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COVID Friendly Catering Revealed By British Airways

Old Oct 24, 20, 8:26 am
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Last edit by: Prospero
Temporary COVID-19 catering, effective 25 October 2020 until 19 January 2021, after which normal catering is expected to resume.


Euro Traveller
Breakfast: cereal bar, cookies, and mineral water bottle
Rest of the day: bag of crisps, small packet of pretzels, and mineral water bottle

Tea, coffee, juice available on request


Club Europe
Band 1 Breakfast: paper bag containing a filled croissant, yogurt pot or muffin, and mineral water bottle
Band 1 Rest of the Day: paper bag containing a sandwich, dessert pot, and mineral water bottle
Bands 2 to 4 Breakfast: box containing a filled croissant, yogurt pot, and mineral water bottle
Bands 2 to 4 Rest of the Day: box containing a sandwich, salad pot, dessert pot, and mineral water bottle

Tea, coffee, drinks from the bar including champagne (Nicolas Feuillatte quarter bottles) available on request


World Traveller and World Traveller Plus:
Primary lunch/dinner flight
Primary meal comprises of a tray with hot dish, side salad, bread bag, and mineral water bottle
Secondary meal (breakfast) is a filled croissant, yoghurt pot, and mineral water bottle

Primary breakfast flight
Primary meal comprises of a tray with hot dish, yoghurt, muffin, and mineral water bottle
Secondary meal is a chilled sandwich, bar of chocolate, and mineral water bottle

Tea, coffee, drinks from the bar available on request


Club World:
Primary lunch/dinner flight
Primary meal includes a tablecloth-covered tray with hot dish, salad dish, small side salad, bread bag, cheese, crackers, dessert pot, and mineral water bottle
Secondary meal (breakfast) is a tablecloth-covered tray with a filled croissant, muesli pot, yoghurt pot, and mineral water bottle (served in a box rather than on a tray on 77M return catered flights)
Secondary meal (afternoon tea) is a tablecloth-covered tray with sandwich, cookies, bar of chocolate, and mineral water bottle (served in a box rather than on a tray on 77M return catered flights)

Primary breakfast flight
Primary meal includes a tablecloth-covered tray with hot dish, yoghurt/fruit dish, croissant, bread bag, jam, dessert pot, and mineral water bottle
Secondary meal is a tablecloth-covered tray with sandwich, cookies, bar of chocolate, and mineral water bottle (served in a box rather than on a tray on 77M return catered flights)

Tea, coffee, drinks from the bar including champagne (Nicolas Feuillatte quarter bottles) available on request


First:
Primary lunch/dinner flight
Box containing a salad, starter, pesto, bread bag, crackers, and mineral water bottle. A hot main dish in foil and trio of dessert/cheese pots in cardboard holder are served separately directly onto the tablecloth-covered table
Secondary meal (breakfast) is unconfirmed
Secondary meal (afternoon tea) is a box containing sandwich, fruit salad, crackers, scone, clotted cream, jam, macarons atop the tablecloth-covered table

Primary breakfast flight
Primary breakfast service is unconfirmed
Secondary meal is a box containing sandwich, fruit salad, crackers, scone, clotted cream, jam, macarons atop the tablecloth-covered table

Tea, coffee, drinks from the bar including champagne (Nicolas Feuillatte quarter bottles) available on request
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COVID Friendly Catering Revealed By British Airways

Old Oct 6, 20, 4:32 am
  #1651  
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Originally Posted by funkydrummer View Post
Cutting costs is the right thing to do.

Honestly, I don't think anybody at BA cares about a FT thread or a Sun article about poor food in short-haul J. Travel is not expected to return to 2019 levels until 2024 or 2025. So, once again, the big issue is downsizing the scale of your operations, not what people thing of the J catering on BA vis-a-vis LX.
You are right. They could not care less what anybody says, as they know already. Indeed, I laugh at those people who knowingly pay to fly knowing what is on offer, and then making a song-and-dance out of it. If I felt the same way, I would not hesitate to fly with the competition were I flying at all. I'm not as I do not have to, and it is all too much of a faff these days. I detest sitting for periods of time with my glasses steaming up and the d**n masks taking half my make up off and making me look like the Phantom of the Opera when I do remove it.

