Qantas offers complimentary meals and snacks depending on your flight time and destination. Outside standard meal times expect basic snacks and drinks, while boxed hot meals, salads and other items are provided during main meal times in economy class. Business class passengers can expect something more substantial.
I’ve flown Qantas several times this past year in both business and economy class, and every flight has been unique. Additionally, I visited Qantas lounges in Sydney, Melbourne, and Cairns to experience the catering on the ground.
However, Melbourne’s business lounge stands out with its chic ambiance and exceptional food and drink offerings. I’m excited to see what the future holds for Qantas lounges, with Sydney’s lounge set to receive a makeover.
While visiting the Sydney lounge in December 2022, I learned that it would soon receive a makeover to rival Melbourne’s lounge. Currently, it offers a self-service buffet with various snacks and meal items, including sandwiches, salads, make-your-own toasties, and desserts, depending on the time of day.
I also visited the Cairns lounge in March 2022. Although it may not be as chic as Melbourne’s lounge, it still offers decent food options, a coffee/tea/snack station, and excellent runway views. Guests can make their own toasties and choose from a selection of food and drink items.
INFIGHT – BUSINESS CLASS MELBOURNE/SYDNEY/MELBOURNE
In February 2022, I flew business class from Melbourne to Sydney on an A330 service. I was excited to experience onboard dining; however, before take-off, the captain announced that catering had not been ordered for our flight. As a result, the only refreshments provided were water and pretzels.
My biggest issue with the flight was the poor cleaning standards. With Covid still rampant, I was alarmed by what I saw.
Thankfully, my return flight to Melbourne was much better. Although the salad option had already run out, I was pleased to be offered an authentic and delicious butter chicken meal. It’s worth noting that this dinner-time flight was only slightly over an hour, and I found the quantity of food provided to be satisfactory.
INFIGHT – ECONOMY CLASS MELBOURNE/SYDNEY/MELBOURNE
In economy class on recent Melbourne/Sydney/Melbourne flights in November and December 2022, Qantas offered cheese and crackers or similar snacks outside of meal times. During main meal times, I received hot breakfast and hot dinner options like the ones below.
INFIGHT – ECONOMY CLASS MELBOURNE/CAIRNS/MELBOURNE
However, during a three-hour flight from Melbourne to Cairns, I was disappointed with the inflight catering. As a premium carrier, I expected more than just a small piece of cake and a limited range of beverages. When I asked the crew for other snacks, they were apologetic and gave me some rice crackers. On the return flight, a small snack of tomato salsa, chips, and pretzels was offered.
If you market yourself as a premium carrier, your inflight product should reflect it. Offering cheap snacks that cost nothing is appalling.
Overall, the airline seems to be trying to introduce better options at main meal times, but they don’t seem to put in as much effort as other premium airlines in other parts of the world. While some airlines are offering decent inflight service on short and medium-haul flights, Qantas needs to improve its catering if it wants to truly be a premium carrier.