Virgin Australia has replaced its hot lunch service in Business class with smaller cold snacks such as salads and sandwiches. The change would appear to be a cost-cutting measure.
The airline says that it’s simply responding to customer feedback. But frequent flyers that have experienced Virgin’s new “lighter” Business class lunch service say they were left feeling hungry and disappointed.
Virgin’s lighter lunch options were rolled out on domestic flights last month. On many flights, the Business class lunch choices are now either a small salad or chicken sandwich, such as the sandwich pictured above which was served to AFF member Denali on a recent flight. A small quiche is also on the lunch menu rotation. Meanwhile, one unimpressed AFF member reports that the only item available on their lunchtime Business class flight was a scone with jam and cream.
Bread rolls, which are normally served with meals in Virgin Australia Business class, are also now off the lunch menu.
Virgin Australia serves lunch in Business class on flights departing between 11.30am and 1.29pm. The change appears to be impacting shorter domestic flights departing between these times.
We reached out to Virgin Australia, who told us that they’ve been trialling the new lunch menu after receiving feedback from customers that wanted lighter meals at lunchtime.
“Based on the feedback we’ve received we are looking at making additions to ensure there’s as much choice as possible for our Business Class guests on these short-haul services,” the Virgin Australia spokesperson added.
Here’s what AFF members have had to say about the light lunch service in Virgin Australia Business class:
Was in J, VA782 CNS-BNE 12:40 flight Friday 13th Dec, and no hot options, Choice was either a salad or a chicken sandwich. I didnt see this thread until now, but i sent in feedback asking if this was a new enhancement or an error in the catering.
Was pretty disappointed, as ive taken this flight a fair few times, and usually hold off eating in the lounge beforehand.
BNE to Syd, delayed flight from 1pm to about 2.15 pm and it’s a chicken sandwich. Glad I had fish and chips and a bit of chunky Christmas ham off the bone in the lounge.
Lunch onboard VA 741 MEL-OOL. I had both options on my tray because my wife was holding the little one next to me. It was disappointing to say the least. The chicken sandwich didn’t taste fresh and the cold noodle salad was tasty but there wasn’t enough so i was left hungry. A packet of chips from the pantry was the only thing offered afterwards. I wish I ate more in the lounge. No hot options available at lunch time (departs at 12:20pm) on 2+ hour flight is poor. If this is the new lighter / fresh menu then it sucks and smells like bad cost cutting to me. Glad this was a points upgrade, I’d be pissed if I paid for J.
The change comes just months after Virgin started charging Business class passengers for food and drinks from the economy class retail menu.
Join the discussion on the Australian Frequent Flyer forum: Virgin Australia Business Class Catering – Service, Meal times, Menus