British Airways has finally announced its intentions for World Traveller (Long Haul Economy Class) catering on Long Haul routes.
This will replace the much lamented ambient basket pass the airline has offered in the past two years.
The new service pattern kicks in on the 17th January 2018, starting aboard BA117, and spreading through the long haul network
The service change will look like this:
- Pretzels with the Welcome Drink
- The main service will be a Four-course meal with starter, main, dessert, cheese and biscuits, accompanied by a bread roll and bottle of water
- On-board snack either being a Magnum ice cream or a tuck-box item
- Second meal or substantial snack depending on the length of the flight
The airline will also serve regional food options depending on the route.
The new snack options will be served in flight which include Magnum ice-creams (on daytime flights), the re-introduction of the Tuck box with chocolates and crisps (on night flights). Tuck Box items will be available in the galley.
Daytime second service is where things get really interesting. The ambient basket pass is gone thankfully, with new options
- On Shorter Long Haul flights (Dubai, New York), passengers will get a sandwich (such as an Egg and Cress sandwich), and a chocolate or Nurtri-Grain bar.
- On Long-Long haul flights (Bangkok, Beijing, Buenos Aires, Cape Town, Chennai, Hong Kong, Hyderabad, Johannesburg, Kuala Lumpur, Las Vegas, Lima, Los Angeles, Maldives, Mauritius, Mexico City, Narita, Oakland, Phoenix, Rio de Janeiro, San Jose (California), San Jose (Costa Rica), Santiago, San Francisco, Sao Paulo, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore and Tokyo (Haneda and Narita), a second meal service will be offed (such as a pizza wrap, regional option and chocolate brownie.
These flights will also get a smokehouse BBQ crunch Graze movie-snack box. A hot English breakfast will also be served on these longer flights that operate overnight.
Those who fancy splashing the cash can also pre-order the high-end economy meals – these are an extra cost
- Gourmet Dining meal £18.0
- Taste of Britain and Taste of the Far East £16.00
- Great British Breakfast, a Healthy Choice meal or a Vegetarian Kitchen option all for £15.00.
These would need to be pre-booked 24 hours in advance – more details at BA’s Economy food site.
On the launch, Carolina Martinoli, British Airways’ director of brand and customer experience, states
“Our customers tell us that when they’re taking a long-haul flight, great food and beverages make a real difference to them. It’s a huge driver of customer satisfaction so we want to make sure we deliver a great experience. With this multi-million pound investment we’ve focused on introducing more quantity and quality to the catering, delivering tasty meals and great snacking options throughout the flight.
“Our new four-course main meal has been developed by our team of chefs to be full of flavour at 35,000ft and we’ve created regional options depending on the route. The second meal option is either a tasty sandwich or a more substantial pizza wrap, both served with additional snacks, depending on the length of the flight.”
“Our customers have also told us they want to be able to save some items for later in the flight, so we’ve replaced the water cup with a bottle of Highland Spring on the first meal, and added Graze snack boxes on our longest flights. We’re also offering Magnum ice-creams on daylight flights from London and a Tuck Box on inbound and overnight flights.”
So the question I posed at the start… is it enough?
I’ve been a vocal critic of British Airways excuse of catering (both in World Traveller and in Club Europe), and I’m satisfied that the catering service is heading in a positive direction at long last. Taking two years to realise that cutting back to the equivalent of a fun size Mars bar and a mini can of coke however is still unforgivable.
In some ways, the expansion in service matches the equivalent American Airlines service (including a bottle of water in the meal tray, an ice cream service). American has gone down the line of Monty Hot Boxes, whilst British Airway is going for the chilled option.
I hope there’s other options than Egg and Cress sandwiches though.
The re-introduction of a tuck-box on the long haul night flights is welcome to see (for those who are nibbly), but I feel this could have also been re-introduced on daytime flights too.
I’m going to chalk this up as a win for the passenger, with some long needed changes to the catering product.
If you’re a passenger, the 17th January can’t come soon enough.
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