This review covers all the vegan meal options I was served on my two Qatar Airways flights – one from Edinburgh to Doha, and one from Doha to Bangkok (approx 7.5 hours per flight). This vegan menu overview is what I received during travel in their Economy class seating.
Vegan snacks on my Qatar Airways flight
I’m afraid it didn’t get off to a good start for Qatar Airways. Our flight began with a drink and snack service. The snack? Source cream and chive pretzels (containing milk). There was no alternative. Whilst it was only a tiny bag of pretzels I was missing out on, it was frustrating that a simple salted option probably would have solved the issue (but hadn’t been factored into their planning). Nil points Qatar Airways, nil points. My frustrations were only heightened by the total disinterest of the stewardess I spoke with when I asked if there WAS an alternative. If there was, I never saw it.
On a festive plus, the team handed out Christmas candy canes on my return flight.
Vegan meal with Qatar Airways in December 2022
Qatar Airways are one of the only airlines I’ve travelled with in the last ten years to serve my food alongside everyone else’s; a pleasant surprise, as it means you don’t need to wait to have your drink separately.
The service from Edinburgh to Doha included:
- Chow mein noodles with tofu and spring onion
- Small pepper and cucumber side salad (no dressing or seasoning)
- 1 bread roll and vegan margarine
- 1 pot of melon
Fruit for dessert – what a disappointment. Whilst everyone else tucked into chocolate pudding pots, I glumly fired into yet another lazy attempt at a vegan dessert offering. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, “the 80s called, they want their menu back”.
On a plus, I really enjoyed the noodles. They were flavoursome and had little slithers of (what appeared to be) mushroom throughout. It was unusual not to be given a few packets of seasoning, salt and pepper for example, and (quite frankly) the raw salad really could have done with it.
My second main (on the flight from Qatar to Bangkok) had a more Indian theme to it. Service included:
- Tomato-based curry
- What seemed to be a potato/polenta cube
- Spiced potato (?) rings. I had a really hard time identifying anything but the curry, but everything was tasty enough – if perhaps a little dry.
There were two curve balls with this meal – a rice pudding (that may or may not have had a soy base), and a croissant. Vegan croissants are hard to come by (even when you’re not 30,000 ft in the air), so I approached this option with a fair about of cynicism. I was assured it was vegan – I’m still not convinced, but props to Qatar Airways if it was!
Vegan breakfast menu/second meal with Qatar Airways
Sandwiches were the go-to secondary meal for all passengers on the two 7-hour flights. The vegan option was a grilled vegetable offering, with pepper, aubergine, and salad. Underwhelming, but probably no more so than what I saw the non-vegans receiving
Tea and coffee service
For the second drinks service, guests were given little chocolate wafers to enjoy with their drinks. Following the first snack encounter, I handed mine back to the steward, convinced that these little chocolate packets weren’t for me (and the steward took it without comment). It was only as I passed it back that the passenger next to me pointed out that they were in fact vegan (noted with a little label on the back.)
DELIGHTED! But, equally disappointing that the Qatar Airways team didn’t know this themselves – surely food service training is a basic must?
There was also no plant-based milk for hot drinks (sigh).
Qatar Airways vegan food review summary
I’m scoring 3.5 out of 5. The Qataris continue to let themselves down with their sadder-than-average attempt at plant-based meals. For an airline that boasts impeccable service, their team were flat and they’ve got a long way to go. I’ve had better food service from other airlines that don’t boast to be at the top of their game.