vegas005
Posts: 263
Joined: Mon Mar 21, 2005 12:25 am

Airline Meal Service -- Does It Really Matter?

Sun May 13, 2007 7:56 pm

I spend about 80-100,000 miles in the air per year as a passenger and I ask myself does food on the plane really matter?

Living in Switzerland I fly Swiss and Lufthansa most of the time and the Swiss "sandwich" that is served on the majority of European flights is disgusting and inedible. I watch as numerous half eaten sandwiches are tossed into the garbage after the meal service.

Recently I flew ZRH-DFW on AA seat 12 b, close to the galley. Right before the meal service I heard this conversation from the flight attendants in the galley. #1 .. What is this? #2 I don-t know.. #1 Is it chicken or pasta or what? #2 I don't know....it looks like chicken but it doesn't smell like it ..... I AM NOT MAKING THIS UP!! When the flight attendant came by with meal service I asked for the fillet ...she looked at me and said YOU are on the wrong airline honey!

Needless to say, on my return flight I ate a big meal before the flight.

Obviously Business class is a different story. In Swiss the food is average at best, Lufthansa a bit better, and on AA they do a nice job (although I must admit I get an upset stomach after eating AA business class...some type of preservative in the food i guess?) I flew Delta a good bit in 2004 and 2005 and the Business product was pretty good.

So do I really need meal service on the plane? Not until the airlines return with some quality and identifiable menu items.

Thoughts?
 
XXXX10
Posts: 702
Joined: Mon Jan 03, 2000 7:10 am

RE: Airline Meal Service -- Does It Really Matter?

Sun May 13, 2007 8:03 pm

You may have a point, for short haul, but on a flight for example LHR-AKL or EWR-SIN you might get a bit hungry.

On short haul I normally buy a sandwich or something to eat on the plane,.
 
DIJKKIJK
Posts: 1782
Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2003 11:03 pm

RE: Airline Meal Service -- Does It Really Matter?

Sun May 13, 2007 8:07 pm

Quoting Vegas005 (Thread starter):
So do I really need meal service on the plane?

if the flight lasts only for a hour or so, then most people don't. But if it is an intercontinental flight lasting for 4-5 hours or more, then it is an absolute necessity.

Quoting Vegas005 (Thread starter):
Not until the airlines return with some quality and identifiable menu items.

Packaged food can never be fresh. No matter which airline or class you eat on it is not going to be like home cooked food or the food you get in quality restaurants.
Never argue with idiots. They will bring you down to their level, and beat you with experience.
 
CV580Freak
Posts: 886
Joined: Sat Jul 23, 2005 12:39 am

RE: Airline Meal Service -- Does It Really Matter?

Sun May 13, 2007 10:16 pm

On GF ecomomy I always sit right at the back and by the time the trolley gets to me they have ALWAYS run out of chicken, flash your FF card and in most cases they'll bring you a chicken meal from C class, real knives and forks and all  Smile
One day you are the pigeon, the next the statue ...
 
EI787
Posts: 1230
Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2006 4:06 am

RE: Airline Meal Service -- Does It Really Matter?

Sun May 13, 2007 10:18 pm

Quoting CV580Freak (Reply 3):
On GF ecomomy I always sit right at the back and by the time the trolley gets to me they have ALWAYS run out of chicken, flash your FF card and in most cases they'll bring you a chicken meal from C class, real knives and forks and all

Wow! A very neat tip!! Must remember that one!! Big grin
 
User avatar
Dalavia
Posts: 406
Joined: Mon Feb 14, 2005 3:08 pm

RE: Airline Meal Service -- Does It Really Matter?

Sun May 13, 2007 10:52 pm

Well, the food does matter to me.

Let me give two contrasting examples. A few months ago, I spent the day flying from San José (Costa Rica) to Albuquerque. This involved three flights, two with TACA and one with United. The first flight departed at 6 am, so there was no chance to eat before leaving the hotel, and no-where to eat at the airport. On no flight was food served complimentary (no, not even coffee and pretzels), and only on the last leg was it available for sale. So, very hungry after a long day's flying, I bought one of United's boxes, only to find it was full of over-processed, dry, salty junk food.

By contrast, I flew from Doha to Dubai on an Emirates 777. On the 40 minute flight (which also left early morning, meaning that most people could not eat before the flight), everyone received a very welcome hot meal, and as the plane was landing, the common conversation was "THAT was service!".

Guess which I would choose to fly again if I had the choice? Which, unfortunately, I don't if I am flying in North America.
 
pilotdude09
Posts: 1335
Joined: Mon May 02, 2005 12:35 am

RE: Airline Meal Service -- Does It Really Matter?

