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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 11, 20, 3:47 am
  #1726  
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Originally Posted by orbitmic View Post
And even then... actually, IAG did get very significant loans from the Spanish state and British covid funds (not sure if they got anything from the Irish side), AF-KL got more (but not as massively as many would assume) and far more constraints, including a need to close some routes which are critical for them (most French domestic routes), with some already closing and others which will within a few years, which will deprive them of one of their most important "captive" connecting markets. I always find it bizarre that when looking at state support, BA leaders conveniently forget about the big Spanish checks...
i don't know if this takes us too far off topic, but would it be useful to list them? from a cursory look it seems IAG has had a limited state backed loan whereas others (AF/KLM, LH etc.) have had much more substantial bailouts?

furlough schemes are available to all so i am not sure any one airline can be said to benefit from it compared to another? the money went to the employees effectively fir people who would have otherwise been forced to take unpaid leave or worse been made redundant.
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Old Oct 11, 20, 3:52 am
  #1727  
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Originally Posted by KARFA View Post
i don't know if this takes us too far off topic, but would it be useful to list them? from a cursory look it seems IAG has had a limited state backed loan whereas others (AF/KLM, LH etc.) have had much more substantial bailouts?

furlough schemes are available to all so i am not sure any one airline can be said to benefit from it compared to another? the money went to the employees effectively fir people who would have otherwise been forced to take unpaid leave or worse been made redundant.
I actually listed all of the nature and amounts specifically a while ago in a post because there is also a significant difference between state loans and what shareholders do and/or recapitalisation (I can't remember if it was on this thread or another). I'll try to see if I can find it again! Agree it is a bit off topic but it is arguably important to the background...

EDIT: Here it is, it was in another thread. I believe that this was correct as of early September, not sure if any more helps have been agreed since in Europe (I'm not aware of any but I don't follow this closely). Obviously, in the meantime, the US airlines are negotiating a giant package with Congress...

https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/32647622-post49.html

Last edited by orbitmic; Oct 11, 20 at 4:02 am
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Old Oct 11, 20, 4:20 am
  #1728  
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Originally Posted by orbitmic View Post
I actually listed all of the nature and amounts specifically a while ago in a post because there is also a significant difference between state loans and what shareholders do and/or recapitalisation (I can't remember if it was on this thread or another). I'll try to see if I can find it again! Agree it is a bit off topic but it is arguably important to the background...

EDIT: Here it is, it was in another thread. I believe that this was correct as of early September, not sure if any more helps have been agreed since in Europe (I'm not aware of any but I don't follow this closely). Obviously, in the meantime, the US airlines are negotiating a giant package with Congress...

https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/32647622-post49.html
Thanks. So it doesn't look like IAG/BA have received much other than drawing 300m from the BoE Covid Corporate Financing Facility and 1.1bn from a Spanish state backed loan. The others all seem to have received multiples of that comprising a mix of direct state loans, state backed loans, and direct cash grants?

EDIT: just to add I agree it is useful only as background and it isn't an "excuse" for poor catering. but it does seem to be raised quite a bit on this thread so i thought it would be useful to just summarise the situation.
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Last edited by KARFA; Oct 11, 20 at 4:28 am
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Old Oct 11, 20, 4:52 am
  #1729  
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Originally Posted by KARFA View Post
Thanks. So it doesn't look like IAG/BA have received much other than drawing 300m from the BoE Covid Corporate Financing Facility and 1.1bn from a Spanish state backed loan. The others all seem to have received multiples of that comprising a mix of direct state loans, state backed loans, and direct cash grants?
In my view, that would not really be a fair way to interpret this because what you are doing here is that you are looking at shareholders loans as though they were state aids. I would argue that a shareholder loan is a shareholder loan especially when conditions are comparable (ie with the same market interest rates that the banks are offering), and whilst AFKL discussed those early, IAG also announced in late July their plans to get at least €2.75 billion from their shareholders (the figure may still increase). It is also worth remembering that much of that at least €700 million (in the first instance) will in fact be loaned to IAG by the Qatari state through Qatar Airways. In practice, IAG has partial if indirect state ownership just like AFKL, except that instead of coming from the "obvious" states, it actually comes from Qatar. In that context, states can act just as other shareholders, and in the case of Germany the money would come in exchange for ownership so again, something which is hardly mere help, more like a partial sale.

I also don't think any direct cash grant is involved with any of the main three airline groups. Those would incidentally be a lot harder to justify to EU competition authorities which would likely grind their teeth...

So on balance, IAG is getting less in loans than AFKL and LH Group, but not multiples of that (If I'm getting my totals right, the numbers are about 5, 7, and 9 respectively comparing like for like in amounts, but AF-KL is getting major operational constraints as a price to pay such as needing to close most domestic routes which are critical to its long haul viability (under the French rules, BA would have needed to close LHR-MAN, LHR-EDI, and LHR-GLA for instance though would have been able to keep LHR-ABZ), and the LH group is paying a price in terms of ownership shift, whilst IAG is getting its help without any counterpart (bar reimbursing the money like all of the others).

