I do enjoy British Airways first class quite a bit. I think that the hard product is nice, and the service is almost always great (alright, I must admit that there was one flight where I wasn’t too impressed, but that was one flight out of all my BA experiences). But there was one thing that I didn’t like: afternoon tea.
Afternoon tea is one of the most British things out there, and, as the flag carrier of the UK, BA prides itself on its Britishness. But one aspect in which this commitment to all things British is totally unnecessary is the afternoon tea.
For a long time, on all longhaul flights from the UK to the US, BA served afternoon tea instead of the pre-arrival meal common on most airlines. While some people like it, I am not one of those people.
I find it pretty weird that I can’t just have a good meal on a long flight, even in first class. Heck, Lufthansa will do that for you in business class! While the afternoon teas were sophisticated, and the food involved was good, there just was too little of it. You might get a few different kinds of confectionery, some finger sandwiches, and tea. However, while I am not disputing that the food tasted good, I found it kind of weird that, in international first class, you couldn’t get a real meal before landing. You just got some macaroons, watercress sandwiches, and a cup of tea.
The fact is that, if you are on European time, you will be wanting dinner a couple of hours before you land in the US. Say you depart from London at noon, and arrive in LAX at 11 at night Europe time. At about 7 London time, you might be interested in having dinner, no? Well, you can’t… but BA will give you some finger sandwiches!
Recently, BA decided that they would stop offering afternoon tea on their longer flights, from London to San Diego/LA/San Francisco/Seattle, which was a good idea on their part. Instead, they will serve a full meal before landing. I admire their decision, and it seems like BA has finally realized that people need to have dinner and not a snack before going to sleep. While it may seem minor, I still think that the new option is better, given that you can now eat for real on a longhaul flight. Well done, BA. Just my thoughts.