Who’s winning the food fight?
Emirates and Virgin Australia are standouts in the business-class dining stakes, according to food bloggers and reviewers. As airlines battle to differentiate their offerings in the profitable business-class category, they are partnering with multi-hatted name chefs to increase the quality of in-flight food.
Lorraine Elliott, who publishes airline food reviews on her Not Quite Nigella blog, and the food and wine editor for an airline ratings website, both nominated Emirates as No 1. Both also placed Virgin a close second, with Elliott singling out its afternoon tea, which arrives on a three-tier cake stand.
“Emirates is certainly lavish with the ingredients and number of courses,” Elliott says. By contrast, budgetary constraints were in evidence on a Qantas businessclass flight she took from Bangkok to Sydney. When Elliott’s companion asked for a piece of papaya with her cheese, the flight attendant was “a tad embarrassed at not being able to grant the request”, she says.
For those of us stuck at the back of the plane, Turkish Airlines took top honours in a recent study of in-flight food by a panel of 100 international travellers, reported on Skyscanner travel search engine. Singapore Airlines was in second place. Qantas was placed eighth and Virgin was 16th.