Sun May 13, 2007 10:56 pm

Quoting CV580Freak (Reply 3):
On GF ecomomy I always sit right at the back and by the time the trolley gets to me they have ALWAYS run out of chicken, flash your FF card and in most cases they'll bring you a chicken meal from C class, real knives and forks and all

LOL, what a classic  Smile

How do you 'flash' your card lol?
Qantas, Still calling Australia Home.........
 
zrs70
Posts: 3300
Joined: Sun Dec 10, 2000 4:08 am

RE: Airline Meal Service -- Does It Really Matter?

Sun May 13, 2007 10:56 pm

Meal service doesn't matter if the food is bad. But if it is good, then it does matter.

Here's what often happens....

1) The airline needs to save money, so its spends less on food.
2) The passenger doesn't like the new food offering, so the meal service is half eaten
3) The airline sees that the meals aren't being eaten, so they say, "Since people don't WANT food, let's eliminate it."
4) They begin a "buy on board" product.
17 year airliners.net vet! 2000-2016
 
ltbewr
Posts: 12360
Joined: Thu Jan 29, 2004 1:24 pm

RE: Airline Meal Service -- Does It Really Matter?

Sun May 13, 2007 11:02 pm

Over the last decade, with the growth of LCC's, brutal competition on pricing and the various issues after 9/11, food service has mostly gone in North America. While one should not expect a meal or full snack on flights of lets say up to 1.5 hours, there are too many people that have a take a series of short flights, very early flights, are at airports with limited food service, limited as to what one can carry on due to security, limited due to time from delays at security or check in and so on suggests that it does matter that some meal service even for the cheap seats on more flights is needed.
 
mats
Posts: 543
Joined: Sat Jul 05, 2003 11:20 pm

RE: Airline Meal Service -- Does It Really Matter?

Sun May 13, 2007 11:10 pm

It matters to me, but I think I'm in the minority. I usually fly Continental Airlines, because they are the only major US carrier offering free meal service in economy class for domestic flights. With multiple segments, short connections, early morning flights, and forbidden liquids, it's particularly difficult to pack one's own meals. I do not consider shelf stable boxes of beef jerky to be a meal.

Airlines have studied this for years. Most passengers eem to argue that meal service is a subject of many complaints, but the fare is more important than any other factor. I'm among the minority of passengers, who would rather pay $50-$75 extra in excahnge for a more comfortable seat, food, etc.

In premium cabins, it's even more important. A first class transcon flight on Delta includes a coach-style meal, served with plastic cutlery and a paper napkin. A flight of comparable distance on Continental includes multiple courses, linens, and so on. After paying a significant premium (in miles, loyalty, or dollars) I think that passengers should expect a more elaborate, higher quality service.

But I don't see it improving. The airlines are still managing to fill their planes, their finances are improving, and their meal service has deteriorated even further. I sadly await the day that even Continental will abandon its meals.
 
scalebuilder
Posts: 605
Joined: Thu Nov 24, 2005 10:32 pm

RE: Airline Meal Service -- Does It Really Matter?

Sun May 13, 2007 11:17 pm

Quoting Zrs70 (Reply 7):
Meal service doesn't matter if the food is bad.

It does indeed matter if the food is bad. To receive bad food is the same as receiving bad service. Even if the service from the staff would be great, would you think the same of them or your in-flight experience if they served you bad food? In my mind it must be one ungrateful experience for the flight crew, and who love their job, to have to pass out meals that they would not even dare to taste themselves.

If they can't serve you something decent, then let go of the effort or keep it real simple.
Go the extra mile......and avoid the traffic!!!
 
srbmod
Posts: 15446
Joined: Tue Mar 20, 2001 1:32 pm

RE: Airline Meal Service -- Does It Really Matter?

Sun May 13, 2007 11:52 pm

Quoting Vegas005 (Thread starter):
So do I really need meal service on the plane? Not until the airlines return with some quality and identifiable menu items.

For me, any flight over about 3 hours means I'm sitting in business/first class (I fly maybe once or twice a year and it's always a transcon flight. But even when I was in the industry, [this was pre-9/11 BTW] I tried to non-rev in the front cabin on anything more than 2 hours [This was when I was working for EV and got to fly on DL. When I worked for FL prior to going to EV getting to sit upfront was rare.] mainly because there was hot meal service as opposed to the Sky Deli bags DL had for the coach passengers [The only exceptions to that was on transcons when even the coach cabin got a hot meal.) And since I live in Atlanta, my usual non-stop choices to the West Coast are Delta and AirTran. They may have the same exact fare, but I'd choose DL over FL mainly because DL actually feeds their front cabin passengers on transcons as opposed to throwing them a couple extra bags of snacks. In the past when I was more budget conscious in regards to traveling that didn't matter.

