Trial of no dinner service on night flights

Old Aug 20, 19, 9:15 am
  #1  
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Trial of no dinner service on night flights

In case anyone has missed the memo, I flew from JFK to LHR in Premium on a 10pm departure and was surprised to find there was no dinner service. Instead, they provided a light snack which tasted horrible as it was a bland small finger sandwich and a couple of slices of cheese with a few grapes and walnuts with it. I was expecting dinner, which is usually a fantastic meal, and hence I hadn't eaten anything beforehand. Apparently, it's a trial they are doing on night flights to cut down on wastage. It's a shame there was no advance warning given at check-in or through email as the experience has left me not wanting to fly with Virgin anymore. Granted, you're still paying the same fare despite this downgrade....

You're better off flying with Delta on a night flight
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Old Aug 20, 19, 9:44 am
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I'm on that flight in December in Upper Class and plan on having dinner in the clubhouse before I leave so I can maximize my sleep on that flight. Looking forward to catching some ZZZs in the new UC Suite!
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Old Aug 21, 19, 2:44 am
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Dinner in the CH is only possible if you're Gold travelling in W or Y. I think this is very bad and will be passing on feedback to that point too.
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Old Aug 21, 19, 2:57 am
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Personally I don't think it's that straightforward. What is the cut-off for dinner time?

Not every flight serves every meal - generally the meals served are what's appropriate for the time of day. Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner etc.

By most standards I would say that 11pm is very late for dinner - assuming the service starts about an hour into the flight, and it's likely that a lot of people would prefer to just go to bed, rather than having the lights on for 2 more hours for the dinner service.

As a general rule, if a flight leaves a few hours after a meal time, I wouldn't expect the airline to provide that meal - i.e. I wouldn't expect an airline to provide a full lunch on a 3-4pm flight, so my personal view is that for a flight departing at 10pm I would expect to eat before the flight.

I agree that it's a bigger issue if they don't make clear in advance which meals will be served, but I don't think it's unreasonable to drop a dinner service on a flight that late at night.
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Old Aug 21, 19, 6:09 am
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We flew the 9PM from JFK to LHR earlier this month and dinner was still served (in steerage, anyway). I would think that any meal service (sandwiches included) would still mean that the lights were kept on during the service so not much of an earlier lights out. Not that it would affect me much. To my frustration, while I can sleep pretty much anywhere I can't manage more than a restless doze on a plane.

I would expect there to be some mention of a lack of a meal on a specific flight, so that passengers could plan accordingly. On Delta's website you would get the list of what your fare class included on that flight and fare class (light snack, beverage).

I appreciate the head's up, OP, as I'll be flying JFK to LHR again next month.
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Old Aug 21, 19, 7:01 pm
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Good to know. Flying JFK-LHR at 2200 in PE. Ill eat on the ground. Or maybe I should upgrade to UC. Well see.
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Old Aug 21, 19, 9:47 pm
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I'm on the 10pm BOS-LHR next week and was expecting a dinner service, so now I'm quite worried. It still says dinner on my confirmation. If I reach out to Virgin do you think I'd get a response on that?

EDIT: Spoke with a Virgin agent, they said they have no intention to scrap the meal service and it is still on VS12 for what that's worth

Last edited by skydelt; Aug 21, 19 at 11:01 pm Reason: got an update about the topic
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Old Aug 22, 19, 2:06 am
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Tricky one... many Business travellers just want to get their heads down and sleep. (so no dinner service means less cabin noise)

Other people have bought up for "the UC experience" and being told "lights out, go to sleep" isn't what they have in mind...
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Old Aug 22, 19, 4:43 am
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I searched google on this topic title and variations of the wording including adding ‘virgin atlantic’ and this thread is the only one that came up.

I would have expected to more complaints / comments about this ‘trial’
UKtravelbear is offline  
Old Aug 24, 19, 11:55 pm
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Based on the above remark(s), I wonder if this was a one-off due to a catering flub? In any event, a "trial" such as this really should be mentioned in advance, if only so folks can get food in the terminal.
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Old Aug 27, 19, 8:12 am
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Originally Posted by craigthemif View Post
Tricky one... many Business travellers just want to get their heads down and sleep. (so no dinner service means less cabin noise)

Other people have bought up for "the UC experience" and being told "lights out, go to sleep" isn't what they have in mind...
I know the OP was about PE, but whatever happened to the Snooze Zone? That was a great way to offer both options.

I was actually surprised on my last UC flight in June JFK-LHR how comprehensive the dinner menu was -- better than a LHR-JFK afternoon flight I'd taken earlier in the year, with lots of snack options etc. I don't think I had a single thing to eat onboard. On the other hand, with an ambien, PDB glass of bubbly, earplugs and eye shades, any cabin noise from the service does not bother me.

What I like about VS and UC is the ability to have a full dinner in the lounge and then just get to sleep. (BA/AA offer this as well but it's more buffet-style dining).
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Old Aug 27, 19, 10:02 am
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Originally Posted by ijgordon View Post

What I like about VS and UC is the ability to have a full dinner in the lounge and then just get to sleep. (BA/AA offer this as well but it's more buffet-style dining).
This tends to be my approach as well. Although last time I did it from IAD I wanted a cup of tea and some biscuits before bed, and they had run out of biscuits on the outbound leg.

They did go and find me some from economy though in the end!
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Old Sep 4, 19, 2:25 pm
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Flew VS12 last week and had the regular dinner service, albeit with a condensed/limited drink service.
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Old Sep 6, 19, 3:16 pm
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Flew it once back in 2013 on when the 744 was still doing JFK-LHR and they had the upper deck allocated as snooze deck and the lower deck as meal deck.
They did still serve food on the upper deck but with lights out and asked us to be quiet.
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Old Sep 12, 19, 1:57 pm
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Originally Posted by mayhem View Post
Flew it once back in 2013 on when the 744 was still doing JFK-LHR and they had the upper deck allocated as snooze deck and the lower deck as meal deck.
They did still serve food on the upper deck but with lights out and asked us to be quiet.
Yeah, and I think at one point the front zone of the 346 was the snooze zone and they would close the curtain halfway down the cabin (which I think they still may do). But maybe the current fleet doesn't lend itself to this type of separation anymore.
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