AirbusA6
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Meals On Late Night Intercontinental Flights

Tue Sep 06, 2011 4:26 pm

Most shorthaul flights either have abolished free food, or give a meagre snack. On medium and long haul international flights we still expect and get a proper meal, albeit the ho hum airline food in Y, and this is irrespective of what time the flight is.

For example, I flew back from YYZ to LHR on AC on Sunday night, departing at 23:20. Thus, the earliest we would be fed would be at least midnight, except that because of bad turbulence, the crew weren't able to start serving until 1:30 to 2:00 am! A bizarre time to eat dinner, and translating to UK time of 7am this becomes no better. As I knew dinner would be served, I hadn't eaten dinner beforehand and was hungry by this point, but even if I had eaten and wanted to sleep, it's unlikely you would be able to sleep much with all the activity going on.

With such shortish redeye flights, surely it would make sense to abolish this late night dinner in Y, maybe offer a late night drink to those who want one and serve a better breakfast?
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planesailing
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RE: Meals On Late Night Intercontinental Flights

Tue Sep 06, 2011 4:45 pm

Working for an airline where meals have to be paid for on short haul, I can tell you that there is a much smaller uptake of onboard meals on later flights than there is for morning or day flights. When you bear in mind if their outbound is departing late, their inbound will be a night flight, they are making a choice in that the meals at that time of day/night are inappropriate.

In your example, which good "service" to offer the included meal, you are right in that it is timed late and effects the whole cabin.
 
vfw614
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RE: Meals On Late Night Intercontinental Flights

Tue Sep 06, 2011 4:45 pm

I was on a 2345 long-haul departure in Eco from BKK on Thai recently and their menu offered a light alternative to the dinner (some cold meat, IIRC). My observation was that a lot of pax skipped dinner and declined the food or accepted it, but hardly touched it. My feeling was that much more waste was produced than during other times of the day.
 
airbazar
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RE: Meals On Late Night Intercontinental Flights

Tue Sep 06, 2011 4:51 pm

Quoting AirbusA6 (Thread starter):
With such shortish redeye flights, surely it would make sense to abolish this late night dinner in Y, maybe offer a late night drink to those who want one and serve a better breakfast?

Whether food is served or not i never plan to eat onboard when I have an evening departure. It's just not worth the hassle or the bad food quality. I alway eat dinner before getting on the plane or grab something to-go on the way to the gate. I just don't expect airlines to offer a decent meal anymore or have to wait until some horrible time to be served a meal.
 
kulatict
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RE: Meals On Late Night Intercontinental Flights

Tue Sep 06, 2011 5:25 pm

well, for most asian airlines like CX and SQ going westbound from US, most of them depart around mid-night if not later. we don't get served until 2/3 am... same thing with my recent flight flight from SIN - DME - IAH, the departure is 245am and we didnt get food for another hour after took off.... most eateries at the airport are closed before mid-night, if you are still awake at that time, you will be hungry

flying more than 10 hours, it is expected to be fed full meal at least twice: once after take off, once before landing, and optional snack in between...

if you opt for skipping it, as far as i remember, SQ offered a do not disturb sticker...and they performed the meal duties ratehr quietly (at least on my flights)...if you are able to sleep in an airplane with the engine noise and whatnot, a meal service activity shouldn't bother you much
 
roseflyer
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RE: Meals On Late Night Intercontinental Flights

Tue Sep 06, 2011 6:20 pm

Quoting AirbusA6 (Thread starter):
For example, I flew back from YYZ to LHR on AC on Sunday night, departing at 23:20. Thus, the earliest we would be fed would be at least midnight, except that because of bad turbulence, the crew weren't able to start serving until 1:30 to 2:00 am! A bizarre time to eat dinner, and translating to UK time of 7am this becomes no better. As I knew dinner would be served, I hadn't eaten dinner beforehand and was hungry by this point, but even if I had eaten and wanted to sleep, it's unlikely you would be able to sleep much with all the activity going on.

With such shortish redeye flights, surely it would make sense to abolish this late night dinner in Y, maybe offer a late night drink to those who want one and serve a better breakfast?

