Afternoon Tea in ATH-LHR flight (CE)

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This topic contains 40 replies, has 12 voices, and was last updated by  CplFizzle 12 Nov 2013
at 19:17

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  • Anonymous


    Good evening all,
    I’ve been reading the forums for quite a while but this is the first time that I’m going to ask for your insight.
    My mother and I are planning a trip to London (from Athens, Greece) and I want to plan a few surprises for her since we are going around her birthday. Plus, it will be the first non-business trip for both of us after a loooong time and I want to spoil us, as much as possible.
    We -almost- always take the morning flight so I have zero experience regarding what is served in other flights.
    I know that she would love to start her special birthday trip with tea and scones. Does anybody know whether there is afternoon tea served to the CE passengers in the late afternoon flights from Athens to London?
    Thanks in advance!!!


    All Athens flights get a hot meal. The late afternoon flight serves dinner, since arriving into London well into the evening. So, no scones – although tea obviously available. I don’t this this should concern you or your mother. The tea service is really not great and would not be appropriate for a flight of this length. Enjoy some champagne instead – and happy travels!


    I agree with Alexlondon, BA’s afternoon tea is a sick joke, obviously aimed at cost cutting. I won’t eat it, it’s unhealthy, poorly presented and unsubstantial.

    A proper meal is much better on a flight of this length.


    Hello BA4ever, what a splendid “handle” you’ve chosen!

    As alexlondon stated, you won’t get Afternoon Tea on the ATH run, but ensure you ask for champagne with your lunch or supper.

    The 1430 departure has the advantage of being on an A320, which I would always take in preference to the 767 morning and evening flights, and arrives in the late afternoon allowing you settle into your hotel before going to bed.

    Personally I’m a huge fan of the Afternoon Tea offering.

    As a regular on the forum you’ll be aware that some contributors delight in denigrating anything British or which BA does; we have all learned to filter out hyperbolic phrases such as “sick joke” which are only designed to garner a reaction.

    Best to ignore such commentary, and put your trust in a photo of a delightful CE Afternoon Tea:

    …and here’s one from Cityflyer flying from – you guessed it – London City airport:

    Afternoon Tea is one of my favourite repasts and I’m very pleased to see it on board BA.

    It’s a real differentiator, a proper “British” meal and ideal to serve as a snack on shorter flights, though as alexlondon mentions it would not be appropriate for a flight of this length.

    I’ve seen Afternoon Tea creeping on to longer sectors, which isn’t great, but when the time of day and length of journey is right, there’s nothing better than a cuppa, a glass of ‘poo, scones and sarnies

    BA goes to some effort to ensure the Afternoon Tea is a quality offering – it has its own blend of Twinings Tea which is designed to work well at altitude, the Rhodda’s Cornish Clotted Cream is delicious and the Tiptree Jam is By Appointment to Her Majesty.

    The sandwiches have good fillings, and the bread is soft and moist.

    Perhaps it would be better if you reserved a table in London for your Tea? You’ll need to book well in advance as it’s very popular!

    I would recommend The Goring, near Victoria Station.

    I’m unsure whether you have a Gold Card, but if you do you can easily cobble together a very acceptable Afternoon Tea in the Galleries First at T5. Here is the current offering of scones, cakes and sandwiches:


    It seems the NCO is out of step with the troops, again. As well as starting to make personal attacks again.

    The sick joke is that this is afternoon tea

    And this is BA mainline afternoon tea in CE, with the candidate for the world’s smallest scone.

    The majority of opinion on Flyertalk (where the BA forum has a lot of people who fly BA a lot) is that the afternoon tea (and the extended breakfast) are poor. That is verified by my experience.

    On the other hand, the Goring Hotel does a proper afternoon tea and it is delightful.


    Agreed FDOS – Afternoon Tea is pathetic – once you’ve eaten your first scone and been offered ( ocassionally ) a second one there is no more jam or cream. Sandwiches consist mainly of mayonnaise. Get on a CE flight at say 4.45pm – unlikely to be served before 5.30pm get to your destination at say 7.15pm Europe time – wait for bags drive or whatever to your destination – getting late to go out to eat !

    There was a similar posting in support of Afternoon Tea in a similar vein by a former poster.


    Perhaps it is my cultural insensitivity being Scandinavian that I don’t understand the the Afternoon Tea concept, or perhaps my overall lack of a sweet tooth.

    One of the things I like about BA (as a foreigner) is its attempt to stay true to its heritage of being British. I admit publicly; I am fond of many aspects of the United Kingdom including a lukewarm pint of beer. However, no scientific evidence behind this statement; only a tally of hands at a Scandinavian forum I belong to where BA is very popular; with one notable exception: the Afternoon Tea services.

    My gripe with this is the dogmatic approach. BA782 (LHR-ARN) timetable is somewhat variable. Some days it departs 16:55, some days 17:00 and other days 17:05. Regardless, this will put it on stand at ARN between 20:15 to 20:25.

