Qantas brings back vegetarian meals, snacks on short flights & More Latest News

Vegetarian meals are coming back on the menu for all home Qantas flights after their elimination on short-range routes resulted in a fierce public backlash.

The airline has additionally promised a “broader menu refresh” to launch in October, which is able to embody “new vegetarian options” together with contemporary fruit on all home flights below 3.5 hours.

“As an example, for evening meal service a zucchini and corn fritter could be carried onboard in addition to a chicken and leek pie.”

Qantas pared back its inflight menu on all home flights below 3.5 hours in early 2020, at the beginning of the pandemic, which resulted in some flights having only a single snack possibility – and if that was acquainted hen and leek pie, for instance, it typically meant vegetarian passengers went hungry.

That streamlined menu has since remained in place. “We now offer a single meal/snack option per flight on our shorter flights, such as a chicken pie or a zucchini and onion frittata,” the service defined earlier this week.

“If the option on a particular flight is not suitable for vegetarians, we try to offer an alternative of a small sweet or savoury snack which is vegetarian.”

The airline just lately cited “high levels of wastage” as one driver for the decreased menu, however at the moment pledged to would reinstate vegetarian choices and contemporary fruit on all flights after coming below hearth from passengers this week.

Vege meals and pretend meats

“We had to make a lot of alterations to our service during COVID and we’re still in the process of bringing things back and updating others,” mentioned Qantas Executive Manager of Product and Service, Phil Capps.

“We’ve heard the message loud and clear about having vegetarian offerings on all of our flights and so we’re making that change as a priority.”

Capps added the airline is “in the middle of a broader menu refresh for our domestic network that will roll out from October, which includes new vegetarian options.”

“There’s a lot of work happening to get Qantas back to its best and that includes listening to the feedback from our customers as we keep investing in our product and service.”

Executive Traveller has sought additional clarification from Qantas on which flight timings qualify for a standard breakfast, lunch or dinner versus a small snack served in a cardboard field.

However, even a dinner service can depart vegetarian passengers wanting: by means of instance, on a current 6.40pm Qantas flight from Cairns to Sydney, one of many Executive Traveller staff was served a small economic system dinner field containing three party-sized pies, solely one in all which was vegetarian (lentils and mushroom).

As beforehand reported, Qantas will quickly launch ‘artificial meat’ meals on flights and in lounges by the tip of this 12 months.

“We’re doing a lot of menu planning for the future in the next month, and I think in the next six months we’re hoping to launch some things” Qantas chef Neil Perry advised Executive Traveller in July.

“We’ll have a complete plant-based dish on each of the menus and we’ve also started looking at plant-based meats like Beyond, Impossible and V2, which is an Australian product.”

The Roo’s newest stumble

Arch-rival Virgin Australia has shifted to a ’purchase on board’ menu for economic system – a transfer which Qantas guarantees it is not going to replicate – whereas challenger Regional Express gives a free snack and drink to economic system passengers.

However, Qantas’ meagre economic system meals on short flights is arguably making it simpler for travellers to rethink the general worth in terms of the distinction in airfares charged by Qantas, Virgin and Rex – and to ask how a lot travelling on a ‘full-service’ airline is basically price.

For its half, Qantas says it stays “the only domestic airline to offer complimentary food and beverages, baggage and onboard WiFi on its domestic Boeing 737s and Airbus A330s, on all economy fares.”

Catering cuts and decreased meal choices are the most recent in a collection of stumbles to beset the airline for the reason that long-anticipated journey rebound started in late 2021.

The rising record of seemingly endless woes has included included hours-long phone maintain instances for name centres, delayed and cancelled flights, and misplaced luggage.

This led to CEO Alan Joyce making an unprecedented public apology, saying “in terms of what you anticipate from Qantas, it‘s not good enough” – and promising to bring the airline “back to its best” while also offering a bevy of make-good measures to the airline’s 14 million frequent flyers akin to a 12-month standing extension, $50 flight vouchers, complimentary lounge passes, bonus Qantas Points and opening up extra points-based award seats.

Additional reporting by Matt Lennon


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