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Special Meals - difference between premium and economy

Special Meals - difference between premium and economy

Old Mar 14, 19, 3:05 pm
  #1  
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Special Meals - difference between premium and economy

Hello there.
I've only flown longhaul in economy class.
However, I'm likely to be doing one in club world and potentially one in first.
I wanted to find out if the quality of any of the special meals is better with these tickets or if they use the same special meals from economy but in better plates.
Specifically the Vegetarian and the halal meals.

I rang BA customer services and it was a really frustrating conversation. They just didn't seem to understand my question at all.
They also couldn't tell me what the special meals in business or first class consisted of and they couldn't link me to anything on the internet either.
They just kept repeating that I can book a special meal before the flight and it will be good.

See if the halal meal is going to be the same generic Indian curry that BA think all Muslims across the world want to eat, then I'll happily go for a vegetarian meal or a seafood meal or something, but firstly I need to know what it consists of and if it's the same as the rubbish in Economy but served on better plates.

Shocked how bad BA customer services are - language barrier seemed to be an issue.
Could anyone here kindly assist me with this query?

Thanks.
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Old Mar 14, 19, 3:17 pm
  #2  
 
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If you're flying First, you can contact the You First service line 30 (or maybe 28...) days before departure and ask them to send you the menu. There is usually at least one vegetarian option on there. So you can check to see if that would suit you.

You say "seafood meal". That would put you more in the pescetarian category than the vegetarian category. In that case there you can look at the seafood meal in First as well, though you would have to check the menu to see if it also has animal products (example: scallops with bacon).

In Club, there is also usually a vegetarian option for the main meal, it is almost invariably pasta. There is also often a fish dish too. Starters are hit and miss, although one starter is often fish based, and there is always a cheese for dessert (the strict vegetarianism of the cheeses is variable). Vegetarianism in the second meal is hit and miss, mostly miss. If you choose to go with selections from the main menu, then bring your own food for the second meal. It is not possible to book only a second meal from the special meals section, it's all of the journey or nothing.

In both First and Club, you can pre-order your meal items leaving from Heathrow. This can help you to secure a vegetarian option.

Many people report that the vegetarian meal in First is the same as in Club. It is not the same as in World Traveller. I expect the Halal meals are also either "WT" or "Club", nothing different for First.
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Old Mar 14, 19, 4:27 pm
  #3  
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They do not use the Y special meals in J and F. However, the special meals for J and for F are the same. They somewhat vary in quality. KSML is often very good, Vegetarian and Asian Vegetarian can sometimes be quite good and sometimes not good at all.

As mentioned you can pre-order your main course but only on flights from London, in which case there will always be a vegetarian option. However, for other dishes and meals, it will all depend on demand and on your status (BA prioritises meal choices by status) so if vegetarian or Halal are important for you I would certainly order them.

If you do a search, there is a thread on vegetarian and vegan special meals which should have photos etc. I think it may also be available through the dashboard.
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Old Mar 16, 19, 4:11 am
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I find the special meals in club and first far far better. I flew economy back from CAI last week and was told they Ďdidnít doí special meals which was helpful.

They are different to the economy meals and of course you get a nicer dessert and starter.
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Old Mar 16, 19, 4:31 am
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Originally Posted by Ziggy1 View Post
I find the special meals in club and first far far better. I flew economy back from CAI last week and was told they ‘didn’t do’ special meals which was helpful.
*****hit.... (Bovine product...)

https://www.britishairways.com/en-de.../special-meals

Some special meals are limited from some destinations. Relevant to Cairo, you cannot get a kosher meal departing Cairo and some other destinations. Most other special meals are available from Cairo.

Muslim meals and child meals are not available on some European flights.

There are no restrictions on the availability of special meals in long haul economy compared to those in premium cabins. Since no meals are provided (included in the fare) on short-haul flights in economy, special meals are only available in Club Europe and not in Euro Traveller.

There are a few other limitations, see the BA website for details.

