Outrage As British Airways Serves A Single Cereal Bar For ‘Premium Economy’ Breakfast

Oh British Airways, how far you have fallen. What once was a full-service airline with a hot meal on every flight, has now become a plane with less variety than your corner shop! (Or 7/11 for those American readers).

Very recently on a long haul flight, a British Airways premium economy passenger was served a single cereal bar for breakfast.

Now, this might not have been much of a story if they had been in basic economy on a short haul flight, but international premium economy long haul?

British Airways
The new Premium Economy seats on British Airways 777.

It has made the industry start to wonder if there is any difference between British Airways and Norwegian.

British Airways
British Airways 777-200

What happened?

British Brian Horton and his wife Di bought a return economy flight on BA to explore North America, having an uneventful flight to their destination. They were able to upgrade their meal on the outbound flight, choosing something tasty with an ice cream dessert. Before coming home, they decided to upgrade themselves for £500 ($638 US) to premium economy for the trip home.

British Airways
Brian Horton and wife Di in North America.

Problems started to arise when they could not upgrade their meal for the flight home. Upon arriving at the airport, they noticed they were traveling on an older Boeing 777, without all the modern features you would come to expect.

After 8 hours on board and a disappointing main meal dish that was bland and tasteless, Brian Horton was served breakfast.

A single cereal bar and orange juice.

British Airways
Breakfast on board the British Airways flight. Source: Brian Horton

“An hour before landing after an eight-hour flight we were given an energy bar as our breakfast – I kept the wrapper as a souvenir. Our relatives back in the cheaper economy seats got a half frozen cheese bagel. It’s not what you expect from British Airways.” – Brit Brian Horton

Needless to say, Brian was incredibly disappointed. Especially since they had paid extra to be seated in Premium Economy which naturally has an expectation of a slightly better soft product. He has said that he has always been a British Airways loyalist and that he was incredibly disappointed. He has a further trip on British Airways and fears that he will very much get the same treatment.

What was the British Airways response?

British Airways has released this statement regarding the event:

Following a full meal service, the breakfast option is designed to offer a light snack before landing. Feedback is always passed on to our catering teams who check the quality of the food we serve on board every week. We have a £6.5bn five-year investment programme, including a multi-million pound investment in catering across all cabins.

In the past, Airlines have tried to maximize sleeping time on board night flights by serving a light breakfast closer to landing (For example a breakfast that does not require plates to be cleaned up). But in this case, it seems to be taken to the extreme. Plus, for an airline that is spending £6.5 billion pounds over five years, you think they could be a little more creative with their food options.

The new British Airways Club World on the 777

Overall, it is not a great selling point for British Airways and one has to wonder what even is the point upgrading from Economy to Premium economy on their airline. It gives evidence that it would be much better to save the points and splurge on Business or above if flying their airline at all.

What do you think? Is a cereal bar good enough for breakfast on premium economy?

  1. Do not fly British Airways. They do not respect customers and definitely do not provide what is expected of a none discount airline.

    I stopped flying them and have black listed them for all corporate travel.

  2. Nothing new here, it’s been like that for several years. I remember on a flight back from the USA in PE back in 2014 they handed out a small box containing a cereal bar and a yoghurt – the passenger sitting next to me said he’d be better off eating the box! That flight cost over £900 return so it wasn’t cheap. It’s disgusting when BA advertise PE on their website as offering ‘Delicious meals and a full bar service’ – my experience is you get the same food as economy but served in china dishes and on one flight we had no cabin service for five hours en route, if you wanted a drink you had to get up and go the rear galley. When you compare to Virgin PE or even Delta’s Comfort+ it’s third world standards of service. And as for BA’s customer service when you complaint about things like this? It’s a joke!

  3. I don’t think the Norwegian comparison is fair to Norwegian. Their transatlantic premium economy transatlantic is comparable to a domestic business class. British, like their One World colleagues, American Airlines, seem to be for hunting for the threshold of what their customers will tolerate. I’ve been on several British and American flights this past year – premium and business. Each time I asked myself what did I actually pay extra for. From now on if I have to use either, I’ll save my money and stay in the cheap seats.

  4. I am a fan of British Airways and have flown them in the past and would love to again.

    In this particular case, I think their ”breakfast” was incredibly stingy. I had a similar experience some years back when I flew long haul with them. For the second meal of the flight, we were offered a small box of fruit. On the other hand, I did receive a full hot meal on the return flight as the second meal of the journey.

    So I suppose there is some inconsistency in this regard. The second meal on British Airways flights can range from a breakfast cereal bar to a box of fruit to a hot meal, which creates a touch and go experience for the passengers.

  5. The problem is, BA has a Spanish chief Exec that sees the cost of everything and the value of nothing.

    He is out of his depth and I think he hasn’t a clue.

    I love the way BA keep saying how much they are investing, bit not a lot changes for the majority of passengers (and most off what its spending is buying very expensive planes!). Some of the old 777 planes would be a disgrace to an African airline

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