COEWR2587
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How Well Are "Buy On Board" Programs Doing?

Fri May 28, 2004 12:29 pm

How well are "Buy on Board" programs doing nowadays. Anyone know if airlines are actually making a profit off of them and if they have plans to keep and extend the services. Plus, are there any other airlines planing to add this service. I know AA, US, etc. are doing it, but what about CO or I think jetBlue would be nice. That would make it a great airline to excellent airline. Any comments on the food quality when buying on board?
Newark Airport...My Home Away From Home
 
phatfarmlines
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RE: How Well Are "Buy On Board" Programs Doing?

Fri May 28, 2004 12:52 pm

I think B6 has emphasized enough that the carrier will not participate in the "Buy on Board" program. In fact, the carrier promotes the eateries in T6 @ JFK more than anything.
 
FLY777UAL
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RE: How Well Are "Buy On Board" Programs Doing?

Fri May 28, 2004 12:55 pm

Going well, actually. In Marketrak surveys aboard United flights, the inflight meal rankings have risen almost 4% since BOB was started aboard both Mainline and TED flights.

F L Y 7 7 7 U A L
 
artsyman
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RE: How Well Are "Buy On Board" Programs Doing?

Fri May 28, 2004 1:10 pm

but what about CO or I think jetBlue would be nice. That would make it a great airline to excellent airline
****

Why would Continental charging the customer for food, when it already gives the food for free make them an excellent airline ?. Most of the Buy-on-board programs I have seen thus far have been pretty shoddy at best. Stale food, and reasonably expensive too. Other than by being subsidised by the name on the box (ie: TGI Fridays), I fail to see how this is an advantage to the carriers. The airline has to carry and pay for all the food whether or not it is going to be ordered by the customer, the flight attendants are needed to serve the food whether it is ordered or not, and the food needs to be carried whether it is ordered or not.

The airline does not save on wages, they do not save on workload, they do not save on fuel (less weight), and in most cases, I do not believe that any passenger is going to chose to swap to a new carrier because the new carrier has a buy-on-board program as opposed to free food on board.

J
 
highliner2
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RE: How Well Are "Buy On Board" Programs Doing?

Fri May 28, 2004 3:10 pm

It may be enough however to get someone to switch to an airline that serves NO food onboard to an airline with buy on board.
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ILUV767
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RE: How Well Are "Buy On Board" Programs Doing?

Fri May 28, 2004 3:39 pm

Actually, the airlines do not pay fo the meals. They are owned by the caterers.

I L U V 7 6 7
 
flyboyaz
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RE: How Well Are "Buy On Board" Programs Doing?

Fri May 28, 2004 3:51 pm

At HP, our BOB program has been very successful. They usually sell out of the food on all flights. I've asked some passengers about it and most of them said it was good. A coworker of mine flew to CUN and bought all the meals available to try them out. She said they were really good and alot of food for the money. I think overall it's an excellent idea. It's not meant to be a money maker for the airlines, simply to offset the cost while providing the customer with a good service.
Catch a ride on a smile!
 
A330323X
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RE: How Well Are "Buy On Board" Programs Doing?

Fri May 28, 2004 3:58 pm

I agree with ILUV767. From what I know about the In Flight Café program at US Airways, US bears no risk with regards to unsold meals.
I'm the expert on here on two things, neither of which I care about much anymore.
 
mattnrsa
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RE: How Well Are "Buy On Board" Programs Doing?

Fri May 28, 2004 4:10 pm

I bought from BOB on TED last month. I knew I would want to eat before I arrived Tampa, but I realized I could eat at my leisure for the same price (or less in some cases) if bought on the plane instead of in the terminal. My friend and I split a club sandwich. It was HUGE! One sandwich was definitely enough for both of us (I think it came with chips too). Definitely better than not having the option of BOB, and having to buy food in the terminal just before boarding the plane.
 
AirframeAS
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RE: How Well Are "Buy On Board" Programs Doing?

