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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.

  • Andy S says:

    There is far too much plastic waste here!

    • Rhys says:

      Yes, pandemics aren’t exactly good news for sustainability….

  • James says:

    4 months?
    Is this speculation or have you been informed of this directly? Flying first in September using voucher/points. Might wait tbh

    • Rhys says:

      Based on a conversation with BA, although obviously this isn’t set in stone

      • Rob says:

        The BA line is that they are basically being forced into doing catering like this based on the guidance they are being given by Government agencies. It doesn’t explain why other airlines flying from the UK are running standard meal services, of course, or why Virgin Atlantic will be doing hot food in Upper Class from late Juy.

        As soon as they are told it can be done differently, it will change, but the current working assumption is until September.

        • JP_MCO says:

          So are other airlines breaking the rules or is BA telling porkies? I know which one my money’s on!

  • flyforfun says:

    I don’t understand the obsession with hot food. I can understand if you’ve come inside from a cold environment but there are plenty of meals that can be served well not heated – even in CW. There was a time when I was doing the kangaroo run regularly and my go to meal was the cold roasted chicken breast with salad. It was also the lighter choice option and was fine. I was happier with the continental breakfast than the English breakfast as the sausages were like rubber, the bacon like cardboard and the eggs drier than the Sahara. I am a sucker for pancakes – however they can be served hot or cold, but if hot its always best to have them freshly made not reheated.

    • Rhys says:

      Cold pancakes?! No thank you!

      • Rhys says:

        I can think of nothing worse!

        • Rob says:

          My Tesco Express sells packs of 10 rolled up cold crepes, each filled with chocolate spread!

      • Fenny says:

        They also sell crumpets. Like pancakes, you heat them before eating.

    • Rob says:

      I don’t think it’s about hot food being hot, just that ‘cold’ food tends to revolve around salads or sandwiches. If curry, steak etc tasted any good when cold no-one would complain!

      • Nick_C says:

        Steak Tartare tastes excellent, but it should really be freshly prepared table-side. Anyone who thinks being a waiter is an unskilled job should try the tartare at Cafe de la Paix (when it re-opens).

        • Mike says:

          Caviar also tastes excellent, and it comes in a tin, so very covid-safe… Just sayin’

      • Martin Louis says:

        I think you have a very limited (British) experience on food Rob. Maybe too many school dinners to appreciate that there is more to cold food than salads and sandwiches. Maybe you should get out and travel some more….. 😉

    • mvcvz says:

      Couldn’t agree more. I’ve always considered hot food (and drink) being served on aircraft to involve far too much of effort for both crew and passengers alike than it could possibly be worth, especially given the quality of much of it. I would be more than happy with a decent quality sandwich, wrap etc, which could be consumed far more easily and rapidly than miniature hot (well, tepid at best) so-called “meals” . And the cabin would probably smell a bit more pleasant as well.

      • Lady London says:

        Not been on Qatar in J then ?:-)

        • Mike says:

          Or Etihad in F. Or any other airline in F or J, for that matter. I’m still shocked that AA manage to pull a very decently cooked medium-rare fillet in J, whereas BA struggles to even serve non-dry fish in F.

        • mvcvz says:

          Both thanks. But I get on an aeroplane for the purpose of getting to my destination. I want my flight to be safe, reliable and at least reasonably comfortable. I’m not after a fine dining experience. If I want that, I’ll cook for myself or go to one of my favourite restaurants (at some point in the future hopefully). Worrying about the food on an aircraft is a bit like getting concerned about the colour of the walls in the toilets at a football ground. Pointless, irrelevant and almost certain to prove disappointing.

    • Bagoly says:

      Agree that cold is fine if it uses decent ingredients – if BA were short of ideas, then they could look at the “Picnic Food” section at

    • Sam says:

      I think there is a big need for you to understand the issues around food safety on cold food. Hot food are served on board for a reason. It is not about an ‘obsession’ but there have been scientific researches showing the importance of fully reheating the in-flight food in order to kill bacteria on food. So, serving cold food can arguably contain higher risk of food poisoning and public hygiene.

      Whilst you can argue the switch to lunch box may enable ‘less contacts’ it does not really address the ‘face contact issue’. Unless you ask passengers to collect the food from the galley themselves there will always be some level of contacts.

      I see the lunchbox as ‘better than a nothing bag’ and this can justify more for a cost-cutting measure rather than from a public safety perspective.

  • Lady London says:

    It all looks ‘down to a price’ rather than ‘up to a designated level of quality’

    If anything this half-hearted lazy cheap effort makes it definite I will be looking at every other airline before BA.

    It’s back to the bad old days before they finally made a positive move on their quality of catering only very recently and British Airways’s excuses for such a poor show just don’t stand up.

  • Mawalt says:

    If “essential” travel restrictions are lifted and quarantine rules are relaxed, I will be taking a mid-range trip in the beginning of October. I was planning on travelling BA by booking WTP and upgrading to CW but if the food is like this, I might as well go on Lufthansa. LH J costs the same as BA’s WTP, but 2-4 hours longer because of the stopover.

    This food arrangement cannot be for any reason other than cost and if BA say so, they must be lying. Other airlines departing from London clearly have hot food, and looks like BA does too (in First) so this is just blatant cost cutting.

  • Ian says:

    When they say alcohol is returning, does that mean the previous standard bar service? I enjoy a glass of champagne on a CE flight.

  • SeanD says:

    I am flying my first F at the end of September, hoping for a return to more normal service by then, I was looking forward to ‘buddy dining’ (at least for afternoon tea). Also, have a CW flight in August.

    Any news when the lounges will re-open and to what extent? If there is hot food, I’m guessing it will have to be brought to the table or a collection point (as Paid Lounges will be doing). If this is half-decent then the boxes don’t look too bad as a temporary measure. Especially as BA cabin crew are facing uncertainty unlike other airlines providing a fuller-service and flights have less CC on board due to light loads.

    • Rob says:

      No idea. Potentially when restaurants can reopen.

      • Sandra B says:

        I had an email from Escape Lounges in Manchester Airport (bought as a stocking filler for family rather than remain with the hordes), saying they wouldn’t be opening till March 2021 and offering a refund or transfer booking to a date after March 2021. Just for your information.

        • mvcvz says:

          Having had the misfortune to pass through Escape at MAN on numerous occasions, I would regard that as a very positive outcome.

          • Sandra B says:

            Having never had to use them before I can’t personally comment but as this was the third year I have booked this for my family they find it peaceful and a nice start to their trip rather than mix with those bedecked in “team” colours swilling early morning pints. Maybe it was just luck on their part or you were just unfortunate but my family would certainly have refused the offer should it have been below their fairly high standards. Anyway, the comment was posted as a heads up as to the reopening and not on the quality of the product of that particular lounge of which I have no experience.

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