One thing about the lunch and dinner meals on DL transcons is it's always some kind of (semi rubbery and hard to cut with the plastic knife they give you) chicken dish with some sort of sauce, a starch (potatoes, rice, pasta), a hard as a brick piece of bread, a vegetable, a salad and some sort of dessert.

To me, I think that airlines ought to give passengers options in meal service (especially on domestic service that offers meals in certain cabins). Let them customize their inflight meal say at the time of booking or perhaps if they do their on-line check in no later than several hours prior to the flight (If you don't book within that window or are an upgrade, you get the planned meal service. It's already done to an extent with special meals (Kosher, vegetarian, etc.) so why not give all passengers in first/business class that option? Perhaps some passengers on a transcon with lunch service up front doesn't want a heavy meal and perhaps would like some lighter fare like a salad or a sandwich? Those frequent travelers would probably like to have something other than chicken from time to time.
 
kaneporta1
Posts: 710
Joined: Wed Jun 01, 2005 12:22 am

RE: Airline Meal Service -- Does It Really Matter?

Mon May 14, 2007 1:32 am

Meal service does matter, but it depends on the departure time, flight duration and airline. My two most frequent (return) trips during the year are LHR-ATH and FZO-TLS. On the ATH run, I mostly fly BA and sometimes OA and the fact that they offer a hot meal (and movie most times) is important, as the flight can last up to 4 hours and it's also something to break the monotony of the flight. I have never flown an airline on that route that don't serve a hot meal.
On the FZO-TLS run, it matters because the flight departs really early in the morning, and a hot breakfast is great to keep you going until lunch. On the return (afternoon) flight it doesn't matter though, as it's between lunch and dinner.
As for long haul flights, it's essential to be able to get a meal on board because with all the cabin baggage allowance restrictions and liquid restrictions, it's almost impossible to get more than half a sandwich on board.
I'd rather die peacefully in my sleep, like my grandfather, not terrified and screaming, like his passengers
 
nwa757boy
Posts: 423
Joined: Wed Aug 31, 2005 6:10 am

RE: Airline Meal Service -- Does It Really Matter?

Mon May 14, 2007 1:43 am

When I was a revenue pax, I used to book all my flights around meal times on NW and CO ( I flew in first class). I don't know I just like getting a meal when I fly, even it's not the best. I usually liked breakfast the most on NW. The cheese omelettes mmm tasty. And the lunch meal cookie was tasty Smile But alas now I work in the industry and it's all different now.
 
airplanenut
Posts: 592
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2001 8:46 am

RE: Airline Meal Service -- Does It Really Matter?

Mon May 14, 2007 8:17 am

Last August I flew CO from EWR-TLV-EWR and was quite content with the two meals on each flight. For those who dislike the food you get on a flight, try ordering one of the special meals... I can't tell you if they're better, but the kosher meals on CO weren't bad at all. As a bonus, you get served before everyone else (which, on a flight to Tel Aviv, isn't much of a bonus since half the flight gets served first  Wink )
Why yes, in fact, I am a rocket scientist...
 
tranceport
Posts: 240
Joined: Fri Jul 11, 2003 5:56 am

RE: Airline Meal Service -- Does It Really Matter?

Mon May 14, 2007 8:42 am

Free meal service in domestic economy class is unecessary and should be axed. Much healthier, tastier and more nutritious food can be purchased at many airports or easily packed in an insulated bag at home if not available in transit. Alternatively, a varied selection of quality food could be sold on board for prices competitive with restaurants.

Very few domestic flights in the world are longer than five hours. It is quite reasonable that the majority of the population goes five hours or less without eating during their daily routine. Those that are required to eat more often for health or medical reasons already are wise enough to carry their own food supply. The so-called golden age of air travel is over, and the expectation to be served on every flight is unrealistic.

Quality food service should be offered in business and first class as an added luxury for passengers who are in many cases paying several times the fare of economy class passengers. They are the money makers for the airlines and deserve added luxury and value for their contributions.

I'm almost exclusively an economy class passenger, but several years ago I became tired of bland food, the passenger in front of me reclining his/her seat so I had to hunch over with arms crunched to the side trying to fork food into my mouth, and the long wait before all the food garbage is cleared. I began to plan ahead, pack food of my choice or purchase it at the airport. I now enjoy eating when I'm actually hungry from a selection I like to eat.

[Edited 2007-05-14 01:45:17]
 
ThirtyEcho
Posts: 1409
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2002 1:21 am

RE: Airline Meal Service -- Does It Really Matter?

