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Is there any duration and/or distance of flight beyond which airlines are legally obliged to feed passengers without charging them for it? If so, what is the limit?

In case jurisdictions matter, I'm flying from Australia to Japan with Jetstar, a presumably Australian airline.

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2 Answers 2

up vote 11 down vote accepted

I was flying from Singapore to New Zealand (11 hours). Jetstar will not feed you without additional charge. This is company policy. They won't even bring you tea or coffee without charging. In addition, economy class is creepily cold. Bring some warm clothes.

In business class meals included in cost of flight ticked. In economy class you must pre-purchase it.

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I can confirm that (Singapore - Gold Coast, 8 hours) I'd also recommend to take a cup, there are water dispensers near the toilet doors, and I'm not sure if they give you one. –  drat Mar 12 at 11:24
    
There is no law. Airlines can essentially do what they like. I once heard a rumor that some airline wanted to charge for using the WC. Imagine that on a long haul flight –  EdmundYeung99 Mar 12 at 12:04
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That was good old Ryanair in the UK, was a suggestion in a staff competition to find new ways to get money off customers, it was a bit too far, even for them. –  Mark Chapman Mar 12 at 13:48
    
@MarkChapman I sometimes wonder if all those rumours about things Ryanair supposedly plans to do to squeeze customers aren't the result of well executed smear campaigns by competitors... Few times I've seen their CEO on television about plans those were reasonable (like asking permission to remove the galleys as they're not offering in flight service anyway so it's dead weight). –  jwenting Mar 12 at 14:15
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Actually it was the CEO I heard talking about it, he's also seemingly said a few racy things on twitter, I think he likee to stir up controversy as free publicity. –  Mark Chapman Mar 12 at 14:25
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No, there is no regulation that obliges airlines to provide free food during the normal operation of flights.

However, in the EU they do have to provide free "meals and refreshments in a reasonable relation to the waiting time" when a flight is delayed by more than two to four hours (depending on the length of the flight).

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So do railways. In my experience, meals and refreshments might be interpreted widely... –  gerrit Mar 12 at 13:30
    
The "in the EU they do have to..." part is mostly theoretical, though. In practice (seen at Arlanda 2 years ago), "respectable" airlines like LH will simply cancel all flights for 48 hours and have people stand in line for 6 hours, then try to trick them into accepting that they must come back the next day for "stand by list", and when you refuse try to trick you into missing your flight by purposely telling you a check-in time the next morning which makes it impossible to reach the gate (if you're stupid enough to believe them). All without as much as one bite or a drop of water. –  Damon Mar 12 at 13:50
    
Similar for BA, which will just close all check-ins and show you the middle finger, telling you to call an extra expensive service number (where you're told that you can get hotel refunded if you checked in -- which of course they won't let you do). Seen in Heathrow 3 years ago. –  Damon Mar 12 at 13:51
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<ctd> or KLM putting us in a hotel overnight during a 12 hour delay in London and not supplying vouchers for the hotel bar until after the bar had closed, then giving us vouchers for a breakfast in the hotel but we had to leave the hotel to catch our flight before the restaurant opened. –  jwenting Mar 12 at 14:12
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@jwenting I don't think you can really complain that KLM didn't give you free booze. –  David Richerby Mar 12 at 17:14
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