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British Airways unveils its new coronavirus catering – it’s an improvement on the plastic bags

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What food and drink is British Airways serving during coronavirus?

Just a day after we complained about the state of British Airways onboard catering, British Airways has unveiled its new interim catering solution.

This is the food you will be seeing on long-haul and short-haul flights from 16th June.  There is still a distinct lack of hot food – unlike Emirates, Qatar, Etihad etc – but this is a definite improvement on the ‘cheese sandwich and a Kit Kat in a plastic bag’ meals which have been served to date.

Everything now comes in these fancy boxes (click on any image to enlarge):

British Airways business class Club World coronavirus food catering

First Class

Here is a main meal box for BA First Class. First Class is the only part of the aircraft where there will be hot main courses.

British Airways First Class coronavirus food catering

…. and here is a typical Afternoon Tea box:

British Airways First Class coronavirus food catering

Club World:

Here is a typical Club World meal.  Club World will not be getting hot main courses at this point although hot paninis and wraps will be available as snack or second meal options.  It is unclear if there will be any choice of meal, apart from a vegetarian option, or whether special orders will be allowed:

British Airways business class Club World coronavirus food catering

…. and here is a breakfast:

British Airways business class Club World coronavirus food catering

World Traveller and World Traveller Plus:

Here are typical World Traveller Plus and World Traveller meals.  Both cabins will receive the same boxes:

British Airways economy World Traveller coronavirus food catering


British Airways economy World Traveller coronavirus food catering

Club Europe:

Moving onto short haul, this is typical of what Club Europe passengers will be receiving:

British Airways Club Europe business class coronavirus food catering

Euro Traveller:

Euro Traveller will be retaining the free water and a small bag of crisps / popcorn / pretzels that is available at the moment.

Buy-on-board is not returning for the short term.

Special meals:

There will be two meal options offered – vegetarian and non-vegetarian.  I’m waiting for BA to confirm whether other special meals can be pre-ordered.


Alcohol will be returning, except in Euro Traveller.

This is NOT a long term replacement for British Airways catering.  The airline is keeping it under constant review, with its hands partly tied by UK Government guidance.  You should expect to see the boxes above for at least four months, I believe.


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Comments (106)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Doc says:

    Don’t mind a cold meal for a short hop in CE but no hot meal in long haul CW is still not acceptable when a lot of other airlines are offering hot meals. Don’t mind if it is all on one tray even with foil cover, but at least provide something hot BA.

  • Joe says:

    Please, someone, explain to me how given anything we know about virology the marginal impact of serving this vs an almost normal service (with masks if you want!) is going to impact anyone’s health to any useful extent. This is theatre.

    • Peter K says:

      If the cabin crew wash their hands properly and don masks (and hopefully gloves) and hand out a pre-packed box then the box will hopefully then be clean and the contents will have the minimum human contact possible after leaving the food preparation.
      The whole cabin can be served in minimal time so close contact with the breath of a potential virus carrier is minimised and so the risk of it being on staff uniform and accidently given to someone else minimised.

      Anything that increases the time spent in close quarters with a potential virus spreader or the number of occasions spent with them increases the risk of passing on an infection.
      Every person saying thank you for service provided is potentially creating spittle that will go on the clothing/apron/face/hands of the person serving them. That puts the server at higher risk and the following people they serve likewise.

      • Peter K says:

        Every extra step in the process increases the risk of transmission. The BA system minimises the number of steps.

      • Joe says:

        Sure, in theory. In reality – the marginal risk of the above is absolutely tiny. Hence why Lufthansa’s service is not being outlawed by the German government. There really is not indication it’s going to harm anyone.

        The fears about the way this virus spreads are the worst doomsday scenarios people can think up. And because there’s no absolute scientific proof to the contrary there’s this weird demand to ‘do something’ to make it look like you’re reducing transmission risk. Even if it’s not at all high leverage.

        The reality is that we have stronger and stronger indicators that the virus does not even spread that effectively on surfaces; requires prolonged close proximity contact; doesn’t spread well outdoors; isn’t often spread by asymptomatic cases.

        We don’t _know_ the above for sure if you want to apply the criterion of the most robust scientific method. But we don’t rely on the burden of absolutely scientific knowledge for 99% of everything we do day to day. We make trade offs on the road to knowledge given the data we have. We need to start doing that here.

        You might say why does it matter? It’s just an airplane meal. You’re right. It’s one tiny facet of life which I’ll just suck up. But if one wants to worry about marginal impact of something I’d worry about the marginal impact of creating this ‘new (non-scientific) normal’. While you have cabin crew dressed up in hazmat and ‘safety enhanced’ services on airplanes you won’t reassure people that the world is safe to reenter. They’ll avoid travel. They’ll avoid, as is already happening, going to their doctor to check that lump. They won’t eat out. Businesses will shut; jobs will be lost. The fear is real. The fear is killing.