One thing not to forget is that some passengers might be on a different time zone at the beginning of the flight. If someone was connecting from YVR, YYC, YEG, SEA, SFO, LAX, etc, then it would be closer to meal time (and meals aren't served just prior to arrival) and they might have had a long enough layover to eat in the airport.
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ACDC8
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RE: Meals On Late Night Intercontinental Flights

Tue Sep 06, 2011 6:31 pm

Quoting AirbusA6 (Thread starter):
For example, I flew back from YYZ to LHR on AC on Sunday night, departing at 23:20

Just out of curiosity ... what did they serve for dinner and breakfast? I've taken AC out of YYZ to FRA with a 22:30 departure a couple times over the last couple of years and found that they serve a light dinner such as a sandwich and potato salad and then a full, warm breakfast before arrival as opposed to having a full, warm dinner and a smaller, cold breakfast on flights with earlier departures. I've always found the light dinner/full breakfast an ideal medium for late departure Trans-Atlantic flights.
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IrishAyes
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RE: Meals On Late Night Intercontinental Flights

Tue Sep 06, 2011 6:49 pm

I think it largely depends on the stage length.

I flew AC YYZ-SCL a few years ago, and I remember we had a departure time post-midnight on this flight (delayed due to mechanical issues). Interestingly, two hours into the flight, they served a full meal which the entire cabin was awake for. Two hours prior to landing, we received another hot breakfast. Again, however, this flight was over 10 hours in length. AC has an awesome online spreadsheet/matrix where you can find out ahead of time what services you can expect on their intercontinental flights - it is on their home page.

I think that in general, the best plan of action is to inquire ahead about meal service (call or ask at the gate) and even still, try and get a nosh-up before you fly. Chances are you'll be hungry again by the time food is served, esp with delays, or the meal is bad.

Or, as in most cases when I fly stingy Lufthansa, where they serve you a Kids-size meal in Y, I follow the bring-your-own method and pack a snack pack as a supplement.
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malaysia
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RE: Meals On Late Night Intercontinental Flights

Tue Sep 06, 2011 7:10 pm

I always complete all the vittles I receive on all my flights   no exceptions, westbound Asia at midnight, westbound Asia at midday etc. the other way around too. Now I am taking an unusual flight soon, late night westbound USA but arrive Asia at late night..... that seems a bit messed up based on sleep. I sleep well on every plane as long as I get the best vittles in the world (Airline food) no matter what time of the day.
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Viscount724
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RE: Meals On Late Night Intercontinental Flights

Tue Sep 06, 2011 7:27 pm

Quoting RoseFlyer (Reply 5):
One thing not to forget is that some passengers might be on a different time zone at the beginning of the flight. If someone was connecting from YVR, YYC, YEG, SEA, SFO, LAX, etc, then it would be closer to meal time (and meals aren't served just prior to arrival) and they might have had a long enough layover to eat in the airport.

Also have to keep in mind local customs. For example, in Spain most people don't have dinner until 10 or 11PM. And even in most other countries in Europe, if you walk into a restaurant at 7 PM it will probably be almost empty.
 
pacifique75
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RE: Meals On Late Night Intercontinental Flights

Tue Sep 06, 2011 7:34 pm

Quoting AirbusA6 (Thread starter):
With such shortish redeye flights, surely it would make sense to abolish this late night dinner in Y, maybe offer a late night drink to those who want one and serve a better breakfast?

I really think the catering offered on those longhaul night flights is just "impossible" to please everyone and I am sure it is a challenge for the airline catering planning dept. If airlines only offered a drink/refreshment after takeoff, I can imagine people complaining they were expecting something more substantial, others saying they had no dinner before the flight, etc.
To serve a hot breakfast, you have to start that 2nd service earlier and I have lost count of the amount of times pax complain about the cabin lights and meal service starting too early in the morning - it feels the airline cant win!
 
desertjets
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RE: Meals On Late Night Intercontinental Flights

Tue Sep 06, 2011 8:10 pm

Quoting RoseFlyer (Reply 5):
If someone was connecting from YVR, YYC, YEG, SEA, SFO, LAX, etc, then it would be closer to meal time (and meals aren't served just prior to arrival) and they might have had a long enough layover to eat in the airport.

That was not something I was thinking of after reading the OP. But with a tight connection after a longer flight from earlier in the day I could easily see plenty of passengers being hungry and wanting something more than a teeny tiny turkey sandwich.

Quoting malaysia (Reply 8):
I always complete all the vittles I receive on all my flights

A member of the clean plate club I see.  
Quoting pacifique75 (Reply 10):
I really think the catering offered on those longhaul night flights is just "impossible" to please everyone and I am sure it is a challenge for the airline catering planning dept. If airlines only offered a drink/refreshment after takeoff, I can imagine people complaining they were expecting something more substantial, others saying they had no dinner before the flight, etc.
To serve a hot breakfast, you have to start that 2nd service earlier and I have lost count of the amount of times pax complain about the cabin lights and meal service starting too early in the morning - it feels the airline cant win!

