What's going on with CX food in J?

Old Jan 7, 15, 7:44 pm
  #1  
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What's going on with CX food in J?

Happy new year, everyone!

I've been a loyal CX J flyer averaging about 50-60k miles per year for the past several years. However, my recent travel on 3 sectors left me hugely disappointed with the quality, variety and quantity of on board food. I've flown these sectors every year and the decline was very noticeable compared with my last trip about 7 months ago.

Two of the sectors were regional and the other across the pacific. The food was stunningly and uniformly bad across all three. I'm not a fussy eater but I left most of my entree on all three flights. Appetizers were, well, not appetizing at all: 2 x small prawns on salad leaves on regional legs and pre-packaged crackers+spread on trans pacific leg. Other changes:
- no nuts served
- no proactive serving of cheese (it used to be served via a cart where you could pick and choose)
- dessert on tray vs. separate after dinner cart

It was glaringly obvious that cost-cutting was in full force.

I politely asked one of the lead flight attendants what was going on and she apologized and said "I agree and I'm embarrassed to serve you this food". Wow! She said there had been a noticeable decline in the food quality over the past few months.

I view CX as one of the best out there but this recent experience has shattered my confidence in them. Have you seen similar declines in catering quality?
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Old Jan 7, 15, 8:02 pm
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If I haven't mixed up with other airlines, CX served lamb chop in J about 10 years (or less) ago. I haven't seen that for years...
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Old Jan 7, 15, 8:03 pm
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Originally Posted by Gemba View Post
Happy new year, everyone!

I've been a loyal CX J flyer averaging about 50-60k miles per year for the past several years. However, my recent travel on 3 sectors left me hugely disappointed with the quality, variety and quantity of on board food. I've flown these sectors every year and the decline was very noticeable compared with my last trip about 7 months ago.

Two of the sectors were regional and the other across the pacific. The food was stunningly and uniformly bad across all three. I'm not a fussy eater but I left most of my entree on all three flights. Appetizers were, well, not appetizing at all: 2 x small prawns on salad leaves on regional legs and pre-packaged crackers+spread on trans pacific leg. Other changes:
- no nuts served
- no proactive serving of cheese (it used to be served via a cart where you could pick and choose)
- dessert on tray vs. separate after dinner cart

It was glaringly obvious that cost-cutting was in full force.

I politely asked one of the lead flight attendants what was going on and she apologized and said "I agree and I'm embarrassed to serve you this food". Wow! She said there had been a noticeable decline in the food quality over the past few months.

I view CX as one of the best out there but this recent experience has shattered my confidence in them. Have you seen similar declines in catering quality?
There's definitely been a decline in catering. I go back and forth every 6 weeks. I know the menus by heart now. I try to eat as much as I can on the ground and not eat that much inflight.

BKK used to have decent catering. Lately, crap!

I didn't think anything can be as bad. I recently took a flight in J on BA from LAX to LHR. It makes CX's inflight catering pretty darn good. With CX, you can choose the cheese plate and the dessert. BA, pick the dessert or the cheese plate.

Nuts are served in packets as opposed to a nut bowl with CX.

Breakfast on BA. Fruits, a scone, and a bacon sandwich. CX at least you get a full breakfast.
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Old Jan 7, 15, 9:04 pm
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Even the flight deck crew think the food is crap.
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Old Jan 7, 15, 10:16 pm
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hop on a US airline long haul J.. . then it wont seem so bad.
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Old Jan 7, 15, 10:30 pm
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Originally Posted by cxfan1960 View Post
If I haven't mixed up with other airlines, CX served lamb chop in J about 10 years (or less) ago. I haven't seen that for years...
Ive had lamb in the last 3 months.
Not good, but lamb.
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Old Jan 7, 15, 10:32 pm
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Originally Posted by maortega15 View Post
Even the flight deck crew think the food is crap.

I fly SGN to HKG in J weekly.