        Someone needs to stand up and take ownership for what really moves the leaver on outcomes from this virus. It seems to be – protecting the most vulnerable who are already in hospital or nursing homes.This is where the UK has woefully failed. Screens in John Lewis and boxed food on an airplane is a dangerous distraction.

        • james says:

          At this point fear is the real enemy, and we still have the fall out from Brexit to deal with. The UK is a mess.

        • Arnie Lord says:

          Joe, I think you are absolutely right. Of course we always relate to our own situations. I am coming up 70 but am supposedly in a higher risk category. But my grandchildren are with us over each winter and consistently bring cold and coughs in which we get 2/3 times a year. Should we ban them from coming in. We live in London – a short journey on the underground or overground between 0630 and 0900 will give you the opportunity to collect just about any virus you like – should we stop travelling. I think we all have a personal responsibility for ourselves. We need to keep ourselves as fit and healthy as we can, we need to take reasonable precautions not to spread anything we get such as wearing masks on transport as the Japanese have done for years, but we need to get on with our lives. yesterday I was at the dentist to have a new bridge fitted but have a painful tooth looked at. The process was to knock on the door, have my hands sprayed with some sort of disinfectant, told to sit and wait in a booth. Enter dentists room, fully clad in has suit with mask and then a protective shield on his head same with assistant. Had to remove shield three times so I could hear and understand what he was saying. If this is the new normal – well I fear for our sanity. BA food, well – I will choose to vote with my feet. I’m going with one of the Middle East lot or Lufthansa. I’m sick of calling BA to be told that they are busy protecting their staff so they can’t give me my refund. I now have three lots of section 75 reclaims with them due to lack of response and total inability to speak to anyone directly. Im afraid BA are creating a company dealing with PPE and health and safety – I’m not sure whether they remember they are supposed to be serving the public.

        • Peter K says:

          I feel some of you have made up your mind already but I will reply.

          Taking the cautious approach on a deadly new disease is surely the sensible way forward. Carrying on as almost normal, as some airlines have been doing, with no evidence it is safe, makes me feel less like flying them.
          People carrying on as normal in three UK has been a major factor in the virus spread. There are reports of at least one case of a lady catching the virus despite not leaving her house for 3 weeks, it would seem from her shopping deliveries.

          As for flying being under threat by people being nervous due to new safely standards, if just one person were to appear to have caught coronavirus on a flight and die from it, the media storm that will cause will have a much more negative impact.

      • Lady London says:

        Sounds like a good argument for paying for front row seating?

  • Chris Cannon says:

    What’s the status of booze on long haul in CW?

  • BB says:

    This is a joke right? Grabbing a few items from the shelves at Pret and arranging them neatly in a box does not make it a meal worthy of a First Class or Club World ticket price. Shame on BA once again. Why would anyone willingly travel with these clowns when there are so many better options?

    • blodge says:

      there really is no pleasing some people…firstly it was about status, and BA fixed that, then it was about food, and BA fixed that. Next it will be a demand for Avios because a crew member coughed or BA was daring enough to seat me within 2m of another passenger. As Bezos said recently, “you’re a customer I’m happy to lose”

      • Rhys says:

        I think BA has faced some fair criticism about the decisions it has made. It is now starting to rectify those things but that doesn’t mean it’s completely off the hook, especially when other airlines appear to be more proactive about making these changes!

      • Arnie Lord says:

        Its easy to say thats a customer you can do without when you have a virtual monopoly and momentum in some sectors which Amazon to a degree have. The airlines do not, its already an extremely competitive sector. BA behaviour in many areas is to some degree questionable. The manner in which they have and are handling refunds, the service levels they are offering and props to offer, the way in which their management are treating staff from pilots down to flight reception. I understand that they have to rejig the company in order for it to be a profitable entity but they also have to do that with a respect for the profile they present to the travelling public and I don’t think currently they are presenting a very good one. They have and continue to leave themselves open to criticism and I think they may change that view when passenger numbers fail to increase as they I am sure hope they will. It will be interesting to see. I for one will vote with my feet.

    • Lady London says:

      not even the quality of Pret, sadly.
      I wouldn’t even step into a British sandwich shop that only sold particularly the Y/PY options.

  • KP says:

    Whats with British people and the obsession with handmade ? I just dont get it

    • Fenny says:

      Me either, and I’m British. But then, as I hand make most of my own food, I wonder what the alternative is, as I mostly avoid it.

  • Callum says:

    An improvement on my last CW breakfast – a warm slab of tofu in an unbuttered white roll!

  • Scott says:

    The boxes are a bit reminiscent of the BMI breakfast boxes from days gone by. I think in ET, CE and maybe WT this is just about ok, but really not acceptable in CW and definitely not in F when other carriers are managing full service as usual. The major issue not mentioned is about the booze offering!!

  • Nick_C says:

    Seems appropriate as a short time measure for people who absolutely have to fly, and conforms with the latest Government Guidance published yesterday (which is worth reading).

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