Cathay’s Improved Business Class Meal Service Won’t Be Dine on Demand

Dine on demand is a great feature. There are many long flights with late departures, some passengers will eat in the lounge and want to go straight to sleep. Others will want to eat on board. However with large business cabins it’s a lot of extra work for flight attendants.

American Airlines had the registered trademark for ‘Dine Upon Request’ but in my experience didn’t manage it for first class.

Cathay Pacific had been trialing ‘dine on demand’ in business class on Hong Kong – London Gatwick and also Chicago. Crews hated the extra work, and in January I wrote the rumor was that the airline would not be rolling this out.

And indeed Australian Business Traveller reports that Cathay Pacific will roll out a new ‘restaurant style dining’ for business class that will not be dine on demand.

According to an email sent to crew,

Cathay Pacific says “the new Business Class service elevates the customer experience towards the First Class service, offering a far higher degree of personalisation. First Class will continue to offer higher degrees of privacy, more space, better amenities and fine dining menus.”

Passengers can expect to enjoy not only an upgrade in the qualify of meals but “restaurant-style food presentation, greater choice and flexibility and more personalised service” with the aim of delivering “a memorable dining experience and personalisation.”

…Cabin crew will attend “a comprehensive two-day training programme to support them as the stars of the show,” according to the staff brief. “The training comprises three modules focusing on: service philosophy, galley facilitation and service delivery in the cabin.”

The new service will start in July on Chicago and London Gatwick in August, the routes where dine on demand was trialed. Frankfurt, Manchester, and Washington DC will begin in September, followed by Johannesburg, Paris, and Amsterdam in October. November will bring Madrid, Brussels and Barcelona. London Heathrow will start in December and all long haul routes will have the new service by mid-2019.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. I hope it’s an improved service. The main course I had in CX business the other night was terrible. Also, they ran out of choices on a mostly empty flight. It’s was pretty pathetic actually.

  2. Having flown Cathay for half a million miles in the last several years, mostly in J and sometimes in Y and F, its business class will always be what it is: a flat bed, you won’t go hungry (but don’t have high expectation for the food, except for the mid flight noodles for snack) and you can get as inebriated as you like. Nothing more.

  3. Cathay has nice business class and first seats and friendly service
    But the food is mostly clueless rubbish nicely presented
    At least the beverage service is good
    And their First class lounge has Apple Computers with no working connection and each time they shrug their shoulders and say sorry
    This airline could be my all time favorite but management is simply deer in the headlight when it comes to quality standards and taking ownership of problems
    Oh well they are a known quantity

  4. The dine on demand was one of the best things about Cathay…..sometimes the flights are at ungodly times in the AM and all you want to do is sleep so it was nice to eat when I was actually awake and hungry. Hopefully the snack will still be on demand….I think it used to be that way…and the burger and milk tea are always great!

  5. I’ll choose Cathay before almost any other options because its always comfortable, the service is most always very good, the lounges (and airport itself) in HKG are excellent, and the schedules are always the best and most frequent . . . but the food in business is just junk, worse than it used to be. At the end of the day I don’t care too terribly much, as a fast usually does me good after a few days in Hong Kong, and happy to save my appetite while heading there.

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