How late is it acceptable to serve breakfast on a flight?

Breakfast in Iberia Business Class
Breakfast in Iberia Business Class

At some point during the day there has to be a cut-off time when an airline stops serving breakfast and starts serving lunch or some kind of mid-day snack. But when is the appropriate time?

A morning flight with Iberia in business class from London Heathrow to Madrid. I got up around 7.30 at my Heathrow airport hotel, had a quick grab’n bite breakfast in the lobby, with a cup of coffee and a pastry, and then made my way to terminal 5 to have a proper breakfast in the British Airways Lounge, where you can have a full English if you want.

The flight to Madrid was scheduled to depart at 10.40 am, with the standard Heathrow delays that meant takeoff just after 11 am and the inflight service in the cabin started somewhere around 11.20 am. And I was incredibly surprised to be served…a breakfast tray.

Of course you can always enjoy an omelette, a croissant and some fresh fruits irrespective of the time of the day, but having already been up for four hours this just felt very strange. By the time I had finished my last cup of coffee it was noon British time, 1 pm Spanish/Central European Time.

Naturally there are culturally differences involved. In some European countries the work day starts later than in some other countries, and this is of course reflected in the breakfast time. But at the same time hardly no hotel in Europe, irrespective of location, would offer breakfast after 11 am.

So when do you think is the appropriate cut-off time for breakfast? Would you have been surprised to be offered breakfast on an aircraft after 11 am?

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My interest in premium travels and frequent travels started in the 90’s, so to date I have over 20 years of premium travel experience. will mostly be about my own experiences, based on my own knowledge and my travel history, but you will also find news items, analyses, tips and tricks and reports from events.

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