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British Airways improves Club Europe business class food …. but only to Madrid

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If you are flying in British Airways Club Europe to Madrid at any time soon, you will be pleasantly surprised by the food.

For the last few weeks, Madrid has been treated as a ‘long’ flight instead of a ‘medium’ one.  This means that you get a four course meal – small starter, a main, cheese and biscuits and a dessert.

This is apparently a trial for the next round of Club Europe food changes, after the bodged changes last year which saw catering on some key routes downgraded to fund improvements elsewhere.  It seems that we may see all ‘medium’ flights moving to the four course model.

According to cabin crew reports on Flyertalk, the Madrid route may have been chosen for the trial because of all the IAG executives shuttling between the two cities and who were fed up with the current meals.

That is unlikely although it seems odd that BA would trial improvements on a route where IAG faces absolutely no competition for Business Class passengers …..

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Comments (73)

  • Steve V says:

    On our lunchtime flight back from Malaga last week, the food was excellent – 4 courses plus a bag of dry roasted almonds to start! The smoked salmon starter and tortellini with prawns were particularly good, and the Cheddar was proper cheese. The crew did a great job.
    Link to the menu is here:

  • @mkcol says:

    Slightly OT: Oxford & Cambridge are gaining Doubletree Belfry hotels “soon” – this has appeared in the last fortnight while searching for hotels around Milk and Beans.

  • RussellH says:

    Re. Blackpool Hampton:-

    1. It is right down at the southern end, south of the Pleasure Beach, well south opf Blackpool South station. Reasonably close to Squires Gate station. But given that the current Hilton is a long way north of Blackpool North station and the North Pier, I would argue that it is not that badly situated. And probably fine if you are visiting Lytham St Annes rather than Blackpool!

    2. Seems to be a maximum of 15 000 points a night. So not as good value as Newcastle!

  • Lloyd Buck says:

    OT: my BAPP card is up for renewal this week with the 241 voucher sitting in my BA account. Am I correct in thinking that if I cancel the card, I run the risk of losing my unused voucher? Don’t particularly want to downgrade to the free card as there are a couple of other cards I want to apply for, and I believe Amex won’t let you have more than 2 credit cards at the same time.

  • Third Passport says:

    Am I the only person who’s not heard of Bastille before?!?

  • Nick says:

    The Madrid reasoning above is not strictly true…
    MAD stuck out like a sore thumb because the ‘medium’ offer is so poor compared with Iberia’s (hence it was so noticeable to the Execs). It was the longest non-long route so it was thought it could be switched easily enough. It’s not a trial and will be a permanent change (they’ve increased the crewing matrix on A319 to allow it).

    Other ‘medium’ routes are too short for a four-course meal. There’s no need for a trial to prove that. It’s expected that some improved element will be introduced, e.g. hot food, but it won’t be the current ‘long’ option.

    • Rob says:

      But who cares? If people switch to IB then IAG won’t care!

      • Michael Jennings says:

        People often fly on BA with an Iberia flight number or vice versa, or on a BA flight “operated by Iberia”, as happened to me recently. If people are paying the same amount, they probably expect a consistent level of service.

      • Marcw says:

        I guess if you offer a joint business venture, like BA and IB habe in routes between Spain and London, then you should offer similar services/products. That’s why all members of the Joint TA venture launched basic fares across de Atlantic at the same time. Btw, the number and routes has been extended, as well some minor modifications to frequent flyers, specially those related to “free luggage when in a basic fare”.

      • Nick says:

        The way the flights are timed to avoid nightstops means that (on average) IB flies MAD-LHR in the day and BA flies MAD-LHR in the evening. So lots of people end up flying one way on each, which they will notice. Depending on their own personal schedule it’s not always easy to ‘switch’ to IB.

  • LM says:

    Off topic, apologies. I recently hit 10K spend on my Blue BA Amex, and got it upgraded to the BAPP and the voucher was triggered – but it is only valid for 1 year, and not two as expected.

    This would appear to be an issue – who should I contact to get it sorted? Amex or BA?


    • Anna says:

      I thought it was 20k spend on the Blue for a 1 year voucher?

      • LM says:

        If you upgrade to BAPP the voucher should get automatically credited based on current spend.

    • meta says:

      Two years ago, I called both Amex and BA. It took about a bit over a month for it to be processed. But you do need to phone, no chats or emails.

      • LM says:

        Thank you meta – I’ll go with the two pronged attack and see what happens!

  • MinR says:

    OT – My BAPP Amex application was declined. The letter states that it was mostly due to my credit rating. My Experian Credit Score is in the Excellent region, and the Eligibility Checker also suggested I have 95% chance of being accepted. I already hold the Amex Platinum Charge Card, and the Gold Card before that.

    Has anyone else ever challenged Amex’s decision?

    • the real harry1 says:

      Many, with success, give it a go

      • MinR says:

        Thanks. Were you able to sort it out on a call or did you have to write to them to appeal?

        • the real harry1 says:

          Never happened to me but several others have told how they got decline decisions reversed – I think I would start on the phone, ask to speak to a Mgr, explain everything then take it from there, ie write in if that’s what the Mgr recommended. I remember some people did it on the phone just by asking for credit limits on other Amex cards to be reduced then the new application re-assessed.

    • Toby Walsh says:

      I applied for the upgrade to Platinum and was declined. I rang up and was told I’d get a call back from a manager. A few days later the card changed in the app to the Platinum Card and I received a welcome back in the post. I rang up and managed to speak to someone in the ‘manual underwriting team’ who explained what happened, apologised and also added the 20k points manually.

      Sometimes the system will reject people citing an issue on the credit report, even if Amex fail to actually find your credit report because of a slight difference (as what happened it transpired in my case!). In my case I believe it to be as simple as the form saying ‘xx Hse’ and they failed to match it to ‘xx House’.

      • MinR says:

        I’ve just been on the phone to them, and the only advice they were able to give me was to re-apply in 3 months time.
        I asked them how I can challenge the decision as other people have been able to, but he didn’t have a clue.

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