News & offers: More details on BA new First service, free 5* hotel + Etihad sale & Hotels.com discount

More details on BA new First service

As cabin crew briefings for the new First service start, more details are emerging about the new food and drink. We will be bringing you two reviews in April. Deputy Editor Paul will be flying a short First segment next week and then we will be flying 12 hour+ flights the following week for the full low down on the improvements.

The new First service is due to start on 31 March and features new washbags from Elemis, new pyjamas, improved menus and different crockery and glassware.

The new menu includes quite a few changes from the previous service. For a start, you will be served nuts with your pre-departure drink. After take off you will get canapes and there will be a choice of 14 cocktails. Some are not what I would really regard as a proper cocktail but there are a few options that look like they may be bespoke BA ones and it’s good to see some non-alcoholic mocktails too.

Here is the list of alcoholic cocktails:

  • Red snapper
  • Cuba Libre
  • Gin Zing
  • Classic Mule
  • The Bourbon
  • Highland sling
  • Old Favourite
  • Bloody Mary
  • Beachbound

 

Canapes

The new food menus have more choice of starters but less choice of mains. This is because there is now also a snack menu which is available at any time, as is the rest of the food. This features the previous main course salad so it is really the same number of choices. You get a choice of side dishes too which is a nice touch. What will be interesting will be the amount of loading as often there are only a few of each choice available which can lead to disappointment as Paul found out in this First flight. There is also a full second meal although I thought the choices looked a little limited compared with my recent Club World flight.

Here is the menu for my upcoming flight in First to give you an idea of what to expect:

Main meal

Canapé

Shropshire Blue cheese with spiced apple jelly and candied pecans, Kinglas smoked salmon
with cream cheese and caviar, Cumbrian air-dried salami with sliced black olive, sun-blushed
tomatoes and cornichon

Starters

  • Cured beef bresaola, tonnato dressing, anchovies, tomato and caper
  • Kidderton Ash goat’s cheese, hazelnuts, asparagus and radish
  • Seared scallops, truffle pea puree, maple cured gammon, pea shoots
  • Vichyssoise soup with Braddock White poached duck egg and potato salad
  • Seasonal Salad served with Honey and Mustard dressing

Main

  • Shredded pork with Beijing sauce, fried pak choi and steamed rice
  • Seared fillet of aged Herefordshire beef with caramelised caper butter and red wine sauce, roast vine tomatoes, wild mushrooms and pine nut
  • Roast fillet of halibut with Brixham crab bisque, preserved lemon and buttered samphire
  • Ricotta black pepper ravioli with lovage pesto, charred leeks, black olives and red vein sorrel

Selection of sides

Potato fondant with truffle salt, broccoli with almonds, glazed chantenay carrots

Desserts

  • Chocolate & orange delice with an almond granola and sugared pistachios
  • Blueberry & Nectarine Charlotte
  • Vanilla bean Ice cream with caramel sauce and raspberries

Cheese Plate

  • Belton Farm Red Fox
  • Fourme D’Ambert
  • Double Barrel Lincolnshire Poacher
  • Normany Camembert

Snacks

  • Main course salad of hot-smoked salmon, clementine, pomegranate, fennel
  • Trio of sliders: Katsu chicken burger, classic beef burger, spicy bean burger
  • Joe & Seph’s caramel and sea salt popcorn
  • A selection of British Kettle Chips
  • Seasonal cut fruit

What do you think about the First changes? What would you choose to eat if you were on this flight? Let us know in the comments below or on social media.

 

Etihad sale

Etihad business class studio A380 review

Etihad business class studio bed

To celebrate Mother’s Day Etihad have a sale on. Most of the prices aren’t great but there are a couple (in bold below) that are good prices direct from the UK. Although Etihad have made a lot of cutbacks recently I still rate their business class studio seat as one of the best hard products for privacy, comfort and style. You can read my review here.

The other advantage of the sale is that you will get a free stopover in Abu Dhabi and receive one free night in five-star hotel. There are some great hotels featured including a couple I have reviewed – the Shangri La and the Rosewood.

The prices start from:

  • Abu Dhabi £ 1,656  
  • Hong Kong £ 1,881  
  • Bangkok £ 2,234
  • Kuala Lumpur £ 2,580
  • Singapore £ 2,502
  • Seychelles £ 2,280  
  • Brisbane £ 3,537
  • Melbourne £ 3,787

Flights must be booked by 31 March 2019 for travel until 10 December 2019. The stopover page is here and the sale page is here.

Hotels.com discount

You can get a 10% discount off at hotels.com by entering the coupon code AFFGENUKQ212. As usual, there are some exclusions and rules:

  • Booking Dates: 25th – 31st March
  • Stay Dates: 25th March – 1st Oct
  • Most major chains are excluded
  • You must pay for your stay when you make the booking.
  • hotels.com rewards cannot be collected or redeemed using the code

For UK stays you would be better with STAYUK10 code as this allows you to collect nights as well.

You can search for prices and book using the code on hotels.com here. 

10 Comments on "News & offers: More details on BA new First service, free 5* hotel + Etihad sale & Hotels.com discount"

  1. Despite having the hotels.com discount code accepted, I booked the Faena on South Beach in July for over £65 cheaper on trip.com
    Ive used them previously without any problem. Their app is good and they have a small loyalty scheme which saved me $1.28 on this booking!!

  2. Chris Nichols | 28 March 2019 at 6:56 am | Reply

    Have my first first on 13 April to Mexico City with my partner. Very excited about the latest changes and were really looking forward to experiencing it!

  3. ClaytonTheCruton | 28 March 2019 at 6:59 am | Reply

    I’d like to see the ingredients list for the cocktails. I’m quite a fan of a bit of red snapper cooked well but not so much a fan of fish based cocktails lol. Also surprised they aren’t including the BA175 onboard. I’m presuming ( hoping) that the bean counters haven’t become involved and these aren’t delivered onboard as premixes. I’m quite particular on my bloody mary’s & yet to find a premixed version that ever approaches doing one justice
    (( side question: I have my 1st First this August. Do they have celery salt in F?))

    Food seems an interesting change up but I wouldn’t call it a step change really. Also surprised to see they automatically exclude a side dish to certain pax by placing nuts in with the broccoli. That said the devil will be in the detail and how it tastes when it turns up.

  4. Hmm… so the most important question. What rum are they using for their Cuba Libre? 😀

  5. All looks good! Have BA sent you the wine list yet?

    • No I haven’t seen the wine list yet but hoping it’s an improvement from the recent Villa Maria!

    • My thoughts exactly. I’m on the HKG service next Thursday so I’LL hope to give you some good news..

  6. Just wish they would allow pre-ordering in F on eastbound TATL flights.

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