Much ink has been spent on this website about Vistara’s stance on meal services, but I finally wanted to bring you some good news. Meal Service options in economy class are back. Read on…
Last year (2021), after the second wave, Vistara decided to stop meal service on most flights and replaced it with snack boxes that were handed out to everyone. Vistara was inferring the DGCA circular on low-contact and serving only packaged products to its advantage, as these meal boxes cost them next to nothing in terms of cash outgo but allowed them to claim they are a full-service carrier. Unfortunately, there were many customer complaints for months (including yours truly), and things came to a head in October 2021, when the airline decided to re-introduce meals.
However, Vistara publicly announced that they were only going to re-introduce hot vegetarian meals in economy class, and these meals indeed have been back on the Vistara flights I’ve flown since. Note that the hot meals are only back on flights above 2 hours block time. Other sectors still received those soddy sandwiches, though.
As the date for the Air India takeover by the Tata Group came closer, however, Vistara has started to serve non-vegetarian meals in the economy cabin again. The change came through in mid-January 2022 (I don’t have an exact date), and the meal uplifts now include a vegetarian and a non-vegetarian uplift for the economy cabin. However, Vistara did not make any headlines for this change, preferring to keep it low-key.
At LiveFromALounge, we first got wind of this change via a reader tip-off.
Had the flight today. Was offered a lunch (chapati and curry) with options of veg and non veg. Served alongside a breadroll, butter, chocolate and water bottle.
— Pratik (@pratik_potdar) January 24, 2022
However, having experienced the chicken or veg question myself on my flight with Vistara on January 29, 2022, I can very well confirm that Vistara has now resumed non-vegetarian meals in the Economy cabin. While I was not very hungry after a whole day of travel, I can confirm I did partake in a Vistara non-vegetarian economy class meal, just for the experience.
As you can see, Vistara is still in a cost-cutting mode, but at least the options have returned. Why do I say cost-cutting? Because these meals used to be fuller in the past. You would notice there is no salad and no dessert, a minimal quantity of protein and more of the veggies poriyal. The chocolate replaces the dessert. Also, instead of serving a parantha, the airline is doing a piece of bread along.
And while this is a step forward for Vistara, which built its brand on excellent in-flight catering, the airline has still held back on the hot-beverage service, which I can confirm all their competitors are offering at the moment. Even Air India brought back their tea/coffee service on board, and yours truly received a cuppa on his morning flight, the same day as flying Vistara on the return trip.
Non-Vegetarians should be delighted that on +2 hour and metro segments, Vistara has resumed non-vegetarian hot meals onboard their flights on meal times. There is some way to restore the Vistara standard, but this is a start nonetheless.
What has been your experience with the meal service on Vistara recently?
(P.S. I noticed many people complaining on social media when the sandwiches were being served but not complimenting them for resuming non-vegetarian meals? That is not how it works, right?)
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