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Status Of Continental BOB Product  
User currently offlineflyguy89 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 1901 posts, RR: 9
Posted (4 years 2 weeks 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 5831 times:

A few months ago I remember CO announced a new Buy-On-Board product that would replace their current complimentary meals in Y on domestic flights. Does anyone have any updates on the status of this new program or new info? I haven't heard a thing about it since the announcement. Do you think they might be waiting for the merger with UA to finalize before doing so?

I really enjoy how CO still offers free meals in coach, it'll be a shame if they're phased out IMO.

22 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineAA737-823 From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 5732 posts, RR: 11
Reply 1, posted (4 years 2 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 5747 times:

Quoting flyguy89 (Thread starter):
A few months ago I remember CO announced a new Buy-On-Board product that would replace their current complimentary meals in Y on domestic flights. Does anyone have any updates on the status of this new program or new info? I haven't heard a thing about it since the announcement. Do you think they might be waiting for the merger with UA to finalize before doing so?

I really enjoy how CO still offers free meals in coach, it'll be a shame if they're phased out IMO.

There hasn't been any news in the public forum that I've come across, either. It's not due for rollout until fall, I think Sept-Oct timeframe.
They won't wait on anything related to the merger; first, UA already does BOB, so it would be product alignment to begin with. Second, CO doesn't really seem to be making any strategic changes AWAY FROM operating their airline the way they want to, and I suspect that such an attitude will continue to the last day... as it should. Finally, it's cash that CO is after, and free meals ain't bringing it in.

I agree that it's a shame, but I also disagree. While free meals at mealtimes is one of the things that has kept me with CO for these 8 years, as an elite no less, I cannot for a second say that their meals are anything like airline meals used to be. Even in the early 1990's, I was eating hot lasagna or 'cajun chicken' on AA, in coach, with a hefty salad, bread, and a dessert to accompany. Now, on CO, you're doing good to get a heated turkey puck, plus a tray of lettuce, and a 'fun size' (fun size? worst marketing idea ever) TWIX bar.
I think the real shame is that transcons will most likely be BOB. The cutoff, as I remember, is six hours, and several of those routes won't make it, I don't think. The mid-cons certainly won't, and one of my most frequented routes is IAH-SEA. Bummer.

It's just another way that CO will cease to distinguish itself from the other mega-legacies.


User currently offlineconnies4ever From Canada, joined Feb 2006, 4066 posts, RR: 13
Reply 2, posted (4 years 2 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 5660 times:

Not directly related to topic, but I'll say this about BOB: the airlines that adopt it likely aren't going back. AC has looked at going back to complimentary coach meals and the decision was NO. There are several reasons that argue in favour of this decision:

- less food wastage
- less weight of food and trays being carried
- removal of ovens also saves weight (done on narrow-body Airbi; Jungle Jets delivered that way)
- potential for more revenue

Arguing against it is the fact that so many people now bring their own, after a long domestic flight (I do YOW-YVR several times a year) the cabin is a mess with garbage, which affects turning times and impacts grooming costs.

As far as the food selection choices, AC basically has 3 entrees for flights > 2.5 hours, several snacks, hot soup, and for breakfast hour flights a few options inc. what looks like a McNugget.

J class is of course not affected, and AC still offers complimentary meals in Y on 'international' flights (i.e., outside of Canada & the US).



Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
User currently offlineSTT757 From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 16829 posts, RR: 51
Reply 3, posted (4 years 2 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 5569 times:

Quoting flyguy89 (Thread starter):
I really enjoy how CO still offers free meals in coach, it'll be a shame if they're phased out IMO.

They will continue to offer complimentary meals on trans-Cons.



Eastern Air lines flt # 701, EWR-MCO Boeing 757
User currently offlineJRadier From Netherlands, joined Sep 2004, 4670 posts, RR: 50
Reply 4, posted (4 years 2 weeks 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 5402 times:

Quoting connies4ever (Reply 2):
There are several reasons that argue in favour of this decision:

- less food wastage

This does not have to be true, and very much depends on the product you want to offer. (the same counts for ovens). If you are offering perishables (think sandwiches, salads etc) the waste with BOB might actually be higher than with complimentary meals. You can pretty much determine the consumption of complimentary meals (according to the paxload), but I can say from experience that the sales of perishables varies a lot and it is difficult to work with this. As you don't want to sell 'no' too much you are pretty much guaranteed a certain amount of wastage.



