Emirates is testing out a new pre-order meal service that aims to guarantee passengers get their first choice of meal while reducing food wastage. The Dubai-based airline said on Tuesday that it was “taking the first steps in an innovative initiative of meal preordering” which will initially be limited to just a handful of routes.
From 25 July, Business Class passengers flying between Dubai and London Heathrow, London Gatwick, and London Stansted will be able to preorder their main hot entree between 14 days and 24 hours before their flight.
All other elements of the meal service, such as appetizers and desserts, will still be ordered onboard the aircraft. Emirates did not say whether it intended to add additional meal choices to its pre-order service that wouldn’t otherwise be available onboard.
A spokesperson for the airline said they hoped the pre-ordering service would become available on additional routes, as well as additional cabin services in the coming months.
Earlier this year, British Airways revealed it was preparing to bring back the option for passengers to pre-order meals on long-haul flights after suspending the service at the start of the pandemic.
And while the old service was only available in Club World and World Traveller Plus, the Heathrow-based carrier is now readying to allow passengers in all cabin classes to pre-order their entree.
Like Emirates, however, the rollout will be initially restricted to just a handful of routes, with New York JFK set to become the first destination that allows pre-selection.
Announcing the initiative on Tuesday, Emirates said: “Meal preordering will be added to the existing suite of AI-enabled customer preference tracking data and cabin crew reports, which facilitate menu planning and optimal food loading to deliver the premium ‘restaurant in the sky’ inflight dining experience.”
A spokesperson added that the airline will be closely monitoring passenger feedback during the trial phase.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.