Qatar Airways Now Lets You Pre-Order Business Class Meals

As far as I’m concerned Qatar Airways offers the world’s all around best business class product, and that was true before they even introduced Qsuites, which is their incredible new business class seat.

On their A350s, A380s, and 787s, Qatar Airways has reverse herringbone seats, wifi, dine on demand, pajamas, a great wine selection, and much more.

Anyway, Qatar Airways has just announced an enhancement to their business class experience, which I don’t think materially alters the experience, but is still worth sharing.

Qatar Airways has introduced a new pre-select dining service in first & business class on flights departing Doha for Europe, North and South America, Australia, and New Zealand. The service is expected to be rolled out to more routes later this year.

Passengers in first and business class can pre-select one main course from the onboard menu between 24 hours and 14 days of departure. This can be selected by going to the “My Trips” section of Qatar Airways’ website.

Here’s what Qatar Airways’ CEO has to say about this “innovation:”

Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker said: “We are constantly looking for innovative ways to refine and enhance our products and services. Giving our premium passengers the opportunity to pre-select their meals before they fly is another example of our unrivalled on-board experience.

In reality this isn’t much of an innovation at all. Many airlines let you select your meals in advance nowadays. Furthermore, let’s keep in mind that some airlines even let you choose from a much more extensive menu when reserving in advance. For example, Singapore Airlines is known for their “Book the Cook” program, where you can select from dozens of options that wouldn’t otherwise be available onboard.

In the case of Qatar Airways, however, they’re simply giving you the option of selecting in advance what would be available onboard, to be sure you get your first choice. Personally I haven’t had issues with Qatar Airways running out of food, especially if you place your order at the beginning of the flight.

Sure, I guess having the option is better than not having the option. However, this is something that almost seems not worth bothering with. Now if they went Singapore’s route and let you order from a more extensive selection in advance, that I’d see a lot more value in.

But an “innovation” this is not…

Comments

  1. Maybe they will let you preselect their celebrity dining menus. Like nobu, Vineet Bhatia and laduree.

  2. Qantas even lets economy class guests on most flights pre-order a meal of their choice that would not otherwise be available. This is just what I’ve read—I’ve not flown on Qantas in yonks.

  3. “For example, Singapore Airlines is known for their “Cook the Book” program”

    If books are what I’ll be eating, I might avoid Singapore Airlines in the future… 😉

  4. Because he ranks as a Minister in the Qatari Government. Totally justified as he’s the man who put Qatar on the map.

    Call it an inoffensive ego trip but I so much prefer an effective airline CEO with an ego to so many inefficient ones who have no result or product to be proud of but still have the arrogance.

  5. Lately Qatar has taken orders based on membership tier, so ppl with gold/platinum will get their choise. I ask what I would like after airborne, then what I would like to be reserved for later in the flight. Not once have they said my options isnt available. Thats pretty good, considering I flown 30-40 sectors with them the last 3 years.

    This pre order idea I think is more to help the airline than a service to the pax. Doing this they know what to cater and how much. Without this system they cater too much of most items.

  6. @ Mark

    I agree with you. It’s a way for the airline to reduce waste (by not having to carry lots of extra meals simply to ensure everyone gets their first choice). But this is smart cost-cutting, where the pax won’t perceive a reduction in service.

  7. I think all airlines should do this for business class passengers. Then the flight attendants wouldn’t have to do that absurd jumping around the cabin to ensure they offer the meal choices to higher mileage customers first. One flight attendant told me that process wastes a great deal of time while preparing for takeoff. With preorder they could skip the selection process altogether and everyone gets what they want.

  8. Charlie,

    Which airline is that? Every airline I have used takes dinner orders starting at the front of the cabin and working back. The only exception to that I have seen if you ordered a special meal.

  9. every one of the four flights we flew on QR last month had at least one option ran out, and we took our orders before take off

  10. I just reserved a meal for an upcoming short flight from NRT to TPE in China Airlines business class, which surprised me that it was even an option for such a short flight. It really should be available on most airlines in business class nowadays.

  11. @martin – Air Canada takes dinner orders in sequence based on the number of miles you’ve travelled with them. I noticed this haphazard process on 2 business class flights to/from Europe this summer. I asked why and that’s what the flight attendant told me. She had a handful of manifest papers she was rustling through and was obviously confused and a bit flustered about it – up and down the aisles like in a video game. It’s the whole status thing run amok if you ask me…

  12. Thanks Lucky! My grandparents will be flying with them next week (in business) to see us and there quite picky about what they eat. So this is good for me.

  13. @Pierre – as an EY Gold member who travels exclusively in J. I can affirm what you say about Etihad. I have had more pleasant experiences with the emirates.

  14. Sitting in the Doha lounge as I read this email. Funny thing, I was able to precook my meal on the Delhi – Doha flight but not the Doha – Miami flight or my return.
    Booked the flights 3 days ago.

  15. I have noticed that Etihad is doing a lot of cost-cutting with regard to economy class meals. For example, their meat dishes are no longer covered in the tasty sauce which passengers used to enjoy. The food is definitely of a much lower quality, and on a recent trip I took with them covering four flights in total, two meal services provided only one meal choice, and I definitely wasn’t in the last group of passengers to be served. Also, they are doing less innovating with their meal design which can be seen when one such as myself is served the same meal twice in twenty-four hours. It was a bland, tasteless meal the first time, and blander and even more tasteless the second.

    I agree that Emirates has perhaps lost some of its “premium-ness”, however I greatly respect them and hold them in high esteem for the fact that they publish the exact menus for all cabin classes for all flights on their website. This is unique in airlines that serve full meals, and is extremely valuable to me, a customer who is blind who would otherwise probably have to ask someone else what is written on the print menu cards.

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