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Qantas backflips on vegetarian meal change: 'Loud and clear'

·2-min read

Qantas has announced it will carry vegetarian meal options on all flights, after copping backlash for a lack of meat-free meals on short domestic flights.

Earlier this week, people were outraged to learn Qantas had limited its on-flight meal menu, meaning people would not get an option of what they were eating.

At the start of the pandemic, Qantas simplified meal offerings on domestic flights under 3.5 hours, so there was just one meal available in Economy.

Qantas passenger planes line up at the domestic terminal in Melbourne, Australia.
Qantas will offer a vegetarian meal on all domestic flights. Source: AAP

It left vegetarians in the lurch, however, the message was heard "loud and clear" by Qantas management.

The airline announced on Friday vegetarian meals will be carried on all domestic flights under 3.5 hours, in addition to meals that include meat.

"We’ve heard the message loud and clear about having vegetarian offerings on all of our flights and so we’re making that change as a priority," Qantas Executive Manager of Product and Service, Phil Capps said in a statement.

Qantas still altering service after Covid restrictions

Mr Capps added that due to Covid, Qantas had to make several alterations to its service and the airline was still in the process of bringing things back or updating others.

"When we brought back complimentary beer and wine, we extended the times of day it was served by several hours and expanded it across all routes," he said.

“We’re in the middle of a broader menu refresh for our domestic network that will roll out from October, which includes new vegetarian options.

Pictured is a Qantas plane.
Qantas was accused of alienating not only vegetarians but people who don't eat meat for religious or cultural reasons. Source: Getty Images

Qantas also announced it would reintroduce fresh fruit on the plane — a service that was paused during the pandemic due to high levels of wastage.

Going forward, Qantas said it would monitor the take-up of the options and reflect on customers' preferences. It will make any further adjustments as needed.

"There’s a lot of work happening to get Qantas back to its best, and that includes listening to the feedback from our customers as we keep investing in our product and service," Mr Capps said.

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