British Airways Removing Pre-Landing Meals on Longhaul Flights

Not too long ago, I had praised British Airways for offering meals even on short intra-European flights. Many times, I've flown the London to Marseilles segment with British Airways. Not only was a minor meal offered to everyone, they even had a vegan option for all passengers.

That level of service seems to be on its way out now.



After flying these segments with British Airways, I made a point that US airlines could learn a thing or two from their European competition. Unfortunately while US airlines seem to at least be moving back in the right direction, British Airways has swung the other way, and in a really bad way.

British Airways has decided to do away with their second meal service on shorter trans-Atlantic routes like New York to London. While these flights are historically shorter, in the east direction, the west direction of flight can approach 8 hours in the air. It is a good idea to provide a meal prior to touchdown for an 8 hour flight. Instead British Airways will now offer their main meal after takeoff, and then a small "fun-sized" candy before touchdown. They really are going out of their way on the 10 cent piece of candy that is well known to be all sorts of healthy.

Then we come to what is obviously the real motivation here... snacks will be for sale on board for economy passengers who would like something more substantial. However, if you have ever purchased a meal in economy on a domestic flight, you'll quickly realize that this snack will be exactly that, chips or something that won't really fill you up, and will likely cost your first born to purchase. Exaggeration aside, this is a really bad move.

No word yet on what the routes will be that implement this change or if there is a time in the air where this won't apply. My prediction is that we'll see this start on the short flights and then begin to migrate to longer and longer flights. I really hope that a 13+ hour flights don't start to see this happen as well.

If you are flying business or first class, no need to fret, you'll still get the normal meal. Only passengers in "steerage class" will see these changes. 

Come on now British Airways, better customer service should be the name of the game, not worse. Let's see how this all plays out.