Where’s the beef? Not on British Airways

The national dish of Britain is no longer being served on the national airline, at least not in the economyAirlinefood

British Airways has taken beef off the menu for economy passengers amid concerns about its "religious restrictions".

The airline has instead switched to a fish pie or chicken dish option for the so-called "cattle class" passengers.

BA’s second-biggest long-haul market is to India, where the majority Hindu population do not eat beef because
of their beliefs.

The decision to scrap the nation’s favourite fare was described as a
"great shame" by the English Beef and Lamb Executive, formerly part of
the Meat and Livestock Commission.

A spokesman said: "It is regrettable that Britain’s flag carrier is not proposing to serve Britain’s national dish. …

A BA spokesman said they stopped serving beef to economy class passengers last month.

He added: "We can only serve two options and beef and pork obviously have religious restrictions.

"We have to try to use two meals which appeal to as many customers as
possible. This summer season we are offering customers in World
Traveller on most longhaul flights a choice of chicken and tarragon or
fish pie. [Link]

Flight attendant: "Would you like chicken or fish, sir?"

Male passenger: "Do you have any beef?"

Flight attendant: "No, not anymore."

Passenger: "Not anymore? What d’ya mean? It’s our national dish!"

Flight attendant (whispering): "A lot of people don’t eat beef, sir."

Passenger: "It’s those darn Hindus, innit? They’re the ones who don’t eat beef!"

Flight attendant (whispering): "Keep your voice down, sir. There are a lot of … uh … Hindus on board."

Hindu passenger sitting nearby: "Yes, keep your voice down, sir. Otherwise we’ll complain about the chicken and fish, and, the next time you fly, you’ll be eating curd rice and pickle."

If you enjoyed this piece, you'll love Melvin's novel Bala Takes the Plunge, available in North America through Amazon.com and McNallyRobinson.com You can also find it at major bookstores in India and Sri Lanka or online at FlipKart, IndiaPlaza, FriendsofBooks or other sites. A number of readers have written reviews of the novel. An excerpt of the novel can be read here.


  1. gregory says:

    i don’t care about the beef, but was reminded of my last flight on ba form london to chennai… the (indian) guy next to me had had a couple of beers and a lot of curry and onions for breakfast, his breath stank, and on 777’s there is no individual air vent, just the overall cabin “ventilation” … every breath he exhaled, i had to inhale, for 9 hours …. i would happily kill him even six months later

  2. Last time I was flying BA, a (British) guy sitting next to me was stinking as well. It was clear he had not taken bath for weeks. Had been on beers and cigarettes and had a similar foul breath. I had to change my seat.

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