Qantas economy meals

By Tac2 | Aug 20, 2017, 09:57 AM
Hi Everyone, first time posting but a long time reader. 

I write today with a query and here's a little background firstly to set the scene. I semi-regularly fly Qantas TSV-BNE and return, often in the same day for work meetings travelling as an economy passenger. It's usually the 0555hrs QF969 flight to Brisbane and return on the 1955hrs QF978. Both flight legs are listed by Qantas as including meals for Business and Economy passengers and I deliberately have booked these as due to my business matters, this should allow me to have brekki on the flight as a good early start to the day which started before 4am and then on return, work longer before getting through traffic to airport to catch the late flight home, having dinner on-board.

Despite the 'meal upgrade' as noted by Qantas and reported in story by AusBT on Aug 21, 2014 -  https://www.ausbt.com.au/qantas-upgrades-economy-meals-bigger-serves-boxed-dinner-packs , I've noticed recent flights have seen the benchmark lowered significantly. Compared to other flights over past year and further on to Sydney, Melbourne and travelling from East to West coast, it's vastly different.  

Whilst I appreciate some in the world go without meals daily and some might consider this a 'first world problem' so to speak, my query relates to what seems to be a difference of standards depending on departure and arrival destination (Regional vs Metropolitan airport flights) and probably not getting what have paid for or product vastly different from that advertised. The Qantas website presently talks up their offerings for domestic economy travel but I can say that their Breakfast can consist of three little egg lumps in a small cardboard box and their 'hot and cold gourmet dinner packs' isn't provided but only a single option being a very small asparagus bacon quiche. These in my view are hardly a meal and even not worthy of taking a photo of, as many people seem to do these days.

When flying Qantas lately, I've resorted to carrying my own muesli bars to supplement their brekfast snack and cooking extra leftovers the night before to have a midnight meal when I get home around 2330hrs. If the evening flight is running late, which it often is, then a return trip on the same date makes for a very long day. Unfortunately, I don't have the funds to pay for Qantas club but have started to switch over to flying Virgin Australia and starting to plan my day better to have meal stops and not rely on the in flight meals. The airport cafe can be expensive but at least I'm getting a slightly cheaper ticket with VA now instead and they're only offering a snack as part of the ticket. 

Has anyone come across this similar issue with Qantas domestic economy meals and what's your thoughts?



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By GBRGB | Aug 20, 2017, 06:14 PM
Yes the difference between regional cities and flying between capitals is very stark. Most meal flights TSV - BNE are virtually snack quality, soggy Pie etc  but when you change planes in BNE the trip to SYD is generally a hot dish especially the dinner meal. I was told recently that QF have virtually closed all of their catering except capital cities so on most return legs, TSV- BNE for example the meal would have been loaded in BNE for the return TSV - BNE flight, so the food is already a few hours old by the time you eat it. Sign of the times I guess,  but from Qantas point of view they have a protected market so don't have any real competition as such and can offer the bare minimum, it's not like VA are an actual alternative in regional markets. I tend to eat before I fly these days , it saves the disappointment.
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By airADL | Aug 20, 2017, 07:39 PM
The dinner from BNE to ADL last Friday night was the worst I have had in a long time. I think it's gone downhill.
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By henrus | Aug 20, 2017, 09:29 PM
I flew Qantas up to Townsville last weekend and was quite disappointed with the offerings. The flight up (Qantaslink Operated) served a coconut/chocolate/plum bar and the flight back (QF 737 with a Sydney crew) they served a toasted sandwich which was around half size of a normal slice of bread. Neither of the snacks was very appetising and I didn't see many around who took the offerings.

I fully understand that it's hard to offer something to everyone but even on US domestic flights they've just walked through with a basket and you could take what you wished (fruit, chips etc) and I think something like that would work much better than trying to offer hot 'snacks' or even just a service at all on regional aircraft.

Also, it seems the iPads that are advertised to be on the Qantaslink 717's are no more as they definitely weren't offered to Business or Economy passengers.
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By Grannular | Aug 21, 2017, 09:07 AM
I have always considered any food provided in economy as being supplementary. To rely on it as being your only source of food I think is crazy.
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By Tac2 | Aug 21, 2017, 09:07 PM
Thanks for the replies and it seems Townsville is the poor cousin for meals and snacks on flights. Considering the prices for flights here, this is disappointing.

As I mentioned in post, the variations of meals provided, as paid for in ticket price, doesn't seem to be as advertised and are considerably different at times. In a retail business, there would be some grounds for consideration of a refund component or credit voucher. 

Flights between point A and B can be very different to B to C and beyond and this makes it very difficult to guess what is going to be served up as a meal. It's not until about 20-30 mins into the flight is it revealed and by then it's well too late to buy something landside of the gate. 

Have noticed now too that Friday evening BNE-TSV Qantas flight has changed to depart slightly later at 2035hrs, so no meal is listed now as outside dinner time and is just a snack. The price of ticket doesn't look to have changed though!



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By Serg | Aug 21, 2017, 10:18 PM
I would ask broader question. Out of curiosity I have a look and found that on the same day cheapest return ticket by QF TSV-BNE-TSV is $450 while MEL-SYD-MEL $338. Flight time pretty much the same. WTF? Why people from small town should be penalized? Long long ago in other galaxy before stupid deregulation and privatization ticket price was governed only by distance. And this is how it meant to be in civilized world. 
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By GBRGB | Aug 22, 2017, 08:01 AM
Qantas have always charged more for TSV flights, high govt and corporate pax numbers have allowed them to charge a premium for the rest of the seats, on any given day the TSV - BNE fares are dearer than CNS - BNE despite CNS being another 300km in distance. 
Today QF are $239 TSV - BNE but only $212 TSV -SYD, that indicates they are gouging the TSV- BNE service as they have to use the same planes via BNE anyway, they don't have a direct service.
VA create little competition and on some days now are down to a token 3 flights a day, and in many cases are actually dearer than QF, VA have stopped Tiger from flying the TSV -BNE route, obviously to protect the high margins they get on TSV flights. 
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By Serg | Aug 23, 2017, 09:28 AM
Qantas have always charged more for TSV flights, high govt and corporate pax numbers have allowed them to charge a premium for the rest of the seats, on any given day the TSV - BNE fares are dearer than CNS - BNE despite CNS being another 300km in distance. 
Today QF are $239 TSV - BNE but only $212 TSV -SYD, that indicates they are gouging the TSV- BNE service as they have to use the same planes via BNE anyway, they don't have a direct service.
VA create little competition and on some days now are down to a token 3 flights a day, and in many cases are actually dearer than QF, VA have stopped Tiger from flying the TSV -BNE route, obviously to protect the high margins they get on TSV flights. 

I understand reasons, but disagree with such "free market zoo" and I strongly feel that situation was more fair in the past when we have regulated sky. Some who never seen Australia outside Sydney and may be Melbourne may disagree.
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