Mon May 14, 2007 9:32 am

I flew in a transatlantic Connie in the long ago; the meal service was superb, the service was on plastic to save weight and the F/As very attentive. As long as the meals held out, you could ask for seconds of anything they had left. After the meal, you could just drop by the galley and get another piece of cake, if you wanted it.

The "slop the hogs" routine that goes on today is disgusting in comparison.
 
moek2000
Posts: 84
Joined: Tue Jun 06, 2006 11:37 am

RE: Airline Meal Service -- Does It Really Matter?

Mon May 14, 2007 10:49 am

I usually fly economy and i noticed a lot of the Middle Eastern and Asian carriers tend to serve the best food. EK, GF, SV, TG, SQ all tend to have awesome food! Out of all the U.S. carriers, I found CO to have the best meal service and food. Overall, if i had an award, it would go to EK.
 
ThereandBack
Posts: 623
Joined: Thu Aug 25, 2005 11:26 am

RE: Airline Meal Service -- Does It Really Matter?

Mon May 14, 2007 11:02 am

B6 on a 2 hour 45 minute flight you get:


TK on a 50 minute flight you get the choice between this salad or a sandwich and cake.


Meal service just shows how much effort an airline puts into service if the food is good and the crew was professional during meal service. It doesn't really matter but it's a nice thing to get.
 
CanadianNorth
Posts: 3133
Joined: Sat Aug 24, 2002 11:41 am

RE: Airline Meal Service -- Does It Really Matter?

Mon May 14, 2007 11:04 am

1) First and Business Class
Long Haul - If you are going to pay good money to fly that airline, I think you should get fed something half decent.
Short Haul - Doesn't have to be anything overly exciting, but you should get something to grase on for a while.

2) Economy
Long Haul - Yeah, thats a long time to sit there. A decent meal really goes a long way.
Short Haul - Air North has it just right - a muffin for the morning pax and a sandwhich for the afternoon pax. Nothing hot or fancy or anything, but still enough to keep everyone happy.


CanadianNorth
What could possibly go wrong?
 
platinumfoota
Posts: 210
Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2006 10:39 am

RE: Airline Meal Service -- Does It Really Matter?

Mon May 14, 2007 11:10 am

I recently flew UA from KOA-LAX and decided to purchase food on the flight. I had a sesame chicken salad that was just great, never have i tasted such a great healthy meal full of flavor on a flight before. Also i have flown MX from LAX-CUL a 2.5 hour flight and they offerd me a free meal, free beer and free tequila! Food service does matter because it is part of the in-flight service the airline offers, but i cant blame U.S carriers for not offering great food on such a tight budget.
Never forget United 93
 
sparklehorse12
Posts: 512
Joined: Fri Feb 02, 2007 12:19 pm

RE: Airline Meal Service -- Does It Really Matter?

Mon May 14, 2007 11:38 am

Even the food you can buy is fairly ordinary in my opinion. The best meals I have had are on SQ and surprisingly FJ. I am vegetarian Avo Lacto and SQ cater for this very well and again FJ.....puzzling huh?
Airlines Flown : QF,NW,AA, CX, AC, MH, SQ, DJ, NZ, TG, PG,US, FJ, J8, AN, DD, JQ
 
B707Stu
Posts: 893
Joined: Sat Feb 05, 2005 4:15 pm

RE: Airline Meal Service -- Does It Really Matter?

Mon May 14, 2007 11:48 am

It matters to me on long hauls and the last two, having ended 1 hour ago left me never wanting to fly AA over the water again. All this 'flagship' service marketing for everything in plastic, awful meals and poor service. Yes, it matters
 
Ps76
Posts: 1015
Joined: Tue Jun 01, 2004 7:52 pm

RE: Airline Meal Service -- Does It Really Matter?

Mon May 14, 2007 11:49 am

Hi

I really like meals on both long and short flights, especially if the food is good (though doesn't have to be excellent). For me it also really helps break the time up (drink, meal, coffee, snack) in long flights more than anything, and also helps me having a fear of flying just because I have something else to focus my mind on.

I also think it's good for FA's because they get to give us stuff and we generally like it. I only really care about flying safe but I think a good meal is good for the experience too (for me).

Pierre

[Edited 2007-05-14 04:51:01]
 
MEACEDAR
Posts: 682
Joined: Wed Oct 11, 2006 1:57 am

RE: Airline Meal Service -- Does It Really Matter?

Mon May 14, 2007 11:55 am

I usually fly UA, occasionaly DL, but on most of the UA flights I have been one, the sale food on the plane. I usually pay the food packs for like $5. It's not bad, not the best though. But hey, its $5.

I belive the best food is offered on ME and KL. ME serves really good food in the past of years I have flown with them, however they have been going down these last couple of years. KL they same.
 
