WHY ARE MEALS SERVED AT SUCH STRANGE TIMES OF DAY?

Business Traveller (Asia-Pacific) - - INBOX YOUR LETTERS -

How­ever much com­fort and ser­vice might im­prove in busi­ness class, I still find one of the stresses of air travel is be­ing served meals at strange times of the day and night that do not re­late to the time at ei­ther ori­gin or des­ti­na­tion.

Some of this, such as din­ner in the mid­dle of the night, is a largely un­avoid­able part of sched­ules, but there are things that I find puz­zling or even in­ex­pli­ca­ble.

A com­mon one is be­ing served lunch at break­fast time de­par­tures, but even weirder is be­ing served break­fast be­fore an evening land­ing. For ex­am­ple, I re­cently flew to both Lon­don and Sydney from Manila with Philip­pine Air­lines. The stan­dard of cabin ser­vice was ex­cel­lent. These flights de­parted at roughly mid­day, af­ter which lunch was served. In both cases, though, the se­cond “light meal” con­sisted en­tirely of break­fast dishes, even though ar­rival was in the evening by both lo­cal time and the time in Manila; and, more im­por­tantly, my body clock.

Par­tic­u­larly on flights that are north-south, cross­ing a few time zones, why can’t meals match the time of day, as they would if trav­el­ling on a train or ship? Tony Hall, Lon­don

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