British Airways Bringing Back More Inflight Service In January


British Airways is among the various airlines worldwide to have made cuts to its inflight catering services this year. This has been done to reduce close interaction between passengers and crew, due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. However, in the new year, its onboard service is set to begin taking steps back towards pre-COVID ‘normality.’

British Airways Airbus A320neo
The UK flag carrier will see its changes implemented in mid-January. Photo: Getty Images

Increased service as of January 20th

Earlier this week, Turning Left For Less reported that British Airways would soon be reintroducing its premium onboard catering services. As of January 20th, the airline is set to offer passengers a greater level of inflight food and drink. These changes will apply in one way or another to all of its long-haul cabins, as well as short-haul business class. The full rundown of what has been confirmed to staff is as follows:

  • Return of glassware, china, and metal cutlery in First and Club Europe/World.
  • À la carte menu in First, as well as a ‘dine on demand’ option.
  • Full meal service in Club Europe/World (albeit still served together on a single tray).
  • Return of hot food in Club Europe (see below for an image of BA’s existing cold option).
  • Return of signature afternoon tea and pre-orderable special meals.
  • Normal, full bar service in First and Club Europe/World. This will include premium drinks such as ‘Laurent-Perrier Grand Siècle’ champagne.
  • Return of full tray service for primary meals in World Traveller and World Traveller Plus.
British Airways Club Europe Cold Meal Box August 2020
An example of an existing ‘COVID-friendly’ BA Club Europe meal, served on a flight between Gothenburg and London in August. Photo: Jake Hardiman – Simple Flying

Unchanged aspects

Despite increasing its catering options, there are some aspects of BA’s onboard service that will remain unchanged for now. An example of these is that Club World passengers will continue not to be provided with bedding. This would normally take the form of a mattress topper and a blanket.

Furthermore, the airline will continue to welcome passengers onboard with anti-bacterial hand gel. This contrasts with pre-COVID service, when premium passengers would have enjoyed a welcome drink and a hot towel.

British Airways First Meal
An example of a ‘full service’ meal in First on BA. These are set to return in the new year. Photo: British Airways

Turning Left For Less expects that the airline’s full onboard service, as seen before the pandemic, will return in April. However, this is, of course, subject to change, in light of the present coronavirus situation.

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Numerous changes already made this year

The upcoming changes will represent significant steps forward compared to alterations made by British Airways earlier this year. In June, the airline revealed its COVID-friendly catering program, which represented a significant reduction compared to its pre-pandemic service. The use of cold, boxed meals allowed food and cutlery to be pre-packaged for immediate disposal to reduce contamination possibilities.

In October, the UK flag carrier made its first enhancements since the initial reductions four months earlier. At this time, it announced that it would be bringing back hot food for passengers on its long-haul flights.

British Airways take-off
British Airways hopes it will be able to reinstate its full onboard service by next April. Photo: Getty Images

However, the upcoming alterations represent a greater variety of enhancements. This applies both in terms of the aspects of the service being changed and the flights/cabins in which they will be offered. It remains to be seen whether full service will return as planned in April, but, if nothing else, it gives the company (and its passengers) a date to hope and aim for.

What do you think of the upcoming changes to British Airways’ onboard catering services? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.