BA recently revamped their Club World meals and are now offering a service with an almost normal pre-Covid meal rather than the one-tray meals they have had for the last couple of years. In this article, two readers share their recent experience with the new meals.
Here is reader Chris’s experience with the new Club World menus
Gatwick to Antigua New Club World food flight menus
After almost getting used to the one tray Club World meal service, I was quite looking forward to see what normal “used” to look like, pre Covid, and my flight to Antigua on the 4th November was my first chance to see it.
Way Out – Gatwick to Antigua, BA 2157, 09:30
We boarded at about 08:45, giving us ample time to get settled. The cabin on this 777 features the old style Club World seats, of which I had 2A, and whilst this review isn’t about the seating, I will just take the opportunity to say the new Club Suite is just light years ahead. Storage. Comfort. Privacy. The list goes on! Anyway, back to the food.
Pre-departure, I was given a rather damp smelling hot towel, and a glass of the Rose Champagne, which was also refilled without even asking, which seemed a nice touch. My after take-off drinks order was taken, and I ordered the Gin Fizz, and menus were handed out.
Below, are the New Club World food flight menus for the outbound flight:
I chose the Pumpkin Soup as a starter, the braised feather blade of beef, and the tiramisu for desert. Food began to be served at about 11:30, with my starter being delivered. This was then followed by my main course, around 30 minutes later, with the desert being “on demand” – I just asked for it as they took my main course away.
The New Club World food flight Afternoon tea began to be served about 90 minutes before landing. In between meal times, the club kitchen was stocked with crisps, crackers, nuts & chocolate bars. It would be nice to maybe see some other items in there at some stage, but I know that’s a debate that rages on.
The Pumpkin soup was very tasty, and as an added bonus, it was actually hot. It did, of course, lose a few degrees in temperature when I put the standard issue refrigerated BA cutlery into it, but regardless it was very nice. This was served with a bread roll, and a rainbow salad, which I later realised was to accompany my main course.
Next, was the main course – the feather blade of beef, with seasonal vegetables & polenta. The vegetables were just about right (al dente!), with the beef being as good as beef at 40,000ft could be – it wasn’t tough, it wasn’t dry, it was just OK. The polenta tasted better than it looked, but that doesn’t mean it was wonderful – it was strangely rubbery, and I must admit, I left some of it. I think BA could do better here – replace the Polenta with some new potatoes or something similar. The tray looks strangely empty, doesn’t it – if this was the one tray meal, it’d still be pretty full!
Desert was the tiramisu, with fresh fruit, and, of course, a further champagne. This felt quite a small dish to be honest; you wouldn’t have noticed this on the previous one-tray affair, but here, it really stood out as feeling a bit cheap. Nonetheless, it was actually pretty tasty, and the crew member serving me brought me another one over, without asking. I wonder if she saw my face when it was put down?!
Now talking of cheap, we move onto the traditional afternoon tea – traditional in the sense that BA still provide two tiny little finger sandwiches, and a little freezer cake. I didn’t eat the sandwiches as sadly, they weren’t to my liking. I did have the victoria sponge, which almost felt like it wasn’t quite defrosted yet. This picture was taken pre-turbulance, where my coffee was ejected from the mug!
Way Back – Antigua to Gatwick – BA2156, 21:00 New Club World food flight
Just after boarding at 20:30, pre-departure champagne was provided, along with a hot towel. This felt pretty rushed to be honest, as no sooner had drinks been provided, that the announcement that boarding was complete was made, and the crew were round whisking glasses away. As with the outward trip menus were also provided, and a post take off drink order was taken.
New Club World food flight Menus for the return:
I again chose the Soup as a starter, then went for the braised beef in guiness, and the caramel cheesecake. This began to be served at about 22:00 – much quicker than the way out, as the priority was to get us fed, then turn the lights off for the overnight flight. Absolutely fine by me, as I didn’t have much in the lounge in Antigua as it was too busy to get a seat.
The soup on the return flight was exceptional – really, really tasty. It was served with two bread rolls, and a small salad and dressing.
Next, the main course. This was perhaps one of the most revolting things I have ever eaten both on the ground and on an aircraft. The mashed potato was OK, the vegetables were OK (even the grey cauliflower). But the beef. It was swimming in an oil sauce (NOT Guinness) It was either so chewy you couldn’t do much with it, or so hard, you couldn’t get your fork into it.
