Malaysia Airlines faces in-flight meal criticisms while searching for new caterer

Amirul Rahman / Facebook / Nokuro /

Once renowned for winning the best airline signature dish with its delectable chicken satay, Malaysia Airlines is now facing in-flight meal chaos while it searches for a new caterer.

On September 1, 2023, the Malaysian flag carrier ended its 26-year contract with Brahim’s Food Services (BFS), without having lined up a new caterer.

On its website, the airline advised passengers that during the transition period passengers may experience “minor modifications to their regular meal offerings in-flight”. 

However, Malaysia Airlines’ customers have taken to social media to complain about the change in in-flight meals, with one passenger sharing on Facebook that she was served pre-packed bread and fruit on a business class flight from Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KUL) to Vietnam.

The passenger’s photograph showed a box with pre-packed slices of bread and pastries, a drastic change from the usual piping hot meals that the airline serves in business class.

Another business class passenger shared that his flight from Surabaya in Indonesia to Kuala Lumpur did not have any meals at all, and that the airline did not have the courtesy to let passengers know meals would not be served.

To manage customer expectations, the airline created an FAQ page on its website dedicated to the in-flight meal changes. The page had to be updated, with the airline saying its initial advice that passengers may bring their own meals had been “taken out of context”.

The airline has not provided a date for when things will go back to normal with in-flight meals, only saying that it is “excited to introduce new inflight meals in the upcoming months”.

Customers who require special meals will understandably be frustrated, as the airline said that it “regrets to inform that all special meals, Chef-on-Call, meal upgrade, and pre-booked meals will be unavailable during this time on the affected routes.”

All Malaysia Airlines routes except flights to New Zealand, the Middle East, the UK, and Japan are affected.

The full FAQ can be reviewed here.

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