Sort of a damned if you do, damned if you don't type affair. I can see this being a problem on shorter flights as well. A couple of years back I flew the late EWR-DUB flight on CO..... it left Newark @ 9pm and got into Dublin around 10am local time. I can't quite remember how long it was but somewhere around 6-7 hours. I can say that the cabin crew was pretty efficient with the meal and drink service and I didn't feel like somebody was up and about the entire flight, but because the flight is so short and leaves so late those who want to be able to get some sleep would have a problem if they were trying to do a more elaborate meal service. Frankly the hot meal they provided was kinda meh... a good quality cold sandwich with a salad and/or fruit plate would have been a better choice. Though I also like the idea of a lighter dinner/snack and a fuller breakfast option.Though that might make more sense for longer flights.
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AirbusA6
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RE: Meals On Late Night Intercontinental Flights

Tue Sep 06, 2011 8:11 pm

Quoting ACDC8 (Reply 6):
Quoting AirbusA6 (Thread starter):For example, I flew back from YYZ to LHR on AC on Sunday night, departing at 23:20
Just out of curiosity ... what did they serve for dinner and breakfast? I've taken AC out of YYZ to FRA with a 22:30 departure a couple times over the last couple of years and found that they serve a light dinner such as a sandwich and potato salad and then a full, warm breakfast before arrival as opposed to having a full, warm dinner and a smaller, cold breakfast on flights with earlier departures. I've always found the light dinner/full breakfast an ideal medium for late departure Trans-Atlantic flights.

The meal was a hot meal (chicken or pasta) whereas the breakfast was a muffin, so the other way round!

I actually connected from Denver, so my stomach was 2 hours behind local time, and had a large lunch at DEN in anticipation of a late dinner, but I imagine the majority of passengers were point to point. I had an hour before the onward flight, so long enough to eat if I had wanted too. Indeed the fast food restaurants in that part of the terminal were all busy, and all the flights were similar red eye flights to Europe.

True long haul flights (12+ hours) are different, as on these flights you have plenty of time to sleep, where many transatlantic flights are barely 7 hours, so the meal times take up a lot of potential sleep time. Especially, when the first officer keeps making announcements apologising for the lack of meal service due to turbulence  
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CO777DAL
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RE: Meals On Late Night Intercontinental Flights

Tue Sep 06, 2011 8:20 pm

CO offers free hot food meal in the back on flights from EWR to POS and the flight departs at midnight and gets in a 5am. I haven't flow that route in coach but in International Business they also offer three hot full meals with menus and we don't start eating till like 1am. It is nice thou.

Here is what we had to eat it was really good too!

http://youtu.be/x4aY080ADi8

A video of dinner service on a Continental Airlines International Business (First Class)
Flight. This was EWR-POS (Newark- Port of Spain,Trinidad). This was a five course meal and we had menus too. I had the Sterling Silver Fillet of Beef Tenderloin. This has to be one of the most amazing steaks I have ever eaten. I was shocked at how good it was. This whole flight and service was top notch.

This is what was served

To BEGIN
Roasted nuts with your preferred cocktail or beverage

APPETIZER
Smoked salmon and orange peppered salmon accompanied by creamy horseradish sauce

SALAD AND WARM BREAD
Romaine lettuce and mesclun salad mix with cherry tomato and Mandarin orange segments
Offered with buttermilk ranch dressing

Assorted rolls with butter

MAIN COURSES
Sterling Silver Fillet of Beef Tenderloin
Served with green peppercorn sauce, tricolor bell pepper strips and sautéed onion, asparagus spears and home-style mashed potatoes

Shrimp Margharita
Char-grilled jumbo shrimp accented by lemon, served with quesadillas repochetas, fresh baby Spanish sautéed with garlic and tomato filled with jalapeno mayonnaise

Mini Cannelloni Pasta Bowl
Artichoke and ricotta cheese filled mini cannelloni served with creamy arugula sauce, mixed sautéed vegetables and grated Parmesan Reggiano cheese

DESSERT
Cherry custard cake

Fresh Brew gourmet roasted regular and decaffeinated coffee made exclusively for Continental Airlines or tear with your choice of milk or lemon
Worked Hard. Flew Right. Farewell, Continental. Thanks for the memories.
 
airbazar
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RE: Meals On Late Night Intercontinental Flights

Tue Sep 06, 2011 8:23 pm

Quoting desertjets (Reply 11):
Sort of a damned if you do, damned if you don't type affair.

