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Buy On Board Meals  
User currently offlineN62NA From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 4447 posts, RR: 6
Posted (9 years 7 months 2 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 3807 times:

Anybody know why the airlines (I guess primarily USA airlines) stock just a certain number of buy on board meals on flights?

I flew Song when they first started and was seated toward the back of the plane and by the time they got back to me, all the meals were gone.

Seems to me with computer technology being what it is, it should be easy enough to "reserve" a buy on board meal - say maybe at the time that you are picking your seat (either via the phone reservation agent or on the airline's website).

Anybody know why airlines aren't doing it this way?

32 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineDayflyer From United States of America, joined Sep 2004, 3807 posts, RR: 3
Reply 1, posted (9 years 7 months 2 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 3795 times:

I agree, you should be able to buy an on board meal on line when you buy your ticket. You should be able to choose it as well.


One Nation Under God
User currently offlineNWAFA From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 1893 posts, RR: 15
Reply 2, posted (9 years 7 months 2 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 3791 times:

Buy On Board Meals (known as BOB) are provided by the catering company's..It is the catering company's that make the decision on how many to have.

I have worked an A320 with a full load of passengers (148) and have had 28 meals, and not sold one. I have also worked an A319 with only 50 passengers and sold out by the 8th row.

A couple of months ago I was working a DTW-LAS flight..it was a test flight for BOB, they (the catering company) put on 120 meals for a full A320, not one passenger bought a meal. The return flight the next morning same thing, and only three meals were purchased.

Your question about reserving one is being tested and worked on now at NWA. Personally I would rather have that be the case instead of just at a whim, yet there are many bugs to work out.



THANK YOU FOR FLYING NORTHWEST AIRLINES, WE TRULY APPRECIATE YOUR BUSINESS!
User currently offlineN62NA From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 4447 posts, RR: 6
Reply 3, posted (9 years 7 months 2 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 3771 times:

Thanks for the reply, NWAFA. Hopefully the airline can get some data sharing going on here with the catering company.

User currently offlineKarlB737 From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 3100 posts, RR: 10
Reply 4, posted (9 years 7 months 2 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 3771 times:

I answered a similar post this way:

I flew a week ago from DTW to RSW and then the return 3 days later on Northwest. I really don't have a problem with Northwest but I was surprised that the meals offered for purchase were limited in number. In other words on both flights they didn't have enough available meals for purchase for the size of the aircraft. In this case A320 going south B757 on the return.

If the passengers are willing to pay for the meals WHY WOULDN'T they provide enough of them and benefit from the extra income.

Karl


User currently offlineNWAFA From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 1893 posts, RR: 15
Reply 5, posted (9 years 7 months 2 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 3768 times:

Karl,

I hope my post above answers your question. Its not NWA that makes that decison it is the catering company as THEY are the ones providing it. Belive it or not, NWA is not making money off this, they are just offering somthing to passengers.



THANK YOU FOR FLYING NORTHWEST AIRLINES, WE TRULY APPRECIATE YOUR BUSINESS!
User currently offlineKarlB737 From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 3100 posts, RR: 10
Reply 6, posted (9 years 7 months 2 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 3761 times:

I like the idea of reserving a meal for purchase.

User currently offlineNWAFA From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 1893 posts, RR: 15
Reply 7, posted (9 years 7 months 2 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 3748 times:

I kind of agree with you Karl.


THANK YOU FOR FLYING NORTHWEST AIRLINES, WE TRULY APPRECIATE YOUR BUSINESS!
User currently offlineEi2ksea From Ireland, joined Jul 2004, 578 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (9 years 7 months 2 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 3705 times:

Doesnt Song allow you to purchase at the same time as your ticket? I thought that they did anyhow!

Just as NAWFA said, ive been a passenger on flights in the past few months where the BOB trolly has sped to the back of the plane without 1 purchase, and others where it gets 10 rows and thats that. Very hard one to call for the airlines i suppose, do we have a resident A.net psychologist who could analyse the theories of human nourishment and psychology for us!?

Regards
Ph



Next Flight: DUB-BOS (EI), BOS-DEN-PDX (SWA), SEA-BOS (AS)
User currently offlineZrs70 From United States of America, joined Dec 2000, 3164 posts, RR: 9
Reply 9, posted (9 years 7 months 2 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 3700 times:

Truth is, in this day and age, it buying a ticket online should follow Dell Computer's method: Build your own.

Your ticket comes with whatever amenity you choose.

Want access to the club but aren't a member? Add $50
Want alcoholic drink credits? $5 each (and if you don't use em, you can save them for next time. Why have to put the FA's through making change all the time?)
Want a headset? $5.
Want a gourmet meal? $15
Want a sandwich? $7
Want a salad? $5
Want chips and fruit? $4
etc.