Last edited by orbitmic; Oct 11, 20 at 5:01 am
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Old Oct 11, 20, 5:00 am
  #1730  
 
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Anyone have any insight on when this blatant cost cutting is going to end and the old catering comes back

understand why BOB might not.

I see no difference is them handing me a box/bag and them handing me a tray.
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Old Oct 11, 20, 5:02 am
  #1731  
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Originally Posted by TGLoyalty View Post
Anyone have any insight on when this blatant cost cutting is going to end and the old catering comes back

understand why BOB might not.

I see no difference is them handing me a box/bag and them handing me a tray.
That's discussed upthread, there was apparently an original intention to change things at the end of October but it has now been delayed by several months.
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Old Oct 11, 20, 5:09 am
  #1732  
 
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Originally Posted by orbitmic View Post
That's discussed upthread, there was apparently an original intention to change things at the end of October but it has now been delayed by several months.
Because BA are happy with the feedback?
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Old Oct 11, 20, 5:40 am
  #1733  
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Originally Posted by orbitmic View Post
In my view, that would not really be a fair way to interpret this because what you are doing here is that you are looking at shareholders loans as though they were state aids. I would argue that a shareholder loan is a shareholder loan especially when conditions are comparable (ie with the same market interest rates that the banks are offering), and whilst AFKL discussed those early, IAG also announced in late July their plans to get at least €2.75 billion from their shareholders (the figure may still increase). It is also worth remembering that much of that at least €700 million (in the first instance) will in fact be loaned to IAG by the Qatari state through Qatar Airways. In practice, IAG has partial if indirect state ownership just like AFKL, except that instead of coming from the "obvious" states, it actually comes from Qatar. In that context, states can act just as other shareholders, and in the case of Germany the money would come in exchange for ownership so again, something which is hardly mere help, more like a partial sale.

I also don't think any direct cash grant is involved with any of the main three airline groups. Those would incidentally be a lot harder to justify to EU competition authorities which would likely grind their teeth...

So on balance, IAG is getting less in loans than AFKL and LH Group, but not multiples of that (If I'm getting my totals right, the numbers are about 5, 7, and 9 respectively comparing like for like in amounts, but AF-KL is getting major operational constraints as a price to pay such as needing to close most domestic routes which are critical to its long haul viability (under the French rules, BA would have needed to close LHR-MAN, LHR-EDI, and LHR-GLA for instance though would have been able to keep LHR-ABZ), and the LH group is paying a price in terms of ownership shift, whilst IAG is getting its help without any counterpart (bar reimbursing the money like all of the others).
I agree with you that the airlines financial situation is useful background information. One could also consider the respective national flexibility for furlough and State indemnity thereof.

I believe that new bookings now dominate existing pre-covid bookings, so cost-cutting on service and fare pricing are now commercial decisions. There are different markets where that can play a role. I am not familiar how it affects the European flight market.
But it clearly affects the longhaul premium cabin market. BA keeps flying to many destinations and that is clearly an advantage. A significant portion of BA longhaul traffic is European pax, although their relative number on BA board is very small. Even if numbers are greatly reduced, there is a significant number of premium pax who have to travel during covid. A lot of business people who reside abroad are dual citizen/resident and can travel. In most countries, there ae essential business exemptions too. The question is whether those pax are shifting their travel from BA to other carriers. One does not expect the kind of pre-covid service, but still desire a good experience. My recent experience on paid BA F has been miserable. SInce then, I have switched to QR despite the higher fare. Paying a higher fare with the promise of an enjoyable experience reduces the stress of covid travel.
I might very well be an exception and BA could be right for commercial reasons (cost-cutting on F&B does not affect airline choice). On the other hand, it could be that loyalty is lost once service is restored. It is never easy to build up or regain reputation.
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Old Oct 11, 20, 5:45 am
  #1734  
 
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Originally Posted by Agent69 View Post
Because BA are happy with the feedback?
Because passenger volume (and yield) have not returned in any even vaguely significant measure.
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Old Oct 11, 20, 5:55 am
  #1735  
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Originally Posted by brunos View Post
I agree with you that the airlines financial situation is useful background information. One could also consider the respective national flexibility for furlough and State indemnity thereof.

I believe that new bookings now dominate existing pre-covid bookings, so cost-cutting on service and fare pricing are now commercial decisions. There are different markets where that can play a role. I am not familiar how it affects the European flight market.
But it clearly affects the longhaul premium cabin market. BA keeps flying to many destinations and that is clearly an advantage. A significant portion of BA longhaul traffic is European pax, although their relative number on BA board is very small. Even if numbers are greatly reduced, there is a significant number of premium pax who have to travel during covid. A lot of business people who reside abroad are dual citizen/resident and can travel. In most countries, there ae essential business exemptions too. The question is whether those pax are shifting their travel from BA to other carriers. One does not expect the kind of pre-covid service, but still desire a good experience. My recent experience on paid BA F has been miserable. SInce then, I have switched to QR despite the higher fare. Paying a higher fare with the promise of an enjoyable experience reduces the stress of covid travel.
I might very well be an exception and BA could be right for commercial reasons (cost-cutting on F&B does not affect airline choice). On the other hand, it could be that loyalty is lost once service is restored. It is never easy to build up or regain reputation.
I don't disagree with any of this! I do think that BA are playing a dangerous game and that there is a risk of reputational damage from the continuing downgraded service, especially in premium cabins.

