Qantas defends menu options after new meal complaint

Qantas has hit back after one of its regular customers slammed the airline carrier for a lack of food options on domestic flights.

DoSomething Foundation managing director Jon Dee made headlines in September when he lambasted Qantas for its lack of vegetarian options available during a flight from Adelaide to Sydney.

And while the airline has made efforts to boost its menu range, Mr Dee still feels Qantas isn’t catering to everyone.

Speaking with NCA NewsWire on Saturday, Mr Dee claimed there was a lack of options available on some domestic haul flights and lambasted the snack offering dealt out on shorter trips.

“I’d really like to see Qantas come back to the standard we’re used to,” Mr Dee said.

“If they’re not going to start providing the wider food offering, I’m going to consider switching to Virgin.

“Virgin’s food offering is wider, and I can choose what I want. On Qantas at the moment, you’re not getting a meal that’s going to fill you up.

“The current version is not one Australians are proud of and … I just want to see a return for that high standard.”

But a Qantas spokeswoman rubbished the claim, telling NCA NewsWire there are plenty of menu options available, with economy customers offered a meat or vegetarian option for most meal services on domestic flights.

“It wasn’t long ago this customer said we didn’t have enough vegetarian meals and now he says we have too many,” she said.

“The feedback from customers on our current menu options has been very positive.”

It comes as Qantas launched its new food menu service in October, after it had provided a limited range during the pandemic due to cost saving measures.

The new menu caters to several dietary requirements and includes a vegetarian option for all meals.

“Qantas is continuing to invest in product and service as we work to get back to our best,” Qantas Executive Manager of Product and Service Phil Capps said in a statement in October.

“We have been progressively returning normal service levels and last month we fast tracked the return of vegetarian options on all flights.

“We started work on the new menu several months ago and have put a lot of effort into creating variety, drawing on premium ingredients from a wide range of local producers.”

The new menu features items such ham and egg hollandaise ciabatta, zucchini and corn fritters, gluten free and plant based chocolate caramel slice, and pear and ginger cake.

Customers with dietary requirements are also encouraged to pre-book meals for long haul flights to ensure they’re catered for, according to the Qantas spokeswoman.

The airline in November upgraded its half-year profit forecast to $1.45bn, driven by overwhelming demand for travel at the same time as capacity was constrained.

Mr Dee said he was pleased to see Qantas turning a profit once more but hoped to see better customer service in the future, otherwise he might take his business elsewhere.

“I’m glad to see Qantas is making a profit, I’ve travelled with Qantas for over 30 years, it’s an airline I’m very fond of which is why I’m quite passionate about seeing them return to former pandemic glory,” he said.

“Given the significant difference in price, yes they may be giving the snack away for free but if the bottom line is from a money saving view then the justification for flying with Qantas is eroded, as the service offering is lower than Virgin.

“I just want to ensure that whatever type of food requirement you have it should be met. Now that they’re profitable again it’s time to bring back the proper food service required.

“This push shouldn’t come to the expense of customer service.”

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