The worst airlines for in-flight Bclass cabin/food service

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  • cwoodward

    I thought it would perhaps be helpful for us all to be more aware who are the FULL SERVICE airlines to avoid.
    Certainly I would benefit from knowing more about the quality of crew and food service on airlines covering the many areas of the world that I don’t know well.

    Personally I would greatly appreciate knowing more about-Africa -Central and South American and Eastern European airlines cabin service and food quality.

    Possible these below guides would assist to confine this to services most used by business travellers on this forum. (No Low Cost airlines please)

    – Only flights of 3 hours or more

    – Business or Premium Economy only please

    – This for the quality of food and service only please.
    (seating is another and well covered subject)

    Most of us here have needed to book an ‘unknown’ airline from time to time and I
    would benefit from knowing what to expect

    My contribution
    Air Canada (where I have no status -5-6 years ago)

    Three far below par experiences. All mid -haul 5-6 hour ex Toronto –
    Unfortunately the cabin temp was always far to hot at at least 25c which they refused to (or did not) change. The cabin staff were unfriendly and very lazy. Almost no water or drink service. No response to call button.
    The food unimaginative, cheap and overcooked-perhaps half a step above standard economy on a LCA.
    (Overall not dissimilar to Aeroflot 35 years ago but then the caviar and booze was help-your self and unending -and I was much younger – perhaps exaggerating just a little to make the point)

    Personally I would greatly benefit from knowing what expect prior to booking.


    Interesting post and obviously a very subjective experience. Interesting choice of Air Canada. I have done a fair amount with them, mostly between YYZ-LGA/EWR and they beat both Delta, United and American hands-down with the offer on the route. However, it doesn’t qualify for your in-scope comparison, and I can see now that segments like YYZ/YUL-LAX is being serviced with smaller aircrafts it can be challenging.

    Three airlines I hesitate to book:

    Turkish Airlines
    Stellar in terms of F&B, always.
    Hardware varies, but the European sub fleet is proper business class seats.
    My issues are two-fold:
    I am still waiting for a smile after +20 segments over 15 years.
    I’ve had several safety incidents onboard: from no clearing of glasses before landing and allowing tray tables to be open, to smoking in cockpit, to shrugging off smoking in forward lavatory.

    Ethiopian Airlines
    Segments up and down ARN-ADD-JNB
    Airport experience in ADD awful
    Lounge ADD dismal
    Food from Addis not to my taste

    TAP Portugal
    Segment ARN-LIS
    F&B and service nice
    Absolutely worst Irregular Operations (IRROps) handling I have experienced in 25 years. And I have seen a lot.
    The customer care process awful. It took three months to get paid out first of two EU-compensations, another eight months for the second.

    All travel in Business class.

    2 users thanked author for this post.


    Flew Finnair HEL-SIN 5 years ago. C-class. Terrible food and incompetent cabin crew (all Singaporean – like SQ rejects). Will try them again this summer, and hope for improvements. Excellent lounge in Helsinki however.


    My main route is BA from Accra to London and back. I have my 4th flight this year coming up, but this is the final (one way) trip.

    The Heathrow service is with an A350 and the new Gatwick service is with old 777s. I have done both.

    The main observation is that the food ex-LHR is very good whereas the food ex-Accra is usually rank and almost inedible. So the issue is with the caterers they use to re-stock in Ghana really. Beyond that, service is hard to compare. The Accra-London is a night flight, so service is about getting food served then turning out the lights The ex-London flights are afternoon, so I tend to be much more interested in bar service and having a much more leisurely lunch.

    So, in conclusion, BA ex-Accra is grim. BA ex-London is decent.


    KLM – stingy quantities. The desserts are usually bread/flour based and look like they were picked up in a paper bad last minute by a FA before boarding. They don’t even bother making it look presentable.

    Cathay Pacific – the original when it comes to overcooking and burning the Indian vegetarian meals. EVERY.SINGLE.TIME.

    Japan Airlines – someone please get them the dictionary and open the page that contains the word “flavour”

    Qatar airways – yes, Qatar airways. Not every single Indian dish needs to be cooked in sweet thick tomato sauce!

    1 user thanked author for this post.
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