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Has CW food been knowingly taken downmarket?

Has CW food been knowingly taken downmarket?

Old Nov 17, 10, 2:55 pm
  #31  
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Originally Posted by LHR-HUB View Post
MA...
MA catering for short flights (up to 90 min) that I have flown on offered just a packet of chocolate wafers and a carton of awful orange drink (not "juice"). No choice of other drinks, it seemed.

I think BA catering is better than Malev, although the chocolate wafers are nice enough. By the way, I'm talking about economy class here. I have not flown on MA business class, so I can't comment on how it compares to BA.
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Old Nov 17, 10, 3:16 pm
  #32  
 
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Originally Posted by sunrisegirl View Post
Can I genuinely ask why you dislike it so much? You will have seen my post above - I truly found the meal immmensely enjoyable and couldn't fault it in any way.

Maybe I was lucky but I couldn't see what so many complain about
I don't "dislike it so much". Generally CW food is "OK" - usually edible and sometimes filling. I think, however, that it is borderline acceptable for a "premium cabin" and certainly doesn't agree with BA's hyped up marketing of the whole CW experience.
I have had some awful food in CW which was inedible - too dry/hard is the most common problem, although the duck I had earlier this month was just awful in every way (see my sum of the parts [rant] post).
I am happy that you enjoyed the beef and yorkies - I would have liked to try them myself, but wasn't given a choice (again, see my sum of the parts [rant] post).
Unlike some posters here, I don't eat (or bragg about eating) in Michelin starred restaurants regularly (only once ever that I can recall), and am normally quite happy with normal food, as long as it is tasty, of a reasonable consistency, and filling.
My comment was simply that BA's OW partners generally provide a much, much better standard of food than BA.
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Old Nov 17, 10, 3:18 pm
  #33  
 
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Originally Posted by sunrisegirl View Post
Perhaps some of this love/hate relationship with food is down to personal preferences.
Yes it must be to a certain extent and it is about the mood you are in too.

Nevertheless, the OP's question is about the standard falling and whether that has been done knowingly.

Just to ask a question - Was there any significance in the menu cover changing from Blue to White ?

Were the specifications/standards changed then or is that a red herring (baked in a cheese sauce) ?
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Old Nov 17, 10, 3:24 pm
  #34  
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Originally Posted by LHR-HUB View Post
My comment was simply that BA's OW partners generally provide a much, much better standard of food than BA.
Thank you - in fairness it's a very long time since I flew long haul with any of the OW partners so I have nothing to compare to.

In the past I've sometimes found the food "OK" and little more. I can vaguely recall being disappointed in some chicken dishes and the over use of cheese sauces, etc. Maybe it's beef the caterers do well as I've had an equally enjoyable braised beef on long haul CW ex-LGW (and that's different caterers). Funny really as I'm more a chicken girl normally
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Old Nov 17, 10, 3:37 pm
  #35  
 
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Originally Posted by sunrisegirl View Post
Thank you - in fairness it's a very long time since I flew long haul with any of the OW partners so I have nothing to compare to.

In the past I've sometimes found the food "OK" and little more. I can vaguely recall being disappointed in some chicken dishes and the over use of cheese sauces, etc. Maybe it's beef the caterers do well as I've had an equally enjoyable braised beef on long haul CW ex-LGW (and that's different caterers). Funny really as I'm more a chicken girl normally
I am the same SRG- the CW beef is normally always good from LGW! I find that the CW food on board is normally better on the outbound than the inbound due to the food being loaded at the other end, but normally good anyway. I find the food generally better from LGW compared with LHR- but I did get offered a "salmon and cous cous salad" on a CE flight to LGW about 2 months ago and it was disgusting- I hate salmon and cous cous, so maybe it is just my taste! None of the other pax seemed to be enjoying it though and the presentation was disappointing, but the food in general is normally good though- well to me!
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Old Nov 17, 10, 3:43 pm
  #36  
 
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I have to agree with SRG- I've quite often enjoyed my meal in CW, CE and F. I think BA has improved the choice- more menu options in CW etc.
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Old Nov 17, 10, 3:51 pm
  #37  
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Originally Posted by mikey2124 View Post
- but I did get offered a "salmon and cous cous salad" on a CE flight to LGW about 2 months ago and it was disgusting- I hate salmon and cous cous, so maybe it is just my taste!
Definitely plays a part. I've had that meal before now and enjoyed it but then I like salmon and couscous!!! I've also had chargrilled chicken and couscous on a flight from DUB a few years ago. That was lovely.

But I'm not overkeen on the breakfast ex-LGW in CE. Find the bacon and scrambled eggs far too salty. The croissants can be soggy sometimes too.

Oh and I seem to recall seeing a pic of BBB on a recent trip. His plate was clean and I think he'd had the roast beef too!!
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Old Nov 17, 10, 3:51 pm
  #38  
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I think one of the problems with BA catering in premium class nowadays is that they often look, feel and unfortunately taste like a better presented economy class meal with with added side dishes or added better puddings.

For instance, curries and anything 'stewed' can be made very cheaply and easily in bulk. It does not have a 'premium' feel to it. Those dishes can be made with very cheap ingredients and still taste quite OK, because the beef, for instance, is cooked to such an extent that it falls apart, regardless of how tough it would have been if it had been eaten as a steak.

Whereas if they served a fillet steak, the beef has to be of good quality, or it is nearly impossible to eat. So serving a good portion of fillet steak on board will give a better 'premium' feel to it.

Some of the BA meals actually taste quite nice. I recently had a fish dish on CE that was surprisingly nice. However, some dishes, for instance, even fish pie that is popular, and butter chicken, stewed beef etc does not have the premium feel to it, and in fact they are basically what we could call "basic" food that could be served in economy class.