Exactly, which is why I take meals into my own hands when traveling. Eat before or on the way to the airport and this way I know I'll have a full tummy   And if I'm connecting there's alway a place to grab a quick ready-made sandwich and a piece of fruit.
It always amazes me the amount of people who eat dinner on short TATL red-eyes. It's a 6 hour flight. Factor in take-off and landing and you're down to just 4+ hours of sleep. Personally, the first thing I do is to get comfy, put in my blindfold and settle in for as much sleep as I can get. Then upon landing I make a beeline for the first cafe for a proper hot, fresh breakfast.
 
kevin
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RE: Meals On Late Night Intercontinental Flights

Tue Sep 06, 2011 8:55 pm

Quoting pacifique75 (Reply 10):

Exactly
 
bonusonus
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RE: Meals On Late Night Intercontinental Flights

Tue Sep 06, 2011 10:02 pm

When I flew DXB-JFK a few years ago, we were scheduled to leave close to midnight DXB time, and ended up leaving at least an hour late because they were holding the plane for connecting pax whose flights were delayed by wx. This was a 12 hour flight at least, and despite the time, the crew served a full meal about 1.5 hours into the flight. On flights like this, there is plenty of time for full meal service (dinner and breakfast) with enough time to sleep in the middle as well.
 
koruman
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RE: Meals On Late Night Intercontinental Flights

Tue Sep 06, 2011 11:37 pm

Quoting airbazar (Reply 14):
Exactly, which is why I take meals into my own hands when traveling. Eat before or on the way to the airport and this way I know I'll have a full tummy And if I'm connecting there's alway a place to grab a quick ready-made sandwich and a piece of fruit.

I wish I had that experience, especially when flying in and out of the USA. Too often my 2 hour connection at a hub turns into a race to board the second aircraft before it closes. I usually estimate that I will only be guaranteed time to pick up food if I allot 3 hours or more for the connection.

I find it surprising that feedback on this forum about airline meals is so negative, and I suspect that it is a cultural thing about what meals passengers like, especially in North America and western Europe.

Qantas, Air New Zealand and Singapore Airlines tend on long-haul flights (and even 1 hour dinnertime sectors on QF) to offer at least one main course of curried Indian / Thai / Malay chicken with rice (e.g. Butter Chicken on QF and NZ). These are dishes that their clients would be highly likely to choose to order in a restaurant, and are well suited to being reheated on an airplane.

And the feedback I hear from friends and colleagues after their flights on those carriers usually is complimentary about the catering, and specifies that "I would fly them again".

Obviously this does not translate well to American palates.
 
Eagleboy
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RE: Meals On Late Night Intercontinental Flights

Tue Sep 06, 2011 11:39 pm

Quoting AirbusA6 (Thread starter):
With such shortish redeye flights, surely it would make sense to abolish this late night dinner in Y, maybe offer a late night drink to those who want one and serve a better breakfast?

I agree with this idea. Leaving the US/Canada at 9pm or after it would be a better experience to allow pax to sleep then serve a hot breakfast before landing at anytime from 7-10am local European time.
 
ORDJOE
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RE: Meals On Late Night Intercontinental Flights

Wed Sep 07, 2011 1:11 am

A normal dinner in business or first can take about 2 hours from the warm mixed nuts to stowing tray table. On certain late flights though in the premium cabins they will just present everything at once (usually a smaller overall meal, would be hard to fit it all on the tray table)

As with everyone, they are free to decline the service, or if they have a midnight departure, eat at 9pm somewhere.
 
ba747
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RE: Meals On Late Night Intercontinental Flights

Wed Sep 07, 2011 1:50 am

Back in the 90's, the late departure flight, BA 248 from CCS/LHR that left at 12 midnight local time, meal was only a light dinner so passengers can spent most of the flight sleeping. Besides, that flight was already coming from BOG and most of the paxs on board were already fed on that sector, and when I used to get on board ( I was crew ) most passengers were already sleeping. Before arriving at LON full breakfast was given.
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airbazar
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RE: Meals On Late Night Intercontinental Flights

Wed Sep 07, 2011 2:44 am

Quoting ordjoe (Reply 19):
As with everyone, they are free to decline the service, or if they have a midnight departure, eat at 9pm somewhere.