What I do think is that those who have an issue should complain to the airline - including the serial complainers. You should say your bit. I did. Those who have to fly and who cna make their own decisions regarding travel (many cannot I know) should use alternatives. Once they realise that they can cut costs and cut costs, then and only then like Continental did years ago; will they realise that people do not want to use their product any more. I realise that if people are using Avios then they have fewer options - but I fear the Daily Mail or The Sun readers are far from the the target audience for sympathy for First Class passengers fares when many of them are struggling to get by yearly on incomes that these fares dwarf. I have complained and whilst they will do nothing except offer platitudes. when more do the same then it becomes an issue that cannot be ignored,
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Old Oct 6, 20, 4:47 am
  #1652  
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Well said Pucci Galore! The gnomes at Waterside whose instincts are low-cost, and whose culture is lamentably and remorselessly low-cost, will not desist from their regressive cost-cutting in the premium cabins until sufficient numbers of customers -- including habitus of this site -- demand stridently and repeatedly that the practice ends. At a time when SWISS and Lufthansa have demonstrably more premium short-haul foodservice than Club Europe, and when international carriers from Lufthansa to Emirates (and OneWorld Qatar) can do decent, Covid-compliant long-haul foodservice, it's a nonsense that BA can't. Of course, they can, but the Laurel and Hardy routine of low-cost Luis Gallego (ex-Iberia and ex-Vueling) and Alex Cruz (ex-Vueling) are determined to make premium travel as cheap and unpleasant as possible. But with the kind of career background and experience that Gallego and Cruz have, can any of us be remotely surprised ...
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Old Oct 6, 20, 5:38 am
  #1653  
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@SpeedWing: I disagree, LH and LX are doing the same thing with the cost-cutting. Maybe what they serve up in J is slightly superior but not much. I am just as sick of LH's cold turkey breast platter over and over again, combined with a cold roll with a rubber-like texture. Plus all the time that Bavarian creme dessert.

And arguably, BA has the better lounge product in its Heathrow hub than LH and LX in their hubs.

These catering differences are nuances IYAM. I don't deny that at the margin, somebody might book LHR-ZRH on LX rather than BA because they know they'll likely won't have time for dinner before their flight and prefer the current LX catering but I do think it's a somewhat rare occurence. The frequent fliers I know care more about the problems with the schedule changes, the unpredictable adjustments to quarantine rules, and their personal safety on board and on the ground. People travel because they have to and catering is just an after-thought in most cases.
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Old Oct 6, 20, 6:32 am
  #1654  
 
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Originally Posted by funkydrummer View Post
And arguably, BA has the better lounge product in its Heathrow hub than LH and LX in their hubs.
First class terminal?
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Old Oct 6, 20, 6:51 am
  #1655  
 
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Originally Posted by SpeedWing View Post
the Laurel and Hardy routine of low-cost Luis Gallego (ex-Iberia and ex-Vueling) and Alex Cruz (ex-Vueling) are determined to make premium travel as cheap and unpleasant as possible. But with the kind of career background and experience that Gallego and Cruz have, can any of us be remotely surprised ...
Do you really, seriously, think that Alex or Luis are directly involved in deciding whether you get a cardboard box or a five-course luncheon with port at the end, cigar and free burps? Come on, let's be realistic. They - or, rather, their CFO - has put out a mandate to reduce expenditure in all departments. Local departments have acted. Wrongly and perhaps stupidly, but that's it.

I'm not going to defend Alex in the slightest, but calling Luis Gallego a buffoon with no experience in premium products is wrong. Before he was around, if memory serves me right, IB had some properly ugly business class and church pews on the A340; I standby'd on one of those to Argentina and they felt designed for elderly ladies going through rosaries and paying penitence. He introduced the Solstys seat - with all aisle access, which neither BA, or LH, or AF can claim to have in their entire fleet today, anno domini MMXX - a new premium economy seat as well as a better economy experience. On the entire fleet, and this was done in 2018 if I'm not mistaken. The lounges - take Sala Velasquez in T4S - have improved quite a lot, too. I won't go as far as saying that IB's onboard experience is up there with the greatest but I personally always had a decent service and, compared to BA's, better catering (but maybe because my palate is not British and certain things taste just wrong).

