Japanese airline suggests passengers skip meals

(CNN) – Japan Airlines (JAL) urges some travelers to make an “ethical choice” by skipping meals on board their flights. However, a representative from the airline says the measure is about reducing food waste, not cutting costs.

The JAL representative told CNN that the “Ethical Choice” option is currently only available on select night flights within Asia as many passengers choose to sleep the entire flight instead of waking up to the meal service.

As the airline prepares a meal for every person on board, a passenger who prefers to sleep through the meal service or prefers the snacks they brought from home will result in food waste.

The program was inspired by the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), one of which is reducing food waste around the world. In Japan, companies have become competitive in their approach to meeting these SDGs. It was first implemented on a trial basis in November on flights between Bangkok and Haneda Airport in Tokyo. This five and a half hour flight is usually performed as red eyes. He leaves Bangkok at 10:40 p.m. and arrives at 5:40 a.m. the next morning. Due to the pandemic, relatively few people are flying, which gives the airline the opportunity to gradually introduce.

Guests can opt out of the pre-catering service by going to JAL’s website or calling the airline once they have confirmed their flight reservation, much like they might request a vegetarian or kosher meal in advance.

While many airlines offer the option of saying “no thanks” to the in-flight meal service, JAL’s approach means no extra meals are prepared and then thrown away.

In addition to the option to skip meals, JAL recycles maintenance technician uniforms into soundproof cotton fibers and lets flight attendants use iPads in-flight to reduce the printing of paper menus.

And this isn’t JAL’s only new initiative in 2020. In September, the airline dropped “ladies and gentlemen” and switched to more inclusive, gender-neutral greetings like “attention to all passengers”.

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