Dine on demand is now offered in business class on a number of airlines. As first class disappears, business class is now featuring many of the elements previously only available to the highest paying customers.
Cathay Pacific are currently operating a trial of dine on demand on services between Hong Kong and Chicago. Qantas offer the service in business class as do Qatar Airways.
My eyes were opened to this kind of dining on Qatar Airways between Pisa and Doha, then immediately after between Doha and Auckland on the world’s longest flight.
My Dine On Demand Experience
I will admit this right now – I am a fan of dine on demand. When I experienced this on Qatar Airways I found myself sold, sold and sold. It is just brilliant.
Control is the key word that springs to mind. You are not forced to eat immediately after take-off, whether you want to or not. You can listen to your body and eat when you’re hungry.
When visiting the lounge before you fly, you may decide to eat and as this is right before flight it is unlikely you are going to want another full meal as soon as you’re on board.
It is the same with connecting flights. On a long-haul you will be given a meal before landing. Boarding another flight soon after and having to eat again makes things seem a bit like a decadent feast from ancient Rome.
What About The Crew?
Crew are always happy to chat during the long dead hours on a long haul flight. Part of this reason is there is little for them to do. Occasional customers may want a drink, but otherwise it is a case of amuse yourself.
Implementing a dine on demand service means the crew are much busier throughout the flight. I know from watching the service that the Qatar Airways crew work non-stop. This must be good as who likes to be bored at work? Time passes better when you are busy.
The other interesting fact is that you have far more interaction with the crew. It makes for a more pleasant and premium feel for the passenger. It puts a personality to the experience and by association with the airline.
How Do You Feel?
An interesting consequence of dine on demand is that you feel fantastic at the end of the flight. Many times I have finished a flight feeling totally stuffed from all the food I have eaten.
Eating what you want when you want means I have arrived off these services feeling much better then usual. Anything that assists in feeling less fatigued from a long journey is a plus in my book.
From a passenger perspective, is a complete win. It is almost a restaurant dining experience with fine food, attentive service and at a time that suits you. Arguably it could cut down on food waste as people are not receiving meals they have no intention of eating. Of course this would rely on the airline monitoring the meals and adjusting catering accordingly, but it is possible.
It will be interesting to see if Cathay Pacific go ahead and roll out dine on demand across the network. I hope they do as it is certainly a feature worth experiencing on Qatar Airways.
Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.