That reminds me one flight on SQ, in First class. I refused the meal because I just wanted to go right to sleep. I had already eaten dinner before boarding as I almost always do. When I woke up, the purser was all appologetic thinking that I might have been offended or unhappy about something. LOL.

[Edited 2011-09-06 19:45:58]
 
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auroralives
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RE: Meals On Late Night Intercontinental Flights

Wed Sep 07, 2011 3:42 am

Quoting Eagleboy (Reply 18):
Leaving the US/Canada at 9pm or after it would be a better experience to allow pax to sleep then serve a hot breakfast before landing at anytime from 7-10am local European time.

As others have mentioned... I'm squarely in the "let me sleep in the morning" camp. I'm never a good sleeper (either in J or Y), and struggle for every minute on the way to Europe. I *really* hate the lights, clanging and rattling of a breakfast service with 1.5 hours to go... i.e. I've *finally* achieved some sort of coma... *Please* just let me rest  

Quoting pacifique75 (Reply 10):
- it feels the airline cant win!

  
 
NTLDaz
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RE: Meals On Late Night Intercontinental Flights

Wed Sep 07, 2011 3:50 am

Last year flew AR from EZE to AKL and the flight departs at 2.45am. They serve a full dinner around 3.30-4am Argentinian time. They then serve breakfast about 10-11 hours later which would be lunchtime in Argentina but is actually breakfast time in AKL. That timing is a bit messy.
 
fbgdavidson
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RE: Meals On Late Night Intercontinental Flights

Wed Sep 07, 2011 3:55 am

Quoting AirbusA6 (Thread starter):
With such shortish redeye flights, surely it would make sense to abolish this late night dinner in Y, maybe offer a late night drink to those who want one and serve a better breakfast?

That's what BA do, albeit in business class. At YYZ and a number of US East Coast airports they have a dining room with a buffet set-up in the lounge before the later overnight flights. Then onboard there's a very abbreviated service mainly to cater to those who couldn't get to the lounge. BA call it 'Sleeper Service' and I think it's excellent. Might have even written a few trip reports on it...

In all other cabins they still do a full meal service. In First there is a table service pre-flight dining too but IME most people sleep through it. Might have even written a few trip reports on that too...
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spacecadet
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RE: Meals On Late Night Intercontinental Flights

Wed Sep 07, 2011 6:24 am

Quoting auroralives (Reply 22):
As others have mentioned... I'm squarely in the "let me sleep in the morning" camp. I'm never a good sleeper (either in J or Y), and struggle for every minute on the way to Europe. I *really* hate the lights, clanging and rattling of a breakfast service with 1.5 hours to go... i.e. I've *finally* achieved some sort of coma... *Please* just let me rest

Not everyone is like that though... on my long-haul flights, by the time they turn the lights back up and start the morning meal service, I'm practically counting the minutes. I can't sleep very well on planes either, but that means that whatever sleep I do get comes shortly after putting my head down... I'll sleep for an hour or two off and on and I'm pretty much done. I usually try periodically throughout the night to get more but I rarely can do more than doze, especially if there's any kind of turbulence (and there always is). So I watch the IFE and try not to bother other people and by "morning", I'm bored out of my mind.

The morning meal service gives me something to look forward to to occupy my time until descent and landing.

Different people are different, but they've gotta have the same meal service for everyone, so some people are not going to be happy no matter what.
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malaysia
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RE: Meals On Late Night Intercontinental Flights

Wed Sep 07, 2011 6:35 am

I guess from the way it seems on the long haul, I have noticed in first/business class and economy, the first meal often regardless of time of departure seems to be the largest portion rather than the 2nd or 3rd service. I agree that some should have a fancy and larger breakfast rather than the dinner portion on a night departure, but I am one of the few that consider breakfast to be the most important meal of the day  
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aklrno
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RE: Meals On Late Night Intercontinental Flights

Wed Sep 07, 2011 6:40 am

NZ trans-Pacific flights usually leave in the late evening westbound, a bit earlier eastbound. They are 11-12 hours long, enough for two meals and a good night's sleep. Westbound I want to eat (it's about 11PM LAX time) to start getting me used to the time zone. I avoid having much food before the flight. I also know that the dinner will be better than the breakfast, so I don't want to be starving at breakfast time and be dependent on food that has been chilled half a day and then microwaved or whatever it is that they do to it.

Eastbound the flights leave around my normal dinner time anyway.