The crews very often have ground staff bring them banh mi sandwiches (in large numbers), which they eat on the SGN to HKG flight. I am always so jealous. I would much prefer a US$0.75 sandwich from the street to CX J catering.
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Old Jan 7, 15, 11:31 pm
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Originally Posted by maortega15 View Post
Even the flight deck crew think the food is crap.
It's no secret CX is cutting back in areas they think they can get away with it. Just that for this they don't justify it by claiming they are donating the money saved to some water treatment plan in Cambodia.
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Old Jan 7, 15, 11:59 pm
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I bet Skytrax will still rate food on CX J one of the best this year just like in previous years
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Old Jan 8, 15, 12:03 am
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I promise i'll slash them on the upcoming review session. (Ive always used every opportunity to complain about their sh!tty food)
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Old Jan 8, 15, 12:20 am
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Originally Posted by Gemba View Post

Two of the sectors were regional and the other across the pacific. The food was stunningly and uniformly bad across all three. I'm not a fussy eater but I left most of my entree on all three flights. Appetizers were, well, not appetizing at all: 2 x small prawns on salad leaves on regional legs and pre-packaged crackers+spread on trans pacific leg. Other changes:
- no nuts served
- no proactive serving of cheese (it used to be served via a cart where you could pick and choose)
- dessert on tray vs. separate after dinner cart
Sounds like you got extra unlucky. Which routes were you flying?

Have not seen dessert on tray ever. Maybe on 1 hour routes. Normally on short flights its ice cream rather than a dessert.

Bizarre about the cheese. If its on the menu, they always roll a cart down the aisle to serve it. How did they handle it? Actually I have seen improvement on the cheese service recently - it's back on some ~3 hours flights that it had previously been removed from
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Old Jan 8, 15, 12:49 am
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Lamb chops

Originally Posted by cxfan1960 View Post
If I haven't mixed up with other airlines, CX served lamb chop in J about 10 years (or less) ago. I haven't seen that for years...
They actually had lamb chops on the HKG-KUL flight earlier this week on my way down.

I agree with the OP though: CX food is generally dire by J standards.
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Old Jan 8, 15, 1:12 am
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Originally Posted by Gemba View Post
Other changes:
- no nuts served
- no proactive serving of cheese (it used to be served via a cart where you could pick and choose)
- dessert on tray vs. separate after dinner cart
I agree with the generic cost-cutting/decline impression but assuming that the above pertains to the long haul, I am very surprised by your experience, as in my experience, CX still serves warm cashew nuts in little bowls and a separate cheese and fruit service off the trolley before dessert. If you did not have those things on your transpacific, I suspect that there might have been a problem with your specific flight and would suggest writing to complain.
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Old Jan 8, 15, 1:50 am
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Originally Posted by Jane's Addiction View Post
The crews very often have ground staff bring them banh mi sandwiches (in large numbers), which they eat on the SGN to HKG flight. I am always so jealous. I would much prefer a US$0.75 sandwich from the street to CX J catering.
ha, spot on.

fwiw, those bahn mi are usually for ex-HKG crews doing turnarounds. the ground staff do the same for turnaround crews with cheese bread in Manila and coffee breakfast pastries in Jakarta.

and yes, ditto i'd way rather CX cater with the street food than a lot of the nonsense they serve in J. But hey, at least where CX fails with taste at least they make up with high-brow sounding food vocabulary words I never knew:

for example, while I likely won't get a good tasting meal, at least now I know what are "medlar seeds", enjoyed "mustard butter", know the English translation for 木耳 ("wood ear mushroom"), tried delicate dishes from the sea ("ling cod fish", "diced fish julienne", yum), savored "braised five spice beef shin" and "spicy four season beans", and I even learned that parsley could be used as a verb ("parsleyed new potatoes"......what the %%#@?!). CX never misses a chance to describe in extreme, lengthy detail practically every morsel I'm eating in J class. And here I was all along thinking I was mainly eating an unidentifiable protein with some slop sauce....
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Old Jan 8, 15, 1:58 am
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Originally Posted by QRC3288 View Post
ha, spot on.

for example, while I likely won't get a good tasting meal, at least now I know what are "medlar seeds", enjoyed "mustard butter", know the English translation for 木耳 ("wood ear mushroom"), tried delicate dishes from the sea ("ling cod fish", "diced fish julienne", yum), savored "braised five spice beef shin" and "spicy four season beans", and I even learned that parsley could be used as a verb ("parsleyed new potatoes"......what the %%#@?!). CX never misses a chance to describe in extreme, lengthy detail practically every morsel I'm eating in J class. And here I was all along thinking I was mainly eating an unidentifiable protein with some slop sauce....
Haha, that's so true. I think I had steak - maybe - in peppercorn sauce (I think) on my last HKG-KUL flight. I dunno, I've been grounded for the last two months, so I'm hoping it won't be as bad when I'm back in the air in a few weeks, because it'll seem "fresh."
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