Rex outlines business class dining for Sydney-Melbourne

Business class passengers will enjoy hot meals served on cardboard trays, plus complimentary wine and beer.

By Chris Chamberlin, February 24 2021
Rex outlines business class dining for Sydney-Melbourne

Passengers travelling in business class aboard Rex’s Sydney-Melbourne flights will find a “specially crafted meal box” waiting for them from next week, with the airline now sharing the details of its inflight menu.

It's clear that Regional Express is positioning its catering well above the simple ‘snack boxes’ of Virgin Australia’s current business class offering, but without attempting to replicate the full plated meal service and presentation in Qantas business class.

On the short Sydney-Melbourne hop, Rex’s meals aim to “take in the flavour combinations of home-style country cooking with a weekly showcase of gourmet ingredients from some of our exceptional Australian producers.”

Depending on the time of day, early highlights include Tasmanian smoked salmon, Australian artisan cheeses from Bruny Island and Gippsland, and hand-made desserts.

Rex drops the china

Rather than rolling out reusable flatware and crockery, meals will be served on single-use cardboard trays, in single-use cardboard and paper containers, with single-use plastic or cardboard cups, and with single-use wooden cutlery.

Bottled water will also be provided.

Meals in Rex business class will be served via recyclable paper, cardboard and plastic.
Meals in Rex business class will be served via recyclable paper, cardboard and plastic.

Regional Express says the items are “100% recyclable”, and have “been carefully selected to minimise the environmental impact.”

Via its social media channels, the airline also claims to be “introducing a world first, single use full size airline meal tray,” pictured above.

However, Rex is far from the first to offer disposable meal trays and boxes, these being particularly popular in Europe: observed here, for example, on a quick KLM hop from London to Amsterdam in 2019.

Business class passengers on the shortest KLM flights have long enjoyed boxed meals served on cardboard trays.
Business class passengers on the shortest KLM flights have long enjoyed boxed meals served on cardboard trays.

On the refreshment front, tea, coffee, water, soft drinks, juice, beer, red wine, and white wine are all complimentary in Rex business class.

“Our wines (are) sourced from smaller boutique vineyards across Australia to give you a taste of what this beautiful country has to offer,” says Rex.

With Rex kicking off Sydney-Melbourne flights from March 1, many eyes will then be on Virgin Australia’s response when it relaunches its own domestic business class experience: a reboot that would ideally see its current snack boxes replaced with more substantial bites.

Also read: First photos: Rex Boeing 737 business class

Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin is the Associate Editor of Executive Traveller, and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins not just with a single step, but also a strong latte, a theatre ticket, and later in the day, a good gin and tonic.

sounds great. Can't wait for them to start flying SYD/BNE.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

22 Nov 2019

Total posts 72

Well done Rex, looks good and perfect for those not concerned with Platinum One (like me). #loyaltyisnolongerelevant

JJ1
JJ1

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

23 Sep 2015

Total posts 10

Looks great and I like idea that it's 100% recyclable. On a negative note shame that my frustration got the better of me. If REX could just improve on their website. I tried to make a booking this morning to Melbourne and back, partly out of curiosity and partly because the fare was great. I gave up in the end after numerous attempts of trying to select the flights. Ended up booking flights with Qantas and Virgin via Webjet - dearer but I got the job done.

AT
AT

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

14 Sep 2012

Total posts 354

What improvements are you suggesting on the Rex website, it's fairly easy to use. And you could have booked Rex on Webjet site too.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

29 May 2020

Total posts 23

Well you cant Manage a booking for starters. I've been trying to log in since December.

22 Nov 2020

Total posts 2

Why would you use WebJet , I don't like them because you can get the same fares, without paying their hefty fees.

What’s the grog going to be like? That’s all that matters. 

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

09 Jun 2016

Total posts 9

I get that everything is 100% recyclable, but wouldn't it actually be more environmentally friendly to use china and metal cutlery?

XWu
XWu

09 May 2020

Total posts 428

The hot water and the detergent and the drying and the packing might not make that earth friendly 

18 Jan 2017

Total posts 53

Whilst it is recyclable, actually being recycled is entirely different. 

For it to all be recycled they have to seperate any food etc and whilst something can go into “recycling” there’s a varying chance it ends up landfill anyway. 