For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and ther
User currently onlineUSAirALB From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 3041 posts, RR: 2
Reply 5, posted (4 years 2 weeks 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 5342 times:

Quoting STT757 (Reply 3):
Quoting flyguy89 (Thread starter):
I really enjoy how CO still offers free meals in coach, it'll be a shame if they're phased out IMO.

They will continue to offer complimentary meals on trans-Cons.

Thats what everyone says, and then a year later they will go away.

"We will continue to provide complementary meals on trans-continental flights" BS.



E135/E140/E145/E70/E75/E90/CR2/CR7/CR9/717/732/733/734/735/73G/738/739/752/753/762/772/319/320/321/333
User currently offlineflyguy89 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 1901 posts, RR: 9
Reply 6, posted (4 years 2 weeks 2 days ago) and read 5245 times:

Quoting connies4ever (Reply 2):
Not directly related to topic, but I'll say this about BOB: the airlines that adopt it likely aren't going back. AC has looked at going back to complimentary coach meals and the decision was NO. There are several reasons that argue in favour of this decision:

- less food wastage
- less weight of food and trays being carried
- removal of ovens also saves weight (done on narrow-body Airbi; Jungle Jets delivered that way)
- potential for more revenue

I understand the reasoning behind dispensing with complimentary domestic meals, and offering food for purchase wouldn't kill me so much if they actually offered 'meals' for purchase, not just cold sandwiches and snacks, especially on longer flights.


User currently offlineHomaDreaming From United States of America, joined May 2008, 83 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (4 years 2 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 5046 times:

Its sad to see free meals go on CO but they didnt really serve anything substantial to begin with...But I guess something is better that nothing...

I hope the future UA would upgrade their BOB offerings after the merger but I doubt anything will change, if any CO will probably offer what UA offers now, which is a joke...They should offer an actual meal and also allow passengers to pay for their meal when they buy their ticket... I for one wouldn't mind paying an extra 20 bucks to get something edible on a flight...and I know a lot of people who would pay a couple of extra bucks to get something on a plane...I believe some carriers in Asia do this and its a hit with passengers...


User currently offlineVVanderlust From United States of America, joined Jan 2010, 5 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (4 years 2 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 4920 times:

A flight attendant friend of mine says they have picked the selections and will be rolling them out in a few months - fall sometime.

It will be a lot like what United's Snackboxes and Choice Menu with some twists (A hot hamburger.)

Packaged food:
4 different types of snack boxes.
Candy, Beef Jerky and nuts

Fresh Food:
Breakfast: Egg & cheese sandwich, yogurt parfait, muffins.

Lunch & Dinner - Hot Angus Burger, deli sandwich (probably some soft of turkey & cheese variation), chicken salad, and I think if I remember right - Cheesecake on a stick.

Also fruit & cheese plate.

Also they re-introduced their stirring specialty cocktail mixers as an extra charge with their spirits selection.

I have been really impressed with the offerings on Virgin America (too bad I don't fly them very often). Plus they deliver them to your seat: Check theirs out here: http://www.virginamerica.com/inflight/airline-food.html


User currently offlineCOERJ145 From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 1421 posts, RR: 1
Reply 9, posted (4 years 2 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 4829 times:

Quoting VVanderlust (Reply 8):
A flight attendant friend of mine says they have picked the selections and will be rolling them out in a few months - fall sometime.

It will be a lot like what United's Snackboxes and Choice Menu with some twists (A hot hamburger.)

Packaged food:
4 different types of snack boxes.
Candy, Beef Jerky and nuts

Fresh Food:
Breakfast: Egg & cheese sandwich, yogurt parfait, muffins.

Lunch & Dinner - Hot Angus Burger, deli sandwich (probably some soft of turkey & cheese variation), chicken salad, and I think if I remember right - Cheesecake on a stick.

Also fruit & cheese plate.

Also they re-introduced their stirring specialty cocktail mixers as an extra charge with their spirits selection.

