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As a student traveling China by rail, regardless of time of arrival, an early morning blast of news followed by commotion of sales carts and other activity would ensue way too early.
Many airlines are the same. I assume it is convenient for flight attendants to get arrival meals out of the way early, allowing a buffer for things to settle down prior to arrival. How early is too early?
Korean Air is hard to fault in its in-flight experience, even economy has a candidate for best meal in the sky, bibimbap, and on-demand instant noodles. Their in-flight magazine publishes tables of meal service times and the arrival meals always seem to me way too early.
Take the Seoul-Incheon to Brisbane flight. Departs 20:05 local time and arrives 06:50 local, a flight just under 10 hours. Lights come on full brightness at the 7th hour, 04:00 Brisbane, for drink service. A full hour later, breakfast is served. This is by design and according to their published plan. Kudos for it being a real meal, not some Continental tray (even their Continental option is good). I could chug a dozen of the seafood seasoning packs that go with the porridge.
The meal is wrapped up a solid 2 hours prior to arrival and the lights are left on for the remainder. The gap between beverage and meal is unnecessary, or if it is needed then skip the separate drink service. Then the 8th hour wake would be less disruptive if even could be pushed back.
Readers, what airlines time things right? Yes, in this day we should be grateful for proper airline meals at all.