Joost Heymeijer, SVP Inflight Catering at Emirates was on a local radio talk show recently. Among a variety of things he mentioned, there were a couple of interesting announcements.
Pre-order Meal Service at Emirates
Emirates already offers a large selection of special meals catering to its passenger’s dietary, cultural or religious sensitivities. If you have an upcoming flight with Emirates and you click on ‘Dietary Requirements’, this is what you will see
There are quite a lot to choose from. Here is a trick which I often use when travelling with family. If you choose any of the special meals, you are likely to be served before the catering carts roll out.
If you have not booked a special meal, it is likely the crew will approach you and ask ‘Chicken or Beef’. Or if you are in a flight to and from India, they will ask ‘Vegetarian or Non-vegetarian’.
However, this is about to change. According to Joost, Emirates will soon introduce pre-booking of regular meal service as well. The airline already allows its passengers to make their own playlist via the Emirates app. So, this feature would almost certainly be on the mobile app.
This is a very welcome move for all parties. For the passengers, it will be reassuring that their choice of meal will be available. Previously, I was witness to an incident where the airline only had the ‘beef’ option available and the passenger did not eat beef for religious reasons (Disclaimer: I always suggest pre-booking meals if you have any such form of restriction).
For the airline, it will hopefully lead to less wastage of food. Also, in future, I can foresee airlines offering paid supplements as well. Perhaps, a few bucks extra for a glass of champagne.
Premium Economy Meal Service
Every flying enthusiast and travel blogger knows this. Emirates is expected to launch its premium economy service in 2020. This was reconfirmed at the Arabian Travel Market which happened in April 2019.
There are a lot of rumors floating on the seat configuration and type, pricing and meal service. So far, Emirates has confirmed that its objective is to ‘upgrade’ passengers travelling on economy rather than ‘downgrade’ passengers travelling on business.
Joost Heymeijer also gave some clues about the meals to be offered at Premium Economy. He mentioned that Premium Economy class may be able to order their meals from the Business Class menu, rather than having the same food as economy passengers. Obviously, this is just a teaser. We do not know whether the full Business Class menu will be offered and we do not know if this would be free. At the same time, it shows that the airline is working towards the new product.