Rivet42
Posts: 603
Joined: Mon Aug 08, 2005 11:26 am

RE: Airline Meal Service -- Does It Really Matter?

Mon May 14, 2007 12:10 pm

I'm always happy to get a meal on board, but I only really expect it as part of the service on longhaul flights. It's a great way to pass the time, and also means that of all the things to worry about before departure and after arrival, food needn't be one of them. Plus I quite like arriving full(ish) and a little bit drunk....  drunk 

But, what really annoys me, is the careless way in which some airline crews serve the main meal on a long flight. There's plenty of time to serve things properly, in a timely manner, but so many times you receive the main tray, and then have to wait half an hour for the bar trolley to catch up, or they start offering you cofee while you're still on the starter. Doh. What's the hurry? The best airlines (we're talking Y here, so it's all relative) do the bar first, like BA, who usually offer an aperatif with snacks before the meal, but at the same time offer wine for the meal too. That's quite smart, I wish other airlines would take note!

In the old days when you got a proper meal on inter-European flights, I would plan my trips around meal times, just to get the free food, but those days are long gone. Even in C now, you don't often get hot food in Europe. Such a pity.  sigh 
I travel, therefore I am.
 
1011
Posts: 270
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2001 11:30 am

RE: Airline Meal Service -- Does It Really Matter?

Mon May 14, 2007 12:12 pm

I am Premier Exec on UA. When you are traveling a lot of times you don't have time to stop and get anything. Most airports don't have Subways to take something on board. Many times I have tight connections so I can't get anything when I change planes. Many times I go all day without anything. So having a meal on board or being able to buy one is a big deal to me and it also helps pass the time. I was one of the few who actually enjoys airplane food.

I usually won't pay $5 for a snack box. That is all something I can carry on pretty easy. But a nice sandwich or hot meal I am more likely to buy
 
jamesjimlb
Posts: 940
Joined: Sat Jan 14, 2006 11:48 am

RE: Airline Meal Service -- Does It Really Matter?

Mon May 14, 2007 12:18 pm

i usually fly economy and on most flights the food is not bad at all, song had great food. to bad they're not around anymore. CO usually serves a mini sub or burger and thats usually good.
The sky is no longer the limit, but the mere minimum
 
SQA350
Posts: 67
Joined: Sat Apr 14, 2007 12:15 pm

RE: Airline Meal Service -- Does It Really Matter?

Mon May 14, 2007 12:21 pm

To me food matters as well, because I am a food lover, even on very short flights. Therefore I would never fly a low cost airline, but it is quite worrying to see that many premium airlines, even here in Asia, are cutting down on food.

On the other side I think everybody has to understand that food served on a plane can't be perfect, because it is needs to be reheated. Even in business or first, food is never perfect, actually in relation to what you pay, it is often even better in economy. I think the more complex the food is (such as in F or C), the more difficult it is to get it right. In my opinion simpler food is normally of much better quality. Often I go for the Indian Vegetarian option, which normally consists of a simple vegetable curry, rice, some naan bread and yoghurt and normally there is no difference in quality compared to an Indian meal in a restaurant on planet earth...

Also in regards to breakfast food I never go for the Western option, because you can be sure the egg is dry. Asian fried rice or noodles are always of better quality.

I have worked myself in the airline catering industry before and the airlines normally want the fanciest products for the least of money. I think they should rather go for simpler things that are more suitable to be reheated and they could even save some cost.
"No more window seats in business class, sir!" "Any in economy? Yes? Then downgrade me!"
 
captaink
Posts: 3987
Joined: Wed May 23, 2001 10:43 am

RE: Airline Meal Service -- Does It Really Matter?

Mon May 14, 2007 12:24 pm

Well usually I don't care but sometimes it is really inconvenient to buy food in the airport. I have had a series of 3 hour flights which were late which mean running to get connections and no time to buy food. I arrived at my destination quite ill for having not eaten all day. I say airlines can serve more sandwiches, if they don't want to have galleys equipped with ovens. A sandwich is a lot better than pretzels..
There is something special about planes....
 
PlanenutzTB
Posts: 220
Joined: Fri Sep 23, 2005 11:29 am

RE: Airline Meal Service -- Does It Really Matter?

Mon May 14, 2007 12:38 pm

Quoting Mats (Reply 9):
It matters to me, but I think I'm in the minority. I usually fly Continental Airlines, because they are the only major US carrier offering free meal service in economy class for domestic flights.

I'm with you, I always try to fly CO because of the meal service. It's a value added service I appreciate. As a FF many times I don't have time to stop and purchase a meal to bring on the plane. I like an airline that takes care of my needs, once I'm aboard.
I am extraordinarily patient, provided I get my own way in the end.
 
