For anyone who knows me, it’s not a surprise that I like food. Any food. Even airline food. (Although this doesn’t extend to what was served on a recent flight back from Toronto – sorry Canadian airlines, that was not in my definition, food. And I’ve picked chips out of a work bin before. Gosh, I disgust myself). So when I was invited to check out Qantas’ upgraded culinary experience in economy, I leapt at the chance.
There’s nothing more exciting than peeling back the hot tinfoil to reveal your meal, nor trying to identify all the mini little sides cosying together in your tray. I was a little stumped at what Qantas’ ‘big reveal’ would be. After all, you’re stuck in your seat, there’s limited room and people are generally a bit grouchy (unless they’ve discovered a particularly good film and even then they may be a bit miffed that their food has arrived).
It also didn’t help that I’m currently on an elimination diet (thank goodness I’d just finished the juice cleanse – that would have been awkward) but after sending the paltry list of ingredients I was allowed, I was told they could rustle me something up. Exciting.
Arriving at Qantas HQ, we were treated in a similar fashion to passengers. Boarded passes were handed out, welcome drinks were passed out quickly and efficiently and we were led into a meeting room with 2 long thin tables. Ok, so it’s not like a Boeing 747 had been recreated magically but it did have some effect of recreating the plane feel.
Shortly after ‘take-off’ (I hope we were going somewhere warm), dinner was served by the air hosts and hostesses (yes, they were real!) The menu looked delicious and there was a comfort food choice (bolognaise), local choice (Australian salmon) and healthy option (grilled chicken salad with barley. I had something completely different – plain chicken with broccoli and potatoes. Note to self: don’t attend food related events when on a restricted diet. Whilst I utterly appreciated their staff preparing a special meal for me it was a testament to how good the other meals were that I had total food envy. Pudding was passionfruit dulce de leche.
Main changes to Qantas dining
- Instead of 2-3 choices, there are 4.
- There’s 50% more food on each serving. Yay.
- Similarly to Business Class and Premier Economy, you can pre-book your meals, choosing from up to 4 options, including a seasonal special. No more ending up with what’s left!
- The trays have disappeared. Now you get a ‘plate’ for your meal with other items delivered separately. The clearing trolleys can take more rubbish when it’s free from trays making the time you’re confined in your seats after eating shorter.
- Locally sourced food and drink is used where possible. This means welcome drinks from Bundwick, a beer, Australian wine etc.
- Lots of snacks! These are either brought to your seat or available from a self-serve counter and will make any food hog like myself happy. Think ice cream, pizza, sliders, fresh fruit, chocolate and more.
Throughout the evening there were speeches from staff outlining why changes had been made and it certainly makes sense. Whilst it’ll be sad not to have the surprise of the meal I’ll have to content myself with the anticipation of getting to taste the meal I’ve ordered! Now I just need to book a holiday…