British Airways Vegan Meal Review - Oct/Nov 2019
Updated: Nov 20, 2020
This is my first blog post in around three months - it feels good to be back!
Back in July, I travelled with British Airways to and from Seattle, and shared a review of their vegan onboard meals. Vegan diets and lifestyles are becoming ever more popular around the world, but I haven’t seen a lot of coverage of what you may be served on a long haul flight if you opt for a vegan meal. I know I would be interested to hear about other vegans’ in-flight experiences with different airlines, so I decided to give an honest rundown of the food I was served on that trip!
At the end of October, I took myself to Singapore for a week’s respite, and flew with British Airways once again. Unless I was served exactly the same food as before (which I wasn’t!), I decided I would put together a second review of BA’s vegan provisions.
Last time I gave BA a score of 6.75/10 for their vegan meals. Let’s see how the food on their Singapore route fared in comparison!
(This article reviews the meals I was given during the flights I took with BA in October and November of 2019, and should act as a guide or a suggestion of what you might be served. I do not know if the exact meals vary based on month/time of day etc, so I can’t guarantee this is what you would be given on your own flight with BA!)
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Meal 1: Dinner, Singapore-bound
Leaving Heathrow at around 6pm, we were served dinner shortly after take off.
As I mentioned in my previous article, I want to stress that all special meals - vegan or otherwise - need to be requested at least 24 hours before your flight. This can be done when booking your flight, or via BA’s app until the cutoff time. If you have a connecting flight, you will need to make separate requests for all legs of your journey (and with each specific airline if you are travelling with more than one). I have made this mistake before, ending up with nothing to eat on a twelve hour flight!
Anyway, back to the first meal of the trip. This was the spread I received for dinner; alongside the standard bread roll and cherry tomatoes were a bean salad, Thai curry, and chocolate mousse slice for dessert.
It is rather difficult to mess up three cherry tomatoes, and I anticipated the bread roll would be as unexciting as those I had previously eaten. While I do appreciate that BA provide a vegan spread, I cannot stress how tasteless it is!
We didn’t come here for the bread and tomatoes, though. The chickpea and bean salad wasn’t mind-blowing, but tasty enough as a side (gotta get that fibre in, too).
The chocolate mousse slice seems to be something of a BA staple, too, but I enjoyed it before and I enjoyed it again. I have learned to be somewhat sceptical of vegan desserts, but I can’t really complain about this one. It had a solid base made with coconut, and a chocolate mousse on top. “Dense and decadent” would accurately describe it and, despite its size, it was very filling!
The main attraction, of course, was the Thai curry. Honestly, not only was it one of the nicest in-flight meals I have ever had, it was one of the nicest Thai curries I have eaten at any altitude! It might not look incredibly exciting, but I really enjoyed it. Thai is a really easy cuisine to make vegan, and BA have nailed it so far.
Meal 1 rating: 9/10 (10/10 for the main itself)
Meal 2: Breakfast, Singapore-bound
Although we were arriving in Singapore at around 4pm, it was breakfast time in the UK. While I honestly think breakfast is the easiest meal to make vegan, it also seems to be the one that is most frequently messed up.
I was pretty happy to receive a vegan cooked breakfast at the end of a thirteen-hour flight, with zero complaints about hash browns, beans, mushrooms and tomatoes! I was even more appreciative of the cooked breakfast as I didn’t eat the fruit (I’m allergic to pineapple!), the Nakd bar, or the orange juice (these two I just don’t like - I can’t penalise BA for that).
Meal 2 rating: 8/10
Meal 3: Dinner, London-bound
Although we didn’t leave Singapore until midnight, we were given dinner shortly after take off. There were lots of new things in tonight’s meal (I get weirdly excited by plane food)!
While the same bog-standard bread roll appeared before me, this was the first time we had been given a different spread, and it was slightly less bland than the one I expected! Sometimes the little things in life really please you!
Tonight’s side salad was...strange. That’s the best way I can describe it. It included onion, mushroom, sweet potato (one chunk of sweet potato, at least), pomegranate, and lettuce. I can only assume BA were running out of ideas and decided to throw together whatever they could find! It wasn’t horrendous, but it was certainly...different.
Our dessert was also on the odd side - I *think* it was an apricot and peach jelly. The jelly itself was mostly tasteless, but there was fruit on the inside. In the notes I made I wrote “a bit weird, but alright”, which is still the best way I can describe it. As a light dessert it made a change from the “dense and decadent” mousse!
(I realise veganism is a choice, but I would be lying if I told you I wasn’t eyeing up the cheesecake everybody else was being given! It looked delicious!)
The main meal reminded me of a lot of quickly-thrown together dinners I have made myself in the past. I know a lot of people dislike plane meals because they’re particularly squishy and overcooked, like this one was. I grew up with a mum who overcooked EVERYTHING, and didn’t know the meaning of “al dente” until well into adulthood, so I don’t have a problem with it! Anyway, tonight we had pasta with peppers, peas, chickpeas, and beans - all the good vegan staples and actually very nice!
Meal 3 rating: 7/10 (7/10 for the main meal, too)
Meal 4: Breakfast, London-bound
Did I really receive two cooked breakfasts in as many flights? I believe I did!
Once again, breakfast was accompanied with orange juice (which I don’t like), a bread roll (with the less-bland spread!), and fruit. This time, I could eat two-thirds of the fruit, although one chunk of mango and one chunk of watermelon doesn’t go particularly far.
Today’s cooked breakfast included a vegan scramble (a tofu-scramble, perhaps?) with some peppers and veggies, hash browns, a big ol’ chunk of spinach (zero complaints), and a tomato. I actually really took to this scramble thing, and landed at 5am feeling very well fed! I definitely prefer BA’s vegan cooked breakfast to their vegan continental breakfasts, which can be very hit or miss!
Meal 4 rating: 7/10
Based on my overall meal ratings, the meals I was served flying to Singapore and back receive an average score of 7.75/10 - a full point higher than my Seattle meals! I definitely preferred these meals to those I had in July.
As I mentioned in the conclusion of my first BA review, I have always held BA in high regard for all aspects of their service. When travelling, British Airways is an airline I will go out of my way to fly with, especially for long-haul journeys. I’ve now flown on two of their A380s as well (I took my time)!
A lot of established restaurants still struggle with vegan meals, let alone airlines who have so many additional restrictions to contend with. As a realistic vegan, I’m honestly just pleased when a vegan option exists, and carry snacks with me 99% of the time to be on the safe side. Being provided with meals as nice as some of BA’s is an added bonus to a flight.
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 well have been my fault)! BA takes a solid second place among the three in question. I am still gutted I didn’t make notes of what Air New Zealand fed me back in 2018, because their food was incredible. I have particularly fond memories of a banana and blueberry muffin from my Auckland-Singapore flight!
Thanks for checking out my latest vegan traveller review! I already have a few more vegan-related articles in mind, as I have a few awesome places I want to share with you!
As before, this post is not endorsed or sponsored by British Airways, I just wanted to share my experience with the airline! (If any airlines do want to hit me up for a collab, though, I’m all ears!)