I have been really impressed with the offerings on Virgin America (too bad I don't fly them very often). Plus they deliver them to your seat: Check theirs out here: http://www.virginamerica.com/infligh....html

It actually sounds like a blended AS, VX and old HP BOB menu (which was one of the few BOB menus that had hot items AFAIK). Looks good. I hope to try this sometime. Any news whether this will be on ExpressJet flights as well? Cause there are some pretty long ERJ flights in the system (EWR-OKC/TUL, IAH-IAD/YYZ/MSP/TUS/MKE, etc)

[Edited 2010-07-17 11:58:08]

User currently onlineUSAirALB From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 3041 posts, RR: 2
Reply 10, posted (4 years 2 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 4586 times:

Quoting COERJ145 (Reply 9):
old HP BOB menu (which was one of the few BOB menus that had hot items AFAIK).

Ham & Swiss Croissant
(served warm*) $7
Honey baked ham and Swiss cheese on a croissant with Dijonnaise on the side. Fruit yogurt and a bowl of fresh cantaloupe and honeydew are also included.
*Not available on Boeing 737 aircraft.


Coffee Crumb Cake $7
Delicious coffee crumb cake accompanied by a bowl of fresh oranges, red seedless grapes, cantaloupe and honeydew, garnished with a strawberry. A creamy flavored yogurt is also included.


Breakfast Snack Box $5
Shaved ham, sliced egg and cheddar cheese on a honey wheat croissant with mayonnaise on the side, accompanied by a Quaker Apple Cinnamon Breakfast Bar, Nabisco Wheat Thins, and Mott's Strawberry Fruitsations.




Smoked Turkey Sandwich $7
Sliced smoked turkey breast, roma tomatoes, provolone cheese, fresh romaine lettuce, and basil pesto mayonnaise on a rustica roll, served with crunchy Kettle Classics potato chips. A delicious sugar cookie is also included.


Cheeseburger
(served warm*) $7
A hearty beef patty with Cheddar cheese on a rustica roll, served with a side salad of lettuce, tomato and onions with balsamic vinaigrette dressing on the side. A delicious sugar cookie is also included.
*Not available on Boeing 737 aircraft.


Lunch/Dinner Snack Box $5
Slices of roasted turkey, topped with lettuce and Cheddar cheese on a country dinner roll with a side of Dijonnaise and is accompanied by Pepperidge Farm Goldfish, Kettle Classics Potato Chips, Sun-Maid Raisins and a package of Oreo cookies.



E135/E140/E145/E70/E75/E90/CR2/CR7/CR9/717/732/733/734/735/73G/738/739/752/753/762/772/319/320/321/333
User currently offlineUAL757 From United States of America, joined Sep 2006, 806 posts, RR: 4
Reply 11, posted (4 years 2 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 4037 times:

Quoting COERJ145 (Reply 9):
It actually sounds like a blended AS, VX and old HP BOB menu (which was one of the few BOB menus that had hot items AFAIK).

AS has had hot BOB for a while now, ever since their Northern Bites has been around. Not trying to hijack this thread, but this is what AS is offering in the Y-cabin for purchase on flights blocked for 2.5 hours and longer (which is pretty darn good, IMHO):

July Northern Bites offerings eastbound or southbound (and westbound to Hawaii):


July Northern Bites offerings westbound or northbound (and eastbound from Hawaii):


Also, AS has Picnic Packs available for sale on every flight for $3 or $6:


Being able to buy a hot meal in Y on PDX-LAX is pretty impressive (especially when you see the portion sizes of what they serve up in F  )


User currently offlinedc10widebody From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 126 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (4 years 2 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 3965 times:

With regards to waste why don't carriers offer the option to purchase these meals with your ticket, seat assignment etc. I have long wondered why airlines particuarly AS for me, when they offer options such as advanced DIG-E player rental on select flights won't offer the option of meal purchase as well, I actually think it has the potential to increase revenue when people have the option to add it it on, it can be paid for right away, no waste because every meal is spoken for and you can continue to offer non perishable items like chips cookies etc for purchase while not wasting perishable food. Why isn't this an option for more carriers?


