Right of Reply: Martin George

British Airways' marketing director responds to Egon Ronay's criticisms of their food
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The Independent Culture
LIKE THE M25 and the descriptive language known only to estate agents, airline food has traditionally been the subject of jokes and jibes.

However, over the last few years, we at British Airways have worked hard to change the much maligned in-flight meal and have brought in the world's top chefs, including Anton Mosimann, Michel Roux and, most recently, BBC television's Ready Steady Cook, Brian Turner, to advise our own catering team on how to produce meals of the highest quality.

We were surprised by Egon Ronay's criticisms, as the meal he objected to received the thumbs-up from passengers in our own survey.

For any airline, the real proof of the pudding is in the eating. Every day, we serve 55,000 meals to our passengers around the globe and it is their empty plates which are the most valuable measure of our work. If they don't like any particular dish, we soon know about it and act straightaway to have it replaced.

We are not complacent and are always looking for opportunities to improve. We have recently introduced an inventive new cabin crew training course, which involves them working in Terence Conran's Mezzo restaurant and at Anton Mosimann's food academy to make sure they are up to date with the latest trends.

We are very proud of the reputation which British Airways' food and wine has among the people who count - the travelling public. We were delighted when they recently voted us the best overall airline in a survey for Business Traveller.

The criteria used were exactly the same as Mr Ronay's, but this time we came top - the only difference being that this poll was the objective views of thousands, rather than the subjective views of one.

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