Vegetarian passengers in uproar after Qantas drops meat-free meals from many of its flights: ‘It was chicken pie or nothing’
- No vegetarian meals on most Qantas domestic routes, one meal choice only
- The airline also had no option for passengers with dietary restrictions
- The restrictions applied to domestic flights of less than three and a half hours
- One Australian woman said the answer is to make all Qantas meals vegetarian
An Australian businessman raged that he was offered ‘chicken pie or nothing’ on a Qantas flight from Adelaide to Sydney.
‘I’m informed that Qantas no longer serve vegetarian food on domestic flights (except Perth). Crew said “one size fits all”,’ Mr Dee, an environmentalist, claimed.
‘What kind of airline stops offering vegetarian food to its passengers? It was chicken pie or nothing tonight.
A vegetarian businessman took to social media to vent that he had been offered ‘chicken pie or nothing’ on a Qantas flight from Adelaide to Sydney
‘Is Alan Joyce deliberately trying to run Qantas into the ground?’
More than 2.6 million Australians are vegetarian – around 12 per cent of the population.
Mr Dee also claimed gold or platinum frequent flyers had only one choice.
The under-fire airline explained it reduced meal offerings to ‘simplify’ work for its understaffed crew.
Qantas passengers on domestic flights of less than three and a half hours are offered an either or option, such as a chicken pie or a zucchini and onion frittata.
Anyone not catered by the single option would be offered ‘a sweet or savoury snack which is vegetarian’, Qantas said.
The restrictions apply to all flights between Australia’s eastern states.
Environmentalists Jon Dee wondered whether Alan Joyce is ‘deliberately trying to run Qantas into the ground’ by upsetting passengers with the airline’s domestic meal choices, which are more limited than Jetstar’s
The change to Qantas’s domestic menus also affected people with dietary restrictions, and those who prefer a special diet because of their faith.
Common dietary restrictions that are not usually catered to by a one-size-fits-all food options include gluten intolerance or people with diabetes.
Faith-based diets include halal or kosher food.
Qantas said in a statement that it made the change during the pandemic.
‘During Covid we made some changes to onboard food and service offerings to simplify the service delivery for our crew,’ it said.
‘We now offer a single meal/snack option per flight on our shorter flights, such as a chicken pie or a zucchini and onion frittata.
‘If the option on a particular flight is not suitable for vegetarians, we try to offer an alternative of a small sweet or savoury snack which is vegetarian.’
Mr Dee received strong support for his stand on Qantas dropping vegetarian meals on social media, including from one woman who said the answer would be to make all the airlines’s meals vegetarian
Qantas said customers on international flights, or longer domestic flights, such as Sydney, Brisbane or Melbourne to Perth, Broome or Darwin, could book meals that werre vegan, gluten free, dairy free, or other requirements.
Mr Dee told News Corp the airline offered good vegetarian options for over 30 years, but streamlined menu was more limited than Jetstar or Ryanair.
He labelled it ‘a totally unacceptable move’ then personally launched a ‘push’ for the airline to ‘reinstall guaranteed food options’.
He received strong support on social media, including from one woman who said the answer would be to make all Qantas’s meals vegetarian.
‘That is unacceptable. Vegetarians can’t eat meat. Maybe if ‘one size fits all’, then all meals should be vego,’ she said.