If you have noticed a change to the food being served on domestic Qantas flights, it’s because the Aussie airline has decided to reduce its meal offering.
The move has angered one traveller in particular who was told on a flight from Adelaide to Sydney that vegetarian food would not be served as the airline is now taking a “one size fits all” approach.
“I’m informed that #Qantas no longer serve vegetarian food on domestic flights (except Perth),” frequent flyer and environmentalist Jon Dee wrote.
“Is Alan Joyce deliberately trying to run @Qantas into the ground? What kind of airline stops offering vegetarian food to its passengers? It was chicken pie or nothing tonight,” he continued.
A Qantas spokesperson told news.com.au during Covid the airline made some changes to on-board food and service offerings to “simplify the service delivery for our crew”.
“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.
“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 spokesperson explained on longer domestic and international flights customers can pre-book a range of special meals including vegan and gluten and dairy free options.
Mr Dee said he had been able to get vegetarian options on flights in Australia since the 1990s, adding that he could “get a proper meal, like pasta”.
“They did great vegetarian meals. If it was a pie you would get a vegetarian pie. You had a good choice,” Mr Dee said.
“I went on a Jetstar flight recently and got a better option than Qantas. Not even Ryanair would try this on.”
Meanwhile, Virgin and Jetstar still offer vegetarian options on all domestic flights.
Mr Dee’ tweet has been ‘liked’ more than 1300 times, with many Aussies weighing in on the airline’s vegetarian move.
“You’d think they’d err on the side of vegetarian, or even vegan, food as a one-size-fits-all approach since that covers all dietary requirements, one person responded. “And there are some just satisfying vegetarian dishes that most people would find appealing. BTW – I am not a vegetarian or a vegan.”
Another person added: “If one size fits all re a meal choice of meat or veg, surely veg is the common denominator!? Seriously, that’s a ridiculous choice by Qantas.”
However, others defended the airline, advising passengers they should just bring their own meal on-board a short flight.
“What’s so hard on either not eating for 2 hours, or bringing your own snack? I’d be more worried about the frequent flyers’ carbon footprint than in-air food option shortage for some,” one person tweeted.
“But you’ll still get to SYD, right? Which is the point, after all – it is an airline and not a restaurant chain. And it just hemmoraged money for 2+ years while the country was closed,” another added. “Next time bring an apple and some granola.”