QF9 J meals PER – LHR | Australian Frequent Flyer
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QF9 J meals PER – LHR

Anna

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Jan 17, 2005
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In March I flew on QF9 in J from MEL – PER – LHR. It was my first time on that flight so I’m interested in whether the food served is usually like what I experienced.

I booked QF9/10 by accident. I had in mind that QF9/10 was MEL – LHR via SIN. My mistake to be out of date. When I realised my error I couldn’t be bothered fighting with the QF website to change the flights and thought to myself ‘oh well, at least it will be interesting to experience the direct Australia to UK flight’.

My flight was while most of Australia, except WA, was still on summer daylight saving time. I know that the departure times get adjusted when daylight saving ends but I don’t think they change too radically from what I had.

We departed MEL on schedule at 17.05pm. As far as I was concerned this was excellent timing to enjoy a QF J dinner which I duly did. I’m not sure exactly what time we landed in PER or exactly what time we departed PER en route for LHR but departure was around about 18.45pm PER time. In other words for those who boarded QF9 in MEL it was by now about 21.45pm by their body clocks. I’d also done a relaxing stretch session with the lovely yoga instructor in the ‘spa room’ in the QF transit lounge at PER so I was feeling ready to wind down for the night.

Just to remind everyone, PER – LHR is a 17 hour sector. Another dinner was served after take-off from PER. Allowing for the drinks service and the heating-up time it was by now at least 23.00pm as far as my stomach was concerned, and I’d already had dinner. I don’t know about anyone else but I can’t digest another big meal when my stomach thinks it’s had dinner and it’s about time to go to sleep.

I told the crew I wasn’t really that hungry. They advised me to ‘try to eat something because the next meal is not till breakfast before we land at Heathrow’. Landing at Heathrow was by now about 15 hours away. I managed to eat some bread and an icecream sandwich. I really couldn’t face eating more than that and certainly not any of Neil’s spicy/heavy options that were on the dinner menu. (I like spicy food, just not when I’m sleepy).

I went to sleep and woke up about 5-6 hours later. It was still 9-10 hours away from landing at Heathrow. I was a bit hungry because my stomach thought it was breakfast time by now. I went to explore the snacks on offer in the galley. There were some fruit salads in bowls on a tray next to the chocolate bars etc – ‘fruit salad, perfect’, I thought. When I took one a crew member snapped at me that the bowls were ‘for breakfast’ and I wasn’t allowed to have one. So instead I took an apple and a biscuit and went back to my seat.

After another couple of hours, 7-8 hours away from landing, my stomach was definitely wanting breakfast so I consulted the menu to find out what the hot snacks were. For what felt to me like breakfast, these were the choices:

Stir fried vegetables with sweet potato noodles, soy and sesame
Beef kofta with Moroccan eggplant, pearl couscous and coriander yogurt
Prawn and celery brioche roll with smoked paprika and tarragon mayonnaise


I don’t like noodles much and I don’t like celery and I certainly don’t like either of them for breakfast. I mean, I’d eat either of them or even both of them if I was lost in the desert for 3 days without food and they were the only options other than starvation. But when my stomach thinks it’s breakfast time on a J flight I’ve paid $8K for, no. And at dinner time I would be very happy with beef kofta, but again – I’d been asleep 5-6 hours and then dozing and beef kofta for breakfast was not what I felt like eating. So I went back to the galley and took a lamington and another biscuit and asked for a cup of tea and some OJ which were brought to me.

That kept my stomach (but not my inner nutritionist) happy until we were about 3 hours out of LHR. I decided that by now that I was awake enough and hungry enough to manage some beef kofta. I went to the galley and found the crew were busily setting out breakfast trays. I asked the CSM how long it would be before breakfast was served. Remember by now it was about 12 hours since the dinner service ex PER. She told me that breakfast would be served ‘in about 20 minutes’. Her answer and her tone of voice made it clear to me that the crew would not appreciate it if I was to ask for beef kofta now when they were busy prepping breakfast.