My general rule when traveling is to accept any meal that seems edible. I don't know that the next one will be. The arrival sides of international airports usually don't have much on offer, and it can take a while to clear passport control, customs, and get transported to your destination. Best not to be hungry at that point. TBIT at LAX is one of the few places with most of the food landside, but even there it is out of the way and will change with the new building.

I'm not sure I would do the same on a six hour flight. For those, I prefer to do my own catering. A sandwich and selection of fruit for grazing seem to be enough.
 
Carfield
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RE: Meals On Late Night Intercontinental Flights

Wed Sep 07, 2011 7:33 am

Late night international flights are always tricky and airlines have come up with various strategies in the late night meals. But in general, if the flights are over ten hours, you can expect a supper of sort will still be served after takeoff. Airlines may skip the first so called "cocktail" service with packaged snacks, and jumped straight towards the supper service. In first and business class, supper is designed to be a bit lighter. However on flights like CX 881 or 883, I actually prefer having the supper and stay up as late as possible to catch up with HK local time... And on eastbound transatlantic flight, I am rarely able to sleep, so having a hot meal or not does not bother me. The most I can do is a few hours of naps even in first class. I am a late night person and even with some alcohol in my body, I can only sleep three or fours hours max. For first and business class, many airlines come up with an one tray supper service/cold dinner service and passengers can go straight to sleep after a light meal. CX offers a light meal express of starter/appetizer, salad, soup and dessert in business class for those midnight departures to Australia/Europe/US. First class is just more flexible in general with meal hours, so passengers can pick their meal times regardless.

I think it also depends on culture - on most Asian airlines, except the Japanese, passengers expect a meal service, and hot food is always preferred. Some Asians also have late night meals - midnight supper and it is just customary to offer dinner. It is just hard to offer a hot meal in the middle of the flight because lights will have to be turned on. It is more of a disruption. However, ANA is offering this new midnight service on its new midnight departures from Haneda, and offers just a light sandwich and snack in Y after takeoff, and hot breakfast/meal prior to arrival. Instead of a hot meal, it offers a bit more amenities and offers a bit more snack selections to avoid being labeled as "cheap". For premium passengers, ANA offers a comprehensive dinner in the lounge at its home base as well, and is similar to BA sleeper service. But I have heard complaints from various passengers that ANA is so cheap that it don't bother with a hot meal after takeoff... it is "cheap". Nonetheless, BA only offers its sleeper service in Club World, not in First Class... so even BA would not touch the full supper service in first class even on a flight with sleeper service in J.

But in general, late night flights are always tricky and it is really hard to gauge on how much food to serve.

Carfield
 
MEA-707
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RE: Meals On Late Night Intercontinental Flights

Wed Sep 07, 2011 8:00 am

Quoting desertjets (Reply 11):
Frankly the hot meal they provided was kinda meh... a good quality cold sandwich with a salad and/or fruit plate would have been a better choice

Many people on board these flights probably came from a connecting flight, maybe they departed Seattle or LAX at 9 am and didn't have much proper food yet, and they feel like it's only 7 PM so I think many people still enjoy the (first) meal service on these US-Europe short night flights.
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AirbusA6
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RE: Meals On Late Night Intercontinental Flights

Wed Sep 07, 2011 8:45 am

Thinking about it, part of the problem is that meals service is now governed by the type of flight, rather than the timing of the flight.

Thus, my first flight left DEN at 16:40 and took 3 hours to reach YYZ, at 19:40 Mountain tme or 21:40 Eastern Time. Either way, this flight flew at dinner time, but being within North America no meal is served. My onward flight at 23:20 Eastern Time isn't at dinner time, whichever time zone you look at it, but because it's intercontinental, a meal is served!

But then meal timing is odd on short redeye transatlantic flights anyway, as even with the usual 7-8pm type departure, they serve dinner based on the US departure time, then serve breakfast based on the European arrival time barely 3-4 hours later! In my case, because of the delays, I was woken up after 2 hours sleep for a breakfast muffin, when the extra 1 hour of sleep would probably have been more useful.
it's the bus to stansted (now renamed National Express a6 to ruin my username)
 
aircanada014
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RE: Meals On Late Night Intercontinental Flights

Wed Sep 07, 2011 10:12 am

when I was on AC from YVR to HKG my flight left at 2:05am last fall in late Oct. We had dinner, then snack consist of soup and sandwich with roll then we had breakfast.. we've been serving drinks at least 3 times inbetween meals and snacks.
AC stop flying late for westbound to HKG from YVR. I think all westbound flights to ASIA on AC leaves morning or afternoon.
 
airbazar
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RE: Meals On Late Night Intercontinental Flights

Wed Sep 07, 2011 12:29 pm

Quoting spacecadet (Reply 25):
Different people are different, but they've gotta have the same meal service for everyone, so some people are not going to be happy no matter what.

