ppostro
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Bring Back The Meals In North America!

Sun Jan 22, 2006 7:14 pm

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!
The über airline nerd
 
AeroTycoon
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RE: Bring Back The Meals In North America!

Sun Jan 22, 2006 9:24 pm

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.

AT dollarsign  dollarsign 
 
CPH757
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RE: Bring Back The Meals In North America!

Sun Jan 22, 2006 9:32 pm

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
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RE: Bring Back The Meals In North America!

Sun Jan 22, 2006 10:05 pm

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.

First class food is even better.
Just an MSPAVGEEK
 
FiveMileFinal
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RE: Bring Back The Meals In North America!

Sun Jan 22, 2006 10:51 pm

I eat before I fly.

Problem solved. Big grin
You goin'? We fly you dere! You been? We done already flew up in dere!
 
aukahkay
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RE: Bring Back The Meals In North America!

Sun Jan 22, 2006 11:11 pm

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
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RE: Bring Back The Meals In North America!

Sun Jan 22, 2006 11:16 pm

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.).
 
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longhauler
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RE: Bring Back The Meals In North America!

Sun Jan 22, 2006 11:23 pm

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.
Just because I stopped arguing, doesn't mean I think you are right. It just means I gave up!
 
aukahkay
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RE: Bring Back The Meals In North America!

Sun Jan 22, 2006 11:42 pm

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)

http://www.jetstarasia.com/flyingWithUs/inAir/hotmeals_EN.php
http://www.tigerairways.com/flight/food-and-beverage.php

How much do US carriers charge for inflight meals and drinks on domestic flights?
 
flypdx
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RE: Bring Back The Meals In North America!

Mon Jan 23, 2006 2:07 am

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.
 
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longhauler
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RE: Bring Back The Meals In North America!

Mon Jan 23, 2006 2:08 am

This is the Onboard Cafe for flights longer than 2 hours.
In addition, soft drinks and coffee/tea are complimentary.
http://www.aircanada.com/en/travelin...board/dining/na/onboard/meals.html
Just because I stopped arguing, doesn't mean I think you are right. It just means I gave up!
 
captaink
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RE: Bring Back The Meals In North America!

Mon Jan 23, 2006 2:22 am

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?
There is something special about planes....
 
zrs70
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RE: Bring Back The Meals In North America!

Mon Jan 23, 2006 2:32 am

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.

But at $198, we can't expect all that much.
17 year airliners.net vet! 2000-2016
 
srbmod
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RE: Bring Back The Meals In North America!

Mon Jan 23, 2006 2:35 am

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
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RE: Bring Back The Meals In North America!

Mon Jan 23, 2006 2:43 am

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? Big grin
Oh no, she's getting impatient! Take a stab at it!
 
AV8AJET
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RE: Bring Back The Meals In North America!

Mon Jan 23, 2006 2:52 am

Quoting Srbmod (Reply 13):
And BW has announced cities and never served them because they could not afford to start service.

Is Prestwick (PIK) one of those?
"To fly or not to fly there is no question!"
 
GLAGAZ
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RE: Bring Back The Meals In North America!

Mon Jan 23, 2006 3:07 am

Quoting AV8AJET (Reply 15):
Quoting Srbmod (Reply 13):
And BW has announced cities and never served them because they could not afford to start service.

Is Prestwick (PIK) one of those?

No, BWIA did start PIK but it only lasted a few months.

Gaz
Neutrality means that u don't really care cos the struggle goes on even when ur not there, blind and unaware
 
PHX757
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RE: Bring Back The Meals In North America!

Mon Jan 23, 2006 3:09 am

 
JBLUA320
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RE: Bring Back The Meals In North America!

Mon Jan 23, 2006 3:15 am

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...

JBLU
 
srbmod
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RE: Bring Back The Meals In North America!

Mon Jan 23, 2006 3:32 am

Quoting AV8AJET (Reply 15):

Is Prestwick (PIK) one of those?

I was referring to ATL. They announced service to ATL back in 2000 and never started service there.
 
DL4EVR
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RE: Bring Back The Meals In North America!

Mon Jan 23, 2006 3:35 am

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!
We Love To Fly And It Shows.
 
senorcarnival
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RE: Bring Back The Meals In North America!

Mon Jan 23, 2006 3:49 am

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.
Oh no, she's getting impatient! Take a stab at it!
 
