Qantas Switches From Trays to Happy Meals in Economy

Posted in Australia, In the Air, International, Qantas

Every flyer has their own little pet peeves when they’re traveling. From water-logged sinks in the bathrooms to babies anywhere within three rows, there’s always something to get under your skin. My pet peeve? The in-flight meal tray. Once it’s on your tray-table, you’re stuck with it until the flight attendants come by to collect their wares. It’s like a tiny rectangular prison sentence. You need to use the bathroom? Hold it. Want to get work done after eating that lasagna-like substance? Fat chance. The tray locks you in and until it’s gone, you’re its prisoner. The good news? Qantas just granted you early parole.

Instead of trays on Qantas domestic flights throughout Australia, they’ll now be doling out meal boxes, much like the kind you’d find at McDonald’s but without the fun toy (unless you consider napkins a toy, in which case you should probably see a professional…). Even better news? QF is saying that the meals are going to be 150% the size of their current offerings. Choose from a lentil quinoa and falafel salad with pomegranate dressing or a stir-fried honey chicken with Hokkien noodles. Perhaps you’re more in the mood for beer-battered flathead with seasoned potato wedges and lemon? Actually, I’d avoid that one. There’s no way that something fried is going to hold up in the air. There will also be “substantial” salads, according to the article.

No trays also means more time with your cabin crew and fewer carts in the aisles. It’s a win-win for everyone. As the Aussies say, good on ya, Qantas!



  1. On my last domestic Qantas flight, I was given the meal box without the tray but with my own personal trash bag.. I had a meatball wrap of some sort. My issue is that there was more trash to be collected. It’s a bit of a shell game for the environment – either the trays are heavy and require fuel and water or the convenience of the no trays now gives everyone a paper bag for their trash which is then collected by the FA in one big trash bag. In terms of service, food was served quicker which makes people happy so that’s a win.. So less trays and less fuel is good but probably negated with the weight of the Ipads given out in coach.

    • This is a really awesome first-hand account. Thanks for sharing!

      Environmental issues aside, having a personal trash bag sounds pretty great in terms of being able to take care of everything without having to rely on the flight staff.

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