JetBlue777 From United States of America, joined Jul 2009, 1443 posts, RR: 1 Posted (2 years 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 10033 times:
So, I saw that episode of "How Its Made" or is it the other one? (How Do They Do It?) about EK and it's catering facility in DXB a while back, I understand how they create airline means but how do FAs serve it?
- Do they have large ovens in the galley that heats up the food? I mean, a 77W has 300+ Y passengers, how do FAs manage to heat up all of the 300+ meal trays under an hour or two?
- For a longhaul flight, airlines typically serve you two full meals, so an A/C with 300 Y class passengers will need 600 Meal Trays inside those carts, I mean, 600 is a lot and those carts doesn't look that spacious either. And say a pax drops his/her food, do they have extra? If they do have extra, what happens to the leftovers?
- I read a post a while back about a DL FA, he said that they have "base" trays which contains the bread, salad and desert, where do they put the main course?
Luftfahrer From Germany, joined Mar 2009, 993 posts, RR: 2
Reply 1, posted (2 years 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 10001 times:
Quoting JetBlue777 (Thread starter): - Do they have large ovens in the galley that heats up the food? I mean, a 77W has 300+ Y passengers, how do FAs manage to heat up all of the 300+ meal trays under an hour or two?
I have been to the galley of an airplane of a similar size (Boeing 767), and there were quite a few large ovens. After all, it's only a small carton filled with food that needs to be heated, and they can fit quite a few of them in the ovens. Furthermore, the bigger an airplane is, the more galleys it has, and therefore the amount of food to be heated is shared between the different galleys.
Quoting JetBlue777 (Thread starter): I read a post a while back about a DL FA, he said that they have "base" trays which contains the bread, salad and desert, where do they put the main course?
Correct, I saw it myself last year. The main courses are placed on top of the cart, and the base trays are inside it.
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PolymerPlane From United States of America, joined May 2006, 991 posts, RR: 3
Reply 2, posted (2 years 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 9979 times:
Quoting JetBlue777 (Thread starter): Do they have large ovens in the galley that heats up the food? I mean, a 77W has 300+ Y passengers, how do FAs manage to heat up all of the 300+ meal trays under an hour or two?
They don't heat up the whole tray. on most airlines I've been on (CX, SQ, JL, BR), they only heat up the main course. They have trays with the bread, dessert, fruits, etc. and separate small main course containers. Usually you have a choice (chicken, fish or beef etc.), and they will pull the main course dish and put it on your tray.
Several years ago, IIRC they have trays with electrical contact, which I assume for the built in heater for the main course. I don't think i've seen those in a long time.
They usually have extras. But not all are available. If you sit towards the end of the aircraft, usually by the time the FAs reach your area, not all meal choices are available.
I don't know if the meal is actually reheated or kept heated. I doubt they are kept at room temperature for 10+ hours for the second meal. Probably not very safe. I'd say they are kept at elevated temperature at all time.
I'll try to explain this as well as I can (keep in mind I don't work directly with the catering dept at all). At the airline I work at (all Y class 737s), the average plane goes through 4 cycles daily (ie. YYZ-PUJ-YYZ-SNU-YYZ). The YYZ caterers load the YYZ-PUJ and PUJ-YYZ meals prior to departure. All catering for this flight is loaded in YYZ. This means there are at max 389 meals on the flight, plus crew meals. Catering loads the hot portions (which are in foil dishes) of the YYZ-PUJ meals into the ovens (48 meals per oven) and the non-hot items on trays into the carts you see in the video. The PUJ-YYZ hot portions are also in carts along trays which have the non-hot items. The FAs just heat the hot portions and put them onto the trays in the carts. Then they deliver them to the pax on the rolling cart. Once the service is over the FAs load the meal trays (with empty foils) into the empty carts which are then sealed until catering opens them upon arrival into YYZ. On the Northbound flight, the FAs just have load the outbound (PUJ-YYZ) hot portions into the ovens prior to service. The same process of putting the hot meals onto the trays takes place and the pax are served. Upon arrival into YYZ the caterers remove all of the carts (now full of empty trays and gabage) and replace them with re-stocked carts (as well as loading the YYZ-SNU hot meal foil dishes). In the video you will see smaller metal boxes. These slide into the galley shelves and are stocked with drinks, dry goods (napkins, coffee etc), and whatever else. There is also usually several locked boxes (only the in-charge FAs can access) which contain duty free/buy on board items such as alcohol and jewelery) . Look up some photos of aircraft galleys to get an idea of what an average galley looks like and how the carts/storage bins are configured. Most modern galley carts are interchangeable carts so it is not uncommon to find carts from 4 carriers on the aircraft at any given time.
BTW: for anyone who deals with aircraft catering/ovens, do you find that the ovens smell horrible? Almost like melting cheese/plastic? Every time I open one of the ovens on a plane they all have the same "cheesy" smell.
[Edited 2011-04-21 19:14:07]
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david21487 From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 230 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (2 years 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 9863 times:
Quoting JetBlue777 (Thread starter): - I read a post a while back about a DL FA, he said that they have "base" trays which contains the bread, salad and desert, where do they put the main course?
