On a long flight, it’s the welcome pick-me-up enjoyed by economy class passengers.
But, at least on Qantas routes, the mid-flight cheese and crackers snacks are no more.
And Alan Joyce, the CEO of the national carrier, has explained the reason the snacks have been stripped from its services.
Speaking at The West Australian’s Leadership Matters breakfast on Wednesday, Joyce answered questions from chief reporter Ben Harvey, who told how the cheese and cracker offering was one of the few things to make a long flight less “depressing.”
But Mr Joyce said it was a necessary move after the Qantas returned to the skies after the COVID pandemic.
He told how the airline had stripped back its in-flight snacks to avoid contact between airline staff and passengers, with the virus still causing deaths around Australia.
“It’s about simplifying the touch points during COVID,” he said.
However, there’s good news for those missing their cheese hit, with Mr Joyce not ruling out the return of the snacks once the pandemic had died down.
And acknowledging cashed-up travellers, he also addressed one customer’s concerns about paying thousands for a business class flight only to be served a glass of $24.99-a-bottle plonk.
Mr Joyce said the wines were blind-tasted by sommeliers, some of whom have worked at Rockpool before making their way onto in-flight menus.
“We purchase the best Australian wine. But I’d more focus on the quality rather than the price,” he said.
During Wednesday’s event, Mr Joyce admitted Qantas and Jetstar were among the airlines which were not giving the service expected from travellers post-COVID.
Travelers in Australia and around the world have been hit with lengthy delays and long queues at airports, including at Heathrow where thousands of items of luggage have been seen in huge piles.
“We’ve had issues and long queues and a lot of lost baggage — we are putting plans in place of 20 per cent more reserves than pre-Easter,” he said.