Fri May 28, 2004 4:14 pm

The airlines do not actually get any percentage of the monies it sells on their planes. LSG Sky Chefs who makes the BOB for HP gets 100% of the monies.

The best BOB Ive ever tasted was from Midwest Airlines, although Ive never flown on Midwest....I got a chance to try one un-opened meal from one of their carts at LSG Sky Chefs in PHX. Very good, expecially those crossiants.
A Safe Flight Begins With Quality Maintenance On The Ground.
 
RareBear
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RE: How Well Are "Buy On Board" Programs Doing?

Fri May 28, 2004 10:51 pm

Was on a UAL flight DEN-ATL last week with the BOB service. The flight was about 3/4 full, but I bet not a dozen people used the BOB feature. I bought sandwiches in the terminal before departure, as did several other people. My Quiznos subs were better than anything I saw on the BOB menu.
Illegitimus non carborundum
 
drerx7
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RE: How Well Are "Buy On Board" Programs Doing?

Fri May 28, 2004 11:15 pm

I think Buy on Board programs are among the worst things for consumers. That makes the experience to rungs away from Southwest--with Southwest if you want food you buy it for less before u get on the plane. I tried it out on Delta--while the food was fine it was expensive; and my ticket price didn't reflect any savings--I think this sucks. Continental has openly said they have no intention of implementing this sorry program.
Third Coast born, means I'm Texas raised
 
AirlineFanatic
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RE: How Well Are "Buy On Board" Programs Doing?

Fri May 28, 2004 11:27 pm

JetBlue has stated NO interest in BOB. There is the logistic aspect of arranging catering and also the distraction of your inflight crew from the main cabin service to introduce the BOB program - not worth the little, if any, financial gains from the caterers.

In my own experience, DFW-MKE on Midwest Signature. I purchased a chicken wrap with an Asian theme sauce and little snack for about $7-8. It was lunch time, I was a little hungry and didn't have time to stop in the terminal - so it filled a void. It was good. I wouldn't forego stopping in terminal on my next trip to participate in BOB, but no complaints - it is expected to be priced high. The extra space, leather seats, 2x2 seating and FRESH BAKED COOKIES made my BOB wrap seem tastier because I thought of the alternative, the AA MD80 probably flying right behind us on it's way to MKE!
 
nealcg
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RE: How Well Are "Buy On Board" Programs Doing?

Sat May 29, 2004 12:32 am

I'm not a big fan of the DL BOB program but I do it anyway in that it gets me 500 skymiles (AMEXskymiles pro-mo) each time I use it and lord knows I'm a total mileage whore...
REMEMBER...NO MATTER WHERE YOU GO...THERE YOU ARE !!
 
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litz
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RE: How Well Are "Buy On Board" Programs Doing?

Sat May 29, 2004 3:28 am

I'll throw this into the ring as well ...

While the point about food and the ticket price is an item for another thread, consider this :

You have no choice but to buy food. That's a given.

You can buy in the terminal or buy on the plane. Price is pretty much the same.

However, I've found the onboard meals to be quite a bit better than similar "terminal fare" at most airports.

And the drinks are *free* on the plane.

 Smile/happy/getting dizzy

- litz
 
747buff
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RE: How Well Are "Buy On Board" Programs Doing?

Sat May 29, 2004 3:45 am

So how long before HP extends the program to all of their longer flights? Looks like they are mostly doing it on East Coast flights right now.
At Eastern, we earn our wings every day!
 
artsyman
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RE: How Well Are "Buy On Board" Programs Doing?

Sat May 29, 2004 3:47 am

You can buy in the terminal or buy on the plane. Price is pretty much the same.
*****

Or you can just be given it for free on Continental

J
 
cx123
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RE: How Well Are "Buy On Board" Programs Doing?

Sat May 29, 2004 6:37 pm

I guess you will never have a Peninsula BOB program on CX!!! hahahaah
Also those BOB are always Cold stuff. Do they have any hot food (eg. Nobu's signature tempura dishes)
 
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litz
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RE: How Well Are "Buy On Board" Programs Doing?

