Ppostro From Canada, joined Jun 2005, 36 posts, RR: 0 Posted (9 years 2 months 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 6068 times:
So with all of the cut backs in catering over the last several years I found myself a on UA flight from YVR-ORD and paid $5 US for a"Snack Box" that consisted of tasteless, salty, sugar filled crap! The story is the same on virtually ever carrier these days in Y in North America. Either you get served just a drink or have to pay for pre-packaged foods that have no nurtritional value at all. Even AC jumped on the trend, although, along with WestJet and Song in the US, as far as I know, offer more variety in terms of sandwiches, wraps and other choices. CO still offers meal service in Y class within North America on some routes.
In the Asia Pacific region it's a world of a difference, on Cathay, Singapore, Malaysian, Thai, Qantas etc... even in Y Class you still receive a hot meal on flights less then 2 hours. A recent flight with QF from SYD-AKL in Y class (3.5hrs) consisted of a hot meal! I am not even going to mention India, where airlines serve full HOT meals in Y Class on 1 hour sectors. My question, and Virgin America, please listen up! Why not offer passengers quality, hot meals on all flights within North American over 1.30hrs for purchase! I am it makes total sense, on a 3.5 hrs flight from YVR-ORD i'd happily pay $10 even $15 for a quality hot meal. Airlines could really market such a service. Austrian based, Styrian Spirit offers an outstanding Y class product on it's flights and this could easily be offered to Y class customers in North American for a price. I am sure that many travelers out there would be willing to pay for full hot meal services, they could even pre-book the meal on-line, sort of like SQ?s ?Book the Cook?.
Why are airlines not considering this, paying $5 for some snack box on 3.5 hour flight or $15 for a full hot meal with wine? Does anyone know what the average actual cost per meal in Y used to be on before the cut backs? One of the few that still offers hot meals within North America in Y class these days is Vancouver based Harmony Airways, recently flew them from YVR-YYZ in Y and the meal was great and free wine!
AeroTycoon From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 101 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (9 years 2 months 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 6005 times:
This has definetly been discussed at much length. I agree with you, however. Here in the states, with the rising costs of fuel, the old fashioned airlines are cutting EVERYTHING to make it out of the red (with the exception of CEO bonuses, of course). In the United States, it is very expensive to operate an airline; and it is much more expensive than ever before. Fuel prices and healthcare being predominant factors. The old-fashioned mainline carriers (think UAL, DL, NWA) must adopt more streamlined business models in order to survive, plain and simple. Catering was deemed an unnecessary cost. Food for sale was a good idea for extra revenue, but the nature of the food offered has been disappointing. Nobody gets satisfied with just a snickers bar and a sprite for a five hour stretch.
To address this, I suggest to the airlines this: You know the whole chickens they offer in the supermarket? 4 or 5 bucks? Sell it for $16. Buy one of those, cut it in half, put it in a tray with some sort of garnish and sell it for $8. To your average or less than average passenger, this will look a feast. Advertise it is the "hot hearty meal" or some other cutesy airline moniker.
CPH757 From Denmark, joined Sep 2005, 684 posts, RR: 2
Reply 2, posted (9 years 2 months 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 5988 times:
There is probably more to it than buying a chicken in a super market and cutting it.
The only profitable way to service food onboard is the snack option. To serve a full meal on Y is simply not reasonable at any price. The logistical costs are too high. At $16 you suggest, they would sell so few meals on the flight, that the costs of getting the food on the flight would exceed the revenue.
Think about it. Why do you need that food service anyway? It's nice to have an option to buy food if you gets hungry, but then, take the sandwich. It's not there for providing an gourmet experience, but to settle your stomack until landing...
If it was profitable for the airlines to cater larger meals, they would have done it. Even if the could do it with a little loss, they had probably done it, but that just dont seem to be reality.
Last flight: SAW-CPH on H9 on 02/11/09 - Next Flights: 23/12/09 CPH-AAL on QI, 30/12/09 CPH-LHR on SK, 19/01/10 CPH-CDG-
Sunking737 From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 2071 posts, RR: 7
Reply 3, posted (9 years 2 months 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 5957 times:
Another option is to fly Sun County out of MSP. They have great food.
In Y class in the morning you get a sausage, egg and cheese biscuit, that is warmed up, PM you get a cheeseburger, or double cheese on Texas toast, or turkey & ham on a cornmeal Kaiser. All are served hot.
Depending on length of flight you also get a chocolate chip or key lime chocolate chip cookie. Plus they also are serving lifesavers sour gummies to all pax.
