A new low for economy meals?

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Old Oct 5, 18, 3:01 am
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A new low for economy meals?

I have just returned from a quick TT run in economy ZQN-MEL-ZQN. This was my 6th NZ TT this year but was my first trip in economy as all other flights have been in PE or J via AKL

What I noticed was a stark deterioration in the economy meals, very limited choices, small child sized main serving ‘dishes’, poor quality (today’s breakfast frittata was almost inedible and left me wishing I had chosen the cereal, thankfully I had snacked and coffeed in the lounge prior to departure), and not helping was the ‘mean spirited’ service (I ordered a coke on outbound trip and was served my plastic cup with the tide out, not even offered the whole can). Both trips the Wellington based crews (does that make a difference) did one drinks run after meal service only and announced service was concluding with almost 1:30 to go on the outbound leg!

This experience gave me a new appreciation for the PE product, and would lead me to question the merits of The Works over seat or seat and bag next time. Is this a particular ZQN origination issue with a basically domestic crew/service level offering or have things gotten this poor in economy generally now?

As a contrast the captain ZQN-MEL was brilliant and clearly took pride in looking after his passengers, as he came out pre flight as, we had a delay to departure, and stood in the galley introducing himself and giving a run through the flight. I heard two of the crew talking afterwards saying words to the effect ‘he does that better than us’.




Last edited by ottiehund; Oct 5, 18 at 3:13 am Reason: sp, grammar
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Old Oct 5, 18, 4:05 pm
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Well y'know, some of us literally don't have a choice trans tasman as only Auckland gets the big planes...

I don't mind the economy food at all but I would love to see Air NZ follow the trend of increasing the mains by 50% and cutting out all of the unnecessary extras (like the cheese/crackers). I flew Latam Airlines in economy and they did this. It was great. We did get a roll, but it was served already buttered (for better or worse depending on how you feel about butter). It costs the airlines more, but it significantly reduces clean up time and creates far less waste. It's also a lot healthier and more filling. Here is hoping Air NZ moves towards this as well one day.
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Old Oct 5, 18, 6:09 pm
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Kiwifrequentflyer I am regional as well but the last few trips have been in AKL for business or else the fares routing via AKL have been cheap plus gave the opportunity to oneup or use a RU. This trip was personal so took the best fare and most direct routing.

At the end of the day we can probably get through a 3 hour flight without food etc I know, but what I noticed was the deterioration since my last Y trip (probably a year ago) and the mean spirited part glass of coke and more noteably stopping service half way through the flight (I expect that is crew related more than anything else however).
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Old Oct 5, 18, 6:43 pm
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I didn't mean that I fly regionally and thus have smaller planes, I mean if you fly trans tasman from Christchurch/Wellington/Queenstown you only get economy seats. They do not have PE/BP because they are smaller. We have one single choice: fly economy.
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Old Oct 5, 18, 7:30 pm
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My semi recent experiences have been that the dinners are still more or less OK (far from great) but the lunches and breakfasts are terrible. What makes this incredibly annoying is that you have chosen to pay extra for it - it's not like they're providing something 'for free' to everybody, many of whom may not want it. The whole point of S2S was supposed to be that you don't pay for an amenity you don't want, but if you do pay the extra for it at least you get something decent.

I noticed a distinct drop in quality/quantity last year some time. Haven't noticed it getting worse since. With VA now about to start offering a meal on all trans-Tasman fares (like Qantas) will NZ start to make a bit more of an effort, I wonder?
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Old Oct 5, 18, 7:51 pm
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Originally Posted by mad_atta View Post
My semi recent experiences have been that the dinners are still more or less OK (far from great) but the lunches and breakfasts are terrible..............The whole point of S2S was supposed to be that you don't pay for an amenity you don't want, but if you do pay the extra for it at least you get something decent...........I noticed a distinct drop in quality/quantity last year some time............With VA now about to start offering a meal on all trans-Tasman fares (like Qantas) will NZ start to make a bit more of an effort, I wonder?
My experience was lunch and breakfast, so aligns exactly with what you say. Yes, it will be interesting to see if there is any response to VA.
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Old Oct 5, 18, 8:00 pm
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I have stopped using NZ A320's for my Tasman travel. The food is junk (I have told NZ this numerous times) and has not changed for at least a year - that frittata has been on the menu for months. As the OP mentions, child portions with child cutlery. First rows are uncomfortable as they have the handset impinging into the seat area.
The thick end of $100 for a $3 meal and a film - I don't need the bag as I do an overnight so not really S2S for me. QF and EK get my monthly business - same schedules, newer planes and it keeps me in QF Platinum. I can't be bothered traipsing to AKL to get a SYD flight just to sit in the big planes or spend my upgrade certs.
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Old Oct 5, 18, 8:39 pm
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FWIW I haven't seen Air NZ give whole cans for ages (with the exception of beer). Likewise service has always ended about 90 mins out.