TSS
Posts: 2479
Joined: Fri Dec 29, 2006 3:52 pm

RE: Airline Meal Service -- Does It Really Matter?

Mon May 14, 2007 12:41 pm

To me meal service doesn't matter, but then I fly domestic from one smallish airport to another with an inevitable stop at a major hub (DFW, IAH, or PHX) in between. I can get better food at any of these hubs than what is offered by the various airlines in Y, so it's a complete non-issue to me.

However, if I were flying to an overseas destination and was facing 8-10 uninterrupted hours on an airplane, I would very much like to be fed. I don't require anything fancy, but something filling would be appreciated.
Able to kill active threads stone dead with a single post!
 
LH455
Posts: 82
Joined: Wed Oct 27, 2004 9:36 am

RE: Airline Meal Service -- Does It Really Matter?

Mon May 14, 2007 12:45 pm

Quoting Mats (Reply 9):
I usually fly Continental Airlines, because they are the only major US carrier offering free meal service in economy class for domestic flights.

Is this always true about CO? I also prefer to fly them out of the NYC area. However, I flew them to TUS on an early morning nonstop in January and the "free meal service" that was served was a small box of Cheerios in a cardboard box. That's a snack, one preferred by teething babies. They did serve complimentary coffee but it was still airline coffee in the Lilliputian cups.

Maybe they serve more substantial fare to Hawaii or Cali? I think their service is great, but meals on domestic flights just aren't necessary. The 4-6 hours it takes to fly across the U.S. is not so long that it requires feeding people.

[Edited 2007-05-14 05:46:49]
 
VictorKilo
Posts: 170
Joined: Wed Jul 05, 2006 7:39 am

RE: Airline Meal Service -- Does It Really Matter?

Mon May 14, 2007 12:56 pm

The lack of meal service on USA domestic airlines sometimes plays a role in which flights I select. I don't expect to get a hot meal on an hour or two DTW-ORD or DTW-LGA flight, for example. But when I was scheduling my recent ABQ-DEN-DTW flight on F9, one of the options that I had was a flight departing DEN at 10:30, arriving at DTW at 3:30, with a tight connection that would not have allowed me to purchase food at DEN. Had F9 offered a real BOB lunch option (not a $5 can of tuna snackbox), or even better a complimentary lunch, I would have booked that earlier flight. Instead, I booked a flight with a longer connecting time in DEN that allowed me to eat lunch at DEN, but got me to my destination two and a half hours later. I find F9's service to be excellent, and I'm generally OK with scheduling my F9 flights to deal with no BOB lunch options, but a flight at the same price with food options that allow me to arrive at my destination sooner without being cranky because I haven't had lunch would have been something I would have booked over the F9 flight I selected.
 
captaink
Posts: 3987
Joined: Wed May 23, 2001 10:43 am

RE: Airline Meal Service -- Does It Really Matter?

Mon May 14, 2007 1:06 pm

Quoting LH455 (Reply 32):
The 4-6 hours it takes to fly across the U.S. is not so long that it requires feeding people.

I beg to differ. That is a long time to go without food.. I guess for people like me, cause i eat something every couple hours normally. On an airplane after having to check in, something not getting the chance to buy food, 4-6 hours of flight plus 2 hours from driving to the airport, checking in etc, adds to about 8 hours without something eat. For me that is alot.
There is something special about planes....
 
Ken777
Posts: 9020
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 5:39 am

RE: Airline Meal Service -- Does It Really Matter?

Mon May 14, 2007 1:23 pm

I took a flight from HNL to SYD in the early 70s on a Pan Am 707 and the food in Y was better than anything I've seen in the front during the 90s and beyond. A great steak for supper and they actually scrambled the eggs for breakfast!

In recent years I have put food bars in my brief case when flying on a domestic airline. QF has been able to feed a hot meal to Y pax on a 1 hour flight, but AA can't manage that in First on a flight twice that long.

When I was flying overseas on business trips I switched to RTW tickets and started playing the game of how many meals I could get in a day on a plane. I would generally get 2 or 3 days where all of my meals were during flights. Not the best food, but it avoided eating by myself in a hotel room or restaurant.

I've often thought, transiting through DFW that it would be interesting to buy a stack of pizzas and "sell" all but one for the price I paid as soon as the seat belt light went off. Actually, I could have probably held an auction!  Smile
 
sstsomeday
Posts: 821
Joined: Thu Oct 26, 2006 2:32 pm

RE: Airline Meal Service -- Does It Really Matter?

Mon May 14, 2007 1:27 pm

Quoting Vegas005 (Thread starter):
So do I really need meal service on the plane? Not until the airlines return with some quality and identifiable menu items.