Paaclipper707
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RE: Bring Back The Meals In North America!

Mon Jan 23, 2006 3:56 am

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.
PAN AMERICAN -Dont Leave the Country Without Us-
 
SAS330
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RE: Bring Back The Meals In North America!

Mon Jan 23, 2006 4:17 am

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.
 
aa757first
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RE: Bring Back The Meals In North America!

Mon Jan 23, 2006 5:32 am

Quoting Captaink (Reply 11):

IS it that more expensive to cater the airplanes with hot meals?

The ovens, which weigh a significant amount, do add to fuel costs. The meal itself isn't that much more expensive, but the equipment necessary is expensive.

AAndrew
 
UAPremierGuy
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RE: Bring Back The Meals In North America!

Mon Jan 23, 2006 12:25 pm

Quoting Senorcarnival (Reply 14):
However, what if I brought with me a microwave dinner? Would they let me heat it up using their equipment?

Not likely, and on some airlines, the thought of doing so wouldn't even be an option. Airlines like WN, Ted (& ex-shuttle 737s) lack ovens, so heating up a microwave meal wouldn't even be an option.

Now, I recognize I am in the minority, but I am willing to and do pay more for an airline that provides meal service over airlines that don't. Thankfully, my Premier status with United affords me frequent upgrades, but what about when I can't upgrade? I can't "just bring a sandwich" on board, as many, including so-called "travel experts" have suggested. Why? I don't have the hands. I have 2 bags, in the winter a jacket, and no free hands to carry an acceptable meal, let alone a drink. Those "Snackboxes" that United, and other airlines as well, offer are horrid and unacceptable. I didn't mind as much when there was BoB fresh food on 3.5 hour flights, but now even that has been eliminated, except on routes over 5 hours...

I fly first and business when able, but when using mileage tickets, or free tickets from getting bumped, UAL promotions, etc. upgrading isn't allowed...then what? Suffer...and remember days gone by...and dream of a future...that is, if I can sleep with an empty stomach in cramped quarters...
 Smile
It's Time To Fly!
 
Guest

RE: Bring Back The Meals In North America!

Mon Jan 23, 2006 1:08 pm

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...

If you eat 3 meals a day, you prolly average about 5 hours (on the low end) between them.

YVR-ORD is four hours.

How on earth do you function?

B
 
Stratofortress
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RE: Bring Back The Meals In North America!

Mon Jan 23, 2006 1:11 pm

Oh come on! Eat at the airport before you get on the plane. Or buy a sandwich, and bring it with you. Most of the flights are not longer than 5 hours, which means that there really is no need to serve food. Just plan ahead a bit, and the problem gets solved. All things considered, traveling by air is pretty cheap. We cant expect meals, champagne, and $150 ticket.

As always, you can buy a first class ticket, ride up front, and get your meal... Oh it may cost you a little extra though.
Forever New Frontiers
 
SonOfACaptain
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RE: Bring Back The Meals In North America!

Mon Jan 23, 2006 1:17 pm

People need to start paying decent fares again!

-SOAC
Non Illegitimi Carborundum
 
jetdeltamsy
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RE: Bring Back The Meals In North America!

Mon Jan 23, 2006 1:20 pm

Quoting Ppostro (Thread starter):
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 mea

You get fed in Asia because the carriers earn profits on the routes.

The entire USA domestic system is basically unprofitable. The customers demand cheap fares over higher fares that include food.

Airlines can no longer serve meals because there isn't enough money in the price of the ticket to cover the meals. Continental still serves a limited menu on some domestic routes, but don't look for that to last much longer. Continental is not experiencing sustained profitability and meals will soon be a thing of the past for them as well.

Personally I think that hot meals in first class should be for first class fare paying passengers only. If you get a frequent flyer upgrade, you should have to finance your own meal. The crew knows who is full fare and who is not. It would not be a difficult thing to do. The "I, I, I, me, me, me, gimme gimme gimme" mentality that many top tier frequent flyers have would create a blacklash that most carriers are not eager to deal with.

Flying should be like everything else in life. You should get what you pay for. The days of giving away our premium product should come to an end.
Tired of airline bankruptcies....EA/PA/TW and finally DL.
 
centrair
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RE: Bring Back The Meals In North America!

