Qantas passenger complains about meal critics say looks like ‘prison food’

Qantas says a meal slammed online for looking like “prison food” or “dog food” fell well short of the airline’s standards.

A customer posted a photo of the economy meal to a subreddit dedicated to the airline this week, sparking a Qantas pile-on.

The traveller accidentally captioned the picture “meal I was survived”, revealing they meant to write “served”, however they said the typo “oddly suits”.

A Qantas spokeswoman said the airline was “incredibly disappointed” with how the meal was presented.

“We pride ourselves on delivering enjoyable dining experiences and this falls well short of our high standards,” she said.

The traveller admitted the experience was “was quite some time ago” and that the meal “didn’t taste as bad as it looks” when questioned by other Reddit users.

They couldn’t remember if they had mixed it or if that was how the meal was presented.

Many critics commenting on the photo couldn’t work out what the meal was supposed to be.

“Jeez I’m in a public hospital [at the moment] and my food was way nicer than that,” wrote one person.

“I feel like I’m looking into a toddlers nappy,” said another.

“It looks like someone had gastro in a box,” agreed a third.

“Looks like someone ate it before you,” wrote a fourth.

A fifth critic said they first thought it was dog food.

Some argued the appearance did not matter when it came to airline food.

“Looks to be shepherd’s pie. Not a food that is visually appealing once scooped from the original dish, but is delicious comfort food that can be made in large batches,” wrote one person.

A second person agreed; “Looks don’t matter as long as it tastes great.”

It is certainly not the first time a couple of snaps of a passenger’s plane food has sparked a Qantas pile-on.

Last month it was a breakfast that stirred up critics.

Another flyer suggested airlines serving meals in boxes should perhaps consider fast food options on board instead.

“Why don’t they just do a deal with a major chain like Hungry Jack’s or Oporto,” they wrote. “No one even wants to eat much, just take a pretty pic for insta. They’re really shooting themselves in the foot.”

While economy passengers may not often take to social media to share glowing reviews of in-flight meals, Qantas’ domestic business class meal service has been described as “fantastic” and “really impressive” by happy customers sharing pictures online.

The national carrier has faced huge criticism in the last year amid a string of controversies, but has promised to repair its reputation.

Qantas chief executive Vanessa Hudson vowed to put customers first when she took over the top job in September after former CEO Alan Joyce stepped down two months early.

In a second video message that month she apologised for letting customers down.

“I know that we have let you down in many ways and for that, I am sorry,” Ms Hudson said.

“We haven’t delivered the way we should have. And we’ve often been hard to deal with.”

She said the airline would earn back Australians’ trust with its actions.

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