I’ve said time and time, but it bears repeating; airlines and breakfasts are two things that just don’t go well together. Airline breakfasts, to me, are such an unusually liberating experience; no matter how much money you shelled out for a ticket, no matter how many combinations and angles your seat can offer, you will be eating something slushy, stewed and/or with sufficient oil pooling in the bottom of the tray, that your first post-landing order of business will be to find a nearby convenience. As always, British Airways certainly didn’t disappoint.
Airline: British Airways BA33
Route: London – Kuala Lumpur (Approx. 13 hours)
Class: Business (‘Club World’ in BA parlance)
After a long, drink-fuelled slumber (see my previous post), I was awoken by the delicate clattering of crockery from the galley, a sudden increase in the brothel-like pink/purple mood lighting creeping up the cabin walls to imitate a sunrise I have never experienced the likes of, and of course that unforgettable waft of stale old food, or a toilet that has been left open to the world when it should not have been; all key signals to prepare the weary traveller for the impending arrival of breakfast. Even, of course, as in this case, it’s lunchtime.
Starting us off this morning was a croissant that could cause burns, a bowl of granola, and a smattering of fruit slices that looked like they had been carelessly scattered across the plate (but I fear were probably placed as delicately and artfully as the crew could manage). Along with that, I was treated to a serving of fresh orange juice and a cup of coffee.
Now, I haven’t called anything out at this stage because to be honest, the crew were very well-meaning and this represented the absolute high point of the meal from which it could only go south – and worry not, it quickly did so.
The main course – oh, the main course. Where should one start? I suppose we should begin with the good points – the crew didn’t have the temerity to inquire as to why I returned it, nearly entirely uneaten. On a slightly less-attractive note, just looking at and smelling the breakfast made me want to immediately use the on-board conveniences, and thus avoid the usual post-breakfast rush.
The ‘Full English’ consisted of a slice of turkey bacon, the familiar soggy 10,000-degrees grilled tomato, a hash brown that stubbornly had become one with the plate and could no longer be easily peeled off to be eaten, without separating and leaving half still stuck to the plate, and last but by no means the least awful, a chicken sausage that looked like it had been cooked using every method possible; stewed, roasted and grilled. Multiple times.
We’ll ignore the button mushrooms, which I can’t comment on, as I refuse to eat mushrooms in all areas of life – not just airline breakfasts, but suffice to say that otherwise, this medley of horrors came presented resting – as all airline breakfasts should – on a bed of spongy, oil-soaking, scrambled egg.
If you have made it this far without needing to gag, like I nearly did, I applaud your tenacity. It was all I could manage to attempt the hash brown, some of the scrambled egg and the searingly-hot (after 15 minutes) tomato – before calling it a day (or a lunch, as it should’ve been), and returning it back to the crew.
How about a wrap-up? Airline breakfasts are just ghastly, and British Airways always does a truly commendable job of complying with this unspoken policy. I always feel for the crew, who know better than to ask questions and I’m sure feel a little put out even having to re-heat and plate such frightening foodstuffs, and this flight was no exception. I do however long for the day – which I will keep waiting for, but certainly not holding my breath for – when I receive a delightful breakfast in-flight.