January 8 2021  |  Catering

Video Clip: British Airways taps Tom Kerridge for short haul meals

By Rick Lundstrom

British Airways today announced that it will be partnering Michelin-starred chef Tom Kerridge, who has designed a number of gourmet food items, which include signature pies and sandwiches, to pre-purchase for the airline’s Euro Traveller (short haul economy) customers.

“The move marks a renewed focus on the short haul customer experience, which also includes the completion of a full Wi-Fi rollout across its airbus short haul fleet and the ability to pre-order duty free items directly to customers’ seats through its inflight retail site, Highlifeshop.com,” said a release from British Airways.

The airline will continue to offer complimentary refreshments in Euro Traveller on all fights comprising a bottle of water and a snack, such as a breakfast bar or crisps. Those wishing to purchase more substantial food options, designed by Tom Kerridge, as well as other food and drink items can do so through the airline’s the new online Speedbird Café hosted on British Airways’ inflight retail site www.highlifeshop.com.

Speedbird Café will launch as a pre-order, which will allow passengers to customize their journey by purchasing food, drink and inflight retail items up to 12 hours before departure. It also helps the airline in its efforts to reduce onboard waste as part of its commitment to net zero emissions by 2050.

One of the Kerridge-designed sandwiches for sale on British Airways short haul

The dishes designed by Tom Kerridge have been created with a special focus on British provenance. These include:

  • Warm Steak and Ale Pie
  • The Ham Hock and Smoked Cheddar Sandwich
  • The Spiced Cauliflower Tortilla Wrap (Vegan)
  • The Chicken, Bacon and Celery Brioche
  • The Brie Ploughman’s Sandwich (Vegetarian)

“Over the last few months we know that our customers have valued the complimentary refreshments offered, so they’re here to stay,” said Carolina Martinoli, British Airways’ Director of Brand and Customer Experience. “But in addition, we also wanted to offer more choice and the ability to buy something more substantial. After a successful partnership with M&S, we have teamed up with another British favorite, chef Tom Kerridge.”

Tom Kerridge added: “I am truly happy to be working with British Airways again, and to have the opportunity to champion the best of British to so many people. A sandwich, made with care and great flavors, can be a perfect meal and I hope the passengers enjoy my short haul menu.”

Travelers who wish to purchase in-flight retail such as perfume, sunglasses or make-up can now also do so in advance of their journey through the airline’s online HighLife shop. The service is designed to be more convenient for customers to ensure they receive their chosen item at their seat on the journey and will also help the airline reduce onboard weight.

The airline will also be introducing another BrewDog IPA, exclusively available for British Airways’ customers. The Scottish craft brewery has developed another exciting blend for the airline called JetSteam, following on from the popular limited edition Speedbird 100.

Elsewhere, the airline will also be moving to the next phase of its on-board catering experience in Club Europe and on all long haul flights from 20 January 2021, following the temporary introduction of minimum-contact meal boxes to keep customers safe during the Covid-19 pandemic. The airline’s culinary teams have been working with Do & Co to develop menus in its Club Europe and all other long haul cabins, as well as adapting the meal service to reintroduce china and glassware.

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