I think you answered your own question.

Most people during the course of their day would eat something within, say, a 5 hour period, so why not on a plane? And why shouldn't we expect it to be edible? It aggravates me that the unacceptable becomes the acceptable only by virtue of it being "the norm." We have to keep saying, "this is not OK..."

It also aggravates me (and proves my point) to see flight attendants in coach go up to Business or First, get some meals, bring them back covered in a napkin or hidden in a garbage bag, and eat back in the coach galley which they just used to serve complimentary soft drinks to coach passengers.

They are eating food because they are human and they are hungry. I don't blame them. But what does that make us coach passengers? Less than human? Apparently.
I come in peace
 
Jetset25j
Posts: 151
Joined: Sat Feb 25, 2006 8:00 pm

RE: Airline Meal Service -- Does It Really Matter?

Mon May 14, 2007 3:29 pm

Short haul coach- No. Do you really need table service and hot towels on a 45-60 minute commute home in your car? No, so flying is no different. Eat on the ground or control your apitite for a time period shorter than your drive home or evening news show on TV. I would rather pay a lower fare than have a meal/ snack I really don't need but am just eating 'because it's there' or romanticizes flying which back in the day was understandable, these days its just a necesity like comuting to and from work. If you really need to eat en-route buy it on board and tell yourself you've been naughty snacking between meals!

Medium haul- A basic snack will suffice, if you can't bare 3-4 hours without a full on meal and dessert with a cherry on top then you are a pig. It is why airports have food courts aswell! Buy on board is fine for this purpose as those that are hungry will buy somthing, those that are not won't and won't have to pay for it nonetheless. 3-4 hours is about the same as time spent sitting on the couch or in a cinema watching a movie or two, just because your 30,000 ft up does not make three hours any more "special". Hell, at work you probably work 3-4 hours solid without a meal or significant snack every day! Its a nice touch but it is not necesary. However, a "free meal" on airline A vs nada on Airline B makes a good marketing point...some people think they are getting a free lunch.
Quality for meals/ snacks should be the same for if you had purchased them from an outlet on the ground and should'nt skimp on quality just because your 30,000 ft up and are meant to have no other option.

Long haul- Yes. 8 hours+ no matter how much you eat before you will need to eat again before the end of it, and quality of a meal should be at a quality that you would expect anywhere else you paid for it. It also adds a bit of interest ten hours later when the clouds out the window and IFE is all beggining to look the same! Quality need to be high as odds are this is someones dinner rather than pre-dinner snack etc and it's better to satisfy those with higher personal standards than those with lower...as its them that are more likely to bitch about somthing being poor! - At 39,000 feet with no way off and 10 hours till landfall the airline is your entertainer, driver, chef, and waiter so must act like it.

Premium class, yes- relevant to flying time and time of day (i.e. Breakfast time or dinner time...a red eye flight is not like most travellers have had time after crawling out of bed to sit down for a leisurely breakfast...). Often business travellers have minimal time to spend snacking/ dining on the ground and may wish to maximize their time and eat on the run so they can arrive refreshed for a meeting etc. Also, with higher fares comes higher expectations.
Air New Zealand-Airline of the world's greatest travellers.
 
nwa757boy
Posts: 423
Joined: Wed Aug 31, 2005 6:10 am

RE: Airline Meal Service -- Does It Really Matter?

Mon May 14, 2007 3:38 pm

Quoting SSTsomeday (Reply 36):
It also aggravates me (and proves my point) to see flight attendants in coach go up to Business or First, get some meals, bring them back covered in a napkin or hidden in a garbage bag, and eat back in the coach galley which they just used to serve complimentary soft drinks to coach passengers.

They are eating food because they are human and they are hungry. I don't blame them. But what does that make us coach passengers? Less than human? Apparently.

Well unlike passengers, FAs might not get the chance to eat before or after the flight because they have another flight they have to work. Therefore they could be going longer than you without eating.
 
trent1000
Posts: 592
Joined: Tue Jan 30, 2007 3:55 pm

RE: Airline Meal Service -- Does It Really Matter?

Mon May 14, 2007 3:38 pm

Is it true generally that an airline offers a meal with the theme of the destination on the flight out and then returning to the home country offers something themed for the home country? Asian versus western style food for example.

Yes, meal service is necessary. But if the service is cut, is the airline going to discount my ticket?
 
semsem
Posts: 1621
Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2005 1:06 am

RE: Airline Meal Service -- Does It Really Matter?

Mon May 14, 2007 3:50 pm

A decent edible meal is important to me on a long haul flight. Fortunately a few airlines still serve good edible meals in economy. For example Air France, Iberia and Aer Lingus served excellent meals. Swiss serves edible but bad meals and Continental serve unedible, bad meals on transatlantic flights but quite nice snacks on domestic flights.