There has to be a bigger catering differentiation from economy class. That is not to say that economy class catering should be degraded! The premium class catering has to be upgraded.

If they are to serve "basic" food, they should be consistently very good, but I believe any airline should serve a little more "premium" ingredient in business class. Short haul business class, beyond the lack of 'middle seat passenger', often offers insufficient product differentiation to those of us with lounge access. In this context, "premium" ingredient being "not the cheap cuts of meat".

To put it simply, if I am served what I am served on many BA CW/CE flights in a basic pub, I'd find them "acceptable". But some are not even "acceptable", although some are "nice". I would also consider them generally "acceptable" if I am served them at a cheap restaurant. However, I have not recently had any meal on BA CW/CE that I would consider acceptable if I am served it in a mid-range restaurants. I think premium cabin catering should be at least at a level that you consider "acceptable" if you are served in a mid-range restaurant.

I put "acceptable" in quotation marks because I am aware of limitations of in-flight cooking and pre-prepared state of the food, so I am giving it a slack for these - I give in-flight catering about 20% inflated marks to those I apply to restaurants.

I do not expect gourmet catering, but CW/CE food should not be better-presented economy class food. The economy class food in most cases to me are just 'stomach fillers'. For CW/CE, food should be part of the premium experience. BA's premium catering is not 'terrible' but in many cases it is just not good enough for premium classes.

There are ways of cooking very nice, premium meals without spending a huge amount of money on premium ingredients as well. It's down to imagination, efficiency, and productivity.

Last edited by LTN Phobia; Nov 17, 10 at 5:36 pm
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Old Nov 17, 10, 5:24 pm
  #39  
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J food is a hit and miss affair on the majority of airlines nowadays.

Leisurefirst....sounds to me as if your expectations are set far too high.
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Old Nov 17, 10, 5:36 pm
  #40  
 
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Originally Posted by HIDDY View Post
J food is a hit and miss affair on the majority of airlines nowadays.

Leisurefirst....sounds to me as if your expectations are set far too high.
I respectfully disagree. I suspect I have managed to fly on a fair few number more BA flights than you over the past couple of years and I have definitely noticed a gradual drop in quality.

Look at the increasing number threads on FT on the subject, and this would concur with my experience. I also happen to fly other carriers so can use them as a yard stick.
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Old Nov 17, 10, 5:44 pm
  #41  
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Originally Posted by Traveloguy View Post
I respectfully disagree. I suspect I have managed to fly on a fair few number more BA flights than you over the past couple of years and I have definitely noticed a gradual drop in quality.

Look at the increasing number threads on FT on the subject, and this would concur with my experience. I also happen to fly other carriers so can use them as a yard stick.
I'm not saying it hasn't declined....Like most airlines I imagine the J food budget has been cut and the quality probably reflects this.. Qantas and Lufthansa J food was woeful in my experience.

J food is just economy food plated up.

Last edited by HIDDY; Nov 17, 10 at 6:11 pm
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Old Nov 17, 10, 5:57 pm
  #42  
 
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Originally Posted by LeisureFirst View Post
Apart from a general whinge and (as the Saint noted) a discursion into a list of Brazilian restaurants to reassure those who were worried I might be malnourished, I was posing a genuine question. I wonder if anyone actually has any hard information about whether BA has changed its catering contracts, decreased (in real or nominal terms) its spend per head or suchlike.
No data as such -- but that chicken dish is awfully similar (and similarly awful) to one I had on CW over 6 months ago -- which was my most recent CW flight, so that's not too indicative of a recent down-grade in the food. Sadly, unlike SRG, for a non-frequent CW traveller, the food has been bad for a couple of years.

tb
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Old Nov 17, 10, 6:21 pm
  #43  
 
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Originally Posted by HIDDY View Post
I'm not saying it hasn't declined....Like most airlines I imagine the J food budget has been cut and the quality probably reflects this.. Qantas and Lufthansa J food was woeful in my experience.

J food is just economy food plated up.
Glad to hear that you have managed to make up your mind on two data points.



The point is that should you compare BA food with other carrier's offering in similar cabins, it is rubbish at best. I'm well aware of what both LH and QF offer in their J cabins, and I consider BA inferior to both.

BA used to have some decent offerings. Since the big catering dispute, this appears to no longer be the case in all cabins. If WW, wants to bring back the magic of the premium carriers, and if he wants to have any chance of getting the airline back up there even in the dreaded SkyTrax ratings, he will need to improve catering.

If I had a magic wand to improve BA, I would probably target the following three core deficiencies.

1. Catering - quality in premium cabins and lack in Y

2. Ground staff (especially when things go wrong, I'm thinking of ticketing in particular)

3. Telephone experience - lack of 24 hours and general rubbish service

In general, what BA does right are both lounges and seats. MMB is also fantastic, but the rest of the website has lots of gremlins.
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Old Nov 17, 10, 6:24 pm
  #44  
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Originally Posted by Traveloguy View Post
Glad to hear that you have managed to make up your mind on two data points.



The point is that should you compare BA food with other carrier's offering in similar cabins, it is rubbish at best. I'm well aware of what both LH and QF offer in their J cabins, and I consider BA inferior to both..
Coming from you that doesn't surprise me.
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Old Nov 17, 10, 6:25 pm
  #45  
 
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Originally Posted by sunrisegirl View Post
Interesting so many love(d) the fish pie. I couldn't eat it as it had cheese which I hate.
Oh Yes, bring back the Shaun Hill Fish Pie ^

This with a nice white wine was perfect!
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