Sun May 30, 2004 12:44 am

Continental may still provide food service, but the thread in question doesn't apply to them, as it's aimed solely at the airlines that do NOT serve food on board, and therefore operate the buy-on-board programs.

Those that do, they seem to be quite successful.

- litz
 
scottysair
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RE: How Well Are "Buy On Board" Programs Doing?

Sun May 30, 2004 12:47 am

I did make buy a food for sale and it is very good to them. Besides, that I will able to continues buy with food onboard of my aircraft.
 
Skyguy
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RE: How Well Are "Buy On Board" Programs Doing?

Sun May 30, 2004 12:57 am

This won't last. When times are bad airlines will do ANYTHING to make and extra buck, when good days come back they will drop this as airines will slowly start offering food for free to passengers. The LOC carriers will however continue to offer BOB as its part of their business model.
"Those who talk, do not know, and those who know, do not talk."
 
LacsaA320
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RE: How Well Are "Buy On Board" Programs Doing?

Sun May 30, 2004 2:42 am

I'm not a CO fan, but I must accept that they maybe have the best inflight service in the U.S.. Nevertheless, is far behind many other Latin American (like Lan), European (like Swiss or Lufthansa), and Oriental (like Singapore and Cathay) carriers.

Nothing is free in life, not even food. So the price of such product on board CO or any carrier is included in the fare.

 
LacsaA320
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RE: How Well Are "Buy On Board" Programs Doing?

Sun May 30, 2004 3:01 am

By the way... Who said that airlines food is free?
 
rjpieces
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RE: How Well Are "Buy On Board" Programs Doing?

Sun May 30, 2004 10:34 am

LSG Sky Chefs who makes the BOB for HP gets 100% of the monies.

Are you sure about this? I would guess that the airline gets some percentage......Otherwise what advantage do they have to market TGIF over anyothername sandwiches? It would also not make sense to go through the whole hassle of selling the food if they were not getting ANY money from it.
"Millions long for immortality who do not know what to do with themselves on a rainy Sunday afternoon"
 
AirframeAS
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RE: How Well Are "Buy On Board" Programs Doing?

Sun May 30, 2004 5:50 pm

LSG Sky Chefs who makes the BOB for HP gets 100% of the monies.

Are you sure about this? I would guess that the airline gets some percentage......Otherwise what advantage do they have to market TGIF over anyothername sandwiches? It would also not make sense to go through the whole hassle of selling the food if they were not getting ANY money from it.


Oh yes, Im sure of this. I worked for HP (so I should know..) at the LSG Sky Chefs facility in PHX and I was told that LSG rakes in 100% of the monies and HP does nothing but sell it on their planes. Its not even a part of HP's business model.
A Safe Flight Begins With Quality Maintenance On The Ground.
 
JAFA
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RE: How Well Are "Buy On Board" Programs Doing?

Mon May 31, 2004 6:22 am

Here is the great thing about BOB meals, if you don't want one you don't have to buy it.
Secondly, the "meals" that CO serves to coach for free don't even come close in quantity or quality of BOB meals. BOB meals prices range from $5 to $10. Often you couldn't buy that much quality/quantity of food in any airport restaurant. An entree salad/entree sandwhich and dessert/bottle water is easily over $10.
 
dl757md
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RE: How Well Are "Buy On Board" Programs Doing?

Mon May 31, 2004 6:42 am


AirframeAS

IMO HP would not require their FAs to serve BOB if there weren't some financial benefit to HP. Most FAs I've spoken to about BOB say that it's a pain but that they feel they are contributing to their companies bottom line so they put up with it. HP might have a small rebellion on their hands if their FAs found out they were doing this extra duty for the sole financial gain of LSG. I don't think HP would risk this.

I'm sure you were told what you've stated, I just question the validity of your source.

Rgrds.
Dl757md
757 Most beautiful airliner in the sky!
 
ual747den
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RE: How Well Are "Buy On Board" Programs Doing?

