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Song Is Doing Meals Right!  
User currently offlineN62NA From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 4449 posts, RR: 7
Posted (9 years 2 months 3 weeks 3 days ago) and read 4965 times:

A few months ago all of us here on a.net were discussing the state of meal service (or lack thereof) on the USA airlines. Myself and others advocated the "build your own computer" approach that Dell uses, where, when booking your flight, you can also order your meal.

Looks like Song is now doing this - would be great if others follow:

https://www.songdeli.com/Default.aspx

27 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinePhatfarmlines From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 1353 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (9 years 2 months 3 weeks 3 days ago) and read 4948 times:

I believe Song has been doing this for awhile now. It would be great if mainline DL would follow Song's healthy Buy On Board policy. It sure beats those trans-fatty junk food boxes on domestic segments such as ATL-SEA and ATL-LAX, which contribute to obesity in the USA.

User currently offlineN62NA From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 4449 posts, RR: 7
Reply 2, posted (9 years 2 months 3 weeks 3 days ago) and read 4921 times:

But more specifically, the passenger now has the ability to choose their meal prior to even boarding the plane.

If this approach was used by other USA airlines, perhaps it would once again be possible to have a good, hot meal on your transcon flight, for which you pay an additional $10 by choosing that meal from your home computer before even leaving for the airport!


User currently offlineXkorpyoh From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 819 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (9 years 2 months 3 weeks 3 days ago) and read 4883 times:

I have been thinking about this for days…well, since NW stopped serving pretzels. That is because I read an article that said that the problem with buy-on-board meals is the perishable problem of those unsold meals. That the airlines had a hard time estimating how many meals to carry on board and many unsold food were costing the airlines a lot money. That is the reason why airlines like AA started selling snacks (junk food) because if any of those snack boxes go unsold on a flight they could resale it later on another flight or another day. Then it occurred to me that the best solution was to sell those BOB meals in advance, online or over the fone, paid with a credit card and non refundable on the day of the flight. Basically, the airline will carry the exact amount of meals purchased and didn’t need to waste any meals (unless the passenger that paid for the meal didn’t want it on the flight after all). For those that didn’t plan ahead and didn’t purchase a hot or cold meal, then they have the option of buying the “junk food” currently offered by the airlines.
Right now the most convenient choice is to buy food at the airport, which is expensive and not necessarily good. By offering more nutritious or better tasting meals (hot or cold) at prices similar to those offered at the airport, I am sure that they could turn a cost center into a profitable one. Win-win proposal I think.


User currently offlineAADC10 From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 2088 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (9 years 2 months 3 weeks 3 days ago) and read 4860 times:

Quoting N62NA (Reply 2):
If this approach was used by other USA airlines, perhaps it would once again be possible to have a good, hot meal on your transcon flight, for which you pay an additional $10 by choosing that meal from your home computer before even leaving for the airport!

Being able to order a hot meal in advance would be great, but I do not know how they would be able to get it to work on the non-Song mainline flights. Song is mostly point-to-point, so you usually do not have the usual hub flight cancellation and missed connection problem. The chances of your meal getting misplaced are even greater than losing your baggage.


User currently offlineN62NA From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 4449 posts, RR: 7
Reply 5, posted (9 years 2 months 3 weeks 3 days ago) and read 4850 times:

Precisely XKORPYOH!

I must say, I have realized to my horror, that I have gotten used to trying to get to the airport a little early to be able to have time to buy food to then lug on board the flight.

Would be 1000% better to be able to do it all online up to 24 hours prior to departure time.

[Edited 2005-06-07 02:03:50]

User currently offlineFLAIRPORT From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (9 years 2 months 3 weeks 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 4651 times:

btw, had the song meal on Thursday...fruit and cheese along with the Asian Chicken...DELICIOUS! Best in flight meal EVER!

User currently offlineCkfred From United States of America, joined Apr 2001, 5220 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (9 years 2 months 3 weeks 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 4561 times:

The only problem with ordering food on-line is that sometimes, one's schedule gets fouled up that day, and there isn't time to go on-line and order or revise an order for meal service.

It seems to me that since airlines want people to check in 90 to 120 minutes before departure, there ought to be some opportunity to order a meal at check-in, provided that it's early enough. A friend of mine is a pilot with AA, and catering usually handles the coach galley about 30 minutes prior to departure.

Seems to me that I should be able to order at the kiosk, if I get there before a specific cut-off.

My other problem is that the prices of BOB seem really high. Song had a deli sandwich for $8! I can get a sandwich, chips, and beverage at the Quizno's that is 2 minutes from my house for $6.

I also saw that a bag of M&Ms was $2! I bet I could find a lower price in the terminal. For $2, I coul probably get 3 bags at Wal-Mart.

My wife was on AA today from ORD to FLL. The BOB was salami slices, crackers, cheese, and dried fruit. Unfortunately, ORD seems to be lacking in deli stands, but I would bet Subway could make a full salami sandwich for $3, and add chips and a drink for $4.50 total.

This is getting to be like hotels that charge $25 for Korbel Brut, when I can get it at the grocery store on sale for $8.99.


