Fiji Scraps Onboard Business Dining On Some Flights

Fiji Airways is cutting onboard dining in business class on select flights. This move comes after extensive research that attempts to improve the passenger experience. In addition, the move will help Fiji Airways reduce their waste from uneaten meals.

Fiji
The Airbus A350 in Fiji Airways livery. Photo: Airbus

Fiji Airways onboard dining

Fiji Airways operates a number of late-night and early morning flights. For passengers, this can mean a grueling choice between consuming food and maximizing sleep. Having flown Fiji Airways from their hub in Nadi to Los Angeles, the late-night departure made for an interesting experience. Onboard, Fiji Airways serves a smaller a-la-carte late-night dining experience.

Fiji Airways late-night dining. Photo: Jay Singh/Simple Flying

However, plenty of passengers would prefer to maximize sleep. Indeed, many passengers went straight to bed soon after takeoff. However, Fiji Airways must cater for a full cabin. Unfortunately, this can lead to excess waste as uneaten meals are no longer usable.

The new experience

Fiji Airways now intends to shift dining from onboard to on the ground. According to Traveller, Fiji Airways will be offering a pre-flight gourmet meal in their lounge.

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Fiji Airways Lounge in Nadi. Photo: Jay Singh/Simple Flying

In the lounge, passengers will be able to have a full dining experience in the lounge in lieu of onboard meals. Currently, the lounge offers a buffet-style dining experience with a fully stocked bar.

Thai Beef Salad in the Fiji Airways lounge. Photo: Jay Singh/Simple Flying

This sounds like a positive move since passengers can maximize sleep onboard. Furthermore, the on-the-ground dining experience can allow for additional customization since crews are limited with what is available onboard. And, for families and larger groups, this facilitates opportunities to dine together and bond over a conversation.

Which flights will be affected?

Fiji Airways will offer the on-the-ground dining experience for early morning or evening flights out of Nadi to Sydney and Brisbane. Meanwhile, departures from Melbourne and Brisbane will offer this service at those respective airports.

It seems that flights from the United States, which also depart late, will offer the full dining experience onboard. This is because, in the outstations, Fiji Airways uses contract and partner lounges who may not be able to offer the full on-the-ground dining experience that Fiji Airways can in Nadi.

For example, Fiji Airways business class passengers have access to the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse in San Francisco. However, the portion sizes are quite small and not representative of an onboard meal.

San Francisco Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse salmon dinner. Photo: Jay Singh/Simple Flying

What will Fiji Airways save?

According to Fiji Airways, up to 38% of onboard food ended up in the trash. This is because some passengers, including 31% of Australian passengers, chose sleep over inflight food.

Some passengers prefer sleep over dining in Fiji Airways’ angle-flat business class. Photo: Jay Singh/Simple Flying

In addition, this move will help Fiji Airways save on fuel since it means less weight onboard the aircraft.

What if I want to eat on board?

Fiji Airways isn’t removing food entirely from onboard flights. Instead, lighter options including fruit bowls, paninis, salads, tapas, and soups will still be offered.

Fruit bowl
Passengers can still get fruit bowls onboard. Photo: Jay Singh/Simple Flying

Overall

Fiji Airways sees a way to help passengers, minimize waste, and reduce some of their costs. Ultimately, not every passenger will indulge in the on-the-ground dining experience. However, for those who do, this can represent a better option than eating in the sky. But, for all business class passengers, this change can represent a way for Fiji Airways to maximize leisure time onboard.

If Fiji Airways extends this to flights departing to the United States, this could work well since departures out of Nadi are usually quite late at night. Having flown Fiji Airways to Los Angeles, this change is something I would be keen to try.

What do you make of this latest change? Let us know in the comments!

7 comments
  1. I would be concerned if I were connecting to one of those flights that if there was a delay, I wouldn’t get a meaningful meal. On a 4 hour flight, that’s a meaningful problem.

    1. Agree with you. If you are connecting onto a Fiji Airways flight, and you do not have enough time in the lounge to take a meal, you would have had it. I think that is a bad idea. The airline ought to give customers a choice whether they wish to eat in the lounge or in-flight. In fact, some business class customers may prefer to do both (!), (eat in the lounge and then have a meal in-flight), now the airline is removing one of their “attractions”. I think this is one airline I will AVOID.

      1. At the same time, most people who would be connecting to the morning flights are coming from the United States. On those flights, Fiji Airways serves a substantial breakfast service- it is the main meal of the flight. Personally, I think that the concept could work since passengers from those flights might not be as hungry if they had the full breakfast service.

        1. I do not support this “new concept”. The thing is, if the passengers do not wish to have a meal on board, they can simply decline the meal . However, with this new “concept”, those who wish to have a meal on board cannot do so, even though they pay the same (presumably) fares. The airline have removed this choice for the customers, because it has decided for them! This “new concept” does not benefit the paying customers, it only benefits the airline. I think a better idea would be for the airline to have a “no meals thank you” sticker for any passengers to put on their seat if they do not wish to be disturbed for meals. Simples.

          1. But the main issue for Fiji Airways is that the food is wasted because it has to be catered for a full cabin.

  2. @Jay Singh, if Fiji AIrways wishes to remove on-board meals for business class passengers, thus denying them a choice whether to have a meal on board or not, then, they should LOWER their fares to reflect that.

    As for catering for a full cabin, the airline can do some research to get a good idea how many business class passengers will not wish to have a meal on board. With that information, they can stock food which would almost match demands. As mentioned, they could also provide free “No Meals Please, Thank you” stickers for passengers who do not wish to be disturbed. Just how difficult is that?

    If Fiji Airways wishes to behave like some “Big Brother” and deny their business class customers a choice, then, they should compensate them with perhaps offering a lower, reduced fare. Are they willing to do that?

  3. I’ve been flying to Fiji for last 20 years and the airline really needs to change the menu. Buisness and coach…the food is sub par, especially in Buisness! I agree with smaller dining options but better make sure (especially in Buisness) that it’s edible.

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