Club Europe: no main menu choices

Old Jul 21, 19, 1:39 am
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Club Europe: no main menu choices

When travelling Club Europe, like most people here, I'll always try and get in row 1 or 2 for fairly obvious reasons.

Sadly had to sit in row 5 on a CE flight to LHR last week. Very slow service. Crew were serving everyone individually and seemed to make 3 returns to each person (food choice, delivery, then bread service). By the time the crew got to row 5, after which felt like an hour, they had to apologise that none of the 3 main dinner choices was available. Only a 'low fat' dinner off-menu option was left. Crew apologised, emphasised there was plenty of champagne, came around with extra nuts etc etc.

Anyone else has something like this? It's not a huge event (once when I went CE from Paphos, they completely ran out of meals by the time they served me due to 'last minute upgrades' on a 5 hour flight, so had to go hungry), but not have a single main dinner choice by row 5?
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Old Jul 21, 19, 1:44 am
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Originally Posted by chriswiles View Post
When travelling Club Europe, like most people here, I'll always try and get in row 1 or 2 for fairly obvious reasons.

Sadly had to sit in row 5 on a CE flight to LHR last week. Very slow service. Crew were serving everyone individually and seemed to make 3 returns to each person (food choice, delivery, then bread service). By the time the crew got to row 5, after which felt like an hour, they had to apologise that none of the 3 main dinner choices was available. Only a 'low fat' dinner off-menu option was left. Crew apologised, emphasised there was plenty of champagne, came around with extra nuts etc etc.

Anyone else has something like this? It's not a huge event (once when I went CE from Paphos, they completely ran out of meals by the time they served me due to 'last minute upgrades' on a 5 hour flight, so had to go hungry), but not have a single main dinner choice by row 5?
This happens all the time because BA round trip cater rather than uplifting meals for the return. If there are last minute bookings or upgrades then there are not enough meals. BA are well aware of this and dont care.
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Old Jul 21, 19, 1:48 am
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Originally Posted by chriswiles View Post
When travelling Club Europe, like most people here, I'll always try and get in row 1 or 2 for fairly obvious reasons.

Sadly had to sit in row 5 on a CE flight to LHR last week. Very slow service. Crew were serving everyone individually and seemed to make 3 returns to each person (food choice, delivery, then bread service). By the time the crew got to row 5, after which felt like an hour, they had to apologise that none of the 3 main dinner choices was available. Only a 'low fat' dinner off-menu option was left. Crew apologised, emphasised there was plenty of champagne, came around with extra nuts etc etc.

Anyone else has something like this? It's not a huge event (once when I went CE from Paphos, they completely ran out of meals by the time they served me due to 'last minute upgrades' on a 5 hour flight, so had to go hungry), but not have a single main dinner choice by row 5?
I've had only one choice left a few times (the most ridiculous example was once on a flight to LCY where I was sat in the first row of the cabin but it was a fairly small cabin, and extraordinarily, BA had loaded only a single tray of one of the two options! - and no that was neither an upgrade nor a last minute flight change something I had booked ages before), but none left, definitely not.

From what you describe, it seems most likely that either 1) a passenger had ordered the special meal and then changed their flight at the last minute, or 2) a passenger ordered the special meal who was on your flight but the crew failed to give it to him/her and the passenger did not notice, or 3) a passenger ordered the special meal who was on your flight but he/she did not like the sound of it and asked for the normal meal and the crew gave that to him/her.

2) strikes me as unlikely as you would expect the crew to have noticed that they had a special meal that had been unassigned after all and check their records, though this might be too late. 3) is not that unusual but any sensible crew would tell the passenger asking for a reversal of their special meal order that they will first serve all other passengers and will get back to them if there is a spare. If 1) is the case, there is not much that you can do about it, but it seems unlikely unless other passengers conversely changed their flights to yours as if it was only a passenger changing out, there should be one extra meal anyway...
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Old Jul 21, 19, 4:03 am
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OP, assuming that you hadn’t changed your booking to move onto that flight on the same day, I’m not sure that this should have happened.

If the booked load was higher than expected when return catering was loaded in London due to last minute upgrades / changes, then my understanding is those customers should (a) be advised that there may not be a meal - either at check in / boarding; (2) If the crew don’t have sufficient meals (and often they might have a cold plate from the inbound left provided it can still be served, ie has been kept chilled etc) then they should serve others first then offer a meal if one is left over. I seem to recall a thread where CWS confirmed BoB could now be offered exceptionally to (metaphorically and literally) cater for this circumstance.

The slightly grey bit is that, with SPMLs they did have enough catering, so it sounds more likely one of the scenarios mentioned above was at play - ie someone said ‘actually I don’t want my special meal, can I have x from the menu” or someone changed off the flight with a prebooked SPML AND a last minute upgrade / change moved onto the flight. Presumably the answer should have been a polite explanation that because that customer had been specifically catered a meal to accommodate their dietary requirements, there wouldn’t be sufficient meals from the menu for everybody else, but if there was a meal left once everyone had been served, they were welcome to it. Perhaps the SPML could have been offered to the rest of the cabin as an extra option / ‘special’ instead of x (the meal the SPML customer wanted) in order to try to get rid of it and free up meal x!
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Old Jul 21, 19, 4:40 am
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Once I overheard how a couple sitting in front of me were served pre-ordered vegan meal. Pax were somewhat confused and said they haven't pre-ordered any meal. Two guys sitting across the aisle from them burst out laughing, turns out they had played a prank on their parents. Anyway, vegan meals were returned to galley and one of the couple got last of the meal I had my eye on. So not always BA fault.
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Old Jul 21, 19, 4:55 am
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Just for comprehension: BA doesn't serve by row in CE, amirite?

