Bits: BA to drop trolley food service in Club World, American Express Shop Small to return

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News in brief:

British Airways to drop trolley food service in Club World

Business Traveller got confirmation yesterday that British Airways is to abandon the trolley service for serving food in Club World, just a short while after it was introduced.  Rumours had been circulating for a couple of days.

The new service format will begin on 28th October, which is the first day of the Winter timetable.

This is not a huge surprise.  There have been considerable complaints about the time taken to serve Club World food from a trolley, although it should be noted that many other airlines manage it.  Reports of meals stretching out for 2-3 hours are not uncommon.

The food will not change, but there will clearly be a fall in the overall ‘experience’ of Club World dining.

If we go back to the big British Airways media event last year (here is Anika’s award-winning article), a worrying amount of what was promised has now fallen away:

The Do&Co food, which BA implied would be on all routes, turned out to be only available on New York JFK and a couple of other destinations.  All other routes have been stuck with the old Gate Gourmet food.

The trolley service has now gone

The new blankets and pillows from White Company are still here

Wi-Fi is rolling out, but it is not free and it is not really a Club World benefit as all cabins have access

Where this leaves the ‘£600m investment in Club World’ programme remains to be seen, because £600m for a few blankets and pillows seems relatively poor value for money even at White Company prices …..

food cart ba cabin crew

American Express Shop Small returning in December

‘Shop Small’ is an annual American Express promotion which can prove very lucrative.  You receive £5 cashback for every purchase of £10 or more you make in a ‘small shop’ which is generally any independent retailer – including quite a few pubs!

Whilst limited to one credit per shop, you can register every American Express you earn to multiply your returns.

It has not been officially confirmed that Shop Small will return in 2018.  The website (here) is not saying anything.

However, my understanding is that it WILL happen.  It is pencilled in for 1st to 16th December 2018.

We will cover this again nearer the time.

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  1. OT – when Hilton have a sale, does the amount of points for a premium room award also go down ? I appreciate that they standard room reward doesn’t tend to but the premium ones seem a bit more flexible.

    • No, because the points are driven off Best Available Rate I think and the sale rates are always in addition to, not instead of, Best Available Rate.

  2. Food atrocious on my last JFK flight – had to make to with Club Kitchen. Thankfully I still find CW seat comfy (esp unrestricted legroom and lack of need to flip seat down to turn into a bed). Arriving 2.5h late didn’t make it a great flight all in all!

    • the_real_a says:

      Having flown virgin for the first time in ages, it really struck me how inconvenient it is to “flip” the bed. Especially if you cannot sleep and just want to lounge a bit.

  3. Who does the catering for BA001 from LCY to JFK? It was very good! Although maybe the overall ambience of that flight, and the empty seat next to me (plus the three empty rows behind me) made it seem better than it really was.

  4. Soloflyer1977 says:

    O/T yesterday at Starbucks, I saw a lady pay for a couple of starbucks coffees for about £6 with her Tesco credit card. As you get no points for spend under £8, there was a look of disappointment on my face…

    • You should have said something! Could have given her an Amex referral maybe?

    • She could maybe have a 0% purchase Tesco credit card perhaps and is currently putting all her purchases through that and keeping cash in an interest earning account?

    • Silly thing to do.

      Most major employers will sell you Starbucks Gift Cards with a 10-12% discount.

      Should have loaded it up with £8.80, Paid £8 and enjoyed the Clubcard Points and discount.

  5. Have just logged into Amex and have the following message at the top of my home page about Amex Shop Small:

    “Get ready to Shop Small and enjoy £5 statement credits when you spend £10 or more in one transaction at participating small businesses between 1 – 16 December 2018. You can enrol in the offer from 1 Nov 2018. To find participating small businesses click here. Terms apply*.”

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