Just days after British Airways finally restored its long-haul Business Class catering to pre-pandemic service levels, the airline has found itself dealing with the fallout of what it has described as “unforeseen operational issues” that are affecting its upscale inflight catering provider DO&CO.
The unspecified operational meltdown has become so bad that on Monday, a spokesperson for the airline admitted that some short-haul flights across Europe had departed its London Heathrow hub without any inflight catering onboard.
But there are reports that the problems have been brewing for several days with reports from British Airways customers quickly surfacing on the popular aviation forum Flyer Talk shortly after the airline relaunched its full Club World service.
Passengers first started to receive text messages from British Airways on Friday warning them that their flight wouldn’t have any food loaded, and insiders say the problems have persisted throughout the weekend.
Other passengers, however, said that other flights had been catered as normal, while others said there had been delays catering long-haul flights with the restored pre-pandemic service.
Over the last two years, British Airways had offered a pared-back service in long-haul Business Class whereby every course was served on one-tray. After a pretty considerable delay, the airline is now offering a three-course meal with every course served separately.
It’s understood that the new Club World service has gone down well with customers but ongoing problems at Austrian catering specialists DO&CO couldn’t have come at a worse time.
A British Airways spokesperson said of the issues: “Due to unforeseen operational issues with our catering supplier, some of our short-haul flights have had limited catering this morning.”
“Our teams have been working hard with our supplier, DO&CO, to resolve the matter as quickly as possible.”
The good news is that affected passengers are being notified in advance and food vouchers are being offered so that customers can prepare themselves in advance of any flight impacted by the disruption.
Back in July, British Airways was forced to send some short-haul flights out without catering because of security staff shortages at Heathrow Airport meant there were long delays in the catering trucks getting clearance to drive into the secure ‘airside’ part of the airport.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.