User currently offlineXkorpyoh From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 819 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (9 years 2 months 3 weeks 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 4490 times:

Quoting Ckfred (Reply 7):
My other problem is that the prices of BOB seem really high. Song had a deli sandwich for $8! I can get a sandwich, chips, and beverage at the Quizno's that is 2 minutes from my house for $6.

i think you should compare the prices to those at the airport. During my last connection in Chicago i had to buy a slice of pizza for about $6 or so plus the drink. So $8 for having the convenience of having the meal on board with a free drink seems adequate to me. If you plan ahead and get and bag full of meals and snacks from subway or wendys or wherever before going to the airport to get it cheaper, then good for you, but most people rush to the airport and have little time to plan for it (which is why i am not too happy of the inconvenience of not getting a meal anymore...it takes more time an planning). Latetly i have been buying my food at the airport and end up eating it on my seat while the plane is at the gate and people are boarding. IT is not very pleasant because everywhere is watching and the smell of food is all over, but that is the only alternative we are giving nowadays.


User currently offlineN62NA From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 4449 posts, RR: 7
Reply 9, posted (9 years 2 months 3 weeks 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 4424 times:

Quoting Xkorpyoh (Reply 8):
most people rush to the airport and have little time to plan for it (which is why i am not too happy of the inconvenience of not getting a meal anymore...it takes more time an planning).

Like me!

Quoting Xkorpyoh (Reply 8):
Latetly i have been buying my food at the airport and end up eating it on my seat while the plane is at the gate and people are boarding. IT is not very pleasant because everywhere is watching and the smell of food is all over, but that is the only alternative we are giving nowadays.

Ditto.

Adopt the "select your meal when you purchase your ticket" approach a la Song (and you can even add a meal after you have purchased the ticket), and I (and thousands of others) would gladly add the extra $10 or $12 or so to the ticket price in order to get a hot meal served to me onboard.

Keep the "close-out" time for ordering a meal to 24 hours prior to departure and the airlines may accomplish four things:

1) no more running out of BOB food on a flight
2) no more leftover BOB food on a flight
3) actually make a few extra $$$
4) make passengers happy!


User currently offlineSspontak From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 475 posts, RR: 2
Reply 10, posted (9 years 2 months 3 weeks 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 4186 times:

The selections of food on Song is very good. I like the vegetarian wraps, yogurt and the fruit and cheese platter. The only thing is they constantly run out of most of their selections once they are near the back of the plane. Hopefully they are working on this. I would hate for them to run out of my choice on a transcon. I guess I should move closer to the front, but it tends to be more quiet with less people towards the back of the plane.


Go Delta!
User currently offlineSspontak From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 475 posts, RR: 2
Reply 11, posted (9 years 2 months 3 weeks 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 4160 times:

I did try the pre-purchase option on the Song web-site when it was first offered. The transaction was so screwed up. They wound up charging me 3 times for the same meal purchase. Not good. I am flying Song this Friday 8:00pm from JFK to TPA. I will give the pre-purchase option another try. Hopefully it will work out this time and I can get my choice and a seat toward the back.


Go Delta!
User currently offlineXkorpyoh From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 819 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (9 years 2 months 3 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 4088 times:

Quoting Sspontak (Reply 10):
I like the vegetarian wraps

i didn't see that choice in their site for pre-purchase. did they discontinue it?


User currently offlineN62NA From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 4449 posts, RR: 7
Reply 13, posted (9 years 2 months 3 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 4076 times:

Quoting Sspontak (Reply 11):
I am flying Song this Friday 8:00pm from JFK to TPA. I will give the pre-purchase option another try.

Please post back here how it worked. I really think that this is a great idea and the other USA airlines that have converted to the BOB model (with all the problems of running out of food, not selling all the food, etc.), should give this a try.


User currently offlineFLAIRPORT From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (9 years 2 months 3 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 4038 times:

Quoting Xkorpyoh (Reply 12):
i didn't see that choice in their site for pre-purchase. did they discontinue it?

I happen to have taken a menu from my flight...they don't have vege wraps anymore...but they have 1 "signature" meal (this month Grilled Asian chicken with Forbidden Rice...very good btw!)...they have a greek salad, and a ham sandwich

as snacks go...the fruit and cheese was AMAZING...freshest fruit and cheese I've had in the air by far...it compares to a normal fruit platter on the ground! The apricots were not dry...perfect...apples were delicious, great grapes, great strawberry...and WHAT CHEESE! mmmmm!


User currently offlineSspontak From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 475 posts, RR: 2
Reply 15, posted (9 years 2 months 3 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 3955 times:

From my experience with Song, they have one feature item that will not be on the menu. My last few flights it has been a vegetarian item.

As far as the pre-ordering, click on the Bistro Tab in the Song web-site. You will need your flight # and confirmation #, and date of travel. It will then show you the selections for your flight. This should match the menu they give out on the flight. The pre-ordering was introduced when Song first started flying but it was discontinued and now the pre-ordering option is back.

The fruit and cheese is very good. They never seem to run out of this selection. It use to be $4.00. It is now $5.00 but they did add more crackers and fruit. I think this choice is one of the best ones and the most value for the money.