And the best part is NO CHARGE for the food it is included in the price of your ticket.
Aukahkay From Singapore, joined Nov 2005, 69 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (9 years 2 months 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 5884 times:
I think that the difference in standard of inflight catering between US airlines and Asian airlines is the difference in philosophy over air travel. In Asia, air travel is still considered a luxury in many countries. Asian airlines serve full hot meals on flights of more than 1.5 hours. Therefore, on a SIN-BKK flight, you can expect a hot lunch or dinner. UA flies the SIN-HKG route on the way to SFO. On the SIN-HKG route, a full breakfast is served along with complimentary wine. In fact, it was SQ which bucked the trend in the 1970s and started the practice of serving free wine on board while other airlines were charging for alcoholic drinks.
Asian travellers have been accustomed to being served a hot meal on regional flights. This expectation is the reason why hot meals are served on Asian airlines.
On the other hand, air travel in the US is just another form of transport to get from one city to another. The US passenger wants to get to his destination with as little frills as possible.
I have observed that on domestic US flights, quite a number of passengers pack a sandwich or salad on board. This does not happen in Asia.
Srbmod From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (9 years 2 months 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 5877 times:
It's a bit of a trade off. What would you rather have, cheaper fares or onboard meal service? You can't have both of them. In many cases, the food you can buy at the airport is better than what the airlines offered onboard in the past (I've had meals on Delta that weren't that good. And who else remembers those awful "Sky Deli" sacks they used to offer? A soggy turkey sandwich, some chips, a piece of fruit and a cookie.).
LongHauler From Canada, joined Mar 2004, 5385 posts, RR: 43
Reply 7, posted (9 years 2 months 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 5862 times:
The Customer has spoken, and the North American airlines are listening.
The Customer will choose an airline by price and price alone. I find it fascinating to look at surveys to see what a prospective flyer looks at when choosing a flight. When over 90% look at fare first, then FF affiliation then schedule ....it gives you an idea of what is important. On board service and comfort are pretty low on the list.
You mention Asian carriers as an example of fine in-flight service ..... but wait until the LCC phenomenon catches on there.
20 years ago, European carriers had incredible in flight service on short flights. At the same time North American and Australian carriers were also offering a fine product.
But when the Customer was offered the choice of fare over service, the customer chose fare. The best recent example is Midwest Airlines. It had been a very long time since any carrier, anywhere offered an Economy product like theirs. But you the Customer chose fare, and they too had to bow to the Customers wishes and lower their standard.
Never gonna grow up, never gonna slow down .... Barefoot Blue Jean Night
Aukahkay From Singapore, joined Nov 2005, 69 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (9 years 2 months 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 5836 times:
Quoting LongHauler (Reply 7): You mention Asian carriers as an example of fine in-flight service ..... but wait until the LCC phenomenon catches on there.
Indeed the phenomenon of LCC has caught on in Asia. Since 2004, lost cost carriers started appearing in Singapore. The first was Malaysian-based Air Asia which offered flights to BKK. Next came Valuair, which markets itself as an intermediate airline between full service airlines and budget carriers. Jetstar Asia, a subsidiary of QF, was next in line. Subsequently, Valuair and Jetstar Asia merged and shared the network although they retained their individual branding.
Then Tiger Airways, a subsidiary of SQ, came on board as a budget airline.
Hot meals on these LCCs cost S$8 (US$5) with canned soft drinks at S$2 (US$1.20)
Flypdx From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 636 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (9 years 2 months 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 5718 times:
Quoting Ppostro (Thread starter): So with all of the cut backs in catering over the last several years I found myself a on UA flight from YVR-ORD and paid $5 US for a"Snack Box" that consisted of tasteless, salty, sugar filled crap!
The snack boxes on United are FAR better than the crap "meals" that consisted of a slop of "meat" sauce, rice, and whatever else the catering company felt would fit. I would never eat more than the bread from a meal, and with the snack boxes there are several good options. If you want something to eat, buy something at the airport, and bring it on the plane. It's not that big of a deal, and it will be far better than any meal served on the aircraft. Fly first class if you want a full meal.
Captaink From Mexico, joined May 2001, 5109 posts, RR: 11
Reply 11, posted (9 years 2 months 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 5685 times:
Airlines in the caribbean and latin american still serve hot meals. I have travelled to the US on both BW and JM and was pleased to get a hot meal, whereas if I travelled with AA or US I would be served a snack or something. I have heard that AA reintroduced meals on some caribbean flights. My friend was lucky enough to have in his intinary booked with and MX flight, and he got a meal MIA/MEX whereas I flew AA metal and barely got a sandwich.
