Dinner time in business class is usually an airlines most elaborate meal, so one wouldn’t expect to be served raw meat. It is the first time I have ever flown and experienced something this bad.

I selected my flight specifically based on the fact it would have a full dinner service. I’m always curious to see what airlines offer on board which is why these things come into play.

QF553 – Brisbane to Sydney
19 April 2017
Boeing 737-838 – VH-VZS “Cairns”
Seat: Business Class 1A
Departure: 19:35 Arrival: 21:10

On this flight I was first on board which gave me the opportunity to take some cabin shots. The Boeing 737-800 is the mainstay of the Qantas domestic fleet.


I find the interior fit out of the Qantas aircraft to be quite nice. The charcoal grey seats in economy class look very comfortable and it is nice the seat colour is different up front.

Welcome Drink

Prior to departure, the Qantas crew come around offering a welcome drink. This is a great feature of domestic business class in Australia, something the European carriers could well learn from.


Just about everyone chooses to have a welcome drink up the front so it is clearly a part of the service people enjoy. Not long after this, we left for Sydney.

Dinner Tales Featuring Raw Meat

There is a choice of meals on board at dinner time and I selected the lamb cutlets with potatoes and peas. When it arrived, it looked delicious!


Yarra Burn is quite a nice Australian sparkling wine and I was delighted to see it being served. My previous flight served Grant Burge sparkling wine which is not nearly as nice.


Tucking in to my cutlets, I noticed they were very difficult to cut. After a piece or two I thought it tasted strange too so I gave it a good look and my suspicious were confirmed – raw meat. Needless to say I didn’t eat any more of that.


Dessert is a little hand made cake from Manna. I love a good cake and this one was delicious. For the main meal, I can also report the potatoes and peas were very good!

Service Recovery

Not one to make a fuss, I said nothing until the crew came to clear up my tray. I mentioned the meat did not appear to be cooked. The crew member frankly looked shocked and apologised for that. Immediately after this, she went to every other passenger who ordered the lamb cutlets to check if their meals were properly cooked.

Luckily they were all fine which I was informed about along with another apology. A minute or two later, another crew member came by to apologise as well and offered to see if they could give me a crew meal to make up for it. Of course, I declined.


A little later on, the original crew member asked if they could get me a bottle of wine to take with me to apologise for the meal. I attempted to refuse when I was asked if I would like white or red.

The Qantas crew were having none of it – I was going to get wine to take with me whether I liked it or not. I selected the red and it was popped in a nice bag and put into the overhead locker.

Overall Thoughts

Clearly it was just bad luck that I had raw meat, especially as all the other passenger meals were okay. It impressed me that the crew checked the meals of everyone else, to the point of asking one person to cut their cutlet as they had not started that part of the meal yet.

Service recovery is vitally important and it was interesting to watch the professional Qantas crew swing into action. The airline has superb service training and it is evident how they make things right when something goes wrong. Well done, Qantas! Oh and the wine? Delicious! Absolutely made up for the raw meat.

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