British Airways (BA) has unexpectedly announced a multi-million pound investment in its World Traveller (long-haul economy) catering. Despite murmurings that BA were contemplating extending their somewhat controversial ‘Buy on Board’ (BoB) program to long-haul flights, this announcement represents a move in the opposite direction. These changes are being introduced within the next 10 days and will be applicable on all routes.
Per the press release:
Options now include:
- Pretzels with the welcome drink
- Four-course meal with starter, main, dessert, cheese and biscuits, accompanied by a bread roll and bottle of water
- Second meal or substantial snack depending on the length of the flight
- Regional meal options served according to destination
- Magnum ice-creams
- Tuck box with chocolates and crisps
- Hot breakfast on longer overnight flights
- Graze movie-snack box on longer flights
- Complimentary drinks from the bar
For reference, customers travelling in World Traveller were previously served a snack, three-course-meal or a light meal, depending on the time and length of their flight as well as hot and cold drinks.
BA have given this description of the new Economy catering experience:
Customers will be welcomed with pretzels and a drink. They will then be served a four-course meal such as a starter of couscous salad, followed by a main course of chicken casserole with an ale sauce, colcannon mash and seasonal vegetables, or a vegetarian tomato, farfalle and vegetable dish. Dessert will be a Pots & Co salted caramel and chocolate mousse, followed by biscuits and cheese. The meal will be accompanied by a bread roll and a bottle of Highland Spring water.
The following in-flight extras will also be available:
- On the shorter daylight long-haul flights to destinations such as New York and Dubai, fliers will also receive a sandwich such as egg and cress with a chocolate or Nutri-Grain bar.
- Those on longer daylight flights to destinations such as Cape Town and Hong Kong will receive a hot meal, such as a pizza wrap or a regional option, with a pot of pasta, a chocolate brownie and a drink, as well as a smokehouse BBQ crunch, Graze movie-snack box.
- A hot English breakfast will also be served on these longer flights that operate overnight.
- Customers on daylight flights from London will be offered a range of Magnum ice-creams, while those on night flights will be offered a tuck-box with options such as Dairy Milk Buttons, Twix, Kit-Kats and Mini Cheddars, which will also be available in the galley for them to help themselves to.
- Regional breakfasts will also be served including Chicken Congee for Far Eastern routes and an Indian option featuring: Idli Shanna, Sambhar, upma and dosa.
- Meal options for customers with special dietary requirements will continue to be available to book via Manage my Booking more than 24 hours ahead of their flight departing.
- Pre-order meals on flights from Heathrow will continue to be available up to 24-hours before their flight. More info on pre-order meals can be found on this page of the BA website.
When are the changes being introduced?
The new catering arrives from 17th January.
The first flight with the new catering on 17th January will be the BA117 from Heathrow to New York JFK departing at 8.25am.
Don’t forget the BA sale that we covered last week is still running until the 30th January. This news might just make those Economy prices look that bit more attractive.
The sale homepage can be found here.
While I say it cautiously, this looks to be a positive enhancement from BA. Additions such as ice-cream and the tuck box will represent an easy win for the airline, with plenty of customer goodwill generated. Although it’s worth bearing in mind that items like ice cream have made previous appearances onboard, only to be removed down the line. It will certainly be interesting to revisit these changes in 6-12 months time.
All in all, this is definitely a step in the right direction from BA.