Travel is all too often replete with unexpected obstacles — from a man urinating all over business class to a disgusting sock-stuffed seat, from a woman being publicly weighed in the airport to a hostess being beaten with an in-flight phone — but this is one of the strangest we’ve heard all year: passengers flying with British Airways had to endure a left-field if undeniably finger-licking good catering substitution after technical issues saw their scheduled food sent straight to the bin.
The flight, transporting passengers from Turks and Caicos to Heathrow with a stopover in the Bahamas, encountered an unexpected issue with the plane’s refrigeration system that caused all the pre-prepared food to overheat, rendering it unsafe for consumption, as reported by The Evening Standard. However, when the aircraft made its scheduled stop in the Bahamian capital of Nassau, the resourceful cabin crew came up with a creative, crispy solution…
WATCH: Believe it or not, things are often even worse for vegan flyers…
Instead of letting their much-loved passengers go hungry, they picked up some fried chicken from an airport KFC. A video shared to — but since deleted from — Instagram captured the moment when BA cabin crew members served pieces of chicken from KFC-branded cardboard buckets, using pairs of BA-branded tongs. The unconventional in-flight dining experience did not sit well with some passengers, with one disgruntled traveller branding the incident an “absolute disgrace” and alleging that staff provided a measly “one chicken leg per passenger.”
Another passenger, Andrew Bailey, took to Twitter to share his feelings about the experience:
@British_Airways just landed @HeathrowAirport after a 12.5 hour flight BA252 from Turks and Caicos with no catering! BA had to serve @kfc at Nassau giving some lucky passengers 1 piece of chicken. The container with the plane catering wasn’t chilled so all thrown away!! pic.twitter.com/U5IcBD2hRy— Andrew Bailey (@aktivandrew) July 24, 2023
Somewhat more concerningly, passengers with medical conditions that meant they couldn’t safely enjoy the Colonel’s ware were reportedly left without any food at all. As the news of the unusual dining experience spread on social media, numerous commenters criticized the airline’s choice of replacement grub, deeming it “unacceptable.” One user went so far as to say that it would “be better to delay the bloody flight and get proper catering than this messy service with KFC.”
However, not everyone was so quick to condemn British Airways, defending the airline’s quick-thinking efforts to find a solution in an undeniably challenging situation. One commenter empathised, saying “I think BA did the best they could, given the circumstances.” Another added this:
“It seems like they did the best they could with what they had available. Stuff happens, one needs to be able to roll with the punches sometimes!”Anonymous Online Commenter
In response to the incident, British Airways issued an apology but made sure to support their crew’s innovative thinking. A spokesperson explained:
“Our teams sprung into action and made sure our customers had something to eat. We apologize to customers that their full meal service was not available and we had to wing it on this occasion. We’re sorry if we ruffled any feathers.”BA Spokesperson
To compensate for the inconvenience, customers were provided with refreshment vouchers on landing at Heathrow. While this experience is obviously far from ideal, especially for business and first-class passengers who will have paid a significant markup on their tickets with the expectation of a high-grade meal service, this is far from the worst in-flight food story we’ve heard in recent months…
Stories of vegan passengers being served a lone banana on JAL flights — which, believe it or not, still beats out the experience of an Air Canada vegan passenger who got absolutely nothing to eat — make KFC seem like a comparatively filling alternative to business as usual. A more recent story of a United Airlines passenger getting so upset at their meal choices that they forced the plane to divert also shows how BA cabin crew were lucky that passengers handled this incident so gracefully.
In the turbulent world of air travel, British Airways cabin crew served up a memorable mealtime tale when technical glitches turned their food plan into a flight of fancy, showing us all how it’s done: when life throws you a poultry predicament, you have to know how to “wing it” with flavorful flair.