Qantas Inflight Meals Review: All You Need to Know

a large jetliner sitting on top of an airport tarmac.

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.

A Qantas domestic meal service featuring a table with a bowl of food and a glass of orange juice.
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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.

A table displaying Qantas' domestic meal offerings.
A grilled cheese sandwich on a white plate.
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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.

A table with snacks and water.
An airplane's screen showing a welcome message in 5k resolution with Qantas domestic meals.

My biggest issue with the flight was the poor cleaning standards. With Covid still rampant, I was alarmed by what I saw.

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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.

A Qantas domestic meal tray with a bowl of food and a plate of bread.


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.

Two Qantas domestic meals containers on a table.
Qantas domestic meals served on a tray with a drink.
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A Qantas domestic meal table with a box of food and a cup of orange juice.
A box with Qantas domestic meals inside of it.
A business card on a Qantas plane.


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.

Snacks offered on qantas domestic flight from Melbourne to Cairns

If you market yourself as a premium carrier, your inflight product should reflect it. Offering cheap snacks that cost nothing is appalling. 

A Qantas domestic meal tray with drink on an airplane.
A plastic container filled with Qantas domestic meals.


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.



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