British Airways Giving Away Franklin’s BA-B-Q Sauce To Business Class Passengers Out Of Austin

To mark 10 years of British Airways service to Austin, BA will be serving barbecue in business class and premium economy out of the Central Texas city in March and giving barbecue sauce bottles from world famous Franklin Barbecue to business class passengers. These bottles will be labeled BA-B-Q.

Customers flying from Austin during the anniversary month will also enjoy a Texas-inspired barbecue menu on board. The menu will showcase the rich and savoury taste of Austin’s barbecue tradition, offering customers a culinary treat that pays homage to the city’s renowned barbecue culture and brings the essence of this vibrant city to the skies.

The menu is curated by BA’s executive chef “who drew inspiration from a visit to Austin and pitmaster Aaron Franklin’s culinary mastery” but this will not be Franklin meat.

Business class:

    beef brisket
  • sweet corn pudding
  • spiced bean stew
  • pickled cucumber, red onion and vegetable slaw

Premium economy:

  • smoky chicken
  • rice and beans

For those transferring at Heathrow, the barbecue sauce will probably be confiscated at security since the end of liquid restrictions there has been delayed.

Here’s BA’s executive chef filmed with Aaron Franklin, who notes that “if you guys are going to be serving it on a plane… you need to hit the sauce pretty hard.” I take that to mean Franklin knows the barbecue isn’t going to be very good.

Franklin Barbecue is still one of the very best barbecue spots in Central Texas which means that it is one of the very best barbecue spots in the world. They use very high quality meat and the execution is perfect.

However they are known for their lines. If you enjoy tailgating, bring lawn chairs and drink beer while you wait a few hours to get to the front of the line for food it’s a top notch experience. However to me the juice isn’t worth the squeeze considering other barbecue available with much more reasonable waits. One of the few upsides of the pandemic was Franklin pre-order for takeaway with no minimums (still, pre-ordering remains the best Franklin hack).

Still, Franklin’s barbecue sauce is mid. And that’s fine, it doesn’t need to be anything special. Because Central Texas barbecue is about the meat, not the sauce. At most, if you use sauce, it’s for dipping. Kreuz Market, itself not one of the better barbecue places anymore, puts the tradition correctly:

British Airways catering out of Austin has not been great. I always assumed that was a function of Austin’s catering constraints. American Airlines for quite some time was forced to bring in meals from Houston. Yet KLM manages to do a decent job.

I flew BA out of Austin a couple of times last year, and also the year before, and have them booked later this year, but sadly not in March so I won’t have the opportunity to try their barbecue on board. Notably, though, only the sauce is Franklin – the actual meals do not appear restaurant-branded in any form. No Leroy & Lewis beef cheeks, no Interstellar pork belly. If you find your way to Austin, try that and skip the Salt Lick in the airport…

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. salt lick is industrial

    anyone with a car and 2 hours to kill, zip down the 130 toll road to lockhart and set your google directions to Black’s

    yes, there is a Black’s just north of the 40 and it is *usually* on par with the mothership, however parking can sometimes be an issue; i will always prefer the original

    for another TRUE and AUTHENTIC centex-before-slacker experience set goomaps to Mueller in taylor which is also accessible heading to or from bergstrom

    please ignore gary’s advice on ordering in advance at franklin
    /Bene Gesserit Voice

  2. @Hagbard Celine – Blacks was once absolutely phenomenal but isn’t nearly as consistent as they once were. And no the other black’s isn’t nearly as good, with food brought in.

  3. The bbq meals ought to be extra juicy , and covered with extra bbq sauce . Then BA ought to give only one napkin per passenger , and a bottle of water to wash up .

  4. @Gary

    The better way than the pre order hack, now with minimums.

    Get your company to partner with Franklin. You get free food, jump the line and a chat with the pitmaster. Your employer would pay for it so your customer would have a mediocre sauce with a fancy name to eat with something unrelated to that fancy name.

    Big win for BA executive chef, who found the best line jumping hack ever.

  5. Surprised Gary didn’t find a way to blame unions or the Austin City Council for the typically marginal catering at AUS. A lost opportunity for View From the Right Wing.

  6. What a messy idea this is, not to mention the airplane smelling like a bbq restaurant. They can than hand out airline branded bibs for all to catch what sauce might get all over one’s clothing. What a grand idea! This coming from someone who loves bbq.

  7. @T-says, years ago when there were complimentary meals in coach I had a flight connecting in Memphis on my way to LAX that served Memphis style barbeque on that leg. It was good and I don’t remember any problems with odors or excessive messiness. The flight attendants were delighted to be serving it. I asked about it when being served since it was out of the ordinary.

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