I have no issues flying seat only or seat and bag. There is plenty of legroom at the front of the plane and I couldn't care less about paying for a meal on a plane for a 3hr flight.
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Old Oct 5, 18, 8:45 pm
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Originally Posted by sbiddle View Post
FWIW I haven't seen Air NZ give whole cans for ages (with the exception of beer). Likewise service has always ended about 90 mins out.

I have no issues flying seat only or seat and bag. There is plenty of legroom at the front of the plane and I couldn't care less about paying for a meal on a plane for a 3hr flight.
I think that will be me next time also if I am in Y or not on a widebody with a PE or upgrade option ... food and water in the lounge beforehand, ipad and/or book on aircraft = all done. I get to destination fine and NZ miss out on revenue.

I am not just a flyer however but also an AIR shareholder and these slipping service standards are something I don't like as at the end of the day TT are still major routes for the airline (albeit short haul travel is becoming more like a bus service these days).
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Old Oct 5, 18, 8:53 pm
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Originally Posted by mad_atta View Post
My semi recent experiences have been that the dinners are still more or less OK (far from great) but the lunches and breakfasts are terrible. What makes this incredibly annoying is that you have chosen to pay extra for it - it's not like they're providing something 'for free' to everybody, many of whom may not want it. The whole point of S2S was supposed to be that you don't pay for an amenity you don't want, but if you do pay the extra for it at least you get something decent.

I noticed a distinct drop in quality/quantity last year some time. Haven't noticed it getting worse since. With VA now about to start offering a meal on all trans-Tasman fares (like Qantas) will NZ start to make a bit more of an effort, I wonder?
I'll be intrigued to see what the standard of food VA will offer but I don't have high expectations. Personally I actually find the NZ food better than QF, maybe I'm an anomaly here. I do find it interesting that people consider QF/VA provide you food for 'free'...you're paying for it one way or another. Yes, it's included in their single fare offering, but you're still paying for it. Most important for me is comparing apples with apples (i.e. I don't worry about the Seat and Seat+Bag products when comparing with QF/VA, I just look at how the Works stacks up against them in quality and price). Just my 2c worth anyway.
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Old Oct 5, 18, 9:54 pm
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Do think of some people including me did the weekly commute TT on narrow body

Always cereal breakfast over the frittata or the soggy mash and eggs. Dinner options slightly bearable, thankfully eating before the lounge is great. At times I offer my meal to the lucky person next to me if they were on seat only fare
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Old Oct 5, 18, 10:36 pm
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Originally Posted by AviationNZ View Post
Personally I actually find the NZ food better than QF, maybe I'm an anomaly here
I used to think that until the Pumpkin Tortellini.
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Old Oct 5, 18, 10:55 pm
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Being WLG based I have come to loath trans Tasman flying with ANZ. Personally not a fan of the A320 experience.

Used to route via AKL to get PE seating, but the extra time and flight schedules weren't worth it for short business trips. However I still do this for personal travel when it suits.

I generally don't eat the A320 meals as my stomach isn't usually awake for the early AM flights, and on the way home I fill up in the lounge.

But I agree they are very poor even for a 3 hour flight. Feel nauseous thinking about that frittata, always opt for the cereal.
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Old Oct 5, 18, 11:11 pm
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Even Air AsiaX meals on AKL-OOL are better, might help you only pay $6NZD for the meal and you get an pre-selection choice. Maybe NZ should ditch the works an try an Pre-Selection online and pay for the quality you want from an few options.

Would struggle to pay the works on NZ anymore, itís just not worth it. if I want an meal Iíll go PE.

Or LA is becoming an great early morning AKL-SYD option for $312NZD in J.
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Old Oct 6, 18, 12:10 am
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Interesting, but people are bound to be disappointed as Air Nz economy operates a glorified low cost carrier individual component fare model these days. Marketing (or long past previous rose-tinted experiences) may lead them to expect something substantial and higher grade. The reality is clearly cost driven low grade slop and something completely different.

Last edited by ollieinmelbourne; Oct 6, 18 at 12:14 am Reason: Typo
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