Back to back flights at afternoon tea and dinner time let me experience the bland and the beautiful of British Airways Club Europe food. One is my favourite meal when flying British Airways and the other is one I actively avoid.

Band 1 at British Airways refers to the catering on the shortest short haul European routes. There are four different groups of European catering bands based on flight duration, with the longest flights in Band 4 (London to Athens for example) having the most elaborate meals.

Bland Band 1 Dinner

Flying at dinner time in business class one would expect an airline to showcase its best meals. In Club Europe on a Band 1 flight, this is not the case. Please let me introduce the bland chilled chicken salad.

Chicken that is chilled generally tastes dry. Dry chicken is not particularly nice. I would have thought this is a pretty simple thing to grasp but apparently not.


Lots of tired lettuce bulks out the dish and presumably the three tomatoes are there solely for colour. The Parmesan cheese does not really add any flavour and the only small mercy is the fact the dressing is nice.

It is good that the little tiny dessert is tasty because the main dish is a shocker. Band 1 routes include cosmopolitan destinations such as Paris and Amsterdam and I am sure the natives of those cities just rave about this dish. Not.

Beautiful Band 1 Afternoon Tea

Between 14:00 and 16:59 afternoon tea is served on European services. There are several elements and I’ll describe them in the order I eat them. A small cake labelled a Sweet Treat is found on the tray and is usually tasty.

Next are three finger sandwiches on two different kinds of bread. One is an egg, chive and mayonnaise, one is roast beef or other red meat and the last is currently cheese and relish.


Warm scones are offered by the cabin crew and I always take two. Since there is no bread plate and the tray is ridiculously small the scones have to sit tight in the mug until the sandwiches are eaten.

Warm scones with clotted cream and jam, utterly gorgeous! The whole meal has variety, tastes nice and is perfect for the time of day. Coupled with a little Champagne and it makes an afternoon flight very enjoyable.

Overall Thoughts

British Airways are investing in the business class product this year and I expect that will include Club Europe. Apart from hoping the meal trays are made larger so they can provide a bread plate, I hope the chilled chicken salad of bland will be consigned to the history books. I would weep if afternoon tea were removed or changed substantially.

What do you think of these British Airways meals? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below. Thanks for reading!

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