotal so you could have had my wine, there only so much pop you can drink in 11 hours!

    • Catalan says:

      …so why didn’t you choose Virgin this time round?

    • in Y? whats Y (honestly) like on a long flight like that?

  3. I read One Mile at a Time, not as religiously as HFP, and on there, readers like to share ‘race to the bottom’ comments about the US airlines. Being fluent in another language, not one of the major ones, means I read similar comments about a national flag carrier as people post about BA. I’m not saying they’re always amazing, but I do enjoy BA club world and on occasion economy and first, and consider the improved food part of an overall decent enough offing rather than a step up from the ‘race to the bottom’ which I don’t believe exists.

  4. WTP definitely needs dedicated check in desks as an improvement, this is standard on the competition

    • Where have you seen dedicated checkin-in for WTP

    • I agree – Virgin, AF, Vietnam, all PE products offer dedicated check-in. It’s specifically altered my choice of carrier in the past – i.e. VS over BA.

      • Also have to pay for seat reservation on BA but not AT. Seat selection fees in premium cabins is a no no IMO.

  5. Lot of plastic there. Do they have anything of a recycling policy?

  6. I was just on LAX-LHR this week and they either forgot about the “improvements” or I don’t know what happened because only 2 meals were served with the second one being a measly English breakfast approximation just before we started descending. I had to ask for a snack in the meantime (got pretzels….) and was really hungry towards the end of the flight. The funny thing is I was going to get some snacks for this flight but then I read about the roll out of the improvements and figured I’ll survive …..

    • in Y? Would you recommend Y on such a long flight?

      PS I always say to myself “must have own snacks”!

  7. Just got back from nyc-Lon on WT+ 747 must’ve gotten unlucky as I believed the route to have been refurbished since 2016 but alas no luck. Old seat with no in seat power, screen about 6” get bigger in economy! Food was terrible and a lot less than the econmy picture above. Only good thing were the crew! Can’t really say was a letdown as BA always are.

  8. ankomonkey says:

    While we should be grateful for a second meal, looking at the size of it, even my 6 year old would still be hungry after eating it.

  9. Andrew W says:

    Flew BGI to LGW on 19th Jan in WT.
    Pretzels offered, Meal was pretty good.
    No Cadbury’s tuck box and no English breakfast. A cheese crossiant or banana bread was offered… Crew were fantastic though.

    Also was a bug with the moving map which would crash IFE on my outbound and still hadn’t been fixed three weeks later on my rt.

  10. Dr Alan Fix says:

    Good news. It’s very dispiriting to see how BA’s reputation has fallen over the last few years. Now that BA the management Has started to appreciate that some of their cuts have gone too far I wonder if they could spare a thought also for those who pay First Class fares or, like me, are lucky enough to have enough Avios to fly First occasionally. At the moment it appears to be policy not to stock enough food in First for everyone to have their first choices which is very mean when charging in the thousands of pounds.

    • Currently in Buenos Aires, club, was nowhere near full outbound, but my wife asked for the vege option, and apparently the 2 portions they had onboard had already been taken. Was offered the WT version which apparently was the same but smaller! As it happens whoever ordered one of them changed their mind when they saw it, so she ended up getting their portion. Food I’m not so fussed about especially overnight, but IFE truly hopeless….

    • If i was ever in a position to fly First class like Dr Alan then BA wouldnt even be on my list of potential carriers.
      Still enjoying my Lufthansa experience via FRA and MUC.
      Once you get used to the airports the Ghastly T5 seems a world away.

  11. Good Lord, a genuine improvement from BA.

  12. Coincidentally I was also on the Muscat flight last Friday in WTP. Improvements were broadly the same.
    – Inclusion of pretzels with the first drink run
    – Main meal was served on the same tray with cheese/crackers, chocolate pot and a bottle of water, albeit with metal cutlery and an improved entree in a porcelain dish. Bread was served out of a basket rather than pre-wrapped as in WT (!).
    – Breakfast was the same sandwich and cereal bar combo.

    • Flight back in WTP on Sunday – will keep you posted on the ‘day’ changes. Will be interested to see how the changes are manifested from outstations.

      • Snap ! I was on that flight last Friday and fly back on Sunday too… but in economy (let’s hope the engines are in better shape ). I think perhaps we should swap seats going back so that you can get the full World Traveller experience !

        Enzo… if you’re reading apologies we got back late on the Tuesday night but glad you loved Salalah it’s an amazing place !

        • Are you working out there? What’s amazing? Isn’t it just mostly desert?

        • Haha Paul – I’ve spent my fair share of time in WT so will give your offer a miss :p. There seem to be a few avios seats open in WTP so see if you can grab yourself an upgrade. Give me a shout if you want access to the lounge in Muscat also. R

  13. Just flew to Cape Town in economy unfortunately. Unreferbished 747, Very Old uncomfortable seats with tiny screens that have the chessboard lines. Food very poor only one drink served prior to meal. Looking forward to CW on the return. Will use points for Qatar Airlines out of Mcr in future. Particularly when BA switch to “dynamic” pricing redemptions.

  14. I have to say I remain a loyal BA fan. Not everything is perfect or to my liking but overall I think they are good. The new T5 Gold check in and security is amazing. I find all the sledging of BA on HFP a bit sad – including the sarky headline for this article!!!

    • Flown BA economy recently?

      There is a BA internal video of Troy Warfield (now gone) discussing how he made a kid cry when he tried being cabin crew for the day because he had to enforce the ‘only one fun size Mars Bar per person or we are turning this plane around’ rule. He wasn’t sad about it, by the way.

      I would note that the editor of Business Traveller congratulated me on the headline yesterday as a good piece of writing.

      I would suggest that a quick run through Qatar Business, Emirates Business and Etihad Business (or even Aer Lingus or Iberia Business staying within IAG) may reset your expectations. And Norwegian Premium blows WTP – and Virgin PE – out of the water.

    • Chris L says:

      I’m sure HFP see it as part of their mission to hold BA management to account on some of the decisions they make – both to praise the positive and slate the negative. They have a platform to do this because BA know that many of the readers are frequent flyers who spend a lot of money with them. If we just sit back and let them take the flower out of the first class toilet without making them think twice we are doing ourselves a disservice and we are doing them a disservice.

      I want our national carrier to be the best in the world
      – it’s good for our economy and good for me as I use them. BA are at the top of the tree when it comes to safety but their service has stagnated while others have raced ahead. BA used to be the innovators, but now they are playing catch up. Let’s help them be a great airline again!

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