I took a flight from Santiago de Chile to Madrid today. It was a four-hour difference in time zones. The flight departed at 21:20 local time and arrived at 13:30 local time. They served the first meal about two hours after takeoff, which was a cold meal, so there was no technical reason to wait that long. They kept the cabin lights dim and the windows blinded for at least another hour, until it was past 12:00 local time at the destination. "Breakfast" was served at 12:30 local time.
I have had this experience with several long-distance flights over multiple time zones, some of them over nine time zones. But the figures concerning this flight are fresh.
Wouldn't it make more sense to set sleeping times and meals in relation to the time zone at the destination? This should reduce jet lag at the destination greatly. Instead, the time zone at departure seems to be kept up unnecessarily long. Of course, they cannot let the passengers stay hungry just to alleviate jet lag, but there could be some sort of trade-off, which apparently isn't happening.
Are there other reasons for keeping up the time zone of departure?