Unfortunately, a lot of this is the sad reality of recycling.

There’s a chance Rex themselves may just put it into landfill rubbish. 

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 795

Whatever they use will be the cheapest option at the time to meet a standard defined by their desired position in the market. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

26 Nov 2012

Total posts 92

I’m going on them next week on a lunch flight so I’m excited to see this.  I’m really interested in the recycle concept but David can you please find out if they will recycle everything and what percentage goes to landfill. Lots of stuff ‘can’ be recycled but doesn’t mean that it is. 

XWu
XWu

09 May 2020

Total posts 428

I would assume that REx will give the rubbish to the airport to sort out the recyclables just like any airlines amd it’s the airport that does the sorting from what I hear so if anyone have the gripes with recycling I would hold the airport not the airline responsible. 

Mind you there is already a lot of controversies on food/beverage tainted paper products and whether it’s recycled depends on which state you are in

07 Jan 2016

Total posts 33

Well..... they're recycling ex-Virgin 737's for a start....

10 Dec 2019

Total posts 6

You're travelling in a giant aluminium tube, burning hundreds of tons of kerosene, and you're worried about where the wooden cutlery will end up? 

Mr. T LOL 

767
767

01 Mar 2021

Total posts 6

So because the environmental impact is already bad it’s okay to make it worse? You won’t be be laughing when the planet is uninhabitable. 

10 Dec 2019

Total posts 6

Wooden cutlery?

To quote Dr Evil in the movie Austin Powers: "How about NO!" 

nothing wrong with wooden cutlery. We recycle it in our fireplaces.

10 Dec 2019

Total posts 6

You're going to take put left over wooden cutlery in your carry-on, take it home, and recycle it?

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH

no but we often have garden parties & try not to use plastic cutlery. We burn the cardboard & wooden cutlery in the fire that night. Good fire starters. We usually have the fire going to 4 hours or more.

10 Dec 2019

Total posts 6

Try normal cutlery. Wooden cutlery is an abomination. 

nah.

Wooden cutlery burns well in fireplaces. Normal cutlery costs too much to clean.

10 Dec 2019

Total posts 6

You don't have a dish washer? What do you do, invite half the suburb over? Just a hint - you'll have to book about $50,000 in REX business class travel to collect enough wooden cutlery. LOL

way too much handling for a dishwasher. On an aircraft that's just way too hard & therefore expensive. 2 to 3 dozen people. Great for starting fire. We use hardwood once started.

15 Jan 2021

Total posts 8

I found their booking process not so smooth either. I shouldn’t have to confirm to CAPTCHA In order to find flights. 

big deal have to fill in captcha. That's to stop those trying to stuff up Rex, like those who stuffed up Compass Mark 1.

Rxm
Rxm

Jetstar Airways - Qantas Frequent Flyer

14 Jan 2017

Total posts 58

Hopefully the will be offering a meal choice.  Salmon and artesian cheeses are not to everyone’s taste. They are quite strong flavours and don’t have universal appeal. Also Rex needn’t worry about matching Qantas. More likely Qantas’ catering downgrades will sink below Rex’s offering. 

767
767

01 Mar 2021

Total posts 6

Chris I appreciated your writing outlining the “single use” nature of Rex’s business class. What an environmental disaster... The last thing this planet needs is more waste when reusable items are available and far less damaging over time. So disappointing and will definitely play a role in my decision making. 

767

Do you drive a car ? Do you use electricity ? If so, get off your high horse.

All the cutlery/boxes are combustible, so can be burned for fuel.

767
767

01 Mar 2021

Total posts 6

Yes and I am a regular flyer too. But your attitude of: “the environmental impact is already bad, so who cares if it gets worse” is exactly the reason why future generations will look back and shake their heads in dismay... 

FYI - Burning recycling for fuel has a carbon footprint and is not what people expect will happen with their waste when they hear “100% recycled”. 

23 Jul 2017

Total posts 80

Oh good! Different airline but back to cardboard food on a cardboard plate, etc. As others have said, is all the stuff recycled, even if food remains on the cardboard? I, too, had problems with the booking site, so goodbye and good luck, Rex, but once stung, twice shy. I'll stick with Qantas.


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