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‘Unacceptable’: Virgin Australia serves instant noodles to business class passengers

‘I was hungry and expected to have a reasonable lunch,’ says traveller

Helen Coffey
Thursday 15 October 2020 12:50 BST
The business class snack includes Fantastic Noodles
The business class snack includes Fantastic Noodles (Facebook)

Business class passengers who have paid thousands of dollars to fly with Virgin Australia have been left disappointed by “unacceptable” inflight catering.

Despite paying a hefty sum for a ticket, business travellers are currently being offered a pot of instant noodles and a granola bar while on board, while economy passengers are permitted a granola bar, but only if they ask for it.

One unnamed business class passenger shared their disappointment on social media, writing in a Facebook post: “I was hungry and expected to have a reasonable lunch,” reports Yahoo News.

“To my disappointment I got offered a Fantastic noodle cup. These are 80 cents in Coles. This is unacceptable for the price I paid.”

The passenger had flown from Perth to Brisbane, which can cost up to around A$1,800 (£985) one-way for a business class ticket.

A Virgin Australia rep responded that the airline had launched a “simplified” menu during the pandemic, to which the passenger responded: “Simplified! More like not bothering!”  

Another traveller shared a picture of the instant noodles and a can of Coca Cola alongside the caption: “Two course offering on VA today: Course 1 - Red Wine, Coke no sugar and Snack Bar, Course 2 - Fantastic noodles.”

The airline has recently undergone a change of management as new owners Bain Capital have taken over.

According to a document seen by Airline Ratings, catering stocks are currently running low.  

“There is limited snacks in the supply chain... and stock will be exhausted in the coming weeks,” reads a Virgin Australia staff memo.

“The safety and wellbeing of our guests is always our top priority and we have a variety of safety measures throughout our customer journey to minimise risks associated with Covid-19, including a limited service onboard,” said a Virgin Australia spokesperson.

“This service includes a snack and drink for all guests across both cabins, and is designed to minimise contact between guests and crew.

“As travel demand begins to increase we are exploring the possibilities for our onboard Business Class offering, whilst continuing to prioritise the safety and wellbeing of our guests and crew. We look forward to providing this limited Business Class offering to our guests soon.

“We are also re-imagining what our onboard catering offer will be longer-term, and are looking forward to developing a new experience to suit customer needs.”

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