Qantas is reintroducing vegetarian option on short flights after backlash

Qantas has reintroduced a vegetarian meal for economy passengers on all domestic flights after a decision to scrap the option on short-haul flights sparked public backlash.

At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, Qantas reduced its meal offering for economy passengers traveling under 3.5 hours to a snack option, often a chicken and leek pie or a vegetarian quiche or cornbread. The single option meant some vegetarian passengers missed a meal during their flights.

The airline said the decision to reduce supply was due to “high waste”, but on Friday it said it would reintroduce vegetarian options and fresh fruit on all flights.

A domestic traveler checks into a Qantas flight at Sydney Airport on Thursday, the National Day of Mourning.

A domestic traveler checks into a Qantas flight at Sydney Airport on Thursday, the National Day of Mourning. Recognition:Louie Douvis

“Qantas will monitor usage of these options and make further adjustments to ensure we reflect customer preferences,” the airline said in a statement.

Passengers on all international flights, domestic business and in domestic economy cabins on flights over 2.5 hours will be offered a “choice of diet meals,” the airline continued.

Qantas also said it introduced plant-based options on “almost all” international flights last year and committed to phasing out single-use plastics, commonly used in food packaging, on board and in its lounges.

The airline’s executive manager of product, Phil Capps, said the airline has been forced to make “changes” to service during COVID-19 and is “in the process” of updating its menus.

“We are in the midst of a broader menu refresh for our domestic network, rolling out from October, which will include new vegetarian options. There is a lot of work to do to bring Qantas back to top form and that includes listening to the feedback from our customers as we continue to invest in our product and service,” said Capps.

Regional Express offers all passengers on Rex flights a free savory or sweet snack and beverage. Virgin Australia does not offer complimentary snacks or meals for economy seats on domestic flights.

https://www.smh.com.au/business/companies/qantas-reinstates-vegetarian-option-on-short-flights-following-backlash-20220923-p5bkev.html?ref=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_source=rss_business Qantas is reintroducing vegetarian option on short flights after backlash

Brian Lowry

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