Australian carrier Qantas is facing the ire of customers after scrapping vegetarian meal option on short-duration routes. The travellers are suggesting it is a sign that the airline is in decline. Qantas said in a statement that it is offering one meal option on shorter domestic routes to “simplify service delivery for its crew”. The airline also said that it tries to offer a vegetarian snack if the main option is not suitable for vegetarians. But social media users gave accused Qantas of overlooking the cultural and religious preferences of fliers to cut costs.
A Qantas spokesperson was quoted as saying by The Guardian, “During Covid we made some changes to onboard food and service offerings to simplify the service delivery for our crew. 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.”
The airline, however, made it clear that international travellers and those taking longer duration flights could still book special meals, including gluten-free food.
Environmentalist John Dee was among those travellers who slammed Qantas for the move.
“I’m on the Adelaide to Sydney flight – I’m informed that #Qantas no longer serve vegetarian food on domestic flights (except Perth). Crew said “one size fits all”,” he said in a Twitter thread posted on Sunday.
Qantas has been under fire for flight delays, cancellations and lost baggage as travel resumed after COVID-19. Several users and even airline’s workers’ union demanded Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Alan Joyce’s resignation but he rebuffed all the calls last month. On Monday, the airline said its overall performance had slightly improved in September.