If it can't be done online, it should be done at a kiosk at the airport. No $$$ should be exchanged on board.



14 year airliners.net vet! 2000-2013
User currently offlineCkfred From United States of America, joined Apr 2001, 5214 posts, RR: 1
Reply 10, posted (9 years 7 months 2 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 3700 times:

It's one thing to reserve a meal if you fly for business and book a few days in advance. But if you book several months in advance, you may not know if you want to eat on the plane.

I would suggest reserving your meal when you check in. Most people now check in at least 90 minutes before departure, so that would give plenty on time for catering to make up the correct number of meals for a serving cart and load it aboard.

It would also mean less hassle for the F/As who won't have to push the meals or spend a lot of time making change. A friend of mine who flies for AA told me that the F/As loved it when AA decided to stop charging earphone rental in coach, but are not happy with the new BOB program.



User currently offlineNWAFA From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 1893 posts, RR: 15
Reply 11, posted (9 years 7 months 2 weeks 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 3695 times:

CK,

As great as 90 minutes may sound, the final catering counts are done about 4 hours prior to departure.



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User currently offlineJetstar From United States of America, joined May 2003, 1644 posts, RR: 10
Reply 12, posted (9 years 7 months 2 weeks 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 3641 times:
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When checking in at the terminal, you should be able to purchase your desired meal, get a coupon and before boarding the plane pick it up at a central location near the departure gates.

This way the meals can service numerous flights and stay fresh until picked up and would not result in wasted food or shortages.


User currently offlineNWAFA From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 1893 posts, RR: 15
Reply 13, posted (9 years 7 months 2 weeks 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 3637 times:

That would be the perfect way Jetstar!!! I think every Flight Attendant would love that!


THANK YOU FOR FLYING NORTHWEST AIRLINES, WE TRULY APPRECIATE YOUR BUSINESS!
User currently offlineEi2ksea From Ireland, joined Jul 2004, 578 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (9 years 7 months 2 weeks 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 3634 times:

A few airlines have experiemented with 'al-fresco' offerings where customers (usually first or business) can choose their food at a gateside cart. Havent seen it lately, so the tests must not have lived up to expectations.


Next Flight: DUB-BOS (EI), BOS-DEN-PDX (SWA), SEA-BOS (AS)
User currently offlineN62NA From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 4447 posts, RR: 6
Reply 15, posted (9 years 7 months 2 weeks 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 3533 times:

Zrs70, you've got the perfect analogy there. In this day and age, should be no reason why you couldn't do something like "build your own" in-flight experience!

Jetstar, I have to disagree. I can't see much different between what you propose and just picking up food at the McDonalds or deli down at the gate and bringing that aboard. Though I agree with NWAFA, the every Flight Attendant would probably love that approach!


User currently offlineUALAX From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 145 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (9 years 7 months 2 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 3503 times:

Reserving and selecting your meals would be great. It would also help those with dietary restrictions.

UALAX


User currently offlineContinental From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 5516 posts, RR: 18
Reply 17, posted (9 years 7 months 2 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 3475 times:

"and if you don't use em, you can save them for next time."

Or if you don't use them, it should be credited back to your credit card. Most ticket purchases are made with a credit card.


User currently offlineRIOJANEIRO From United States of America, joined Dec 2000, 121 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (9 years 7 months 2 weeks 4 days ago) and read 3441 times:

I think a lot of you are forgetting that a significant chunk of people who purchase B.O.B. meals are ones who did not have time to purchase/pack a meal due to a situation that was out of their control, such as a tight connection. Therefore, there needs to be an extra supply on board for these people.

A large group of the market aren't really buying meals because they knew beforehand that they were going to buy B.O.B., they usually had a situation where it wasn't within there control (long security lines, tight connection, mechanical issues, etc). Therefore, in order for LSG SkyChefs (who is the main supplier for 'Inflight Cafe', used by US, HP, and others) to sell these meals, they use previous sales information from previous flights in a database and calculate how many to put on a given flight.

I've noticed in the year since its inception at my airline, things have improved , however there are still situations where a flight is delayed for whatever reason and we run out of meals early, because, as stated, it was a situation that was out of the customer's control.

The idea of pre-ordering meals upon check-in could also be problematic, since a lot of these meals are provided by SkyChefs, who are usually located off-site (or, at least not very near gates), and to provide a meal for someone who requested one, let's say 30 minutes prior to departure would bring added cost and responsibilty for the caterer that they are probably not willing to take on.


User currently offlineN62NA From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 4447 posts, RR: 6
Reply 19, posted (9 years 7 months 2 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 3405 times:


The idea of pre-ordering meals upon check-in could also be problematic, since a lot of these meals are provided by SkyChefs, who are usually located off-site (or, at least not very near gates), and to provide a meal for someone who requested one, let's say 30 minutes prior to departure would bring added cost and responsibilty for the caterer that they are probably not willing to take on.

