British Airways is set to make a “meaningful return to service” in July, however, the inflight experience could be very different for passengers. Along with laying off staff and slashing wages of those who remain, the airline is also cutting out certain parts of service for passengers too.
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Major changes to inflight reading materials and meal service have been listed by the airline as necessary to enhance hygiene onboard aircraft.
Passengers travelling with the British flag bearer will no longer be offered the traditional meal service in order to reduce “interaction with cabin crew”.
What’s more, passengers with dietary requirements or allergies will not be catered for at all and are being told to bring their own food and snacks onboard.
In an email to its customers, British Airways explained: “For now, we’ve changed our inflight food options and service, to reduce physical contact with our crew.
“If you have any special dietary requirements or allergies, unfortunately, these will not be provided for, so it may be a good idea to bring anything you need ahead of your flight.”
Typically the airline will provide complimentary drinks, snacks and a four-course meal, followed by a light snack before landing, for customers in its World Traveller (economy) cabins.
Customers in First Class and Club World (business class) can usually expect an elevated dining experience.
However, for the time being, the airline has been forced to amend these services, replacing them with “light refreshments”.
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The British Airways website explains: “Working closely with our caterers, we have made some changes to what’s available onboard. Our new food service requires less interaction with our cabin crew, greatly reducing physical contact.”
It continues: “If you’re travelling on a short-haul flight, We’ll be offering complimentary light refreshments and water and hot drinks will be available on request. If you’re travelling on a long-haul flight we’ll be offering a selection of light refreshments as well as hot and soft drinks.”
Similarly, those flying on short-haul will be offered a “complimentary meal”.
However, any passengers who have allergies and other dietary requirements will be excluded from the complimentary offering.
British Airways states: “We’re currently unable to offer special meals.
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“You’ll be offered a new food service which will reduce physical contact with our crew, you’ll be able to choose between a vegetarian or non-vegetarian option. If you have special dietary requirements or allergies, please bring your own food and snacks.
“Visit the local airport authority’s website to see what locations are open once you pass through security.”
Other changes to service include the removal of magazines and brochures from seat pockets.
Movies and digital entertainment will still be available though.
“Movies are available on long-haul flights as usual but we are removing our magazines and newspapers for now,” the airline informed customers in an email.
Express.co.uk has contacted British Airways for further comment on its new amended inflight service.
Passengers are also being requested to stay in their seats as much as possible “to minimise movement around the cabin” and should only go to the toilet when the toilet sign is green to avoid queuing.
Other changes onboard include a heightened cleaning service between flights, as well as a mandatory rule that all passengers must provide and wear face masks, changing them every four hours.
“You’ll see changes at every step of the journey when you fly with us, with new protective measures on the ground and in the air,” says the British Airways website.
“Your safety remains at the heart of everything we do.”
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