Cheers thanks a lot.
User currently offlineAirport From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (4 years 2 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 3863 times:

Quoting UAL757 (Reply 11):
AS has had hot BOB for a while now, ever since their Northern Bites has been around. Not trying to hijack this thread, but this is what AS is offering in the Y-cabin for purchase on flights blocked for 2.5 hours and longer (which is pretty darn good, IMHO):

I'm not sure about July's breakfast skillet, but man not only were the old breakfast skillets (and the ones they had up until June this year) the best in-flight breakfasts I've ever had, but honestly one of the best breakfasts I've ever had period! Of course, I'm biased because eating it means I'm on plane... but there's just something indescribably satisfying about the AS breakfast skillets. The new July ones don't look nearly as good though, sadly.

Cheers,
Anthony/Airport


User currently offlineJRadier From Netherlands, joined Sep 2004, 4670 posts, RR: 50
Reply 14, posted (4 years 2 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 3725 times:

Quoting dc10widebody (Reply 12):
With regards to waste why don't carriers offer the option to purchase these meals with your ticket, seat assignment etc.

There are airlines that do this, but my personal experience is that if people see something on board they are far more willing to buy it. For example hunger doesn't play a role when booking a ticket, but it does on board.



For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and ther
User currently offlineconnies4ever From Canada, joined Feb 2006, 4066 posts, RR: 13
Reply 15, posted (4 years 2 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 3546 times:

Quoting JRadier (Reply 4):
This does not have to be true, and very much depends on the product you want to offer. (the same counts for ovens). If you are offering perishables (think sandwiches, salads etc) the waste with BOB might actually be higher than with complimentary meals. You can pretty much determine the consumption of complimentary meals (according to the paxload), but I can say from experience that the sales of perishables varies a lot and it is difficult to work with this. As you don't want to sell 'no' too much you are pretty much guaranteed a certain amount of wastage.

I'm not so sure. When complimentary meals were around in Y, AC typically loaded enough of each entree to serve 2/3 of the Y cabin, so there was inherent waste in the system. bad luck if you were at the back of cabin and asked for beef and was told there was only fish.

Also, all BOB product sold is logged on a touch screen in flight and then downloaded into a database, so sales & trends can be trended, if that's not redundant. So AC has a handle on what is moving and what is not. Finally, at the AC website if you prebook your BOB, they give you a snack freebie. When you go this route, as I always do, there is an icon on your boarding pass, and it's also replicated on the manifest.

Quoting flyguy89 (Reply 6):
I understand the reasoning behind dispensing with complimentary domestic meals, and offering food for purchase wouldn't kill me so much if they actually offered 'meals' for purchase, not just cold sandwiches and snacks, especially on longer flights.

On AC you can get hot soup or pizza on the >2.5 hours flights (except E-jets). On morning flights you can get an egg McMuffin.

A peeve I have right now is they've dropped the Quizno's Roast Beef sandwich (at least I haven't seen them in a while) and also the Greek Salad from Chicken Shack. I liked those.



Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
User currently offlineTOMMY767 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 6584 posts, RR: 11
Reply 16, posted (4 years 2 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 3355 times:

Quoting USAirALB (Reply 5):
"We will continue to provide complementary meals on trans-continental flights" BS.

At least until the merger is completed with UA. I can't imagine the new UA serving comp. meals on all the IAD/EWR/SFO/LAX hub transcons. It would be great, but it's a huge cost for catering and I just don't see it.



"Folks that's the news and I'm outta here!" -- Dennis Miller
User currently offlineJRadier From Netherlands, joined Sep 2004, 4670 posts, RR: 50
Reply 17, posted (4 years 2 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 2328 times:

Quoting connies4ever (Reply 15):
When complimentary meals were around in Y, AC typically loaded enough of each entree to serve 2/3 of the Y cabin, so there was inherent waste in the system.

That does create some waste, but it depends on the airline. There are also airlines that cater paxload+ spares, and that is it.

Quoting connies4ever (Reply 15):
Also, all BOB product sold is logged on a touch screen in flight and then downloaded into a database, so sales & trends can be trended, if that's not redundant.

