Qantas Updates Offerings for International Travel Restart

From mid-November, inflight and lounge menus will feature new plant-based options and a signature cocktail.

Qantas’ International First Lounge at Sydney Airport. (All photos courtesy of Qantas)

Qantas has announced the rollout of several initiatives, including a customized digital guide to help passengers navigate changing travel requirements, as the airline prepares to resume scheduled international flights for the first time in 20 months.

Stephanie Tully, the Qantas Group’s Chief Customer Officer, said in a statement, “We have redesigned our digital booking experience with world-first technology to help our customers easily navigate the post-Covid-19 world of international travel and guide them through each step, including regular checklists sent via text ahead of their flights.” These reminders will pop up seven days, four days, and one day before departure. Additionally, once seats are booked, relevant travel requirements will be emailed along with a link to an upcoming interactive Travel Ready section on qantas.com.

Over the coming weeks, the IATA Travel Pass is due to be integrated into the digital experience, allowing customers to upload their vaccine and testing documents and be cleared to fly even before they get to the airport. Check-in for international flights will open an hour earlier than in pre-pandemic times.

Staff at the marble-clad bar inside Sydney’s Qantas International First Lounge.

Qantas is also rolling out a new menu across its international flights and in the lounges, including a number of newly added plant-based options. Reflecting the growing popularity of vegan fare among increasingly health-conscious travelers, meals such as potato and celeriac gratin with roast fennel, peas, mushrooms, and onion sauce — as well as ratatouille pasta bake with herb crumb, cauliflower, and green beans — will be available across all cabins on international flights from mid-November.

Ice creams from popular Australian brands such as Paddle Pop and Splice will also be added to the inflight menu, while a brand-new signature cocktail, the Qantas Sky Spritz, comes flavored with Australian botanicals including Davidson plum and finger lime. The concoction was developed by Sydney-based beverage brand Sofi to celebrate the airline’s return to international skies.

On top of that, complimentary Fly Well kits (with a face mask and sanitizing wipes) will continue to be available onboard. Other changes to inflight services include the use of fully compostable paper wrappings on amenity kits, sustainably sourced bamboo combined swizzles and stirrers, and new compostable cups on all international flights.

Qantas has said it will use Darwin International Airport’s Catalina Lounge as a pop-up International Transit lounge for eligible customers transiting through Darwin on their way to and from London. Other international lounges will progressively reopen as the airline resumes operations on more routes.

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