Qantas Now Serving Caviar In First Class

Early last year Qantas announced a restructuring after some horrible financial results, and it seems that has worked well, as they turned a profit of ~$367 million in the second half of last year.

It seems as part of their turnaround they’re doing more to invest in their first class product, and are now offering caviar in first class.

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Qantas A380 first class, seat 2A

Via AusBT:

And not just any caviar, but the tiny black Yasa caviar pearls farmed in Abu Dhabi by Emirates Aquatech, which claims to be “the world’s largest and most advanced aquaculture facility.”

The Yasa caviar tartlets tiny black pearls appear on Qantas’ new Autumn First inflight menu, alongside premium beef from Tasmania’s Cape Grim and Kingfish ceviche.

Ultimately caviar in and of itself isn’t a reason to fly an airline, though it is nice to see Qantas investing in their premium experience, beyond virtual reality inflight entertainment.

I flew Qantas first class recently from Sydney to Los Angeles, and while the bedding and seat itself was great, the food left a lot to be desired. Frankly there wasn’t any part of the meal that was memorable, let alone truly first class quality.

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Qantas first class lunch: cream of cauliflower soup

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Qantas first class lunch: prawn tortellini

So I do hope that caviar is only one part of an overall improved premium cabin experience. And if I’m being really picky, I do hope they have caviar spoons. It amazes me how many airlines spend the money on caviar, but then don’t have anything with which you can eat it (I’m looking at you, Lufthansa & Co.).

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ANA first class caviar presentation

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Cathay Pacific first class caviar presentation

Has anyone experienced Qantas’ new first class caviar service yet?

Comments

  1. “I do hope they have caviar spoons” this is the ridiculousness that makes me come back to your blog day after day!

  2. thank God they finally serve caviar in first class! Maybe there is hope for humanity after all.

  3. Why do you even care? It seems odd that you moan when you do not get a bunch of half naked cabin crew members spoon feeding you with mother of pearl spoons when in fact you stuffed you brother with your provision of caviar on a LH F flight back in the day. Do I hear a gold chain rapper with more money than taste in the background?

  4. Have you tried contacting the airline customer service to request all the specifics you like? I don’t know of many airlines that would deny a special request to an international first class pax. It is the definition of insanity to expect the carrier to guess what you expect for meals, amenities, service and entertainment.

  5. Hmmmm….Toronto-Sydney return only $8216, WITH caviar. Sounds….well……

    Nahhhh, think I’ll fly instead to Costa Rica, spend three months on reasonably cheap travel, enjoy the rain forest, the Caribbean, the Pacific Coast, maybe take in a little culture. Sounds like a more sensible way to spend my hard-earned loonies and toonies.
    AND help protect the environment by not supporting ocean-destroying aquaculture.
    Yup, the choice is clear.

  6. I just realized after reading your post that autumn in Australia is during the same time as spring in the USA.
    Will this be served only in certain routes like SYD-LAX or on all F class routes?

  7. What aspect of your meal(s) on QF left you disappointed? I’ve found the quality and variety of their F menu offerings to be reasonably strong.

  8. Reading the article carefully, it appears the caviar will come on tartlets.

    So I’d imagine, not much caviar at all is forthcoming.

    Stop getting so excited, people.

  9. It seems that the caviar will be rationed out on “tartlets”, which I envision to be pastry cups perhaps a smidge bigger than a quarter.

    Not a whole lot of fish eggs working there. BUT, I submit that caviar is served for the panache associated therewith. With C products improving, F must do more and more to differentiate itself. This is a move in the right direction.

  10. Yukk!! Fish eggs!! It should only be served to the cats and dogs in the cargo compartment. But I bet even they would pass.
    Anyone actually think that is good? Or is it something we are supposed to pretend we like? I think the latter is the case.

  11. @ Joey — I believe all routes, but given how few routes they have, that’s not all that many.

  12. @ JoeMart — Referring to a caviar spoon? That’s not a function of “guessing” what someone wants. But serving caviar with a metal spoon is a no-no.

  13. I’ve never found that a sterling silver stainless steel spoon truly disflavors caviar. But failing to use a gold plated (with the gold being inert), mother of pearl, or even plastic spoon kinda announces that one is uncouth and so unfamiliar with social graces that one would fail to stand during the Hallelujah Chorus at a performance of the Messiah. Certainly not a gaffe an airline cares to make in first class service.

    Makes me wonder if that broad on Korean would have an A380 turn back midflight to fetch proper spoons if the attendants in F failed to use proper cutlery?

  14. Qantas First, much like AA’s International First, isn’t really First Tier – which is why the First Cabin is almost always made up of Reward Redemptions and Business Class Upgrades (QFF CL and some P1 members on op-upgrades, the rest on redeemed upgrades or awards). Finding a full revenue First pax is very much a rarity (I was the only one in a full cabin on my last Qantas First flight).

    So it’s a bit chicken and the egg, Qantas doesn’t get much revenue from First (hence it disappearing from the majority of the fleet) and thus it doesn’t really look to lift it’s product in any substantive way to reward what are essentially non-First revenue passengers (turning it into a Business Plus cabin).

    The caviar is a marketing PR exercise, sadly the experience will turn out lacklustre compared to say Cathay Pacific’s way of doing caviar service (you can bet your bottom dollar).

    It’s a shame really as I think it possible for Qantas to compete with Etihad and Emirates on First, if they only decided to go for it all out (not just go through the motions). Until then First is really just a limited add-on for Qantas.

    Regarding the Qantas loss to profit turn-around, it’s worth noting that the biggest contributors to the loss and the profit are actually accounting factors (Qantas wrote down large portions of it’s fleet with the loss, and took the reduced depreciation this past financial year as a much lower offset against revenue, for example). They wrote their own rags to riches story for the most part, in the pursuit of an agenda (some of which failed, by some worked out).

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