I think the "purpose" of the trip also plays an important role. In Y most passengers are "leisure" passengers who only do this once or twice a year, if yearly at all. The flight is as part of the experience as the destination they're going to so they want to experience all the little things about it and don't care so much for sleeping, whether it's the meal service of the inflight entertainment. They're ok sleeping when they finally get to the hotel. Summer flights are a good example, hardly anyone sleeps on those.
Contrast this with the above mentioned BA "sleeper service" in J class (reply 24). Here you're likely to find people who fly regularly and value their rest, and for whom the novelty of the inflight meals is no longer appealing. Most airlines are very cautious of disturbing passengers in F and J but that's easier to do when you have a smaller cabin.
 
aswissinmad
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RE: Meals On Late Night Intercontinental Flights

Wed Sep 07, 2011 1:28 pm

When I flew as a longhaul F/A on a full service airline a few years ago we always had complaints about the serving times on night flights. South American customers in particular demanded a full service after take off, but then Asians and Europeans just wanted to sleep and as we always had a good cultural mix in the cabin there was always half of them that was dissatisfied. When the loads were very low (under 50%) some Pursers would organize an on-demand service and we would give customers 3 different times (in Y) when they could chose to eat. We'd take note of it right after take off and then serve them at their desired times. Impossible to do on a full flight though. Also, we kept noise to a minimum and only used the lowest dimm setting with the window lights off during service.
What I really hated though were those that woke up 30 minutes before landing and demanded to be served a hot meal NOW.... but then if you wake them up during service they will give you some pretty bad looks...
Not an issue in C and F as they could dine on demand.

Personally, when I travel longhaul I prefer to eat after takeoff (if I decide to eat at all). After a 10-hour flight the food may not be the freshest and I'd hate to start my holiday with food poisonning. Sure, most aircraft (but not all) are equipped with chillers (a type of refrigirated cupboard where trolleys are kept cold) but they are not always working very well, and the cold chain has probably been broken several times anyway between the catering facilty and the galley (especially when being unloaded from the truck to the aircraft).
 
peh
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RE: Meals On Late Night Intercontinental Flights

Wed Sep 07, 2011 2:02 pm

Quoting RoseFlyer (Reply 5):
One thing not to forget is that some passengers might be on a different time zone at the beginning of the flight.

I recently flew between LAX and JFK, taking off around 0700, and desperately needing a glass of bourbon. When I explained to the AA attendant that this was (a) the second leg of what would be a 30 hour journey and (b) it was approx 7pm Sydney time, she rustled-up a Jack Daniels from the back and didn't even charged me for it.
Flown: ATR72, DASH 8, 737, 747, 767, 777, A300, A320, A321, A330, A340, MD80
 
IADLHR
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RE: Meals On Late Night Intercontinental Flights

Wed Sep 07, 2011 3:23 pm

In addition, to the above scenarios, a few years ago, I was on LH IAD-FRA. As soon as we took off we hit some turbulence and the FAs had to remain seated. It was rough and got much rougher.

The turbulence continued for 4 1/2 hours during which time the FAs had to remain seated. By the time dinner was finally served and the FAs were picking up trays etc. we were on approach to FRA. Under normal conditions we would have had breakfast too.However, it is pretty strange having dinner just about the time the sun was satring to come up. The FAs apologized over and over for the long delay in serving dinner.

On a separate note, when we got to the hotel in FRA, we saw on CNN that an AA flight, the night before, from JFK-LHR had to return to JFK as some FAs and passengers were injured in some turbulence. I have to say gthat came as no surprise as it was indeed rough that night. Right about that time, I was most grateful that everyone, and everything, on our flight was ok. It no longer was so frustrating that we were finishing dinner as the sun came up over Germany.We were just glad to be safe.
 
YULWinterSkies
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RE: Meals On Late Night Intercontinental Flights

Wed Sep 07, 2011 3:30 pm

Quoting ACDC8 (Reply 6):

Just out of curiosity ... what did they serve for dinner and breakfast? I've taken AC out of YYZ to FRA with a 22:30 departure a couple times over the last couple of years and found that they serve a light dinner such as a sandwich and potato salad and then a full, warm breakfast before arrival as opposed to having a full, warm dinner and a smaller, cold breakfast on flights with earlier departures. I've always found the light dinner/full breakfast an ideal medium for late departure Trans-Atlantic flights.