I handed it back to the crew member, and I told her about it – she said I wasn’t the first one this evening to send it back, and a quick glance around the cabin, so the same thing happening. I was offered a choice of other courses, but it was getting on, so I politely declined. I was also encouraged, as were others, to feedback about this particular dish to BA. I will do this after writing this review. What could have been a lovely dish was sadly the absolute opposite. Best avoided this one!
The salted caramel cheesecake came next, and I don’t know why, but I had imagined it being some sort of large slice, like you’d get in NYC. Maybe that’s because I was disappointed with the main course! Sadly it was just a small square, but a small, tasty square nonetheless! I was brought a 2nd one over too. Again, without asking.
After a fairly decent few hours sleep, I woke just in time for breakfast, I chose the “everything” bagel with a coffee. A rather small-looking bagel on a large plate. It was, nonetheless, tasty, and the crew were walking around the cabin taking 2nd orders from people.
I think they knew it may be a little small for some. There is something that BA could do better here for breakfast offering. I appreciate they don’t have Do & Co in their outstations (or perhaps the smaller outstations), but this is one area that it feels minimal effort goes into.
- I didn’t see the crew struggling with the new service style (or rather back to old ways) despite recent comments on other blogs
- The crew on both legs were absolutely fantastic – better than my recent JFK flights. It felt like they wanted to be at work, they wanted to talk to customers – to which they did, and it just all felt really nice. I’m going to send a thank you message, through ba.com later on, to thank one crew member in particular for the outbound flight – I hope the message reaches her!
The next review is from reader Stephanie.
London to Barbados new Club World menu
My husband and I flew to Barbados today in Club World, and I thought I would share our feedback on the new food offering from BA.
Whilst the service was excellent, I have to say the food was awful. Judging by the previous articles I have read, I think there must be one menu with very little on in the way of regional specialities.
I’m not sure what chef would design such an imbalanced menu – e.g. a cold beef salad ( with carrots) for a starter and then a beef main course ( again with carrots). Indeed there were 3 salad starters and a soup. In relation to the soup, there were no croutons as advertised because no one had loaded these onto the plane.
Anyway, the starters were passable but my husband’s cod main course was a different matter. It was inedible- please see the attached photo. The cod was overcooked and grey ( I think my husband was hungry and ate it before he decided to take a photo of the rest of the meal). I think the photo says it all. Truly, truly dreadful.
Thankfully, I just had cheese and biscuits for a main course.
The desserts were also dreadful – apple crumble with apple compote. Why put apple compote with an apple crumble? What about some cream? The chocolate pudding consisted of a small pudding with a smear of chocolate sauce on the plate.
Luckily, BA gave me a 15,000 Avios service recovery already!
Like our New Club World food flight reviews? You can read other interesting food reviews here such as the Mini Reviews – Virgin Atlantic New Food And Drink + Electroflytes Review and British Airways New Club World Service Food & Bedding Review In 360°.
Well it sounds as though in the main, CW catering is nothing to look forward to!
What a pity, take so long to restore the service and then disappoint with it.
I think a lot depends on what you choose. Some people have said that the dishes they chose were good. Hopefully publishing this reviews gives people a steer what to have!
Not sure how something could be described as inedible….but in the next sentence say it had been eaten?
The food looks, almost, inedible. It looks as if we’ll be taking M&S sandwiches to eat with the soup and settle for the cheese board on our First Class flight to Atlanta in April!
Worth remembering that these dishes are Club World rather than First. On the six or so sectors I’ve done in F this year M&S sandwiches would have been a serious step down on the main course but everyone’s taste is different of course.
Agree Gatwick crews in the smaller Club cabin are excellent. We had outstanding crews both ways to Cancun in September. A total joy and two Gold tickets issued – my first ever in a decade.
