Reply To: Can Airline Food be Tasty?

Back to Forum


So much depends on catering offered from various airport suppliers. e.g. I have had decent meals on United in Business from LHR, but never from any US airport. Likewise, Air NZ meals in Business from AKL or LHR are generally excellent quality, but from HKG they have been well below par.

A couple stand out for me. Austrian in Business is exceptionally good. It helps having an on board chef and a relatively large galley area relative to the C Class Cabin. Some items are cooked, others reheated, but the presentation and variety shows a level of care and interest in quality that is not seen in LH (although it almost is with LX).

Air NZ tried to introduce induction ovens on its 777-300ERs to freshly cook steak, fish, beef etc, but it proved to be an expensive mistake. It simply took too long to do a dinner service for 44 passengers by cooking food freshly on board (unless it increased staff levels to uneconomic levels). It quietly removed the ovens after a few months of complaints that dinner was taking 2 hours to get round to deliver everyone their meal, although some elements have remained. It can still deliver eggs benedict very well.

The business decision for airlines has to be how much does food really sway choices of airlines, compared to seats, fares, timetables and overall levels of service? I think unless an airline goes out of its way to promote better food and gets a reputation for it (Austrian has tried to do this), it probably isn’t that cost effective to go too far. Bear in mind Austrian is not a shining success story of profitability.

Still, I applaud those who try, BA being one that has made some efforts to some success in the past year or so. VS by contrast has been relatively disappointing.

Be up-to-date
Magazine Subscription

To see our latest subscription offers for Business Traveller editions worldwide, click on the Subscribe & Save link below