I was happy to wait 20 minutes for breakfast so I went back to my seat and waited. And waited. And waited. And went and got changed out of my PJs in the hope that me being away from my seat in the bathroom would immediately trigger the arrival of the crew with breakfast. Nope, still no breakfast.

Eventually, when I was beginning to think that the other pax would be able to hear my stomach rumbling even through their headphones, movement started in the other aisle with breakfast trays being distributed. But it was still another 20 minutes before an FA arrived at my seat with my breakfast. It was at least 2 hours since the CSM informed me that breakfast would be ‘in 20 minutes’ and by now only about 1 hour 20 minutes away from landing at LHR – so about 13 or 14 hours between proper meals being served.

My reason for posting is to ask whether the mid-flight hot snack choices on QF9 are usually so unbreakfast-like? On QF10 one of the hot snack choices was a bacon sandwich which would have been perfect on QF9 when my stomach thought it was breakfast time. And also, on a 17 hour flight do people really think it’s ok that there’s a dinner service soon after take-off and a breakfast service just before landing but no proper meal service in the 13-14 hours in between?
 
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Quickstatus

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Oct 13, 2013
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I have not experienced that route, but when travelling, I think it helps to think about meals in terms of the terminating destination.

So inflight PER-LHR, I would try to eat as offered , and think of the interval offerings not as breakfast but as a late night snack. If nothing fancies you, just ask the FA to swop the late night for the main dinner serviceand they might actually make you the original starting dinner as a late night. Ive done it before on a JFL-LAX-SYD flight and swopped the post departure dinner service out of LAX to a late night snack and got the main dinner in the middle of the flight.
 

levelnine

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Nov 7, 2009
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My suggestion would be to fly on an airline that offers dine on demand in J. There are many out there. Many of them also offer a superior experience to Qantas J in other respects. Vote with your wallet.
 

love_the_life

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It all comes down to aligning the meal service with the destination after take-off which can be hard if your stomach doesn't like the menu items listed. We had a similar thing out of Santiago where it after waking the options were in line with dinner in Sydney. I certainly didn't feel like eating anything that was on offer. From memory I had soup (which was not nice at all). I do agree that the length of the flight with only 2 meal services is pretty poor. QF used to do that on the SYD - JNB route - in economy you had a meal, then a snack pack was handed out with an apple, muesli bar etc to tide you over till a couple of hours from landing, Passengers were getting really ansti.
From what others have said and your experience just confirms my lack of desire to fly this route. :)
 
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Anna

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From what others have said and your experience just confirms my lack of desire to fly this route.
Yes I won't be doing QF9 again. And while I was on board I didn't mind QF10 but after arriving I had some of the worst jetlag I've ever had which took me days to get over, so I'm not sure I want to do QF10 again either.

If I'd flown to LHR on QF35/QF1 or just on QF1, I'm pretty sure there would have been twice as many meals served as on QF9, as there would have been a meal after take off and at least a snack before landing on both the sectors, ie both into SIN and departing SIN.
 

Anna

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True. Ok not twice as many meals then. But definitely more evenly spaced food service over the whole length of the journey, not 3 in the first quarter (or maybe the first third) of the journey and then the last one at the end of the journey.
 

goldenhorn

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Apr 11, 2011
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My suggestion would be to fly on an airline that offers dine on demand in J. There are many out there. Many of them also offer a superior experience to Qantas J in other respects. Vote with your wallet.
I agree. I've flown to Europe twice in J with EY in 2017 and 2018 and I LOVE their dine on demand.

I was never hungry throughout 30 hours of travel and there was never any request for drinks or food that wasn't met with a lovely smile and quick response.

It's staggering to me that flight crew would "snap" at a J class passenger for wanting some more food. I hate that kind of attitude.

After reading of your experience, I am totally turned off even trying J in QF for long haul.
 