Finally, and I'll pop it there last because things like profitability is all but an afterthought here on Flyertalk (after all the business model you read most in these pages is "LPGS for everyone and cash will just tsunami in") but Gallego has picked up Iberia in 2013; the year before the airline lost 351 million euros; he left it with a 2019 operating profit of half a billion.
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Old Oct 6, 20, 6:52 am
  #1656  
 
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Originally Posted by funkydrummer View Post
And arguably, BA has the better lounge product in its Heathrow hub than LH and LX in their hubs.
I'm not sure LH expect their First class passengers make their own way through the terminal, onto a communal train and walk to the gate. And then, unless they are first to board, queue on the jet bridge with everyone else?
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Old Oct 6, 20, 7:05 am
  #1657  
 
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Originally Posted by funkydrummer View Post
Cutting costs is the right thing to do.

The premium side of the business is essentially dead. ....
But, as I mentioned up thread, it's false economy: it's a question of competition. At present if you lose just one passenger in each class of travel (or probably one on each flight), you have just nulled the cost savings of your low-cost catering! First, you need to keep the people you have, many of whom are probably sampling alternatives at present (albeit with similar issues), and second, provide something better than the competition to entice others to your brand so that when travel levels do increase you are ahead.
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Old Oct 6, 20, 7:11 am
  #1658  
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Well said davem4
@funkydrummer I hope you'll forgive me if I say it, but the slavish apologia in support of BA is a little tiresome. I don't dispute T5's First/Concorde Terrace foodservice offers are pretty decent -- but that, frankly, makes the quality of the current onboard BA product even more difficult to understand or accept. Who'd seriously suggest anyone is going to make purchasing decisions about flights entirely heedless of quarantine rule or personal safety? Certainly, I didn't. But I think your point about preferring LX over BA in the example you've cited isn't quite as simple as you suggest: with the guaranteed year-long extension of BAEC Silver, Gold and GGL status, there may be plenty of, otherwise loyal, BA customers who will happily switch to other carriers/alliances that offer better onboard soft product, knowing that they do so without BAEC status penalty. That's even more the case in relation to medium and long haul in J and F where BA's onboard product is, frankly, a disgrace.

Gallego and Cruz may think that this modest incremental addition to margin will flatter IAG in the eyes of analysts and investors but, honestly, serial and gratuitous brand value erosion, practised on and at the expense of high value, ultra-loyal BA customers isn't the way to achieve it.

And, as for the woeful and sanctimonious claims of BA that removing premium wines and spirits, canaps, entres, together with its flatware and stemware, is somehow making the airline and its staff safer and more Covid-compliant, this is a level of cynicism unworthy of the airline. It is also entirely transparent to its premium customers, and is a level of disingenuousness that will damage confidence in the brand in the longer term, when the recovery comes. If other airlines can produce decent onboard fare in a Covid-compliant way, so can BA. This is naked cost cutting for the sake of it. And the airline should have the honestly to own up to it.
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Old Oct 6, 20, 7:12 am
  #1659  
 
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Originally Posted by HarryHolden68 View Post
I'm not sure LH expect their First class passengers make their own way through the terminal, onto a communal train and walk to the gate. And then, unless they are first to board, queue on the jet bridge with everyone else?
Not unless the communal "train" has a 3 pointed star on the front.
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Old Oct 6, 20, 7:58 am
  #1660  
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Originally Posted by davem4 View Post
First class terminal?
Currently closed in FRA. First-class lounges in MUC and ZRH closed. Non-Schengen first-class lounge in FRA closed. The only open FCL is the one in FRA Schengen. And there's a subsection of the LX SEN in ZRH for First and HON, but from what I hear, it's no better than the CCT.

