Anyone who has regularly read my flight reviews will know I frequently have Champagne piccolos to drink. These are the small bottles which are about a quarter of the standard size, which airlines serve in domestic business class.

British Airways have given these out to passengers on UK Domestic and short European flights for as long as I can remember, and Qantas do the same in Australia. They’re simple to distribute and you get two and a bit of the BA sized glasses out of the little bottle.

Oh where, oh where have my Champagne piccolos gone?

Apparently a service change went into place from 5 April 2023 and the Champagne piccolos are gone. All is not lost of course – you can still get bubbles, but a single glass is poured for you from the big bottles.

Longer European flights at the airline have always had Champagne served this way, so the change harmonises the product. Why am I making such a big deal about this then?

Certain flights from London, such as those to Manchester, Dublin, Amsterdam, Edinburgh, Belfast and more, have a very short flight time. Dublin is often 50 to 55 minutes in the air, while Manchester can be as short as 35 minutes. British Airways can have up to 14 rows of Club Europe on their Airbus fleet, which could potentially mean there are 54 passengers to serve.

While that is not common (it’s usually six to eight rows – still 24 to 36 passengers) there are still usually a fair number of people on board. As all flights have a full meal service, having to pour someone a glass of bubbles rather than just handing out Champagne piccolos is time consuming. And good luck getting a second glass when the crew have many other people to give food and drinks to!

Overall Thoughts

I checked with BA on Twitter about this change and they have confirmed to me this is a permanent change. That is a bit of a shame as far as I am concerned, because I do rather like the convenience of the piccolos.

Clearly this is a first world problem, but at the same time business class can be expensive. Not being able to get a top up due to a busy flight doesn’t exactly feel premium. Especially with some of the prices being charged these days!

What do you think? Are you team Champagne Piccolos or is this a total non-issue for you? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.

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