Yep, I've had this on YUL-CDG (AC) on the second night flight whenever it was operating (been going on and off for a while). It did confuse many pax, who had not eaten beforehand (myself included), and while it is pleasant to get a "full" warm breakfast before arrival, on local N Am time, it is still served at a early 4 am or so, a time at which I'm just not hungry. I think it confused my body even more!
But at least the breakfast was good, and I would not say the same about the main lunch I had on the return CDG-YUL late morning flight...

Sure thing, airlines serve meals when THEY are hungry.

Quoting peh (Reply 34):
I recently flew between LAX and JFK, taking off around 0700, and desperately needing a glass of bourbon. When I explained to the AA attendant that this was (a) the second leg of what would be a 30 hour journey and (b) it was approx 7pm Sydney time, she rustled-up a Jack Daniels from the back and didn't even charged me for it.

There still ARE some good flight attendants up there... I just like to read this!
When I doubt... go running!
 
AirGAbon
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RE: Meals On Late Night Intercontinental Flights

Wed Sep 07, 2011 4:04 pm

On SU night flights from Europe to SVO with A320s, leaving around 11:00pm/01:00am and arriving in Moscow between 04:00am and 6:30am, they serve you a complete dinner in C and Y class, but nothing before landing. The flights are around 3h30 / 4 hours long.
Would be much more logic to just serve a drink after take off and a breakfast before landing.
 
spacecadet
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RE: Meals On Late Night Intercontinental Flights

Wed Sep 07, 2011 4:41 pm

Quoting Carfield (Reply 28):
I think it also depends on culture - on most Asian airlines, except the Japanese, passengers expect a meal service, and hot food is always preferred.

The Japanese expect hot meal service too.

Quoting Carfield (Reply 28):
Instead of a hot meal, it offers a bit more amenities and offers a bit more snack selections to avoid being labeled as "cheap".

And yet as you later say, they're still labeled "cheap" on this route.

One problem could be that I would bet almost anything that they offer all the same things on routes where they do serve a hot meal. (ie. free ice cream, 30 minute run-throughs of the cabin with juice, water, and wine, etc.) So they've just cut costs there.

ANA is a very nice airline but they're not immune to cheaping out where they think they can get away with it, and IMO (as someone who flies them very regularly) this is what keeps them from being one of the world's truly elite. For example, when they first unveiled their new "Inspiration of Japan" service, they cut out the free ice cream. A stupid little cup of ice cream that probably costs them 20 cents each in quantity, and this is what they cut. I guess people must have complained, because the next time I flew this same route, the ice cream service was back. They also reduced the mid-flight snack service from a classy looking catered cup of noodles to an actual store-bought Cup Noodle. Then I think they just cut that out completely eventually, which was probably just as well, because I actually think it was beneath them. It was kind of unseemly seeing their fa's walking around with these big trays full of Cup Noodles, and then to be eating this fast food item that you can buy at any convenience store. (Same is true of the ice cream, I guess, but hey, ice cream is ice cream.)

I would bet that ANA saw this late-night route as an opportunity to cut some costs on their meal service, and it sounds like people are complaining about that.
I'm tired of being a wanna-be league bowler. I wanna be a league bowler!
 
LXA340
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RE: Meals On Late Night Intercontinental Flights

Wed Sep 07, 2011 4:42 pm

Quoting AirGabon (Reply 37):

Would be much more logic to just serve a drink after take off and a breakfast before landing.

But who wants to have breakfast that early...it makes then already more sense the way they serve it
 
blrsea
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Joined: Fri May 20, 2005 2:22 am

RE: Meals On Late Night Intercontinental Flights

Wed Sep 07, 2011 8:26 pm

You also need to look from the connecting passengers point of view. When I travel BLR-CDG-SEA for e.g., the flight leaves BLR at around 2:00am. I would have left my home around 11:00pm, which means I would have had dinner around 8-9pm. Since some of the restaurants in the airport close around midnight, there isn't much to eat at the airport, and since I would be awake and it is more than 4 hours since last meal, I would definitely feel hungry, and any meal on board would be welcome.

Similarly, when connecting at CDG/LHR etc, there is usually around 1.5-2hours of connection time. This is just sufficient to get down from the aircraft, clear security again. use the restrooms and go to the terminal/gate for the next flight, leaving no time to grab something to eat at the airport. Whatever they serve on board will be quickly gobbled up