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A former TV host who complained on Twitter about the lack of vegetarian options on his two-hour journey from Adelaide to Sydney caused outrage over the decision, and other users accused Qantas Airways of ignoring passengers' cultural and religious preferences in order to save money. Customers are criticising the Australian airline for eliminating vegetarian food options on short-haul flights.

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According to a 2019 Australian Broadcasting Corporation survey, little under one in 10 Australians identified themselves as vegetarian, semi-vegetarian or vegan.

Qantas has stated in a statement that, in order to expedite service delivery for its personnel on shorter trips, it now offers a single meal and tries to provide a vegetarian snack if the main option isn't suitable.

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According to a Qantas representative, the airline made certain adjustments to the onboard food and service options during the COVID-19 pandemic to streamline the crew's service delivery. On our shorter flights, it now provides a single meal or snack choice, such as a chicken pie or a zucchini and onion frittata. The airline tries to offer an alternative of a small sweet or savoury snack that is vegetarian if the option on a specific flight is not acceptable for vegetarians, the spokesperson also said.

According to Qantas, consumers can still order special meals, like vegan or gluten- and dairy-free alternatives, on longer domestic and international flights.

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As it struggles to keep up with a post-pandemic rise in travel demand, the Australian carrier has angered customers amid months of travel disruption. While Chairman Richard Goyder last week defended the airline and its CEO, asserting that Qantas is well on the path to fixing such concerns, Chief Executive Officer Alan Joyce rejected calls from unions for him to resign.

According to the airline, on-time performance increased from 52% of flights being on time in July to 67% in August and 71% from September 1–14. Six out of every 1,000 travellers face mishandled luggage overall while it is five out of every 1,000 passengers in domestic travel, which is pre-COVID levels.

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