At Delta, the base trays that contain the salad, fruit, bread/butter, plastic utensils, etc are pre-set by catering and placed in the meal carts. The carts will hold up to 42 base trays (or something along those lines, so you will have to return to the galley during the service to restock or switch carts). The carts are then placed on the aircraft in the galleys. The backside of the carts have vents in them, and when placed properly in the cart slots, they'll be refrigerated and kept cold by the galley chillers.
The main courses are pre-loaded by catering in the ovens. There are multiple ovens that are rather deep and can accommodate many entrees at a time. Depending upon the aircraft type, the ovens can be located in multiple galleys. The caterers will place a sticker on the outside of the oven that will give the f/a's an accurate count of what choices are available and in which ovens they're located. Once in the air (and sometimes prior to takeoff) the ovens will be started. When the meals are finished heating, the f/a's will individually remove them and place them into bins that they'll put on top of the meal carts. (On the B767-300, there's a special wide bin that you can put on top of the meal carts that is large enough to accommodate 3 entire oven racks. When the meals are finished, you just take the entire rack out of the oven and place it into a shelf in the bin.) This is when the meals are brought out into the aisle.
The base trays are identical, so all you have to do is make a main course selection. The hot dish of your choosing is put on the base tray and handed to you.
After the meal service is finished, trash pick-up begins. The reason you're asked not to stack trays and items is because those base trays have to fit right back into those carts just as they were before they were served to you.
Quoting JetBlue777 (Thread starter): And say a pax drops his/her food, do they have extra? If they do have extra, what happens to the leftovers?
Yes, there are extra meals, but usually you'll run out of one of your choices, so if someone drops a meal, they might not be able to get whatever it is that they had before.
Anything that's not eaten is disposed of by the caterers. I believe that any leftover food on an inbound US flight is incinerated, along with the trash.
skysurfer From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2004, 1136 posts, RR: 13
Reply 7, posted (2 years 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 9564 times:
Many moons ago I used to work for a company that supplied the meals to various airlines. The carts don't look big but when you open them up you'd be surprised at how many trays you can fit in one. One airline used to have quite chunky trays and after we'd put the various items on the tray we'd put it into a non-standard cart. By that I mean these things were just small metal boxes that could fit 10 or 20 trays in. Then there was Virgin Atlantic that had carts with doors on either side, so we could load one side first and then the other. The reason being that Virgin had 4 different coloured napkins, so when the food was served each passenger sat next to another pax with a different colour napkin! It caused quite a headache if you made an error and had to go back and fix it! I don't ever remember handling hot meals and I don't remember ever putting a sealed meal on a tray either. When it came to extra meals what we'd usually do is provide the right amount for the passengers on the flight plus 5 extra meals in case of last minute additions. Quite often if more than 5 pax booked at the last minute we'd get a call on the PA system saying x amount needed to be prepped quickly.
Usually we made the meals for the flights up to 6 hours in advance, but some airlines that flew longhaul (I won't name them) had their meals prepped 12 hours in advance.
Hope the above is useful.
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Zkpilot From New Zealand, joined Mar 2006, 4765 posts, RR: 10
Reply 8, posted (2 years 10 months 3 weeks 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 9310 times:
6 meals per rack, 8 racks per oven is the standard size in most commercial aircraft. So for 300 pax its 6 and a bit ovens (that are about the size of two carryon wheelie bags each). On some aircraft it would be necessary to cook a few more racks of meals after the first lot have been cooked if there wasn't enough oven space.
Speaking of ovens, apparently NZ have a new type of oven that works more like a regular commercial oven rather than an aircraft oven to better cook food.
Lufthansa411 From Germany, joined Jan 2008, 692 posts, RR: 1
Reply 10, posted (2 years 10 months 3 weeks 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 9207 times:
I'll discuss intercontinental travel as that is what I am familiar with...
There are 2 main types of galley carts, full sized and half sized. Usually food trays go in full sized carts, while drinks go in half sized carts. This allows 2 FA's to serve meal trays simultaneously from both sides of the cart. The trays are designed and laid out in such a way as to allow only a couple of millimetres of vertical clearance between each tray. In economy, the hot portions of the meals are heated up in galley ovens pre-loaded and organised. The only thing the FA's have to do is read the sticker on the oven door to see what and how much is in the oven. They then heat the meals, stack them together, and assemble the trays in the aisle (tray, entree, roll).
In C and F, items may have more assembly bits required. For example, if the F appetiser is beef carpaccio with arugula and a tangy dressing, the dressing might be included in a small single-serving plastic container. The FA's then just drizzle the dressing over before serving.
Main courses in the premium cabins take even more effort. Usually the food that needs to be heated is in tinfoil containers separated by ingredient. The crew is provided with a picture of how the plated entree is supposed to look, as well as instructions on how to prepare each item of the dish. It is then their job to create.
Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 9): Do you have more details? I thought aircraft ovens were pretty much just specialized convection ovens.
Those are the new NZ ovens. Most "with the times" airlines have steam ovens in their galleys, and a few much older aircraft still have dry heat ovens.
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