BA Club world catering

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  • Anonymous


    We flew recently from Rio to London Heathrow on a BA 777 in Club World [BA248]. This was the evening meal that was served to us! Comments please![email protected]/4833936575/


    Very disgusting indeed. At least you were offered something to eat. BA is having catering problems in all classes. I flew in First to and from Asia recently and could not get my first and second choices on the menu. I had to settle for a pasta.


    Hardly “very disgusting”.

    I cannot comment on how it tasted, but the vegetables look moist and the steak doesn’t look burned to a crisp.

    Sure it looks sloppy, but that’s about the only criticism you can make of the plated dish.

    Having said that, the new 318 and 777 aircraft all have steam ovens on board, which will make the food taste considerably better, and these are being retrofitted as part of the new First rollout to other aircraft in the fleet.

    I was speaking to the head of BA catering a month or so ago and he was saying he would prefer that meals in Club were individually plated (my understanding is that they are presently heated up in oven proof dishes, which is why you get the rather unappealing gravy around the edges). Sadly, the Union was dead against this; until Unite/BASSA becomes more reasonable, it will be difficult to get change in this area.

    I have enjoyed my most recent meals in BA longhaul, even the ones in Club. It should have looked more like this:


    VK: that looks more like what one normally gets in Club. The problem might also have to do with there being more ‘informal’ quality control and presentation, and of course less uniformity, by BA caterers on long-haul flights not departing London.

    Perhaps biarritzsurf9 should write to BA with the photo. BA is not perfect but it is appreciated for its very good food in all classes, and will take seriously a complaint on this matter. I wrote recently to say I could not get my first and second options on a flight from Asia and was rewarded with a good amount of BA miles.


    Of course it’s the Union to blame on the state of affairs with catering on BA. I haven’t read such nonsense in ages, but am always amused if not baffled reading posts by VK.

    The food in Club is pretty poor these days, and any flight under 9 hours from London, the second ‘meal service’ in ‘J’ appears to be the leftovers from the Club Kitchen.

    And when it comes to choice of entree, how many 1st choices do you think are loaded for a full load in First? The answer….6.
    As for Club, the entree catering is very close to the bone, if you’re sitting in the last three rows of Club, chances are high you’ll not receive your choice of meal.

    If you’re happy eating the above posted by biarritz then, get stuck in. I wouldn’t feed that slop to my dog.


    Given that BA’s CW catering arrives at the plane already plated, i.e. meat, veg and sauce already in the dish, this combined with a somewhat bumpy ride and a holding temperature of at least 60C for what might be several hours before it lands on your tray table, is a more than adequate explanation for the fact that the dish isn’t presented at its best.

    The only way to guarantee perfect presentation is to have the meal plated in the galley at the point of service. Anything else is going to compromise this. One positive of serving dinner in this fashion, is that the meat retains its moisture rather than sitting dry for several hours at temperature (the introduction of steamers rather than dry heat holding is a great means to improve colour and flavour of the dishes).

    A rickity trolley, a bit of turbulance will mean that sauce/gravey/jus will “slop” about (such is the nature of liquids) and soak the veg and cause them to discolour.

    I would put forward that if the dish had been cleaned up a little and the veg rearranged, it wouldn’t have looked anywhere near as bad.

    A quick question for biarritzsurf9: How did it taste? Was that aspect of the meal acceptable?


    Indeed pre-plating is far from satisfactory and is being looked into; but cooking and re-plating is a lot more work for the crew.

    Here are some great pics of a typical Club World meal, I think this one is LHR-SFO:


    Steak&Ale Pie Main:



    And the second meal service, Afternoon Tea:


    Here VK and I are in agreement about the standard of the BA food. I order vegetarian/vegan and todays meal in Club Europe was:


    vegatarian curry (curried vegatables in a very mild curry source) on a bed of rice

    fresh fruit

    even the crew commented on how nice it look and smelt.

    tomorrow is Miami and again I have ordered vegatarian / vegan. The crew also suggested trying the asian option.

    I know many of you like your meat and 2 veg – perhaps try the vegatarian / vegan option, it may just suprise you.

    Excellent BA, well done and just in case any one from BA is reading, the crew on BA562 – 27July – 10 out of 10.


    VK, it may be a ‘lot more work’ for the crew, but have you sat there and thought how much longer the service would take if food were to be plated in the Club galley as it’s done in First?

    On a full Club load with 48 passengers in J on a 777, the meal service can last up to 3 hours. BA have been told by their customers, we want flexibility and time to work, relax watch a movie. I do not want to sit in my seat any longer than necessary tied down with a service that is already rather lengthy, just because people object to a bit of burnt gravy.
    If you want galley plated food and good presentation, fly First. Though the quality there still leaves a lot to be desired.


    As VK pointed out, that is not the normal or desirable presentation for food in CW. He is absolutely right about the union being opposed to plating the food. When BMed had the franchise they plated all of the food prior to serving and the presentation was much better, but it was a difficult task for the crew as juggling hot dishes was tricky and time consuming. In defence of the union stance, trying to do this from the main-deck galley for 50 CW passengers will be a logistical nightmare. However, even when it is presented nicely, the CW food is not comparable to most of the competition (note the sachets of salt and pepper, you used to get proper grinders). I have flown in J with Etihad, for whom one of my friends is a cabin manager, and their presentation is impeccable. It does, however, involve an enormous amount of work by the crew and they don’t have a union to fight for them. The word that best sums-up CW presentation is ‘sparse’. The cutbacks in both quantity and quality are very obvious since I left 10 years ago. For the breakfast service on the shorter overnight flights from the USA to London they don’t even cater 100%. If you have a bumpy flight and everyone is awake and wanting breakfast you have a lot of explaining to do. Not having a first choice of main course for every passenger in First is similarly unforgiveable.


    BA does seem to have a number of challenges at the moment, although I don’t think the normal food presentation is one of them. The airline isn’t perfect and can’t cater to every eventuality however I normally find the crew more than compensate with either a replacement or something from another cabin. I don’t think i’ve ever had a bad meal or badly presented food (bar the catering fiasco during the strike).


    Since when has BA recently listened to a union representing Cabin Crew? The reasons your food isn’t pre plated in the galley are cost, no space available in galley areas, extra time to deliver the Club service. Nothing to do with union intransigence. I


    Although I am aware that plating the food would cause crew extra work, other airlines do indeed manage to accomplish this within an acceptable timeframe, and I just don’t see why BA cabin crew cannot.

    Interestingly, whilst the Union has been somewhat absent over the past few months I have noticed that the Afternoon Tea service is indeed plated up by the crew in Club World; this is a new service standard and proves that without Union idiocy, the service to customers improves.

    It is these small incremental improvements which will eventually turn around the public perception of BA; when I speak to most crew on board they are eager to deliver the highest possible levels of service, but are hamstrung in terms of what they can deliver by union intransigence.

    Evidence for such intransigence can be found in the link below, which give a glimpse of the minutiae of service issues which the Union deemed to get involved with, and resulted in no hot towels being offered to those in the WT+ cabin:

    It is indeed for the courts to decide, but as BASSA have lost most of the cases they have brought, at massive expense to the taxpayer and BASSA’s members, I really don’t see any risk here for BA.


    From experience and from some BA friends, the long haul catering product has gone down for the past 8 to 10 years or so. What used to be served in World Traveller is more or less in Club world now and what used to be in Club is now in first.
    This is what happen when you cut your cost so much that there is only the bone left on the plate.
    I have been told that when BA removed the beef offering from club on US destination 5 years ago (who remember?), they saved almost GBP£3.0 million a year. Say no more!

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