Business Traveller (Asia-Pacific) - - INBOX FORUM -


I’ve al­ways heard that re­quest­ing a spe­cial meal – as in gluten free, veg­e­tar­ian, kosher, ha­lal, etc – meant that your chances of an up­grade were ru­ined, since the equiv­a­lent wouldn’t be avail­able in busi­ness class. But how about se­lect­ing one of the stan­dard meals in ad­vance?

In my ex­am­ple, I have two seats on a Bri­tish Air­ways (BA) flight from Lon­don Gatwick (LGW) to Or­lando (MCO) in pre­mium econ­omy (or World Trav­eller Plus) – one a Gold Ex­ec­u­tive Club mem­ber and one Sil­ver, so per­haps in the run­ning for an op­er­a­tional up­grade. Un­der “Man­age My Book­ing” we can choose from one of two stan­dard meals. If we choose one of these meals, does that im­pact our chances of an up­grade?


The short an­swer is that yes, if you or­der a spe­cial meal you will still be con­sid­ered for an up­grade. The pol­icy changed about six months ago and orig­i­nally it was the case that if you or­dered a spe­cial meal you wouldn’t be con­sid­ered for an up­grade. If you or­der a spe­cial meal and the up­grade hap­pens on the same day as your de­par­ture, you may still re­ceive the spe­cial meal you or­dered in your orig­i­nal cabin. Nei­ther will your up­grade chances be im­pacted if you pre-or­der a reg­u­lar meal choice.


I’ve also heard it does with any air­line, not just BA. If they up­grade you, it would mean some­one who takes your seat on a full flight will get your meal choice in­stead of the stan­dard meal, so best to have a good meal be­fore­hand (or af­ter) and hope for the up­grade.


If you are on a BA flight and you do get up­graded, and you or­dered a spe­cial meal that you would still like to have, then men­tion it to the cabin crew. If, for in­stance, you or­dered a kosher meal, it would have been loaded and if you are not of­fered it, then it will still be sit­ting in the World Trav­eller gal­ley. If you still want it, men­tion it as early as pos­si­ble.

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