    Each time I’ve been on this it has been 16:55 and Afternoon Tea has been offered. I am hungry, I need a meal not a sugar high. It would an appropriate time for a warm meal regardless of 16:55, 17:00 or 17:05 departure time. I suspect the two latter offer a warm meal.

    I don’t believe I am minority here, but offer only opinion and not facts. Perhaps remove the Afternoon Tea service on flights with timetable longer than 120min completely is a solution?


    Senator – Agreed. Afternoon tea should be on a time of day/length of flight criteria. Any flight of over 2 hours departing after 3.30/4pm should have a proper meal service – that is a suggestion. Same would apply to the Extended Breakfast now masquerading as a Charcuterie Platter !! Does trade descriptions apply here ?

    As an aside any hot meals on CE I have had recently and they are getting far and few between have been excellent !


    WOW, thank you all for your replies and input.
    I have a confession to make: I am a huge fan of the 767. I was so disappointed when they removed it from the flights I would take (the early one from ATH and the late one from LHR) and I can’t wait to fly with it again. I would only switch to the afternoon flight for the tea.
    Anyway, hoping that you won’t all hate me after the above, back to your comments…
    I have noticed that some people on here don’t like BA a lot (and perhaps that’s undermining their feelings) but when I get to choose the carrier I fly with, it’s BA and BA only, unless they don’t fly where I’m going. I can’t say that I’ve tried many airlines (only 12) and I haven’t done any transatlantic flying but so far I haven’t met a better airline than BA.
    Regarding afternoon tea, the last report I got was that in the flight from Athens to LHR, they served both a meal and tea. Since it was from a friend, I’m guessing that it wasn’t wrong or false but perhaps that has changed?
    To be fair, I wouldn’t expect to see a hotel-like afternoon tea on a plane! The photos of BA’s afternoon tea seem perfectly OK to me, only if it follows a meal though. Not as a meal itself, on an almost 4-hours flight.
    Hmmm… perhaps we should stick to the morning flight, with the -always yummy- full English breakfast.
    As per tea IN London, I’m hoping to find a table at the Savoy. If not, your suggestion for the Goring is noted (thank you very much); we haven’t been there and it will be a nice change. Last time I was in the capital, it was for a stressful business trip and all my days were so packed that I didn’t have time for a proper afternoon tea. A very frustrating aspect, because I am an absolute tea-gal.



    Not only will we not hate you, but we will welcome your point of view.

    I can’t speak for others, but I’ve been flying BA since 1978 and I’ve flown on so many airlines, I can’t remember them all 😉 I get frustrated with BA, rather than not liking the airline generally, they used to be so much better and could again be so much better if they spent a little more time considering the product and service and less on the cost of it.

    YMMV and if you like BA, good for you.

    Just to be clear, the afternoon tea is served instead of a meal, which is why many don’t like it; my dislike of it revolves around it being a sugar/carb spike I really don’t need.


    Thank you for that, I’ve seen so much 767 bashing that I am thinking that perhaps I am the only one in the world.

    I agree that BA was better and could be better but with the current economics, I am just pleased that it is better than the other airlines I use or could use for my travels.
    I fly from Greece to UK and Cyprus and I also fly within Greece. As you can understand, my options are limited and BA is still the best carrier compared to the ones that fly to/from these destinations. I understand that some like A3 (Aegean) but I’ve experienced so many delays with them that I don’t even want to think about it!!!

    In regards to afternoon tea, if it is the only meal, then it is indeed inadequate.

    Greetings BA4ever

    Last summer I took my mother to Athens to celebrate nothing in particular. We arrived at Heathrow at some ridiculous hour and she insisted we visit the lounge to squeeze in a glass of Champagne each before boarding the 767. If she had not insisted, I would still be the only GCH in the world not to have visited a lounge. Flight in CE very good although we did arrive very tired.

    Return at a much more convenient hour, again on a 767. Well…..I literally lost my mother and as it was Final Call I decided to go to the gate expecting to find her there. Was she there? No. By this stage I was semi frantic as everyone had boarded and I was secretly hoping for an extra night in Athina. The cool as a cucumber lady at the gate made an urgent PA and informed me she was probably shopping (I find the Greeks so cunning I will never understand them). Anyhow, to cut a long story short, she eventually appears and we run down the bridge squealing. When the laughter subsided and we were flying over the Pelop. she proceeds to nudge me every 5 minutes to tell me something inconsequential while I listen to my favourite tracks. I arrive at LHR very cranky indeed and say something I regret and of course apologise shortly after.


    Hmmm… erm… yes… apparently, it is not a rare occasion when someone is “lost” in the duty free of Athens airport and they have to call their name. It has happened to my mother and myself, we were lost in the Clinique counter, getting a make over.
    I guess is all the happiness of a leisure trip, between several business ones, that makes you careless.

    Indeed…..welcome to the forum and enjoy London. I forgot to mention that to this day my mother believes I tried to lose her on purpose!

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