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In a mildly staggering (but very welcome!) move mid/long haul British Airways Economy meals are set to be improved.
From 17th January 2018, World Traveller options will 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
The press release contains additional details, and it all sounds genuinely good:
The airline’s customers will be welcomed with pretzels and a drink. Once they are settled in, they will 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.
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.
Ensuring that passengers are well fed and watered on long haul flights is a relatively easy way for BA to differentiate itself from low cost competitors like Norwegian and is great to see.
I’m a big fan of increased competition in the aviation industry, but what I really mean by that is that I want to see airlines competing in different ways and providing real choice for flyers, rather than all of them just trying to be the absolute cheapest.
If this is the start of a shift of focus at BA, away from the service cuts and towards a strategy that properly embraces its claim to be a premium full-service airline, I think this could be good for customers and good for BA‘s bottom line too. There is definitely a substantial segment of the market that wants to fly full-service/BA and do not mind paying a bit more to do so – as long as they feel that they are actually getting at least something in return for that additional expense.
Offering proper meals, drinks and nice snacks, can make flying feel a bit more civilised – and that feeling is worth considerably more to some passengers than the extra few quid it costs BA to provide it.
A bag of Cadbury Dairy Milk Buttons would be a great taste of home after a long trip away – and that’s hard to put a price on!
I’ve never been shy about criticising BA when I think the airline has made mistakes, but it’s important to be balanced and a welcome good news too. Whether the improvements to British Airways Economy meals is the start of welcome trend, or a temporary aberration remains to be seen, but I’m heartened by the change here. It was only last year that we were wondering whether BA might introduce ‘Buy Onboard’ for long haul flights…
What do you think of the changes?