IS it that more expensive to cater the airplanes with hot meals?
Zrs70 From United States of America, joined Dec 2000, 3314 posts, RR: 8
Reply 12, posted (9 years 2 months 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 5664 times:
Here's the thing.... Even what we consider expensive fares in the US are relatively cheap. I remember in 1984, I was excited to find BOS-ORD fares for $299. That was considered a super-saver fare. Today, the same route is often under $200. Given inflation, we are truly paying peanuts. $299 in 1984 is closer to $1000 today. If most super-saver fares were $1000, we should expect quality meal service.
Srbmod From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (9 years 2 months 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 5653 times:
Quoting Captaink (Reply 11): Airlines in the caribbean and latin american still serve hot meals. I have travelled to the US on both BW and JM and was pleased to get a hot meal, whereas if I travelled with AA or US I would be served a snack or something.
And BW and JM are constantly teetering on the brink of collapse. JM in the past year has shrunk considerable since being returned to the Jamaican gov't after the company that was running it got tired of losing money. And BW has announced cities and never served them because they could not afford to start service.
Senorcarnival From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (9 years 2 months 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 5633 times:
Quoting Srbmod (Reply 6): (I've had meals on Delta that weren't that good. And who else remembers those awful "Sky Deli" sacks they used to offer? A soggy turkey sandwich, some chips, a piece of fruit and a cookie.).
Yes! They had those coolers down the jetway with those bags. I usually only ate the cookie and chips anyway, which is all you get these days anyway so I'm not complaining. Comparing amenities in Asia and North America is like comparing apples to oranges. As you even said, it's a whole different world.
If having a meal prior to flying is important to you, either take something with you (in my experience, most U.S. airlines don't have a problem if you bring in outside food) or eat before you are stuck up there for a few hours. However, what if I brought with me a microwave dinner? Would they let me heat it up using their equipment?
JBLUA320 From United States of America, joined May 2002, 3180 posts, RR: 18
Reply 18, posted (9 years 2 months 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 5557 times:
Ya bitch about them when the meals are there, and you bitch about them when they aren't!!
Seriously, though, I don't mind buying the food-- IF it is of a better quality than what they would have otherwise served. I give song props for that, even though I really dislike them on the whole. The same for one of my favorites-- Midwest Airlines-- great food. If it's good, who cares if you have to buy it? The airlines need the revenue and it's not adding much onto the cost of your ticket-- if the meal were free, it'd be worked in to the ticket price anyway...
DL4EVR From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 641 posts, RR: 1
Reply 20, posted (9 years 2 months 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 5519 times:
Quoting Srbmod (Reply 6): And who else remembers those awful "Sky Deli" sacks they used to offer? A soggy turkey sandwich, some chips, a piece of fruit and a cookie.).
Yes!!! I remember those! They had those at the gate on later flights (IIRC it was only when I was on an MD-88). The sandwich stuff was terrible, but they'd always throw in a little pack of Milano cookies (or something equivalent) to make up for it. Hey, at least DL still offers a decent snack box for FREE!
Senorcarnival From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 21, posted (9 years 2 months 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 5482 times:
Quoting DL4EVR (Reply 20): at least DL still offers a decent snack box for FREE!
They do??? I've never seen them on the segments I've flown. They usually just parade around with a small basket that has the available assortment. If the flight isn't full, the FAs usually let you take more than one if you're just taking a breakfast bar or one of those Biscoff cookies.
PAAClipper707 From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 50 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (9 years 2 months 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 5462 times:
Alaska still serves hot sandwiches or breakfast with a side snack on all transcontinental flights or from the NW to the Midwest, as well the the lower 48 to the state of Alaska. Offers northern bites to Mexico(BOB) ,no more that 5 bucks for an angus hamburger with chips. Also serves hot cookies and milk. Up and down the west cost you get peanuts or something like it. Lower ticket price or food your choice.
SAS330 From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 30 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (9 years 2 months 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 5438 times:
Airlines make more money with a bad snack-box for $5 for sale as for a free hot mail which cost the airlines $3-5 average. Most of the US Airlines forget that they loose the good image of their company by offering food for purchase on board. This is the reason I guess why "old fashioned" European airlines don't do this. Just see Swiss, they tried to sale food on board without any success, and returned to free meals. I just ask myself how long does it takes for US Airlines to realize being good to the customer, you will get it cash-back on a long-term basis.