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British Airways continues to roll out its new Club World meal service across its long-haul network at Heathrow.
The latest routes to receive the new service this week are Buenos Aires, Jeddah, Mexico City, Rio de Janeiro, Tokyo Haneda, Tokyo Narita, Santiago, and Sao Paulo.
However, BA has also just pulled a major volte face.
When the service was launched last year, there was much emphasis on added “theatre” and the ability to select starters and desserts during the first meal service from a dedicated display trolley in the aisle.
However, as we noted in our review of the service 12 months in, the delivery of the new meal service has been inconsistent. Some crews have simply not used the display trollies at all. Others have, but grudgingly.
It has been confirmed that from Sunday 28 October 2018, the display trollies will be abandoned altogether.
As per the previous service, starters and desserts will be delivered to order. The entire meal service will be delivered by the crew by hand from the aircraft galleys.
It can be said with confidence this is not the outcome BA would have wanted given the investment in new equipment and cabin crew training. However, it may well be repurposed.
Whilst the trollies did look good (when they were used!), it did take crews a long time to set them up. There were practical problems, as safety rules require them to be attended by a crew member at all times. They also obstruct the aisle for passengers.
In long-haul business class there is a difficult balance, particularly on night flights, between meeting the needs of different passengers. Some want to maximise every aspect of the service. Others prefer it to be dispatched as quickly as possible to concentrate on sleeping or working. Hopefully, the modified service will allow crews to tailor the service style to the different needs of passengers.
On a more positive note, Do&Co will be providing the catering on all Heathrow long-haul routes from 2020 so the upward trend in improvement should continue.