Airline recommends passengers heading on holiday skip their in-flight meals

An airline has suggested to passengers that they should choose to opt out of eating their in-flight meals.

Japan Airlines has claimed that skipping their dishes is the “ethical option” for holidaymakers.

The carrier launched the “JAL Ethical Choice MealSkip Option” in 2020.

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JAL’s unusual option is coined as the better choice for sustainability and environmental reasons.

It claims that avoiding lunch on flights reduces food waste if you plan to nap during your journey.

In emails to passengers, Japan Airlines wrote: “We would like to introduce to you a new service ‘JAL Ethical Choice MealSkip Option’, where you can cancel your meals during reservation to enjoy your sleep throughout the flight.”

You can opt out of your meal in all flight classes from economy to first.

However, you do need to register that you are skipping the dishes 25 hours before your plane sets off.

JAL suggests: “Before departure, visit [the] JAL website and select ‘No Meal’. Please use this service if you would like to take a good rest on the plane or if you would like to help us reduce food waste.”

Airlines contribute 6million tonnes of waste per year with 20% coming from food and drink, reports the Independent.

In addition to reducing this waste JAl will also donate money to the TFT Secretariat for each person who skips their meal.

The funds will be put towards school meal programmes for kids in developing nations.

So if you’re not likely to feel peckish then it could be a more charitable option.

However, not everyone felt comfortable with the idea.

Many felt that if they were sacrificing part of the airline’s service they should be given a discount on their ticket.

A Canadian Twitter user wrote: “It would also be ethical to lower the fare should you opt for this no?”

While others believed most people would be unhappy if being asked to give up their food.

A London customer said: “An interesting concept for charity, but I cannot see planefood lovers opting for it.”

However, some Japanese customers were fans of the idea.

One wrote on Twitter: “It's totally better to use this and get the amenities. A light meal in the lounge is enough for dinner.”

In a statement published in December, JAL said: “In order to pass on a prosperous planet to the next generation, the JAL Group is committed to making every flight sustainable and transforming air travel into a value to be proud of, by aiming to achieve zero CO2 emissions by 2050.

“As part of this, we will further expand our various inflight meal initiatives to achieve SDGs.

“This service, which helps reduce food waste while allowing passengers to rest comfortably in the cabin, and has been well received by customers, especially those who board late-night flights, who say they are glad to be able to take a good night’s rest.”

The service was introduced on certain six-hour flights where people prefered to sleep than eat.

It was such a success that the airline rolled it out across the board.

Of course, if you do want your meal during your flight you can simply choose not to opt-out.

But, flight attendants would likely choose not to eat the plane meals – some have said that plane food is “unhealthy”.

Would you ever skip your in-flight meal? Tell us in the comments…


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