Mon May 31, 2004 8:54 am

I like BOB, I wish F9 would add it. Even though an airline serves food that doesn't mean that you might not want more or something else. I don't know what it is about flying but when im up there I am always hungry. I wish they would also add small items like candy bars and other snacks.
The more options you give your customers the happier they will be.
/// UNITED AIRLINES
 
rjpieces
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RE: How Well Are "Buy On Board" Programs Doing?

Mon May 31, 2004 9:31 am

Oh yes, Im sure of this. I worked for HP (so I should know..) at the LSG Sky Chefs facility in PHX and I was told that LSG rakes in 100% of the monies and HP does nothing but sell it on their planes. Its not even a part of HP's business model.

I agree with dl757md. It is definitely part of HP's business model. Otherwise, I would see no reason for airlines (which are into cost cutting) to do it.

I'm sure the LSG person told you that. Perhaps it was an exaggeration on his part.
"Millions long for immortality who do not know what to do with themselves on a rainy Sunday afternoon"
 
JAFA
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RE: How Well Are "Buy On Board" Programs Doing?

Mon May 31, 2004 10:08 am

Well NW tells us that the meals don't belong to NW and that NW doesn't profit or lose money for the sale of the meals. I am willing to bet that NW gets a flat fee or percentage of sales for allowing the caterers access to thier customers. The only advantage is that NW is able to offer a service to its customers with no risk to them. Last I heard the program was breaking even. If the sales money went to NW we would just deposit along with other money for onbaord sales, but instead it is given to a rep. of the catering company who meets the aircraft.
 
luv2fly
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RE: How Well Are "Buy On Board" Programs Doing?

Mon May 31, 2004 10:11 am

I would imagine that the airlines get something for the B.O.B. program or they would not be doing it.
You can cut the irony with a knife
 
KL642
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RE: How Well Are "Buy On Board" Programs Doing?

Mon May 31, 2004 3:05 pm

I was flying NW last year from LGA-MSP and I would've bought 4 meals for me and my family but they flight attendants ran out of meals before they got to us! As luck would have it I had a couple of boxes of Yodels and Ring Dings in my carry on (can't find them in Minnesota) so my kids didn't go hungry but they got a sugar high!
 
AirframeAS
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RE: How Well Are "Buy On Board" Programs Doing?

Mon May 31, 2004 3:12 pm

IMO HP would not require their FAs to serve BOB if there weren't some financial benefit to HP.

I dont know if HP was forcing the F/As to sell them. I dont think that selling BOB is even in their current contract. So anyway, basically its no cost to HP to even do this program at all. We used to have the Balance Bars on the plane from the company who makes the bars and it was at no cost for us to do this program as well, we didnt even have to pay for the bars. It was an advertising thing for Balance Bars at no cost to us. Same thing with BOB.

Most FAs I've spoken to about BOB say that it's a pain but that they feel they are contributing to their companies bottom line so they put up with it. HP might have a small rebellion on their hands if their FAs found out they were doing this extra duty for the sole financial gain of LSG.

Never heard of any complaints at all. But they didnt sell well when we first put them on the transcons. After awhile they were getting popular. No one is required to buy a BOB.

I'm sure you were told what you've stated, I just question the validity of your source.

My source?? As I stated before, I worked for HP at the LSG Sky Chefs Facility. Like I said, I should know.

I agree with dl757md. It is definitely part of HP's business model. Otherwise, I would see no reason for airlines (which are into cost cutting) to do it.

It was not a part of HP's business model. LSG approached HP about the possibility of putting LSG's BOB on HP's flights and asked for permission to do so. HP agreed to the experiment and the program was set up, but as far as controlling which flights get the BOB and when was at the discretion of HP.

I'm sure the LSG person told you that. Perhaps it was an exaggeration on his part.

I dont listen to the LSG personnell. I never have and I never rely on what they say. I was told this by 3 HP people. My supervisor (no longer employed at HP), Food and Beverage Manager (laid off by HP), and the T4 Pax service Manager (still at HP) at a catering security employee meeting before the launch of the BOB. I wont name names because this is an open forum.

