BA178 (Daylight JFK-LHR) CW Meal Service

Old May 12, 18, 7:46 pm
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BA178 (Daylight JFK-LHR) CW Meal Service

Recently flew back from the US on the BA178 in CW, it's been a while since I've done any daylight flight back from the US, and actually the first time I've had the Do&Co JFK route catering - I'd say that the overall quality of the food seemed very good, but I do question the choice of meals that are served.

The current service is the main (hot) meal being breakfast, served around 90 mins after departure, with a very light second meal about an hour before arrival in London.

Given that many people will have either had an early breakfast before leaving for the airport, or got breakfast in the terminal or lounge, and the arrival being sufficiently late enough that by the time you've cleared arrivals formalities and got to where you're going, it's getting quite late for dinner, and you've flown across the New York lunchtime too.

For instance, after landing at LHR I had to continue up to NW England (and helpfully the last LHR-MAN was timetabled 5 mins too early to "legally" meet the 178, which was annoying). I was left ravenous by the time I'd got over to Euston to get the train, and didn't have time to eat there either.

I still can't help feeling the better option would be to serve a light breakfast after departure (fruit, cereal, pastries, cold cuts), with Club Kitchen stocked for snacking, followed by a hot main meal about 2 hours before arrival - roughly around 1230pm NYC time.

Also, there's that thing of breakfast food often not reheating especially well on planes - does serving a hot main meal for second service actually help improve quality?

It's that usual quirk I perceive of BA menu planning - they tend to forget that your journey doesn't begin when you board, and isn't over when you set foot off the plane. The food served on board might actually be the only proper meal you can get that day.

I'd guess if one was making a late evening connecting flight it would be possible to eat in T5 before continuing, but one could still end up having had very little to eat over the course of 12-15 hours.
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Old May 12, 18, 7:53 pm
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Originally Posted by mjh0 View Post
I still can't help feeling the better option would be to serve a light breakfast after departure (fruit, cereal, pastries, cold cuts), with Club Kitchen stocked for snacking, followed by a hot main meal about 2 hours before arrival - roughly around 1230pm NYC time.

Also, there's that thing of breakfast food often not reheating especially well on planes - does serving a hot main meal for second service actually help improve quality?

It's that usual quirk I perceive of BA menu planning - they tend to forget that your journey doesn't begin when you board, and isn't over when you set foot off the plane. The food served on board might actually be the only proper meal you can get that day.
This is something VS gets right on itís equivalent daytime service. Oh, and the small breakfast is hot too. And they even manage this in PE (maybe in economy too? Donít know).
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Old May 13, 18, 1:14 am
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It's a common issue with daytime LH flights which leave in the morning - similarly for early flights to the Gulf for example.

I agree that a light breakfast and full late lunch/early dinner would make more sense. My guess is that BA (and many others, but apparently not VS) do it this way largely because it's easier and more standard for crew. Get the hard part done and dusted, then downtime, then short(ish) pre-landing service.
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Old May 13, 18, 1:34 am
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Originally Posted by Ldnn1 View Post
It's a common issue with daytime LH flights which leave in the morning - similarly for early flights to the Gulf for example.

I agree that a light breakfast and full late lunch/early dinner would make more sense. My guess is that BA (and many others, but apparently not VS) do it this way largely because it's easier and more standard for crew. Get the hard part done and dusted, then downtime, then short(ish) pre-landing service.
My thoughts exactly. This would be harder for the crew for sure. Of course, some people will then complain about the new 'pathetic' breakfast on the day time flights, how it has been enhanced, this is an outrage...etc etc
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Old May 13, 18, 2:47 am
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What do AA offer on their daytime JFK which leaves slightly later in the morning?
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Old May 13, 18, 2:50 am
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Lunch. In Y anyway it's lunch.