Mon Jan 23, 2006 1:43 pm

Looking at these meal service boxes...I must say...nutritional missing.

How much is the snack food industry getting out of this?

On my last U.S. domestic (MSP-DTW) we got drink and pretzles. That is fine for a 1.5 - 2 hour flight. I would prefer water or something that keeps me hydrated.

It is 7 hours to Europe from DTW. Two hours longer than some U.S. Domestic routes. If you eat breakfast, then are flying over lunch and have dinner on the ground, I would prefer that I get something in the air that will not be high in calories, light and filling.

I was on a RJ doing MKE-BWI where a couple was eating McDonalds. The smell made me sick.

And you wanna know something about inflight meals....NWA...Flown DTW-NGO now 14 times. The meals is always the same. They are heavy, soggy and horrible. My wife got low-cal once. The dinner was awsome but the breakfast was rubber covered in a layer of tastelessness. Flew Cathay NGO-HKG...best meal I have ever had on a plane.

Last time I was served a hot meal on a domestic route? 1982 Republic Airlines MSP-Kansas City. (incidently the first time I ever ate Dijon Mustard too) I did have a meal on MSP-BDL once in the 1990s but it was frozen milk, cereal and a frozen bagle with frozen cream cheese...and I was in Business.
Yes...I am not a KIX fan. Let's Japanese Aviation!
 
BMIFlyer
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RE: Bring Back The Meals In North America!

Mon Jan 23, 2006 1:46 pm

Quoting Ppostro (Thread starter):

There is one way to get a meal on every flight........

Fly in F or J class*  Wink




*mainline flights only - where provided
Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own
 
ppostro
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RE: Bring Back The Meals In North America!

Mon Jan 23, 2006 3:19 pm

Qantas re-introduced meal and snack services in economy class within its entire Australian network last year. WHY? Because they wanted to distance themselves from the LCC's such as Virgin Blue. Qantas serves high quality meals and snacks on domestic economy services and even has established partnerships with some of Australia's leading high-end foodies such as "Gourmet biscuits from Luken and Ma, Savoury products from Mother Meg's Fine Foods,Homemade cookies from Byron Bay Cookie Company" and has offers hot lunches and dinners on flights longer then 90mins. Qantas offers discount fares and still is able and realizes that offering a premium product will keep it's customers happy. Why doesn't AA or UA partner up with someone Wolfgang Puck and offer some a premium buy-on-board menu or offer more gourmet snacks for purchase. Within Canada at least AC is offering more then some junk snack box for purchase, but i hope AC will bring the meals back soon within Canada!
The über airline nerd
 
SonOfACaptain
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RE: Bring Back The Meals In North America!

Mon Jan 23, 2006 3:21 pm

Quoting Ppostro (Reply 32):
Why doesn't AA or UA partner up with someone Wolfgang Puck and offer some a premium buy-on-board menu or offer more gourmet snacks for purchase.

It has been tried, but hasn't worked out.

-SOAC
Non Illegitimi Carborundum
 
centrair
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RE: Bring Back The Meals In North America!

Mon Jan 23, 2006 3:32 pm

Quoting Ppostro (Reply 32):
UA partner up with someone Wolfgang Puck

When I flew ORD-HKG on UA back in 1999, the menu was made by some Hong Kong chef. Very delicious. The menu actually had the chef's picture on it and I think a short background. (This was in Y)

But the problem with that on domestic, is that people won't appreciate that it was made by some big time chef.

Didn't UA also have "McDonald's" for kids? You could order a happy meal as the kids meal. In the anti-McD's world, they couldn't serve it. Instead it would have to be humus, pita bread & goat cheese with a side of carrots, apple slice for dessert and mineral water.
Yes...I am not a KIX fan. Let's Japanese Aviation!
 
captaink
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RE: Bring Back The Meals In North America!

Mon Jan 23, 2006 10:36 pm

Quoting Srbmod (Reply 13):
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.

Don't let caribbean politics fool you. BW and JM have been on the brink of collapse for their entire existence, but look for them to actually collapse. The caribbean governments would continue to pump more and more money into these airlines. BW is now in the market for another A340 and B738. Granted they aren't profitable airlines, but i would assume that is due to very bad management than serving hot meals. And to make matters worse, american carriers don't serve hot meals but still they dont seem to be doing much better than other world carriers that do.
There is something special about planes....
 
klyk1980
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RE: Bring Back The Meals In North America!

