BA178 (JFK-LHR) CW meals (lack of)

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Old Oct 19, 18, 4:00 pm
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Originally Posted by Can I help you View Post
We have tried serving a brunch, I cannot remember why it didnít work.
probably cause it was done in a crack handed BA way and no doubt attempted on a Ďcost neutralí basis. Ie an enhancement as a cut as normal BA business.

Perhaps no surprise the attempt at two ex Jfk day flights failed- the Virgin option is better.

as usual this subject reverts to the echo chamber of BA can do no wrong here. A shame as there are some 178 regulars BA should listen to. Still itís all a Bit like the airlines inability to consider that competitors might have got it more right.

Oh well, more space and less competition for the rest of us on the better catered day flights from NY.

As an aside, it will be interesting to see how quickly the new Virgin Boston day flight kills the BA one from Logan next year. I doubt there is room for both in winter and Delta clearly thinks it has the better product now.
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Old Oct 19, 18, 4:07 pm
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Originally Posted by Can I help you View Post
For god sake breakfast IS a main meal and as said there is as much food served on this fligh as the one to JFK, I think all this moaning about the lack of food on a 6 hour flight absolutely pathetic.
I disagree when the breakfast is typically awful and the ticket costs £1400 each way.
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Old Oct 19, 18, 8:37 pm
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Does anyone know, or more likely wish to hazard a vague opinion, as to the business:leisure ratio of the BA178?

This seems to me (generalisation warning!) to be a classic example of the differing wishes of 2 types of passenger.

If Iíve been in NYC for a mini-break, Iím likely to want to enjoy the lounge experience, have some breakfast with bubbles and then not want an immediate meal on takeoff. In this case a full meal 2 hours out from LHR works. In essence, I want to enjoy the last day of my trip.

If however, Iíve been in NYC on business. Iíll have had a full day in the office the day before, perhaps with dinner and drinks, and want to get to JFK as late as I can for the BA178. I then want to have breakfast onboard after takeoff, a lighter meal before landing and arrive home reasonably refreshed for the next day at work.

A full dine-on-demand concept would square this circle but Iím not deluded enough to insist that this is feasible for BA in J.

ps. Iíve never understood the level of emotion that 178 catering generates.

Last edited by krispy84; Oct 19, 18 at 9:12 pm
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Old Oct 19, 18, 10:35 pm
  #49  
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My perspective of this, as someone who has been using this service on/off for over 30 years, is that the JFK services generally have a particularly high amount of food waste - second only to the post midnight sectors out of the Middle East (which given the timing is understandable) - and that this specific service, 178, is within that particularly prone to food not being consumed. I don't think it's the quality - it's been Do&Co for some time now and there aren't any better operators. The clue is perhaps in the reference to the Middle East flights - it leaves a bit too early, and everyone allows perhaps excess time to ensure they get to the airport on time given local traffic conditions. What actually happens on board is that people drift off back to sleep more than any other daytime flight that I can think of, including Boston. I haven't taken the AA daytime service from ORD but I imagine that's also sleep central. So some people don't take the first meals, and reject or picking at the second meal means very little food get taken - many passengers are in a pseudo-zombie state.

In terms of the OP's criticisms, I don't think it really computes since most people tend to eat the first meal, and the second meal would be just picked at no matter what was offered, very few of us eat 2 large meals within 4 hours, and the actual interval can be as little as 3 hours.

My last flight was back in September, departure time was 07:55, but we pushed back a few minutes early and given how uncongested Kennedy is at that hour, we had take off at exactly 08:00, and landed in London at 19:05, so a 6 hr 5 minute flight. That's not particularly quick, 5 hr 40 minutes isn't unusual. Let's stick to East Coat time, the breakfast was served at 09:10, it was completed at 10:00. The second meal (tapas or sandwiches, bread roll) was served at 12:45, so less than 3 hours after the previous meal. Breakfast essentially had 2 decent sized courses plus smoothie, and there is a continental breakfast option in there. The main courses being mixed grill, vegetarian tortilla, or pancakes with maple syrup. A lot of people (including self) didn't take the second meal. Now this is just one flight, but I think it's fairly typical. Those who have met me will know that I've not missed many meals in my flying life, but I really doubt anyone could leave BA178 feeling peckish.

