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Travelling during the holidays? These are the airlines serving festive treats on flights and in lounges this holiday season

24 Dec 2019 by Seher Asaf
Thai Christmas desserts

Spending New Year’s Eve or Christmas Day on a plane or at the airport may seem tedious but a number of carriers are offering holiday-themed treats to passengers either 30,000 feet in the air or in their airport lounges to make the experience more festive and enjoyable. Gingerbread men, smoked turkey, and Christmas cocktails – these are just some of the treats airlines will be serving travellers as they get into the holiday spirit.

Here are some carriers rolling out festive menus to those jetting off during holiday season:

Japan Airlines (JAL)

Spending New Year’s Eve or Christmas Day on a plane or at the airport may seem tedious but a number of carriers are offering holiday-themed treats to passengers either 30,000 feet in the air or in their airport lounges to make the experience more festive and enjoyable. Gingerbread men, smoked turkey, and Christmas cocktails – these are just some of the treats airlines will be serving travellers as they get into the holiday spirit.

Here are some carriers rolling out festive menus to those jetting off during holiday season:

Japan Airlines Christmas meal

Appetizers

Smoked Turkey and smoked salmon with a side of pasta salad, ricotta cheese, olives, sweet shrimp, and asparagus

Main 

Roast Beef with horseradish sauce and spicy fried potatoes, bread 

Dessert

Christmas cake

Qantas

Australian flag carrier Qantas’ special Christmas cocktail, dubbed “Christmas in a glass”, will be available over the festive season from December 16 to 29. The airline said the cocktail is made with all the spices that remind us of Christmas – ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves combined with sparkling wine, mint and strawberries.

Qantas'

Passengers resting in the airline’s recently opened First Lounge at Singapore’s Changi Airport can enjoy Honey Baked Ham with Cranberry Sauce or Roasted Vegetables and Burnt Butter Baby Potatoes before hopping onto their next flight on Christmas Day. These treats will be offered as part of Qantas’ a la carte dining menu at its Changi Airport lounge.

Read Business Traveller Asia-Pacific’s first look into Qantas’ new First Lounge.

Meanwhile, the airline’s business class lounges in Singapore and Hong Kong will offer a variety of holiday treats on December 24 and 25. These include the following: Roasted Chicken with Cranberry Sauce, Roasted Vegetables, Pasta with Pumpkin, Spinach, Pine-nut and Ricotta Cheese, Christmas Fruit Cake, Gingerbread Men, and Local Seasonal fresh fruit.

Thai Airways

Thai Airways will be getting into the festive spirit by serving passengers desserts on December 24 and 25.

On international flights, first class passengers will get to enjoy chocolate mousse in a “chocolate gift box” with cinnamon flavoured ice cream and chocolate crumble with raspberry and pandan sauces.

Thai Airways' Christmas meal for first class passengers

Royal Silk Class (the airline’s business class product) passengers will get a chocolate Christmas tree, while a chocolate praline cake will be served in economy class.

The airline said these desserts will be offered during lunch and dinner on all flights departing from Bangkok, except for flights to Kuala Lumpur and on Indian and Middle East routes.

Thai Airways' Christmas treats

The airline is also bringing holiday desserts to the plates of travellers on domestic flights. On both inbound and outbound flights (except flight TG226 Phuket-Bangkok), Royal Silk Class passengers will be served Red Velvet Barley Christmas Cake.

Economy class passengers will get Red Velvet Barley Christmas cake on outbound flights, and a Cinnamon Cookie on inbound flights.

Emirates

Emirates has already started offering a Christmas menu, which it will serve until December 31 on routes to Australia, New Zealand, the UK, Europe, the US, South Africa and the Philippines.

Business and first class customers can opt for roasted turkey breast and apricot stuffing, roast potatoes with creamy brussels sprouts with turkey bacon and cranberry jus lié, followed by a Santa inspired chocolate cake or a chocolate gingerbread cake.

Emirates business and first class Christmas meal

Meanwhile, economy class passengers are being offered turkey slices with mashed potato, green peas, baby carrots and cranberry jus lié, followed by milk chocolate mousse topped with a festive chocolate button.

All of Emirates’ 41 lounges will also serve Christmas dishes between December 15 and 31, including roast turkey and stollen cake. The carrier’s seven lounges at Dubai International Airport will offer a selection of special ice cream flavours including gingerbread and coconut caramel flavours.

All Nippon Airways (ANA)

Japanese carrier ANA will serve a New Year’s Soba as part of its first class and business class meals departing from Japan on December 31, except for flights departing at midnight to Los Angeles (LAX), Frankfurt (FRA), and Honolulu (HNL). A traditional Japanese dish that represents strength and resiliency, Soba is a noodle bowl dish typically eaten on New Year’s Eve to ring in the new year.

The airline said earlier this year that it would launch a new menu in 2020 featuring dishes from three new chefs, as well as regional cuisine created in collaboration with Japanese chefs in Mexico City and Seattle.

ANA to enhance in-flight menu with dishes from new chefs and limited regional cuisine menus

 

Cathay Pacific

Hong Kong’s flag carrier will be offering festive options on its a la carte Breakfast and All Day Menus in its First Class Lounges, including dishes such as turkey Monte Cristo, lobster bisque, slow-cooked pork and Christmas pudding. A series of festive drinks, including a Christmas morning smoothie, hot apple pie punch, Buon Natale spritz, mulled wine and the airline’s special Christmas Dragon beverage will also be served.

Passengers at the airline’s business class lounges will get to enjoy special Christmas roasts featuring turkey breast, salt-crusted pork belly, brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes and Christmas pudding. Guests can also enjoy a special Buon Natale spritz, mulled wine, or the airline’s Christmas Dragon beverage.

The Pier - Business class
Cathay Pacific’s business class lounge at Hong Kong International Airport

Business Traveller Asia-Pacific has reached out to Cathay Pacific to confirm how long the new meals will be available in the airline’s lounges.

The carrier said it will also bring back its canapés “at select hours” from December 19 to 22. This includes mini wagyu beef burgers and fresh ricotta cheese and caramelised red pepper tartlets in its first class lounges, and squid doughnuts and smoked turkey tobiko in its business class lounges. Both first class and business class lounges will also offer a mango and kaffir lime meringue for dessert. Cakes, tarts and cookies will also be served in all of Cathay’s lounges in Hong Kong.

Cathay will have a special Christmas visitor drop by its lounges from December 22 to 24 – the airline said Santa Clause will be making an appearance to welcome and take photos with guests.

Some of Cathay’s other lounges will also be serving some festive treats, including its lounges in London, Shanghai, Tokyo Narita and Singapore.

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