Mon Jan 23, 2006 11:43 pm

Personally..I don't mind to eat before flight or after flight, but definitely care about the fare will rise because of the catering onboard. You can choose whatever restaurant before/after flight, but you have no choice when you are flying, you need to take whatever they offer.

Asian carriers can offer meals because they earn money on most routes. In North America thats a totally different story. Please be realistic. But airlines in North America can definitely take a look those LCC in Europe. The cost structure is rather similar but LCC in Europe able to provide limited free catering. I flied with Air Berlin in November from CDG-VIE and VIE-ZRH, extremely pleasant flight with a meal box, includes drinks, fruit and sandwich even it is cold.

Conclusion: Don't compare between North American airlines with Asian because airlines in North America not even meet the European standard!!

So is time for all airlines and their employees to do something. Sometimes even thn airlines itself wants to work on the service quality but those employees simply asking for too much. Most of us here fly a lot every year domestically, I hardly find a air/ground crew with true smile and they work for their career, not for enjoyment.
 
Orion737
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RE: Bring Back The Meals In North America!

Tue Jan 24, 2006 2:29 am

I often dont have time to queue to buy a sandwich at the airport and neither do many others, business travellers in particular.

A flight of 4 hours duration is really close to 5 hours, boarding, disembarkation, waiting for luggage etc.

If airlines have to charge for food, then at least could they offer 'proper' food? Salads, sandwiches and on longer sectors a hot meal. Sales would surely be higher than the number buying those awful sugary and salty snack boxes which are sold on US flights.
 
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ClassicLover
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RE: Bring Back The Meals In North America!

Tue Jan 24, 2006 2:34 am

Quoting Orion737 (Reply 37):
If airlines have to charge for food, then at least could they offer 'proper' food? Salads, sandwiches and on longer sectors a hot meal. Sales would surely be higher than the number buying those awful sugary and salty snack boxes which are sold on US flights.

This is true... Aer Lingus offer a full Irish Breakfast - Sausages, egg, bacon, black pudding, white pudding, a roll, juice and coffee - you buy it for 7 euro. It's well worth it! On an early morning flight, if one person orders the breakfast and the smell gets around, you have people falling over themselves to get one. People may have to pay for the food, but if you make it delicious, people will fork out for it.

Plane food is a whole heap better than airport food imho.

Trent.
I do quite enjoy a spot of flying - more so when it's not in Economy!
 
nateDAL
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RE: Bring Back The Meals In North America!

Tue Jan 24, 2006 2:43 am

Quoting Jetdeltamsy (Reply 29):

Airlines can no longer serve meals because there isn't enough money in the price of the ticket to cover the meals. Continental still serves a limited menu on some domestic routes, but don't look for that to last much longer. Continental is not experiencing sustained profitability and meals will soon be a thing of the past for them as well.

Unless you have information to the contrary, CO seems to be committed to serving food in economy.
Set Love Free
 
Orion737
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RE: Bring Back The Meals In North America!

Tue Jan 24, 2006 2:50 am

Lets hope CO continue to offer meals in Y. They are setting themselves apart from all the other carriers and I am sure they attract customers who specifically choose CO for that reason.
 
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lightsaber
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RE: Bring Back The Meals In North America!

Tue Jan 24, 2006 2:51 am

If meals were that important, CO's market share would be exploding.

I do not wish to pay for an airline meal. Back when they were offered I *always* brought my own food due to the poor quality of the meals. Remember the Saturday night live skits making fun of airline meals? Yes, they were that bad. And wine? I can't recall on domestic flights the last time wine was free.

Quoting Ppostro (Thread starter):
Does anyone know what the average actual cost per meal in Y used to be on before the cut backs?

More than most passangers are willing to pay. Recall that you have to have a truck driver w/benifits bringing the food to the aircraft with the risk (read insurance costs) that he/she will bang up the aircraft. And you have to pay for the extra time the aircraft sits at the gate being cleaned after meal service.

Lightsaber
"They did not know it was impossible, so they did it!" - Mark Twain
 
ltbewr
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RE: Bring Back The Meals In North America!

