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British Airways Unveils Exclusive Diwali, Thanksgiving Menus

New, limited-time menus will be launched this month on certain flights to celebrate the two holidays

by Lauren Smith

November 17, 2023

Photo: Diwali desserts in all classes. Courtesy of British Airways

This month, British Airways (BA) will offer special holiday meals to passengers on select routes in celebration of the Hindu festival of Diwali and Thanksgiving.

To celebrate Diwali, the festival of lights, on November 12, the airline will serve celebratory desserts in all cabins on flights between London Heathrow (LHR) and Indian destinations, including Bangalore’s Kempegowda International Airport (BLR), Mumbai International Airport (BOM), Hyderabad’s Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (HYD), and Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL).

Photo: Thanksgiving meal in First Class. Courtesy of British Airways

Outbound travelers in BA’s business class, branded Club World, will enjoy ras malai, a desert from eastern India featuring rasgulla (sweetened balls of paneer) soaked in thickened milk and flavored with cardamon and saffron.

Passengers in premium economy seats, known as World Traveller Plus, will sample kesar peda, traditional north Indian sweets made from khoya (milk solids), sugar, saffron, and cardamom. In the economy cabin, World Travellers will be served motichoor ladoo, balls of fried gram flour batter topped with sugar syrup.

Photo: Thanksgiving meal in economy class. Courtesy of British Airways

British Airways has also loaded its planes with Diwali-themed desserts for return flights from Chennai (MAA), Mumbai, Delhi, and Hyderabad. On these journeys, business-class travelers will have the choice of kaju pista, rolls of cashew nut marzipan filled with crushed, sweetened pistachios, or gulab jamun, fried balls of khoya and semolina, soaked in a syrup flavored with rose water, cardamom, saffron, and cloves.

Premium economy passengers will have the option of khoya ka laddoo, ghee-fried balls of khoya, or doodhi halwa, a sweet made from bottled gourd, sugar, and milk, both garnished with traditional dried fruits.

Photo: Thanksgiving meal in Club World. Courtesy of British Airways

British Airways lounges at Heathrow will be decorated with garlands and tea lights to mark Diwali, and between November 12 and 15, will serve specially designed main courses and snacks, including rogan josh, chicken balti, and samosas.

Then, on November 23, British Airways will celebrate Thanksgiving, giving customers in all cabins on U.S.-bound flights the choice of a holiday main course and dessert. Passengers in first and business classes can dig into a turkey roast with all the trimmings. For dessert, they’ll choose between a classic pumpkin pie with nutmeg, cinnamon, and ginger, a pumpkin and walnut cake, or a pumpkin-flavoured cheesecake.

Photo: Thanksgiving dessert in First Class. Courtesy of British Airways

Pilgrims in premium economy and economy seats can also feast on roast turkey and their choice of pumpkin pie, gingerbread mousse, or spiced pumpkin and white chocolate mousse.

On the ground at Heathrow, the Concorde Room in Terminal 5 will dish out Thanksgiving delights, including pumpkin and butternut squash soup and pecan pie, while the First and Club lounges will offer turkey and smoked ham pie.

Calum Laming, BA’s Chief Customer Officer, said: “We know that many of our customers will be celebrating Diwali and Thanksgiving this month, so we wanted to go that extra mile to spread some joy over the festive season, both on the ground and at 35,000ft. For those celebrating, we’d like to wish them a very Happy Diwali and Happy Thanksgiving from everyone at British Airways.”

Photo: Thanksgiving dessert in Club World. Courtesy of British Airways

The airline has also introduced new main courses in its economy cabin and, later this month, will refresh its second meal service with new breakfast options on shorter flights from the U.S. to Heathrow or London Gatwick (LGA).

British Airways has also added a new bottle to its drinks service for first class passengers: Johnnie Walker Blue Label XOrdinaire, “a luxury icon of blended Scotch whisky,” selected by the airline’s Master of Wine.

British Airways also has stuffed its in-flight entertainment consoles with extra content for the holiday season. A dedicated Doctor Who channel will offer 13 acclaimed episodes of the long-running science fiction television service, and a Christmas countdown channel will help travelers get in the mood for December’s festivities.