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Catering Issue Prompts British Airways to Serve KFC Onboard

Catering Issue Prompts British Airways to Serve KFC Onboard

BY ADAM SCHUPAK 07/26/2023 AGO 9 COMMENTS

On a recent long-haul flight, class divisions disappeared as flight attendants onboard a British Airways flight were forced to serve food from the fast-food chain "Kentucky Fried Chicken" (KFC) due to an apparent catering issue that occurred immediately before the flight. 

 

British Airways has an extensive network of flights linking the United Kingdom and its overseas Caribbean territories | Photo: Richard Rafalski

 

British Airways Flight 252 

 

On Sunday July 23, a British Airways Boeing 777-200ER (G-VIIN) was preparing to perform its scheduled return back to London-Heathrow from Providenciales (PLS) when the pilots and crew of the flight received bad news.

 

Prior to the flight, the catering carts containing passengers' meals (in all classes) and drinks were not properly chilled. This meant that should the catering carts have been loaded on board the BA flight, all passengers eating food originating from the carts would be at risk of food poisoning due to ingredients possibly spoiling. 

 



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Upon being notified of this issue, the flight was almost ready to depart back to London (LHR) via a short stop-over in Nassau (NAS). This forced the cabin crew of the flight to devise a creative solution before the flight took off. Through British Airways, the cabin crew ordered dozens of buckets of fried chicken from a KFC franchise restaurant on the island of Nassau, so that when flight 252 landed in the Bahamas, there would at least be some food served on board. 

 

While passengers were aware of the catering issue from the beginning of the flight at Providenciales, they were uncertain of whether or not they would be given any food or refreshments during the eight-hour flight back to London. 

 



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Flight Attendants Serving KFC and Passengers' Reaction 

 

Shortly after takeoff, the first and only meal service — if one can even call it that — began. The flight attendants in both the business and economy class cabins came around handing out one piece of KFC chicken to each passenger. To add insult to injury, many passengers who were onboard the flight have alleged that British Airways did not provide any refreshments onboard the flight either. 

 

A picture taken from on-board the flights showing BA flight attendants serving the improvised "meal" service | Photo: @OneMileataTime via Twitter 



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A "lucky" BA business class passenger photographed onboard the flight with two pieces of chicken instead of one | Photo: @aktivandrew via Twitter 


The reactions of passengers on-board the flight during and after the ordeal have mostly been negative towards British Airways.

 

 "BA are right up there with a budget airlines begging with the letter R that I refuse to fly with due to atrocious customer services!!!" states Twitter user wheres_wally27 who was apparently on the flight. 

 

"Laughable...People with medical conditions left without any food or proper refreshments," KeepinUpW'Soghmanian tweeted in regard to the incident. 

 



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According to British Airways, once flight 252 had landed in London (LHR), passengers were supposedly offered compensation in the form of waivers, but according to many passengers who were on board the flight, no such compensation or waivers were received. 

 

Photo: AeroXplorer | Brandon McLeish

 

On-Time Departure vs. Delaying the Flight

 

While not having proper catering on board a long-haul transatlantic flight is a major inconvenience, it was not worth the extra time and money for both passengers connecting onwards in London (LHR) and British Airways to delay the flight.

 



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While situations such as this one are a rare occurrence in the commercial aviation industry, they are a rather small issue due to it not having any real effect on the operation of a flight besides boosting passenger comfort. However, for eight hours, little-to-no food is definitely rough.

Adam Schupak
Hey there! I'm Adam, a passionate avgeek absolutely obsessed with everything that flies. I'm a student glider pilot, but have the ultimate ambition of become a commercial airline pilot. Besides aviation, I'm also passionate about urban design, civil engineering, and trains.

Comments (9)

Paul Certainly not the most memorable inflight service. I would have been fine. I’m not sure my wife would have eaten any as KFC is definitely not among her favourite foods. However, kudos for BA and crew finding something to offer, and still operating the flight as scheduled. How much more might they have be impacted with missed connections and missed appointments.
207d ago • Reply
Merk D'accordo con Paolo e Giacomo, anche se poi non mi sembra una situazione da suscitare una notizia giornalistica. Complimenti all'equipaggio BA
208d ago • Reply
Merk D'accordo con Paolo e Giacomo, anche se poi non mi sembra una situazione da suscitare una notizia giornalistica. Complimenti all'equipaggio BA
208d ago • Reply
Merk D'accordo con Paolo e Giacomo, anche se poi non mi sembra una situazione da suscitare una notizia giornalistica. Complimenti all'equipaggio BA
208d ago • Reply
Lee Robida At least the BA crew came up with something to eat, rather than nothing or to have canceled the entire flight. Its happen to us on a KLM flight, Chicago USA to Amsterdam, overnight flight. The vendor for the catering carts, failed to deliver them to the aircraft on time. The crew only had some very delicious chocolate muffins. So they served them with fresh hot coffee as we were served our morning meal. This is one time we all got to have our cake and eat it to. Before we complain, lets look at the world around us, and the millions of folks, going without anything to eat. Kudos to the entire crew of BA Speed Bird flight 252.
209d ago • Reply
Vaclav Koranda "...And the world has ended." From my perspective, 5* to the BA staff for being resourceful and preventing their passengers from eating rotten stuff. KFC is actually not that bad and "people with medical condition" (I have never heard of allergy to chicken meat but I don't exclude the rare opportunity that it may exist) got a fabulous chance to experience intermittent fasting which has multiple health benefits. Kudos to BA!
209d ago • Reply
Ed K I too applaud BA for quick thinking and what they did was better than nothing. As for "people with medical conditions", please do consider that even seemingly simple foods can pose a challenge for some. For example, heart failure patients need to hew to a low sodium diet or risk rapid fluid buildup, possibly requiring hospitalization. I'm sure that most KFC fare is not low sodium. That said, on the whole I would have done what KFC did as well--far be it from me to nitpick an innovative solution.
Paul Moulange I agree with the comments above - kudos to BA for trying to reduce the pain. I understand BA252 is a night flight departing Providenciales at 6:35pm and arriving in London at 11:15am, 11 hours & 40 minutes with the Nassau (Bahamas) stopover of 1 hour & 45 minutes. For many, much of the flight will be sleeping!
209d ago • Reply
James Its not the chicken meat that would be the issue, but the breadcrumb/batter coating which may contain gluten, lactose and possibly other known allergens. Without knowing the ingredients someone with a condition may feel it would be safer to avoid. Nevertheless this was a one off situation which the aircraft personnel appeared to have handled as best they could under the circumstances.
208d ago • Reply

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