Tue Jan 24, 2006 3:45 am

For some people, a free or BOB meal may be the only way for them to get something to eat over a significant part of a day. They may not have the time to get a 'meal' at the airport, or pick up something along the way. Many just play it too close to get to the airport, they get stuck in check in or security lines, they didn't have much time between connections of flights to get something, your hands are full, or they may have already skipped a meal due to as were too busy to get one.
I grant you, most of the 'airline food' in coach you do get, even on international flights isn't very healthy in it's contents or particularly tasty. I remember ads for PeopleExpress, the well known 1980's LCC that didn't serve hot meals on any of their flights (heck, you even had to pay for soda and coffee!), that mocked airline food. With today's economic climate for airlines and the hub and spoke connecting system of flights we have today, no wonder we 'lost our lunch' (or dinner or breakfast).
 
Orion737
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RE: Bring Back The Meals In North America!

Tue Jan 24, 2006 4:10 am

Good point. With todays long queues at security points, there is sometimes insufficient time to use the toilet, let alone eat queue for and eat a meal.

Also, pretty long queues in the sandwich shop now that airlines have stopped serving anything more than sugary/salty snacks. Who has time to queue up 10 minutes to buy a sandwich when they have to check in, go through security controls, queue for boarding etc etc?
 
jetdeltamsy
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RE: Bring Back The Meals In North America!

Tue Jan 24, 2006 4:11 am

Quoting NateDAL (Reply 39):
Quoting Jetdeltamsy (Reply 29):

Airlines can no longer serve meals because there isn't enough money in the price of the ticket to cover the meals. Continental still serves a limited menu on some domestic routes, but don't look for that to last much longer. Continental is not experiencing sustained profitability and meals will soon be a thing of the past for them as well.

Unless you have information to the contrary, CO seems to be committed to serving food in economy.

Purely speculation on my part. Like every other person in this forum, I have no access to confidential, internal corporate information on the subject.

It just seems to me that if you're losing money, you need to cut what you can. Should Continental eliminate food, their customers would have no place to defect to that does serve food. So I think the risk of losing customers over cutting food is minimal.
Tired of airline bankruptcies....EA/PA/TW and finally DL.
 
hiflyer
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RE: Bring Back The Meals In North America!

Tue Jan 24, 2006 4:13 am

Couple notes...

When 9/11 threw the industry into it's tailspin the average coach meal was estimated back then at about 15 bucks with F meals at 35 domestically at one airline. Since then airlines have removed galley equipment, sold off inventory, laid off catering staff and vendors...and other cost cutting moves so that to put meals back onboard some aircraft would be quite expensive. As one poster pointed out there are far more aircraft running around without even ovens onboard now.

Further...catering takes time and lengthens turn time which reduces flight time which drives costs up even more...aircraft do not make money on the ground. Aircraft which were given 60 mins in to out are now doing 30 mins or less in attempts to get maximum revenue out of the airframe during a day. (want to guess the reaction of 30 yr senior flt att's when told they have to now CLEAN? Long way from the white gloves they wore when they started!!)

However...rationalize fares and some food will return.

Having said that..the alternative is to either take onboard or buy onboard...airlines are still reworking buy onboard with more moving to nonperishable items....keep that catering truck away mentality.

Airports need to work harder on their retail vendors to offer better take onboard products than what is out there AND have them after the security checkpoints not before...self heating meals would work great as an example....and all you would need for advertising is one onboard with the aroma to start the craze.
 
AeroWesty
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RE: Bring Back The Meals In North America!

Tue Jan 24, 2006 4:35 am

Quoting Orion737 (Reply 43):
Who has time to queue up 10 minutes to buy a sandwich when they have to check in, go through security controls, queue for boarding etc etc?

On my last few transcontinental flights:

1) I checked in online and took under 10 minutes in the airport to check my luggage and pass security (time spent in line at LGA was even less than at PDX, surprisingly),

2) Scheduled a minimum of 90 minutes between connections,

3) Had a nice meal at a mid-continent airport restaurant without having to re-clear security,

4) When drinks were served I responded with "I'll have a can of ...", so I wasn't left with just a small cup of something for 3 hours,

5) Didn't punish the airline industry for any lack of time management on my part.

If people cut their schedules so tight they miss planes and meals, they have to bear some responsibility. I miss the ability to have meals onboard if I so choose, but have learned to plan around it. If sometime in the future one airline or another restarts meal service, I leave the option open to readjust how I travel.
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