You can trend it, but that trending is very, very difficult. One flight you are sold out, and the exact same flight the next day/week you don't sell anything. The data varies quite a lot and it is not always apparent why that is. Things like number of passengers is easy, departure time is easy, but passenger demographics is more difficult, and then there are items like the mood of the passenger which are pretty much impossible to predict. Then it depends entirely on choices made regarding to acceptable waste, acceptable sold-out numbers and passenger experience.

There is more to it then meets the eye, I learned that very quickly.



For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and ther
User currently offlinechrisair From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 2072 posts, RR: 3
Reply 18, posted (4 years 2 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 2093 times:

Quoting UAL757 (Reply 11):
Being able to buy a hot meal in Y on PDX-LAX is pretty impressive (especially when you see the portion sizes of what they serve up in F

That southbound breakfast sandwich was our breakfast in F on my PHX-SEA flight last week.

My whole comment about BOB is keep it priced reasonable and make it good, and I'm in. I'd rather pay AS $6 than the robber barons in the airport $6 for a pre-made, five day old sandwich. The exception being the green chile chicken soup in ABQ. Well worth the $5.... 


User currently offlineBD338 From United States of America, joined Jul 2010, 703 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (4 years 2 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 1968 times:

Quoting chrisair (Reply 18):
I'd rather pay AS $6 than the robber barons in the airport $6 for a pre-made, five day old sandwich

AS options look rather good. $9 I paid for a bagel sandwich in SLC the other week!! Won't be making that choice again. Apparently airlines don't think anyone wants to eat on a flight less than 2.5hrs long (or after 7pm apparently) so grabbing something on the ground was the option. Blue Burrito Grille in SLC does a darn good burrito but it can get a bit messy on a packed flight  

in the 90's it was the 'thing' to complain about the poor quality of the free airilne food, today it is the 'thing' to complain they don't provide any free food. I don't get it. I don't mind paying for food on a flight (Long haul the exception as I think it is reasonable on 8+ hours to include it in the price) but make it reasonable with healthy options and available. Airlines are missing a sales opportunity by restricting the sale to longer flights. Can you imagine FR not selling food on flights less than 2.5 hrs? That would their profit margin slashed  


User currently offlineAirport From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 20, posted (4 years 2 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 1888 times:

Quoting BD338 (Reply 19):
$9 I paid for a bagel sandwich in SLC the other week!! Won't be making that choice again.

Trust me, you're not the only one... those damn bagel sandwiches look so deceptively good.   

Even as a non-rev, I'd rather pay $6-12 for a filling, delicious meal (such as the breakfast skillet + fruit and cheese plate on AS) than a cardboard free meal anyday.

Cheers,
Anthony/Airport


User currently offlineTSS From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 3066 posts, RR: 5
Reply 21, posted (4 years 2 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 1852 times:

Quoting Airport (Reply 20):
Even as a non-rev, I'd rather pay $6-12 for a filling, delicious meal (such as the breakfast skillet + fruit and cheese plate on AS) than a cardboard free meal anyday.

Once again we are in full agreement. Sayonara, microwaved chicken pucks! Hello, real food!   



Able to kill active threads stone dead with a single post!
User currently offlineSchweigend From United States of America, joined Jun 2010, 595 posts, RR: 2
Reply 22, posted (4 years 2 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 1843 times:

Quoting TOMMY767 (Reply 16):
Quoting USAirALB (Reply 5):
"We will continue to provide complementary meals on trans-continental flights" BS.

At least until the merger is completed with UA. I can't imagine the new UA serving comp. meals on all the IAD/EWR/SFO/LAX hub transcons. It would be great, but it's a huge cost for catering and I just don't see it.

CO's practise of catering itself through its Chelsea wing has kept the complimentary meals possible...now hopefully Chelsea's great intrinsic value to the company will be capitalized on when people pay for their (much improved--heaven help us) coach offerings.

Their EWR kitchen could handle the limited addition of UA flights, and more. But it would be nice to see the decommissioned LAX kitchen making meals for the new UA. IIRC, it was sold to LSG?

I feel certain that the DEN Chelsea kitchen will handle the new UA's BOB and other needs there, when existing contracts lapse. They already provide sandwiches to area Starbucks, so we know they can do quality packaged sandwiches.

For meal choices? That AS breakfast skillet would be great. And hot soup, too--but the mess!

Scottie


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