Enjoy your Song experience!



Go Delta!
User currently offlineWindowSeat From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 1312 posts, RR: 57
Reply 16, posted (9 years 2 months 3 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 3955 times:

Song is indeed doing the meals right! Delta mainline had the BOB meals for a while on transcons. I wish they bring it back.

cheers



I'm all in favour of keeping dangerous weapons out of the hands of fools. Let's start with keyboards.
User currently offlineSspontak From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 475 posts, RR: 2
Reply 17, posted (9 years 2 months 3 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 3936 times:

Alcoholic drinks cannot be pre-ordered on the web-site. I do recommend the new Diet Coke w/ Lime and Rum with a lot of ice. A nice drink at $5.00. You actually have enough for 2 drinks.


Go Delta!
User currently offlineSongStar From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 132 posts, RR: 1
Reply 18, posted (9 years 2 months 3 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 3881 times:

Hey guys....Glad you like the new menu items....The pre-order website is back up and running as of May 5....have yet to have any pre-orders on any of my flights...but it is a great idea....No one likes telling customers we are out of deli items....from what I've been told...you can order ANY of the deli items for any time of the day....Now I could be wrong...but it is a great option if you want an eggsalad croissant for dinner for example...watch for some great/exciting things coming this august and september....

ss

flysong.com


User currently offlineLTBEWR From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 13078 posts, RR: 12
Reply 19, posted (9 years 2 months 3 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 3817 times:

I think it is an excellent comporimise but for the lead time required, although as mainly servicing tourist/casual customers that may be less of a problem. This can also save you time if will be running tight as to time for your booked flight and don't have time to eat at home/work just before the flight or as going to the airport, or at the airport or if too early/late to eat for a mealtime before or after the flight. It probaly also means less time waiting for cleanup from food service on fuller flights. I also like that one can apparently order heathier alternatives. On flights on CO transcon (EWR-SEA-EWR) last fall, the sandwich meals were free, hot and ok, but had too much fat, something I need to watch for.

User currently offlineBucky707 From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 1028 posts, RR: 3
Reply 20, posted (9 years 2 months 3 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 3666 times:

Just wanted to say that I think Song is doing a great job. The meals for purchase are good, the cabin is nice and the onboard TV is great. But what I think really makes a difference are the Song Flight Attendants. They are great, very friendly, great attitudes, great service. Now, if Delta could just do something about the mainline flight attendants..............

User currently offlinePmg1704 From United States of America, joined Sep 2004, 162 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (9 years 2 months 3 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 3585 times:

My question is what the marginal cost is for the meals? There's associated fixed costs (delivery, preparation, etc.) How many meals pre-ordered does it take to have the meal service pay?

User currently offlineGalapagapop From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 910 posts, RR: 4
Reply 22, posted (9 years 2 months 3 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 3574 times:

Quoting FLAIRPORT (Reply 6):
btw, had the song meal on Thursday...fruit and cheese along with the Asian Chicken...DELICIOUS! Best in flight meal EVER!

And their making oodles of money as well with these meals Wink


User currently offlineChristao17 From Thailand, joined Apr 2005, 940 posts, RR: 8
Reply 23, posted (9 years 2 months 3 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 3448 times:

Quoting Ckfred (Reply 7):
It seems to me that since airlines want people to check in 90 to 120 minutes before departure, there ought to be some opportunity to order a meal at check-in, provided that it's early enough. A friend of mine is a pilot with AA, and catering usually handles the coach galley about 30 minutes prior to departure.

While the meals may be put on the plane 30 minutes prior to departure, the process of preparing them occurred several hours earlier. Especially considering that hot meals consist of previously-cooked then cooled food, ordering 90-120 minutes before departure would still be too short notice.

Order ahead is nice, but wouldn't it be almost as convenient just to have some restaurants in the airport that sell good food and get it to go. At SFO's Terminal 3 (United) a brand new food court has just opened that had some fantastic options. I bought a teriyaki chicken bowl and was eating a lot better than anyone else in First Class on my SFO-DEN flight with the really awful fruit plate!



Keeping the "civil" in civil aviation...
User currently offlineN62NA From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 4449 posts, RR: 7
Reply 24, posted (9 years 2 months 3 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 3360 times:

Quoting Christao17 (Reply 23):
wouldn't it be almost as convenient just to have some restaurants in the airport that sell good food and get it to go

That's what we have sunk to today.

There are many times that I (and many other travellers as well I suspect) do not have enough time to get to the airport early and take the additional time to pickup food at one of the airport vendors.

Also, even if you do pickup some hot food and bring it on board, you have to eat it soon, otherwise it gets cold.

Much better to be served a hot meal 2 hours or so into the flight.


25 Neednewairport : What I totally do not understand is how people can not go 4.5 - 5 hours without food (unless you have a medical condition). Everyone does it every nig
26 FLAIRPORT : no...you can only order dinner for dinner etc... Well, I only had one...but my mom couldn't finish hers! Total cost for 3 meals for my family: $18
27 N62NA : Well, the whole point of this thread is to see if the way Song is doing it would be practical to re-introduce meals on domestic USA flights.
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