Incidentally there was a very similar thread - in terms of viewpoints - here:
BA178 (Daylight JFK-LHR) CW Meal Service
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Old Oct 19, 18, 10:49 pm
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Originally Posted by corporate-wage-slave View Post
My perspective ...
Insightful as always CWS 👍

Any view on whether the flight is more leisure or business?
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Old Oct 19, 18, 11:02 pm
  #51  
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Originally Posted by krispy84 View Post
Any view on whether the flight is more leisure or business?
It seems more business than BOS, less business than PHL (not that it has a daytime BA flight) but as ever, it is very time of the year dependent. I often see FT reports on BA services to / from JFK (not just 178) at off-business periods (late August, Christmas, Easter) so I suspect FTers on that route are more using it during leisure periods. I know there is a view out there that 178 isn't popular with business travellers but I personally like the service and I think people like @rossmacd do it occasionally. It is really good at avoiding jetlag and some business travellers know enough about 178 to make a bee-line for it.

I wonder if moving it a bit later would help, to reduce the unattractive start to the day and the catering issues that result, but (a) it does provide a very, very handy late connection to EDI and currently NCL and a few other places such as TLV (b) JFK is an absolute joy at that hour, none of this "we're 17 in the line for departure" nonsense. My own way to handle this is to stay at one of the JFK hotels, such as the HGI, take the Q10 bus at 06:25 and skid into T7 about 06:40 hrs.
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Old Oct 20, 18, 2:02 am
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Originally Posted by corporate-wage-slave View Post

I wonder if moving it a bit later would help, to reduce the unattractive start to the day and the catering issues that result, but (a) it does provide a very, very handy late connection to EDI and currently NCL and a few other places such as TLV (b) JFK is an absolute joy at that hour, none of this "we're 17 in the line for departure" nonsense. My own way to handle this is to stay at one of the JFK hotels, such as the HGI, take the Q10 bus at 06:25 and skid into T7 about 06:40 hrs.
Thatís what the AA flight is for . Seriously, AA and BA collaborate schedules on this route to offer a comprehensive schedule between both. I realize that for certain airline preferences and upgradability, the two arenít equal, but the alliance very much offers two notably different schedules for day time flights. The later, in my opinion, being far more brutal from a jet lag perspective.

Iíve taken BA 178 a few times this year as we find it the best way to get home from the US with our toddler. Could the main meal options be a bit more creative? Yes. Could the second meal be slightly more substantial? Yes. But overall - it does the trick and frankly, an improvement to the second westbound meal one most (non-West Coast) US services or an improvement to afternoon tea in CE would be far higher on my list of catering improvements for BA.
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Old Oct 20, 18, 10:29 am
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Originally Posted by corporate-wage-slave View Post
Those who have met me will know that I've not missed many meals in my flying life, but I really doubt anyone could leave BA178 feeling peckish.
Sadly, I have left the 178 feeling pretty damned ravenous... but that's probably because CIHY thinks I'm a bit of an oinker.

In all seriousness, the onboard breakfasts are a bit naff, as others hint, and I tend to pick at them, or eat it purely from a sustenance PoV. I also don't recognise the "zombie" state you describe about myself on the 178: if I don't work - in which case I'm pretty much awake for the duration, I'll usually get through a couple of films at least, and maybe an hour's snooze.

If you consider that the booked arrival time is 1940, if you have checked luggage you may be looking at around 2040 by the time you leave T5, then have to get where you're going, the options for a proper evening meal are somewhat slim. As you say, the faster crossings may help out with those who's journeys end closer to Heathrow, but if you've got another 3 or 4 hours travel to do, it would be nice to have had a more substantial meal.

As you, I like the daylight flights from BOS and JFK as they are easier on the body than the loss of sleep you get from a short overnight flight.

Playing devil's advocate for a minute, given that "cost saving is in BA's DNA", wouldn't offering the same or similar dishes as the evening departures - just served "back to front" (i.e. hot main meal before arrival) - actually help reduce costs for BA, as all meals out of JFK and BOS are then uniform, and there's no development cost in having the one-off menus for the 178 & 238? Maybe that's enough to break BA out of their "We've always done it this way" echo chamber.

