British Airways Vegan Meal Review - July 2019
Updated: Jun 30, 2020
I can't believe it's taken almost three months of running On Tour With Jen to post my first vegan-related article! I'm sure I have mentioned it in previous posts, but I have been vegan for almost two years now, and so I have to take this into consideration while travelling.
Yesterday I arrived back in London after two weeks in Seattle, having flown with British Airways both there and back. I'm always intrigued by the different meals provided by different airlines, with particular interest in the vegan options, of course! For the benefit of any other vegans considering travelling with BA, or for anyone at all interested, this is what I received on my last two flights! I don't get to travel long haul very often, so I always enjoy the novelty of plane food, regardless of how good (or bad) it is!
(Side note: These meals were what I was given during the two flights I took with BA this month, I do not know if the exact meals vary based on month/time of day/origin or destination of flights, so I can't guarantee this is what you would be given on your own flight with BA!)
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Meal 1: Lunch, Seattle-bound
My outbound flight from Heathrow to Seattle took off at 0925, so we were given an early lunch shortly after take off.
For any prospective flyers, I feel like I need to note that all special meals - vegan or otherwise - need to be requested AT LEAST 24 hours before the flight. This is easily done during the booking process with BA. If you have connecting flights, make sure to do this for all legs of your journey, especially if other airlines are involved - I have made this mistake and ended up with nothing to eat on a twelve hour flight!
Anyway, back to meal #1 - this was the spread I received that morning. Alongside a chestnut ragout were a side salad, cherry tomatoes, and a bread roll, with a chocolate mousse slice for dessert.
The salad items were both tasty - you can't really mess up cherry tomatoes, and the slightly-vinegary side salad was still to my liking. Bread rolls can only be so exciting, but this one was particularly unexciting, and I was somewhat disappointed that the spread I was given was completely tasteless (unfortunately the case with some vegan spreads!).
I'm not entirely sure what a ragout is, but it seemed like some sort of stew with chestnuts and vegetables, and was very nice. This came with some additional vegetables and a generous helping of rice. The best way I could describe this meal is "hearty", and felt a lot like a winter dish. Overall I really enjoyed it.
I am always a bit sceptical of vegan desserts, but this mousse was actually very nice. It had a solid, coconut base, and was really quite decadent. Despite being small, it was dense and I actually struggled to finish it!
Meal 1 rating: 6/10 (7/10 for the main itself)
Meal 2: Breakfast/lunch, Seattle-bound
We landed at around 1130 Seattle time, or 1930 UK time, so I'm not sure which meal we were given towards the end of our flight, either another early lunch or a light tea. Either way, the vegan option included a tomato, lettuce, and houmous sandwich on brown bread - very difficult to mess up, and tasted great!
Meal 2 rating: 8/10
I did want to mention that, on the outbound flight, the BA team came round offering Magnum ice creams around two-thirds of the way through the flight, which I was impressed by, even though there was no vegan alternative! While this isn't a vegan-specific point, I wanted to mention it, as I have always been impressed by BA's service.
Meal 3: Dinner, London-bound
My inbound flight back to London took off at 1920, so we were provided with dinner after take off.
It is difficult to mess up a side salad, so I don't really have any complaints regarding this aspect! There also a serving of balsamic vinegar dressing which you could add if you chose to (I chose not). The bread roll in this case was much nicer, with a saltier spread I enjoyed far more than the one given to me previously!
There was no label on the meal I received, so I'm not exactly sure what I was given, but it was very nice! I believe the middle part was a kind of mushroom and potato stew (another ragout maybe?), with veggies and Mexican-style rice. I genuinely devoured this within minutes, it was lovely!
It might not sound incredibly exciting, and I might not have the most experience with in-flight meals, but I thought the dessert I was given with dinner was original by plane food standards: a mixture of blackberries and blueberries, with a helping of plain yogurt, which was a perfect complement. Mixed together I honestly really enjoyed this.
Meal 3 rating: 8/10 (9/10 for the main itself)
Meal 4: Breakfast, London-bound
While everyone else seemed to receive croissants for breakfast, let's just say I was glad I had some cereal bars in my bag! I consider it a massive cop out to provide fruit for any vegan meal, especially when the serving is the equivalent of maybe four or five strawberries! A bit disappointing.
Breakfast did come with an acai berry and chia energy bar, which I did enjoy, to be fair. I still had a cereal bar once I was finished, however!
Meal 4 rating: 5/10
Based on my overall meal ratings, British Airways receives a solid 6.75/10 for the food I was given while flying to Seattle and back - not a bad score I would say.
I have always held BA in high regard for all aspects of their service, and I believe they are the airline with whom I have flown the most, at least for longer flights. Vegan meals are still something which a lot of restaurants struggle with, let alone airlines who have so many restrictions with what they can serve. As a realistic vegan, I'm honestly just pleased when a vegan option merely exists!
I wanted to mention that I have only flown long haul with three airlines since I have been vegan, and one of those airlines failed to receive my meal request (which may have been my fault)! BA takes a solid second place among those three.
I am genuinely gutted I didn't think to make better notes of what Air New Zealand fed me when I flew with them between Hong Kong and Auckland last year, because their meals were truly amazing - a solid 9-10/10 from what I can remember. I have a particularly fond memory of a banana and blueberry muffin given to me on the way home, which was delicious!
I hope this honest review of what I ate on board my Seattle- and London-bound flights has been beneficial (or at least interesting) for you! Like I said, I don't fly long haul very often, but I would love to do more reviews like this in the future! This post is not endorsed or sponsored by British Airways (but if any airlines want to hit me up with some discounted flights for an honest meal review, I'm more than game!).
Check out my vegan travel category for more articles like this!