Qantas to deliver ‘room service supper’ in A380 business class

The new dinner service concept is aimed at maximising sleep on the overnight Singapore-Sydney flight.

By David Flynn, March 22 2023
Qantas to deliver ‘room service supper’ in A380 business class
Executive Traveller exclusive

Qantas will launch a streamlined business class dinner service on the Singapore-Sydney leg of its Airbus A380 flight QF2 from Tuesday March 28, with the aim of helping travellers maximise their sleep time on the relatively short overnight leg.

Some passengers on QF2 may already have encountered a trial of the service, which Qantas will brand as Room Service Supper, earlier this month.

If successful, the airline will look at extending the concept to other overnight flights from Asia, including Singapore to Brisbane and Melbourne as well as red-eyes from Hong Kong and Bangkok. 

“We’re still offering the same quantity and selection of food,” explains Phil Capps, Qantas’ Executive Manager Product & Service. “We’re just flexing the way in which we serve it, in a way that maximises sleep time.”

After business class passengers choose their dinner from the menu “the crew will make up each dinner in the galley, on a single tray, and then deliver this to the passenger, ” Capps tells Executive Traveller, rather than a multi-course serving from carts trundling up and down the aisle.

“You'll still have a side salad and bread, a glass of wine, your main course and the option for cheese and a dessert, so pretty much everything you've got now but but delivered on one tray.”

The Room Service Supper approach is intended to reduce the overall time required for the meal service so that travellers can spend more time sleeping, as well as cutting down on crew movement and the associated if unavoidable noise in the cabin for the sake of passengers who skip a meal and go straight to sleep.

Capps estimates “around 50%” of business class passengers on QF2 take their dinner in the Qantas Business or First lounge at Singapore and go straight to sleep on the flight.

The cabin lighting is also dimmed earlier in the flight, again to help those seeking shut-eye on QF2’s relatively short overnight leg, which departs Singapore at 7.30pm to reach Sydney around 6am – a total gate-to-gate time of just under eight hours.

“Singapore to Sydney is one of the shorter overnight fights that we do from Asia, so we’re trying to strike a really good balance between a generous meal and maximising sleep,” Capps says.

“We know a lot of customers are transiting through from London, and many are also either flying onwards when they get into Australia or they're going straight into work, so we want to make sure they’re rested as they can be”

Capps says the airline will assess the Room Service Supper based on “feedback from customers… these things are really easy for us to evolve and tweak over time.” 

“And then some of those principles, we can have a look at whether they are appropriate to extend to other flights from Asia.”

The rollout of Room Service Supper comes as Qantas overhauls its inflight menus, which will also see a more substantial second meal replace the ‘refreshment’ on longer flights between Australia and Asia.

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 1193

It is not a unique concept, SQ already has an approach whereby you tell them on boarding a red-eye flight whether you want a supper, a breakfast, neither or both and they happily accommodate this as necessary.  

Obviously, encouraging dining in the lounge is the best solution for inflight rest and, to QF's credit, the lounge staff in SIN will always ask if you intend to eat on the plane and, if not, the mattress topper will already be in place when you board the plane.

I am always bemused about how slow meal services can be on overnight flights.  I regularly do QF42 (CGK-SYD) and, with tailwinds, it is often only a flight of just over 5 hours so you want to sleep ASAP but, for some reason, the meal service can still be going 2 hours after departure which means you are lucky to get 2 hours sleep.  Maybe this new plan is a step to move away from this.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Feb 2014

Total posts 23

So in other words a dine on demand service in essence...

05 Mar 2015

Total posts 393

No, nothing like 'dine on demand'. Dine on demand has an extensive menu covering all meal times plus snacks etc which are available to order at any time during the flight. This is just a different and faster way of delivering your standard dinner. Keen to hear feedback on how well it works in practice.

Sounds like a smart move, especially for people like me who eat in the lounge and then sleep on the plane. Could be made even faster if there was a way for business class passengers to select their dinner before boarding the flight, eg in the lounge or on the Qantas app, so the crew could start making up the trays even sooner and get dinner out even quicker to those who want it.

05 Mar 2015

Total posts 393

I'm another 'eat in the lounge, sleep on the plane' passenger for Singapore-Sydney flights, this sounds better for me because of the reduced lighting in the cabin plus less noise and movement. My practice is a decent meal in the lounge as close to boarding as I can, plus a drink or two maybe, then take a sleeping pill with water as soon as I board, by the time we take off I'm already dozing, and the seat goes into flat-bed mode as soon as allowed. I just wish I could get a decent breakfast or that SYD had a great arrivals lounge.


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

14 Sep 2012

Total posts 390

I was half expecting to read a version of the “cafe style breakfast” that QF tried a few years back but this is a really smart and practical way to maximise sleep on the Asia>Oz legs. I must have skipped dinner a million times to max sleep and opt for a more substantial breakfast or quick cafe & muffin. Great idea and I’d be surprised if it gets negative feedback. 

Jetstar Airways - Qantas Frequent Flyer

20 Apr 2016

Total posts 15

Will be trying out this service in July. As long as the standard of food is good then that’s ok by me. It’s good that we experiment to improve our experience. I am confident that the cabin staff will be excellent as they always are and a credit to the airline. Come one Mr Joyce you have some great staff. 

Etihad - Etihad Guest

21 Jul 2019

Total posts 150

Very sensible move, and I doubt any pax would object. The only thing that irks me is is knowing that (a.) it could have been easily done looong ago, and (b.) other airlines have done it for years. It really is the simplest of moves, the lowest hanging fruit [pick your own metaphor].


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

23 Sep 2017

Total posts 160

In other words, a business class meal on a tray like one would get on a short sector. Yeah, it makes perfect sense when it comes to maximising sleep on such overnight flights but let’s not pretend it’s some wonderful new concept.

26 Mar 2020

Total posts 64

And least they offer a second meal - Singapore Airlines recently have been cost-cutting and only offer one meal between flights from Singapore and Australia.

The cabin crew also still turn on the lights 120 - 90 mins out from departure even with no meal - so everyone forced up and siting there - they mozz well serve a meal if they going to wake up everyone that early before landing

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

04 Jun 2015

Total posts 71

I think I experienced one of the first trials of this and didn’t mind the concept. My only issue was it was still 90+ mins in till I got my tray and 2 hours before the lights went down. It would work better if orders were before takeoff and lights dimmed asap so if you have eaten in the lounge you have the best chance at sleep. I did like the way they did breakfast which seemed to be instead of the cards, a trolly to choose from. Was good because I had a light breaky at the last possible moment.

Sounds like they’re simply offering a economy “one meal in a tray” service. This is hardly innovating or new.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

31 Aug 2012

Total posts 215

Experienced the SQ 'just one meal' concept this week. You can have it after takeoff (past midnight), or 2 hrs before landing. It is decidedly a breakfast meal, so before landing made more sense for me. All very OK if you know what to expect and have a substantial  dinner meal in the lounge rather than snack grazing.

Oh, the onboard 'refreshments' comprise packets of hi-carb hi-salt, hi-sugar junk snacks to tide you over til breakfast!

30 May 2018

Total posts 30

The only real game changer is to serve a full dinner with a dining area in the lounge like transatlantic carriers have done NYC - CDG / LHR for 20 years

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