The only other moan I have about the 178 is that it doesn't reliably connect (i.e. inside T5 MCT) for the last LHR-MAN of the day. Some TT cycles, or certain days, it can, while others it tends to miss by 5-10 minutes.
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Old Oct 20, 18, 10:53 am
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Originally Posted by Can I help you View Post

Thatís what you think because you prefer that option, personally my experience tells me that the majority of normal eater donít.
Iíve done the AC flight a couple of times and people seem happy with the service - no complaints from me or others around.
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Old Oct 20, 18, 11:20 am
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Getting practical, given that I booked myself on the 178 (and haver never been to JFK): If many passengers reject the 2nd meal, would it be worth asking for a 2nd serving?

Moreover, any advice on how long it will take from Manhattan (22nd St) on a Sun morning?
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Old Oct 20, 18, 11:25 am
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Originally Posted by FlyingScientist View Post
Getting practical, given that I booked myself on the 178 (and haver never been to JFK): If many passengers reject the 2nd meal, would it be worth asking for a 2nd serving?

Moreover, any advice on how long it will take from Manhattan (22nd St) on a Sun morning?
Totally worth asking
About 30 mins drive from downtown
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Old Oct 20, 18, 12:25 pm
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Originally Posted by Can I help you View Post
For god sake breakfast IS a main meal and as said there is as much food served on this fligh as the one to JFK, I think all this moaning about the lack of food on a 6 hour flight absolutely pathetic.
Whilst sharing your opinion on the fuss made over trivia, I'm going to just say this. I have known daylight flights from JFK for years. I think, back in 1978 that TWA alone had such a flight. I may be quite wrong here, but TWA I d remember as it was so much better than BA at one time. I remember quite distinctly that there was what they called a"Continental Breakfast" after take off and that the full bar and meal a couple of hours before landing. It worked well. Frankly I liked it better than the existing arrangement. I'll tell you why. In order to get the 178, you have to be at the airport at a horrible hour. Even if you sleep at one of the airport hotels, it would require 5.00am start. I do not really want to start breakfast after take off, A meal later on in the flight works better for me. I have toyed with the idea of taking the later AA flight, but the last couple of flights in these so-called wonder seats with the cold,detached, and distant crew who could barely be a&sed to be pleasant has put me off.

All that said, I cordially detest JFK and leaving it at 8.00 makes it bearable. Any day flight is worth even enduring AA (ORD), because you arrive at LHR without the constant stacking and usually early, BA 178, arrives before the worst of the evening rush is in full swing and it's home bad and Good Bye Jet Lag.

Ultimately, if that is the service aboard then so be it, but I do think that the service order could basically do with an appraisal. That said, I can hear the whining about I got on board and all they gave me was a piece of hot bread. You know, as well as I do, that if BA do it, it has to be complained about," Complaints about flying is what we do here" quoth one good soul.

Now, I know that one these pages you have often threatened to put me over your knee. Safe in the knowledge that you'd have to catch me first, even with a 10 minute head start, and heedless of backchatting my elder if not better, that's just my view. Now ideed, you do seem a wee bit out of sorts, and so I'll let you hobble off and get us both a nice big G&T and we can have a good laugh.
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Old Oct 20, 18, 12:46 pm
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Certainly not out of sorts and fighting fit, I don’t know about running away from me, that would take some doing from on your normal position on your knees.
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Old Oct 20, 18, 12:52 pm
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I have never feel hard done by on the 178, it is probably because I consider breakfast Ďsupperí due to my allergy to early mornings I tend to take my luggage to my favourite LES club and leave for the airport from there.
I find the breakfast quite filling and the second meal more of a chance for a snack and cuppa before landing. Being on an aircraft for more than 4 hours results in a complete lack of appetite for some reason.
LHR seems a lot better at that time of night than the red eye arrivals and it normally takes me just over 30 mins from aircraft door to meeting taxi driver including waiting for baggage.
I would personally hate to have lunch on an early flight (unless it was curry !)
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Old Oct 20, 18, 2:18 pm
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My perspective, as a regular day-flighter, but usually on AA142, is that if you change your watch just after take-off, then it's prime time for a G&T (if in AA142 MCE), or a glass of fizz (if in BA178 CW). Then lunch. Snack later. Service as most flights, big meal first, snack later. But Lunch, not breakfast. (note the capital L for Lunch).
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