At least that was my impression recently when doing a few returns LUX-LHR. As a silver, I had reserved row 2 each time (due to seat-blocking for Golds in row 1 at the time of booking). Every time, some ppl in the rows behind were served before me and my seatmate. And I saw a few Gold baggage tags in those higher rows. So that may have been what they went by.
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Old Jul 21, 19, 4:58 am
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CE on ZRH->LCY on an evening flight. My partner and I were in row 1. Cabin crew goes to row 2 and apologies and says something along the lines of because of the last minute change, there's no food loaded for them (fair enough, and I've heard this happen several times). I turn around and say that as my partner and I won't be eating (we were going out to dinner in London), he's welcome to one of ours. In this instance I get shot a very dirty look by the cabin crew and the guy still doesn't get any food - I presume as they didn't have enough means even without the latecomer.
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Old Jul 21, 19, 5:18 am
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BA Crew should be delivering the meal service in row order in Club Europe, regardless of where Gold card holders etc. are sitting.

What this can mean, unfortunately, is that if a GCH is sitting in the last row, they may not get the full choice of meal options. Meal orders are not taken on CE flights and there is no prioritisation as there is on longhaul.
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Old Jul 21, 19, 10:40 am
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Originally Posted by flyslow View Post
Once I overheard how a couple sitting in front of me were served pre-ordered vegan meal. Pax were somewhat confused and said they haven't pre-ordered any meal. Two guys sitting across the aisle from them burst out laughing, turns out they had played a prank on their parents. Anyway, vegan meals were returned to galley and one of the couple got last of the meal I had my eye on. So not always BA fault.
I would have served the two jokers last.
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Old Jul 21, 19, 10:56 am
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I'm pescatarian, and since the removal of the seafood option on the long SPML list (not as exhaustive as Qatar by an means: fruit plate anyone?), I have tended to try and seek out what the menu might be before my forthcoming CE flight via FT...and then made a decision on whether or not to order a SPML (veggie or Asian veggie). I usually manage to bag row 1 as a Gold member, and have visually seen and heard disappointment / negotiations behind me in row 2 over lack of choice/who gets the last chicken dinner/why is there no smoked salmon salad left (only two were loaded madam and they've gone already)...but never have I heard 'no food'. Everyone hates waste, but it's a cut too far. I think if I was seated in row 4 back in future I'd order the Asian veggie. Its been very nice on several occasions from Gatwick and Heathrow.
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Old Jul 21, 19, 10:56 am
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Originally Posted by flygirl68 View Post


I would have served the two jokers last.
Yeah these people are idiots!
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Old Jul 21, 19, 11:00 am
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Originally Posted by flygirl68 View Post
I would have served the two jokers last.
Or even better, I hope you'd have served them the two vegan meals since they seem to think of them as punishment anyway! - "sorry nothing else is left or I might have a baby meal somewhere!"
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Old Jul 21, 19, 11:24 am
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Originally Posted by Bar Operator View Post
BA Crew should be delivering the meal service in row order in Club Europe
They definitely don’t always do this though. I mentioned elsewhere on here about a recent flight from LPA to LHR with 12 rows of CE, crew served starting at row 1 and row 12 concurrently so the middle of the cabin was served last. This weekend flying ARN to LHR with 12 rows of CE the crew served from row 1 and row 6 at the same time. It seems that the only way to guarantee a choice (usually!) is to sit at the front.
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Old Jul 21, 19, 11:39 am
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Originally Posted by volar View Post
They definitely don’t always do this though. I mentioned elsewhere on here about a recent flight from LPA to LHR with 12 rows of CE, crew served starting at row 1 and row 12 concurrently so the middle of the cabin was served last. This weekend flying ARN to LHR with 12 rows of CE the crew served from row 1 and row 6 at the same time. It seems that the only way to guarantee a choice (usually!) is to sit at the front.
I think that exceptions will always occur (crew starting from two ends, crew coming to ask GGL or GGL+GCH for their meal preference before starting if they notice they are sat at the back of the cabin, etc), but the SOP is clear: it is supposed to start from row 1 and go down the cabin without any particular bonus for status or anything else. The only exception are SPML which I think tend to be served first, and some passengers (who were booked on the flight too late or were upgraded and for whom no meal is loaded) who would be skipped and only offered a meal at the end of the service if enough other passengers declined (regardless of where they are sat).

There is also a fairly strict SOP in terms of how many crew will serve CE based on the size of the CE cabin (ie if enough rows, an additional crew member normally affected to Y starts helping in C before returning to Y). I suspect that the exceptions that you described were based on that additional crew member being used "constructively" by the SCCM.

Long haul is completely different: orders are also taken from the front to the back each cabin (in J and F only) but allocated by status if not everyone can have their first choice. Thus, in CW, a GGL can sit at the very back of the cabin (arguably some of the best window seats in J) yet still have their first choice.
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Old Jul 21, 19, 1:00 pm
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With almost any CE flight being less than 2 hours I could care less about the food especially seeing as how I most likely had spent the previous hour(s) in the lounge. That said I do expect a modicum of briskness in the wet line! :-)
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