GoldCanyon340

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QF really missed a trick by not introducing dine on demand (DoD) in J for the PER-LHR vv flights. For the daytime mid haul departures from Australia to Asia DoD is a nice to have but the lack of it does not detract from the experience. But the current QF9/10 flights, and future Project Sunrise operations, are hamstrung without it. Although I can see a scenario where the SYD-LHR nonstop is unveiled with DoD and QF, with the aid of compliant local media, will spin it, a la Dreamliner introduction, as some sort of World first.
 
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Anna

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I would send that feedback to QF if you haven't already.
I'm planning to do that. I was hoping that AFFers might be able to give me a better idea of whether I just got a bad menu for the hot snacks on QF9 or whether they are always so 'non-breakfast'. QF could do a quiche option or a frittata or almost any kind of sandwich which would all be more palatable for someone who has just woken up than what I had to choose from. Even just a bread roll with honey or jam would have been more appetising than beef kofta!
 

Anna

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OT, but the other thing I really disliked about QF9 PER-LHR was the darkness for the whole 17 hour flight. At least if you stop in SIN you get that break in the airport with the artificial lighting for 2-3 hours. I was worried I would have really bad jetlag after QF9 but it wasn't too bad, I think because the sun was out at my destination. (My jetlag after QF10 was appalling though :oops:, all that marketing hype about that flight and that aircraft being designed to reduce jetlag is rubbish IMO).
 

Quickstatus

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@Anna no wonder you were feeling s***
Turning the lights off travelling west tend to maintain you in the original time zone and then you wake up when it’s morning in MEL.

Darkness does not fix Desynchronosis. You need light at specific times of the day (using destination time)

So for QF9
MEL-PER the cabin should be bright the entire duration because time in LHR is 7am when MEL is 5pm

And PER-LHR should only be dark for the 9 hours prior to arrival. Otherwise it should be bright. When it departs PER it is midday in LHR. So leave the lights on.

Hey Project sunrise!. Light is key. Not just light as in weight but the stuff that shine!!!
 
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Forg

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Jan 25, 2017
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Do airlines just turn the lights off a short while after take-off, and then on again maybe a couple of hours prior to landing, regardless of the actual time at either end? I’ve not flown super often, really only to NZ & Europe, and there didn’t seem to be any timing for it, just “turn the lights off so they can sleep”. Oh, and that daytime flight to Singapore, they did the same thing even though it was daytime for most of the flight.
 

Quickstatus

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I think if landing in the dark they turn cabin lights off

Coming back to meals, while the brain has a circadian rhythm. Other parts of the body have a type of rhythm as well So it’s also makes sense to eat according to the destination time.

So really to combat jet lag on this flight, there should be lots of snack along the way and or meal times according to destination
 
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Quickstatus

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Is was only a few years ago that Qantas did have Dine on Demand for Business class long haul listed on the menu's - but the FA's hated it and actively discouraged it. Eventually mention of it was removed from the card.
It was easier to feed the chooks and turn off the lights. Problem is the chooks then wake up when they are supposed to be sleeping
 

pauly7

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Dec 8, 2004
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I agree. I've flown to Europe twice in J with EY in 2017 and 2018 and I LOVE their dine on demand.

I was never hungry throughout 30 hours of travel and there was never any request for drinks or food that wasn't met with a lovely smile and quick response.
I’ve flown EY a lot, and other dine on demand airlines. And I’m quite torn about the service.

Even on EY 99.9% of people eat at the ‘set’ time anyway BUT what is really annoying about the service is that if you are trying to rest / sleep it is incredibly distracting to have staff up and down the aisles all night serving other people, clinking of cutlery and glass - the noises that cut through ear buds and noise cancelling.

And it only takes 1 person to order to have their lights turned on, clunky clinking of all the crockery, cutlery and glasses to disturb other people.

So I reached the conclusion I’m personally not a fan of dine on demand :)
 

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