I should also mention that I was also one of the many many people who helped set up for the BOB before it was launched at HP soo I should know.



A Safe Flight Begins With Quality Maintenance On The Ground.
 
kieso
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RE: How Well Are "Buy On Board" Programs Doing?

Mon May 31, 2004 3:14 pm

I happen to think the program is a great idea. There's been so many times it's became useful for me and hope it never goes away.
Me is Kieso_I love to fly and it shows! YA
 
7574EVER
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RE: How Well Are "Buy On Board" Programs Doing?

Tue Jun 01, 2004 5:34 am

Well, last night I had first hand experience with UAL's buy on board. I gotta say...I was a little disappointed. I was expecting a hot meal. I guess I was expecting too much. We had two choices, some sort of sandwich or a Mediterranean salad. I ordered the sandwich but soon realized that I would have been better off with the salad. I was at least expecting the sandwich to be heated, instead it was cold, came in a vacuum sealed bag and tasted like something I would've bought at a gas station.

At least it's food though. It's still better than just pretzels and a coke. I just don't feel that it lived up to the hype. Oh well, live and learn
Right rudder....Right rudder...Come on, more right rudder....Right rudder......Aw forget it, I quit!!
 
COEWR2587
Topic Author
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RE: How Well Are "Buy On Board" Programs Doing?

Tue Jun 01, 2004 5:58 am

I just think that it's nice, and a good service to make available to people.
Newark Airport...My Home Away From Home
 
Prinair
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RE: How Well Are "Buy On Board" Programs Doing?

Tue Jun 01, 2004 4:11 pm

AirframeAS,

Selling meals is indeed in the business plan. Flight attendants even earn points and awards for their onboard sales at HP.

You might be an employee but obviously you are not well informed.
Please read AWA today so that you can be informed about the program.
PRINAIR : Puerto Rico International Airlines
 
AirframeAS
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RE: How Well Are "Buy On Board" Programs Doing?

Tue Jun 01, 2004 4:38 pm

I stand by my reply #32. Sorry, Prinair...I know what Im talking about.
A Safe Flight Begins With Quality Maintenance On The Ground.
 
Prinair
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RE: How Well Are "Buy On Board" Programs Doing?

Tue Jun 01, 2004 6:15 pm

Whatever...I am used to people at HP giving erroneous info to save their ego...Anyone can figure out that if it is in the official site and in writing...then it is fact and not a rumor like the many that go around at HP.

You obviously have no idea at all...You probably then work for Mesa...

At least the program is going well...
PRINAIR : Puerto Rico International Airlines
 
AirframeAS
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RE: How Well Are "Buy On Board" Programs Doing?

Wed Jun 02, 2004 5:51 am

You obviously have no idea at all...You probably then work for Mesa...

What an IGNORANT statement!!! Obviously, Prinair...you didnt read ALL of my writings from all of my previous posts: I worked at HP at the LSG Facility in PHX. Get a clue, man!! Quit being ignorant. Next time....READ everything before you respond.

AND....this has nothing to do with saving anyones ego...who said anything about saving someones ego?? No one on this thread said anything about it.

This is my LAST response to this thread....

A Safe Flight Begins With Quality Maintenance On The Ground.
 
7e72004
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RE: How Well Are "Buy On Board" Programs Doing?

Wed Jun 02, 2004 5:53 am

i actually like it...granted it may be a little pricey but it is good. The only thing i hate is when they try to sell it to you on a red-eye flight.
The next generation of aircraft is just around the corner!
 
boyshane
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RE: How Well Are "Buy On Board" Programs Doing?

Wed Jun 02, 2004 6:17 am

Yesterday I was on a Northwest flight from DTW-AUS and they had the BOB meals. They said they will pass out menus shortly. Fifteen minutes later... no menus. Then a F/A started the drink service and overheard her say, "Yes, just a bag of pretzels for this flight."

Hmmm, then the other F/A made an annoucement that they only had 8 meals for sale and that they apoliogized if there aren't any left by the time they got to your row.