The AA flight is one I'm a big fan of. Coming from Manhattan, the BA flight is just far too early. You can get up at a reasonable hour with the AA one and still get home by 11-12 later that evening.
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Old May 13, 18, 2:55 am
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It has nothing to do with getting it out of the way or making it easy for the crew, I agree it would be a good change but what is needed are complaints from customers.
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Old May 13, 18, 4:06 am
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The obvious answer is something like a brunch option but these weren't entirely popular either on the LHR-JFK early flights. They worked on TLV-LHR in First, when that was operating, however. I must admit I would have been fine with breakfast on that service, since I wouldn't have eaten before the early start. My recent SEZ-LHR was scheduled for 09:00 and left a bit early, I was expecting breakfast and was surprised to get lunch at around 09:40. I left the hotel at 07:00 and that would have been later than most passengers.
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Old May 13, 18, 4:28 am
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Just to add another perspective on this. This is one of my favourite flights when going to London in terms of jet lag, If not connecting that evening I like to leave my bags at the hotel and then head out for a late dinner. So, for me, the timing of breakfast/brunch works out perfectly. I find the AA flight gets in too late for me, would prefer the early departure which starts getting me on UK time! So, from my point of view am quite happy with things as they are.
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Old May 13, 18, 4:50 am
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I did my First First on this route and there was of course no fine gourmet dining in the JFK CCR and the chef was running late so no cooked to order breakfast just cold cuts.

There was no spa and a mediocre breakfast followed by lacklustre afternoon tea on board. Whilst we landed around 7pm I was home in East London around 2 hours later to an empty kitchen and a bit hungry.

I was due on an overnight flight in CW but switched to this flight as it was the only First with UUA availability so had to leave my expensive Manhattan hotel at stupid o’clock to get to JFK for 5am.

Whilst St it’s good for jet lag I wasn’t too enamoured with it luckily so haven’t been hankering to fly First since.
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Old May 13, 18, 5:01 am
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Originally Posted by KeaneJohn View Post
I did my First First on this route and there was of course no fine gourmet dining in the JFK CCR and the chef was running late so no cooked to order breakfast just cold cuts.

There was no spa and a mediocre breakfast followed by lacklustre afternoon tea on board. Whilst we landed around 7pm I was home in East London around 2 hours later to an empty kitchen and a bit hungry.

I was due on an overnight flight in CW but switched to this flight as it was the only First with UUA availability so had to leave my expensive Manhattan hotel at stupid oíclock to get to JFK for 5am.

Whilst St itís good for jet lag I wasnít too enamoured with it luckily so havenít been hankering to fly First since.
Given the timing of the flight and its short duration I find CW, especially with the new service, more than adequate for this flight. I tend to save F for longer flights and agree that some of the advantages of F are missing on this flight in especially the pre flight CCR meal and spa which is closed.
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Old May 13, 18, 5:09 am
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I like having the breakfast as itís way too early for me to eat pre flight, I might manage yoghurt and fruit in the lounge but thatís about it.
I do question the decision to put a chunk of desiccated chicken breast on what is breakfast in all but name (brunch is the official term if I recall correctly).
The daytime flight is my preferred choice but I will be doing AA in Y next time I go .... I had a rather nice apple and cinnamon pancake last time.
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Old May 13, 18, 5:13 am
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It’s now just breakfast so now no “lumps” of chicken.
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Old May 13, 18, 5:54 am
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Originally Posted by Can I help you View Post
Itís now just breakfast so now no ďlumpsĒ of chicken.
The "full english" still had chicken on it on Friday!

I take your point and I will consider letting BA know, for what good I feel it will do. Shame I didn't get a post-flight survey.

It's definitely that thing about not getting home until late evening, to a bare cupboard, because you've been away for over a week - and the shops are shut by then.

It's also interesting to see the perspective of many posters saying "Oh, it's fine for me, when I get to London I can get dinner" - falling into the same assumption BA do that when the plane gets to London, it's the end of the journey. Forgetting that many are heading on somewhere else a few hours away to somewhere more difficult to get substantial late night food.
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Old May 13, 18, 6:07 am
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Originally Posted by mjh0 View Post

It's also interesting to see the perspective of many posters saying "Oh, it's fine for me, when I get to London I can get dinner" - falling into the same assumption BA do that when the plane gets to London, it's the end of the journey. Forgetting that many are heading on somewhere else a few hours away to somewhere more difficult to get substantial late night food.
I wonder if a change in arrivals lounge times would change or help this situation for peopleís dietary habits! so open till 6pm instead of 2pm. But of course that would mean more cost for BA
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