Now rather apprehensive about Punta Cana in January after reading these reviews…
Is it just me or do the starter choices look better than the main course options on the menus Chris pictured above? It feels a real mis-step of BA to have issued a press release with a sample menu listing a soup or 3 salad choices as starter options in their press release when they reverted back to full service because these menus seem a significant improvement on that! The half bagel on the other hand is totally unacceptable- I would like to think this had been mis-plated…
Just came back from LAX last week and had a really excellent meal in Club. Streets ahead of what we got going out when it was still one tray. Obviously depends on who does the outstation catering but couldn’t really fault this meal apart from the strange main course options of Jalapino Chicken or Cod Masala or a truffle pasta dish (ie two spicy and one pungent with no red meat option?) Having said that the Prawn Salad starter was outstanding with tasty prawns and a lovely sauce and two pieces of really fresh crispy lettuce rather than the soggy mess one would normally expect. The Chicken was really tasty and not too spicy with vegetables that were actually green rather than the usual grey and the apricot bread and butter pudding with custard was also excellent and a decent portion. The breakfast the following morning was perhaps the best full English I’ve ever had on a plane (including in F!) A lovely plate of fresh fruit served with a warm croissant and a delicious coconut chia pudding and a glass of almost fresh OJ served in a cut glass tumbler! Excellent coffee. Followed with Hot scrambled eggs and 2 nice slices of nicely cooked grilled back bacon and a sausage and rosti potato, mushrooms and a ginormous half tomato. Truly excellent. Great crew which always helps. Decent wines and plenty of top ups if required. …and hot towels back! Truly excellent experience though from other comments it clearly depends a bit on the route chosen but must give BA credit where credit is due. Plus of course Club Suites which are light years ahead of the old Ying Yang set up. Really makes me not bothered if I can no longer find F rewards seats. This is a pretty decent alternative. Have photos to prove if I knew how to add them!
Thanks for sharing your experience. A lot depends on the menu I think.
I had exactly the same the night before last on the LAX to LHR A380! However, only 2 prawns for the starter, but the cod masala was delicious. The service was adequate – clearly mixed fleet 100% through and through.
Interesting: narrow seat and poor food. It just confirms my desire to avoid CW for the time being.
That’s only the old seats. The new seats are excellent. Over half the fleet have them now and JFK is all new seats.
Please correct me if the experience I had was an anomaly but in 2021 to Cancun I got the reduced CW meal service as there was no choice of starter and dessert and it was on one tray. However, I did get a full second (starter, main and dessert) rather than afternoon tea which I perceive to be better in some ways.
Maybe the full services is taking up more space preventing the full second meal?
It depends on the route. Short east coast routes get less food on the second service.
Cancun got a second full meal service in Sep 22 n both directions.
I took it that he’d already eaten half the bagel? I hope that’s what happened as half a bagel is a pure sh*t show on BA’s behalf.
I fly to JFK this weekend with them, so at least know which choices to avoid!
From my experiences I would avoid beef dishes as they are consistently dry and tough in texture and tasteless on flights. The only exception has been on Qatar flights.
I always avoid beef on planes unless it’s slow cooked or minced.
Do DO&CO provide LGW catering or is at only at LHR? Maybe therein lies the problem.
Only at Heathrow.
BA crews again get great reviews which has always been my experience over donkeys years but that food- wow- it looks like most of it should have been binned rather than served.
I have tended to avoid red meat when flying long haul as it can sit heavily in the stomach and is harder to digest. I prefer to have fish or the veggie pasta option.
However, in the unlikely event I were to fly BA long haul, I don’t know what I would eat for main course. I don’t much care for eating grey cod (how does it get grey, NHS hospital chefs perhaps?) nor a cheesy pasta, when a good tomato sauce is so much better.
Are BA trying to reassure their American customers by serving up old style British food, and live down to our old fashioned international culinary reputation?
Personally I think that doing British classics is a way to do things cheaply but make out they are celebrating being British!
Yes Michelle, but only if they are executed well. Otherwise the opposite applies!
Just seeing pictures of the old club world seat makes you cringe. To think despite Covid BA are still getting away with that on half its fleet for the money its currently trying to charge is disgusting.
Hardly any storage & 2-4-2 or 2-3-2 across
Yes, I wonder how many club world passengers walk on board thinking they are going to get the new suites, and are disappointed by the ying yang. Just because av geeks like us make a point of finding out beforehand, doesn’t mean others are less informed and feel duped.
Yes Michelle, but only if they are executed well. Otherwise the opposite applies!
There is no question that the new Club Suite is fabulous. It’s far and away the best business class seat we’ve ever flown. We’re flying to Oz in ANA’s room in December and it will be interesting to compare them.
But. And it’s a huge but. Pretty much everything else on BA is dire. Utterly awful. The food is terrible, the crew are variable and the lounges are woeful. Personally we can’t wait to use up all our miles, throw our gold cards away and enjoy flying on decent airlines. It’s desperately sad…
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