Cathay Pacific’s business class passengers will be able to order meals at their leisure as some flights trial a new “dine on demand” service in May.
The airline is also considering introducing pre-ordered meals, similar to Singapore Airlines’ Book the Cook service.
Dine-on-demand allows travellers to choose when they want to eat during a flight and gives them enhanced menu options. It will initially be offered on selected flights between Hong Kong, London and Chicago ahead of a possible rollout across more routes.
The first flights to join the experiment will be the Airbus A350 service from Gatwick from May 1 for a month. It will then move to the Hong Kong-Chicago route from June 1.
Cathay hopes that the trial flights will serve to gather more information about customers’ preferences as well as reactions from cabin crew.
The concept is nothing new
Singapore Airlines and Qantas are among airlines offering the service to premium passengers, with Qantas also offering it in international Economy Class.
It’s also thought to be part of BA‘s plans for its Club World business class flights as part of an overhaul of its Oneworld member’s ‘height cuisine’ program.
Some experts have suggested it’s more than just a question of convenience, especially on long-haul trips that involve crossing time zones. Eating, drinking and sleeping in line with your destination’s local time means you can begin acclimatising the moment the plane takes off.
But others say the crew needs to be larger than usual to meet demands of a full business class cabin and some passengers may object to being disturbed when others dine at times they may be sleeping.
What do you think? Are you for or against dine-on-demand? Leave a comment