Unnatural Partners?

By | Category: Travel rumblings

There are things that instinctively do not go together; chocolate and tinned peas, Eskimos and air conditioning and politicians and respect. Another is airline food and fine dining yet that may have happened at Qantas. They’ve started an online food and wine club for their frequent flyers.
Haven’t these poor passengers gone through enough already? Is torture now allowed in Australia?
The club is called EpiQure and it seems that it is primarily a wine club or to put it another way, a vehicle for parting passengers from their money in a slightly different way. Punters have to pay $A99 to join or 13,000 frequent flyer miles and for that, these misguided people can buy the wines served in first and business class. Why don’t they just look at the labels, write down the names and order them from the vineyard and save the $99?
But this club is designed, according to the press release, for you to be “…part of a community with a shared appreciation of the finer things in life.” If you wanted the finer things in life would you eat airline food? Qantas Frequent Flyer CEO, Simon Hickey, said. “We are excited about some of the opportunities this exclusive community will present to our new epiQure members, in particular the private dinners with globally recognised chefs…”It really rubs salt in the wound by setting up a food club which surreptitiously suggests the best meals are going to be on the ground. Well maybe these globally recognised chefs can do something about the food in the economy class. Not that Qantas food is any less good than most airlines. Having a wine club isn’t that different either; flybe had one about five years ago but no more. Ryanair had one as well. Neither of these included food perhaps because they knew they’d get people like me writing things they couldn’t stomach! then they’s know how their passengers felt. British Airways has a wine club that is really Laithwaite’s under a different name. Again, no hint of food. There is Virgin Wines of course but again, no food.
Qantas invests more than $A25 million in the Australian wine industry each year through the Qantas Wine Program, it says. Wouldn’t it be nice in their 90th anniversary year of they invested $A25 million in improving the meals for economy class passengers. Now that would be a PR statement worth shouting about.

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