I'd even argue that whether you and I are "exceptions" is possibly beside the point at this stage as arguably, airlines need all the custom (and notably all the premium custom) that they can get. I have no doubt that some people are willing to bite the bullet and tolerate lowered service based on BA's explanations and that some other people are "stuck" with BA because they need to fly from LHR to specific places and the convenience of BA trumps all other arguments, but all that might simply not be enough to give BA enough "comfort" to lose those of her customers which happen to have choice and use it.

It is a common saying on FT that you can't "please everyone", but it so happens that there are also times in the history of a company when notwithstanding how unfair this might feel and how tall an order it may sound, you actually is the case that you do not to have a choice.
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Old Oct 11, 20, 5:59 am
  #1736  
 
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I can understand the desire / need for BA to cut costs given where they find themselves. That said, its a bit of a chicken & egg scenario - have a terrible offering and youll risk losing passengers to competitors, have a decent offering and you risk spending money with no return as not enough are flying.

Personally I think the current European offering is ok. Im not saying its great but its ok. But long haul they need to look at what AA etc are doing and replicate and if that means forcing people to pre order meals 24hrs (maybe 48hrs) in advance then I think thats be a good move
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Old Oct 11, 20, 6:00 am
  #1737  
 
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Originally Posted by orbitmic View Post
AF-KL is getting major operational constraints as a price to pay such as needing to close most domestic routes which are critical to its long haul viability
Short-haul domestics are not as important as long-haul feeders in France as they would be in the UK. Unlike the UK, France has integrated air-rail ticketing and CDG has a "proper" TGV station.
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Old Oct 11, 20, 6:17 am
  #1738  
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Originally Posted by Reason077 View Post
Short-haul domestics are not as important as long-haul feeders in France as they would be in the UK. Unlike the UK, France has integrated air-rail ticketing and CDG has a "proper" TGV station.
That is only very partly correct. CDG does indeed have a "proper" TGV station, but whilst that works well for the North and East for instance Lille or Strasbourg), the situation from the South and West is very different. For instance, if you are coming from Marseille (one of the routes to be discontinued), your first arrival into CDG is after 10.30am. From Bordeaux (same fate), there is a departure around 5.50 then no further nonstop to CDG until 1pm (arriving a bit before 5pm). WIth Montpellier (same system again), the first train arrives into CDG after 1pm. In all the cases the nonstop trains to CDG are few and far between just because - exactly as in the UK - those areas arrive to the wrong "side" of the Parisian network whilst the main Eastern and Northern trunks of traffic are saturated with traffic already so there is no perspective of things improving any time soon - certainly not before at least 10-15 years from now.

Furthermore, Marseille, Montpellier or Bordeaux - to stick to the examples above and two of the main routes that will be discontinued - you do not have a "TGV Air" agreement between AF and the SNCF so if you choose that way of going to CDG, you take all of the responsibility in case your train arrives late (not an infrequent occurrence with any trains) and you lose your plane ticket.

AF are furious about having to close those routes for a reason. They consider that they will lose a lot of connecting long haul traffic and from the people I know who live in places like Bordeaux and Marseille (two cities where I happen to know quite a few!) they are absolutely right in their worries!

Last edited by orbitmic; Oct 11, 20 at 6:41 am
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Old Oct 11, 20, 6:58 am
  #1739  
 
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Originally Posted by Tobias-UK View Post
Be careful, the grass is not always greener: https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/32730037-post279.html
I understand the passion for some members to defend BA but we need to be a bit objective. You have posted a link for a very specific post on a whole sub forum about AF catering. A few posts underneath, actually post 297 you can see a hot meal including chicken breast with couscous a starter ( looks salmon) and a dessert.....
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Old Oct 11, 20, 8:08 am
  #1740  
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Originally Posted by KARFA View Post
Thanks. So it doesn't look like IAG/BA have received much other than drawing 300m from the BoE Covid Corporate Financing Facility and 1.1bn from a Spanish state backed loan. The others all seem to have received multiples of that comprising a mix of direct state loans, state backed loans, and direct cash grants?

EDIT: just to add I agree it is useful only as background and it isn't an "excuse" for poor catering. but it does seem to be raised quite a bit on this thread so i thought it would be useful to just summarise the situation.
I think there is a correlation between constraining costs and the CCFF loan BA received. BA has stated it needs to operating on a cash neutral basis by the end of this year, essential if it is pay back the loan before May 2021. So with the onset of a second wave, a contracting travel corridor, delaying the return to normal inflight service to Dec/Jan is understandable. I dont like it, but I grudgingly accept it,
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