I agree, which is exactly why you should be able to order your meal at the time you buy your ticket!


User currently offline717-200 From United States of America, joined Oct 2000, 601 posts, RR: 2
Reply 20, posted (9 years 7 months 2 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 3395 times:

"No $$$ should be exchanged onboard"

We already do that here at AirTran. Only credit or debit cards are
accepted on board for alcohol purchases in coach.



72S 733 734 735 73G 738 742 752 763 E190 M82 M83
User currently offlineNWAFA From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 1893 posts, RR: 15
Reply 21, posted (9 years 7 months 2 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 3394 times:

717-200,

No cash, WOW that would be so great! I have worked a 5day domestic where I ended up with $500 on me..hate having that kind of money on me!~



THANK YOU FOR FLYING NORTHWEST AIRLINES, WE TRULY APPRECIATE YOUR BUSINESS!
User currently offlineVS4ever From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 120 posts, RR: 2
Reply 22, posted (9 years 7 months 2 weeks 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 3318 times:

I think we could come up with a multitude of solutions for this, each of which would work well.

1. I love the idea of buy at the time of purchasing your ticket. it's a value added service to the consumer, IF they want it! Particularly on-line. Helps with the whole order planning etc, definitely a help to the airlines.

2. In some airports, I know SFO used to be one, they would do the thing of buy your duty free (for international flights) and they deliver it to the gate and you pick it up as you board. Subway are you listening?????? This would also avoid the need to have a meal count 4 hours before the flight. So you could do something at the check-in (although 400 meals for a 747 might be a little tricky, if everyone gets there late!)

3. I agree there is a potential issue for connecting passengers, particularly those on last minute tickets and short connections. Perhaps a combination of the check-in/deli thing would work. You check-in for flight #1 and state that you need a meal on flight two (as long as the two airlines worked together), so the airline contacts airport 2 and the sandwich store gets to work. If you say the average connecting flight is an hour, plus time on the ground. Should be ok to get the meals to the new departure gate on time.

4. Of course there are always going to be the "Oh I forgot" or "I didn't know" people, it is then up to the airline to determine if indeed they should serve food on that particular flight. I think most people would be ok on a flight of 1 to 2 hours, anything more than that, then I am not so sure. Thoughts on this one would be interesting?

Just my $0.02

I did hear a while ago that Mcdonalds did a promo with an airline, but that it didn't work, I am just majorly suprised that none of the major chains have tried an experiment somewhere, just to see if it would work.

VS4ever.





Bring Back Orion Airways, you were the best!
User currently offlineANCFlyer From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 23, posted (9 years 7 months 2 weeks 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 3316 times:

All the more reason the BOB is bullshit.

Either pack them all or none at all . . . if the a/c packs 150 pax there should be 150 meals on board . . . don't want it don't buy it . . . better than being in seat 23Z and getting screwed by yet another airline cutting corners.

Jetstar has a great idea! Buy and grab, then board. . . but why not just grab Micky Ds or Burger King or other terminal restaurant offerings . . . why get airline food when you can get something for real . . . stop by one of those high speed places like Wolfgag Pucks at ORD and get something good!







User currently offlineNWAFA From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 1893 posts, RR: 15
Reply 24, posted (9 years 7 months 2 weeks 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 3198 times:

ANC,

That may sound very easy to pack it all. There is a cost factor for the catering company. If the meals do not sell, they loose money by having to toss those meals out...



THANK YOU FOR FLYING NORTHWEST AIRLINES, WE TRULY APPRECIATE YOUR BUSINESS!
25 Jetstar : While almost every airport has a Micky D’s or Burger King, almost all the food from these places, with the exception of their salads are loaded with
26 N62NA : The airlines can make arrangements in numerous ways with the various airport food concessionaires to have pre-made selections available for pick up a
27 Jetstar : “But this kind of limits the kinds of meals you would be able to get to basically cold food, right? Or, if it is hot food, you would pretty much hav
28 N62NA : I fly AA almost exclusively and strangely enough, even though I've seen those bistro carts (or cAArts!), I've never been on a flight where they've bee
29 Delta-flyer : I've had this idea for a long time - I'm surprised no one has started it yet .... Have an airport concession (or more than one) travel from gate to ga
30 N62NA : But would the food be hot, Pete? I too remember those days, just like Jetstar stated above, where you would get a hot meal on any flight during meal t
31 Jetstar : N62NA "I fly AA almost exclusively and strangely enough, even though I've seen those bistro carts (or cAArts!), I've never been on a flight where they
32 Orion737 : I feel sorry for you lot, our national carrier BA is still serving hot breakfats on flight of little over a hours duration and its a real treat after
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