Originally Posted by HarryHolden68 View Post
I'm not sure LH expect their First class passengers make their own way through the terminal, onto a communal train and walk to the gate. And then, unless they are first to board, queue on the jet bridge with everyone else?
Actually, LH does not even have a separate security for First and HON. You have to take the regular fast line with every *G and C pax. You'll have to walk through the terminal yourself, take the communal train (if applicable) yourself. Furthermore, around 20-25 per cent of flights in FRA get an apron position. And F and HON pax will have to share the same bus to get there with everyone else. No limos.

So I don't see why you're disputing my point that the premium services have been cut down at BA's competitor as well. Be it catering or other stuff.
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Old Oct 6, 20, 8:12 am
  #1661  
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Originally Posted by CKBA View Post
But, as I mentioned up thread, it's false economy: it's a question of competition. At present if you lose just one passenger in each class of travel (or probably one on each flight), you have just nulled the cost savings of your low-cost catering! First, you need to keep the people you have, many of whom are probably sampling alternatives at present (albeit with similar issues), and second, provide something better than the competition to entice others to your brand so that when travel levels do increase you are ahead.
This is obviously right. Certainly for another nine months, Silvers, Golds and GGLs have the option to try out other carriers' products with no tier status penalty. Gallego and Cruz should be ensuring brand loyalty for when the return to (something like) normal business comes.

They may think that investors and analysts will be impressed by the tiny incremental margin improvement in trading performance that degrading the onboard catering may give rise to. But I think it's unlikely. Offset that against the enormous erosion of trust and confidence among its ultra-loyal, premium customer base, and you're bound to wonder what they think they're playing at.

Added to this, trying to wrap up this massive onboard soft product downgrade as being Covid-secure is cynicism of the most brazen and transparent kind. It's obviously to all of us. And it's no way to treat loyal, high spending customers. Period.
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Old Oct 6, 20, 8:29 am
  #1662  
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Well this is certainly one way to offset COVID catering. Cut long-haul Avios prices by 50%.
AVIOS SALE! 50% off long haul redemptions, 25% off short haul

Still the same YQ but one way First to [email protected] or [email protected] starts to look attractive even with crap catering.
For BA, it does get to collect the YQ now for flights months off.
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Old Oct 6, 20, 8:56 am
  #1663  
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Originally Posted by SFO777 View Post
Well this is certainly one way to offset COVID catering. Cut long-haul Avios prices by 50%.
AVIOS SALE! 50% off long haul redemptions, 25% off short haul

Still the same YQ but one way First to [email protected] or [email protected] starts to look attractive even with crap catering.
For BA, it does get to collect the YQ now for flights months off.
Actually I thought much the same and wondered whether this meant that the catering was not actually going to be resuming for some time to come. I do hope that I am wrong. If I were to have paid 12,000 for two of us to fly to LAX and was served this, I would have plenty to say. Unless I had read about it on Flyertalk, and went anyway - then my husband would have plenty to say. I am more shocked at the plastic glasses and "cutlery" - the miniatures and mixes than by the food.

Those 98% of people who are not participants here would, I think take their business elsewhere and I for one, do not blame them in the least. That, I might add applies to Business Class as well. I have no idea how many people are traveling at the moment but since none of us are allowed into the USA and since Americans have to quarantine when they get here - only those who need to will travel this winter I suspect.
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Old Oct 6, 20, 11:03 am
  #1664  
 
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Smile

Originally Posted by 13901 View Post
I standby'd on one of those to Argentina and they felt designed for elderly ladies going through rosaries and paying penitence. .
"Hail Mary, full of grace. Please upgrade my personal space."
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Old Oct 6, 20, 12:12 pm
  #1665  
 
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I hope all those who are being served ‘better’ meals on other airlines are sending their photos in to BA. They will make their way through the chain and eventually will be used as evidence in a business case. Even better still if they can be accompanied by screenshots showing price parity to show it’s genuine competition and BA is losing business. Anecdotally I think business fares within Europe are cheaper than on competitors, which BA would (probably rightly) say is what customers want more than china and hot meals on a two hour flight.
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