Last edited by flatlander; Nov 13, 19 at 5:30 am Reason: clarify reaction
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Old Mar 16, 19, 4:36 am
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Originally Posted by Ziggy1 View Post
I flew economy back from CAI last week and was told they Ďdidnít doí special meals which was helpful.
Can you clarify who told you that? Not only is it incorrect, but the easiest way to order a special meal, by far, is to just go to Manage My Booking and have a look at the specific list offered on your flight. Not all special meals are offered on every flight (e.g. KSML often not offered on breakfast flights or from some Muslim countries, some more unusual SPMLs only offered from larger outstations, etc). I have, however, never been on a BA flight which offers no special meal at all except of course short haul economy which does not offer meals in the first place.
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Old Mar 16, 19, 5:15 am
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I flew out club and got a special meal. Flew back economy and was told they didnít have any special meals on the flight back in economy. Flight attendant came to my seat to tell me. Donít know if there had been a catering problem. We were delayed by around an hour and itís a funny timing (scheduled to leave at I think 0345 and we ended up leaving an hour late). She shrugged her shoulders. I wasnít too bothered - itís a short flight and I just took the tray (which was pretty dismal) and fell asleep anyway!
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Old Mar 16, 19, 5:16 am
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I had pre ordered btw. Iím milk allergic so tend to order the vegan meal (though Iím not vegan) as it shouldnít contain dairy.
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Old Mar 16, 19, 8:15 am
  #9  
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Originally Posted by Ziggy1 View Post
I flew out club and got a special meal. Flew back economy and was told they didnít have any special meals on the flight back in economy. Flight attendant came to my seat to tell me. Donít know if there had been a catering problem. We were delayed by around an hour and itís a funny timing (scheduled to leave at I think 0345 and we ended up leaving an hour late). She shrugged her shoulders. I wasnít too bothered - itís a short flight and I just took the tray (which was pretty dismal) and fell asleep anyway!
Maybe the nuance is too nuanced, but there is a difference between your first and second posts on the xCAI special meal. Were you told that BA does not offer special meals xCAI or that there simply were none on your flight? The former is largely incorrect. The latter could simply be sloppy catering.
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Old Mar 16, 19, 9:42 am
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I pre ordered a special meal. Flight was full and a bit late, flight attendants were super busy, when the food came round I said I had ordered a special meal, she said they didnít do them. Thatís all I got. Tbh I didnít have much time to question her as she moved on and I just took the tray and fell asleep! So I donít know if they donít do them in economy out of CAI or if it was (more likely) sloppy catering.

Did make me think that that when I fly economy on these shorter flights, I should probably think about sorting my own food out!
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Old Mar 16, 19, 11:07 am
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As hinted by Often1, I very much suspect a misunderstanding here and that what she was saying - maybe not clearly - is that they hadn't loaded the SPML. Any BA cabin crew who has even flown a single long haul will know that they do have SPML in all classes.
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Old Nov 13, 19, 5:10 am
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If you fly WT+ and order a special meal, are you getting the WT special meal?
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Old Nov 13, 19, 5:14 am
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No, a CW special meal.
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Old Nov 13, 19, 8:06 am
  #14  
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I forgot about this thread.
I've been contacting a number of airlines that I might potentially travel with in the next couple of years.
I have asked them about 1) if the meat is halal and 2) what their halal special meals consist of and if they have any recent examples.
Almost every airline has failed to answer properly. Some just don't understand (like BA) and send an irrelevant scripted response, and some (like Ethiopian and Thai) just ignore the requests.
I have done this via email and social media. On a couple of occasions I have phoned them.
The only airlines where I have received definitive responses have been KLM and (eventually after numerous contact) Singapore airlines.
Obviously I did not contact the me3 airlines nor Gardua.

I find this very disappointing. Not sure why airlines aren't able to contact their catering teams or at least let me speak to their catering teams. At the very least they should know if the meat in their meals is halal (always / never / or sometimes, route dependent).
Appreciate this is the BA forum, but BA is amongst the worst for being clueless about their own meals.
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Old Nov 13, 19, 9:42 am
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Originally Posted by Aston100 View Post
I wanted to find out if the quality of any of the special meals is better with these tickets or if they use the same special meals from economy but in better plates. Specifically the Vegetarian and the halal meals.
The First and Club special meals will be basically the same, WTP should be the Club one, and Economy will be economy. If you order an economy veg meal it'll be whatever is offered as the second choice that day (IIRC there is always one meat and one veg option in economy). I had a First AVML (Asian Veg) recently which was really good.

Originally Posted by Aston100 View Post
I rang BA customer services and it was a really frustrating conversation. They just didn't seem to understand my question at all.
They also couldn't tell me what the special meals in business or first class consisted of and they couldn't link me to anything on the internet either.
They just kept repeating that I can book a special meal before the flight and it will be good.
Check out AirlineMeals.net - Airline catering * the world's largest website about airline catering, inflight meals and special meals

Originally Posted by Aston100 View Post
I've been contacting a number of airlines that I might potentially travel with in the next couple of years.
I have asked them about 1) if the meat is halal and 2) what their halal special meals consist of and if they have any recent examples.
Almost every airline has failed to answer properly. Some just don't understand (like BA) and send an irrelevant scripted response, and some (like Ethiopian and Thai) just ignore the requests. I have done this via email and social media. On a couple of occasions I have phoned them. The only airlines where I have received definitive responses have been KLM and (eventually after numerous contact) Singapore airlines.
Obviously I did not contact the me3 airlines nor Gardua.
Phone agents will probably rarely fly, and only be able to book a meal. They have no access (generally) or knowledge of menus (except you First). Even then special meals will often not be known even by YouFirst, especially from out stations. The fact that most airlines are unhelpful shows this is not a normal question for them, and few people ask. The reality is that it's not a restaurant, and options are limited. Halal (MOML) meals will be with halal meat. No airline will be able to give "recent examples" over the phone, and none will give you the number for their caterers.

Originally Posted by Aston100 View Post
I find this very disappointing. Not sure why airlines aren't able to contact their catering teams or at least let me speak to their catering teams. At the very least they should know if the meat in their meals is halal (always / never / or sometimes, route dependent).
Ex-London, the meat won't be halal unless in a MOML meal. From Muslim countries, the meat probably will be halal if catered locally. Ex-London to Muslim countries, there won't be any pork on the menu.
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