They had only 8 meals for some 90 people and it was a 2 1/2- 3 hour flight. I was seated in the 3rd row in coach and was lucky to get one for $5.00 because I was starving. They ran out by the 4th or 5th row. The meal itself wasn't that exciting either but people where hungry.

-Shane
 
ord
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RE: How Well Are "Buy On Board" Programs Doing?

Wed Jun 02, 2004 7:16 am

Boyshane,

I had the nearly the same experience on a NW A320 flight in January from PHX-DTW. The gate agents made a big deal that this 7A departure would have BOB, and there were menus posted at the gate area.

Once airborne, the flight attendants made an announcement that only about 10 meals were loaded. I was in the third row in coach and got the last breakfast. People were quite upset as many had not purchased food in the airport because they were waiting to BOB.

I have not heard of any such problems on other airlines so I'm wondering if these issues are only on NW. Also, it seems all the other airlines with BOB take credit cards except NW.
 
RobINDYHP
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RE: How Well Are "Buy On Board" Programs Doing?

Wed Jun 02, 2004 7:26 am

HP does not make any money of the BOB, the is why you won't America West lettering anywhere on the meals or the menus. They are still testing to an extent. Then things might change again, at least the is how my Regional Manager stated it in a station meeting.
 
UNITED777300
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RE: How Well Are "Buy On Board" Programs Doing?

Wed Jun 02, 2004 7:35 am

Well, Ord and Boyshane, NW is one of the FEW airlines that has severe trouble loading an adaquate number of meals on their flights. In the last year, I've been on say ten NW flights with less than 15 meals loaded. I mean, if you are going to go throught the trouble of selling meals, you think they'd fill up a cart with them; but that's common sense. And these days, the more sense it makes, the less likely they (most US airlines) are to do. Boyshane, were you on a DC-9? If so, those have much less galley space, with only one galley.
/// U N I T E D: It's Time to Fly.
 
ana767
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RE: How Well Are "Buy On Board" Programs Doing?

Wed Jun 02, 2004 11:58 am

Actually, on a recent UA flight between ORD and SFO, BOB was offered, but everything except the (overpriced) Pringles had sold out by the time the cart got halfway down the aisle. IMO, if the airlines want these programs to work, they have to be sure to load enough meals. Otherwise, passengers will start to expect shortages and just buy some food at the airport before they board, thus dooming the BOB programs to failure.
 
liquid
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RE: How Well Are "Buy On Board" Programs Doing?

Wed Jun 02, 2004 12:10 pm


Well as AirframeAS has said numerous times I guess that HP gets no profit. Anybody know what policies are on other airlines? However it sounds to me that airlines should require a percentage because they let them be sold on their flights and they seem to be fairly popular on many flights.

Liquid
-Liquid
 
boyshane
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RE: How Well Are "Buy On Board" Programs Doing?

Wed Jun 02, 2004 1:38 pm

United777300 and Ord,

I was flying Non-Rev on this NW flight so I had a pretty good idea of how many where on board. It was a A319 and was quite full and couldn't quite grasp the concept of only loading 8 meals for that many people. Surely there are going to be more than 8 passengers on a flight willing to spend $5.00 for a box of snacks.

Then again, i'm a CO employee and would of expected something like that on a flight that long for nothing. I do praise NW for trying this program out but I feel like it was slightly poor customer service to only have that many. I kinda felt bad for buying one as it could of gone to another passenger behind me!

-Shane
 
Jamake1
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RE: How Well Are "Buy On Board" Programs Doing?

Wed Jun 02, 2004 5:41 pm

I have tried buy on board USAir a few times. To be honest, I thought that it was a bit pricey for what you get. I am not a cheap skate but I felt that $7 or $8 would be a more appropriate price. The salads seemed to be lacking substance for the $10 price tag. Kudos to Delta for using organic products on Song. I would definitely be willing to pay a premium for organic food. Unfortunately most of America has a Walmart and McDonald's mentality when it comes to being a consumer and prefer quantity over quality...so I don't see the organic products sticking.
United's B747-400. "She's a a cruel lover."

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