As to the Swiss sandwiches on short flights I like them. And the muffins in the morning are also good.

[Edited 2007-05-14 08:53:32]
 
vegas005
Posts: 263
Joined: Mon Mar 21, 2005 12:25 am

RE: Airline Meal Service -- Does It Really Matter?

Mon May 14, 2007 4:07 pm

Quoting Semsem (Reply 40):
As to the Swiss sandwiches on short flights I like them. And the muffins in the morning are also good.

I agree on the muffins in the morning on Swiss...really yummy. But those afternoon and evening sandwiches...you gotta be kidding me....they are gross! Air Berlin has a decent sandwich btw...
 
777law
Posts: 126
Joined: Fri Jul 28, 2006 9:16 am

RE: Airline Meal Service -- Does It Really Matter?

Mon May 14, 2007 5:58 pm

I fly ICN - JFK / ORD / SEA / ATL quite often and meal service is very important to me. I think it's a given that you need at least 2 meals and a snack on a 12+ hour flight. One of my (many) complaints about KE is that they do not provide enough food service, even in BIZ.

On KE ORD - ICN in BIZ for example, you get a full lunch shortly after take off and a small breakfast about 2 hours before landing. For a 13.5 hour flight that is basically nine hours between meals. There are nuts, pretzels and bananas in galley throughout the flight, but nine hours is still a long time to go between meals, especially on a flight with a finite number of distractions.

I think you actually get hungry more often on a long flight because of the monotony of it. Eating is something to do and meals break up the flight nicely. A meal can easily kill and hour to hour and half on any flight. Also it's nice to have something to munch on when you're doing work or watching three movies or reading.

The best trans-Pacific flight I've flown on was NH 001 / 002 IAD - NRT. I think there were two full meals, but there was a nice spread of snacks in the galley throughout the flight -- noodles, sandwiches, fruit, cookies, chips, etc. In my mind that's how it should be done on a long-haul flight. All long hauls should let the passengers get up and help themselves to snacks between meals -- it gives passengers something to do and it keeps us happy for long periods.
If its not a Boeing I ain't going
 
ACDC8
Posts: 7172
Joined: Thu Mar 10, 2005 6:56 pm

RE: Airline Meal Service -- Does It Really Matter?

Mon May 14, 2007 6:32 pm

I've never had any issues with the quality of meals served in coach. Personally, I feel it's an important part of a long haul flight and it's something I look forward to and don't think I could do with out, even if I eat a big meal before I leave.
A Grumpy German Is A Sauerkraut
 
peh
Posts: 217
Joined: Tue Nov 07, 2006 5:29 pm

RE: Airline Meal Service -- Does It Really Matter?

Mon May 14, 2007 6:41 pm

Some of you might already be familar with this website, profiing different airline meals.

http://www.airlinemeals.net/

At first, I thought it was a bit weird but I ended up spending two hours reviewing the offerings. Emirate's first class meals look great.

[Edited 2007-05-14 11:46:17]
Flown: ATR72, DASH 8, 737, 747, 767, 777, A300, A320, A321, A330, A340, MD80
 
User avatar
OA260
Posts: 20981
Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2006 8:50 pm

RE: Airline Meal Service -- Does It Really Matter?

Mon May 14, 2007 7:51 pm

Swiss in J class on a 1 hour 45 min flight you get ::



And also ::



Swiss have best J class in Europe. Dont know about Y havnt flown in Y on LX
 
EDICHC
Posts: 1545
Joined: Sun Nov 05, 2006 9:38 pm

RE: Airline Meal Service -- Does It Really Matter?

Mon May 14, 2007 8:09 pm

Quoting XXXX10 (Reply 1):
You may have a point, for short haul, but on a flight for example LHR-AKL or EWR-SIN you might get a bit hungry.

Well I did EDI-LHR-SIN-CHC last August and I well appreciated the standard of in-flight catering provided by SQ!
A300/319/320/346 ATR72 B722/732/3/4/5/6/8/742/4/752/762/3/772/3 BAC111 BAe146 C172 DHC1/6/8 HS121 MD80 PA28
 
JoeCanuck
Posts: 3938
Joined: Mon Dec 19, 2005 3:30 am

RE: Airline Meal Service -- Does It Really Matter?

Mon May 14, 2007 8:33 pm

I think a decent meal or snack is worth the effort, even on flights of an hour or so...or less. I've had decent meals on the 50 minute flight from BKK-HKT. It was a pretty good little snack...a nice touch, I thought.

I've also had some pretty decent meals on longer flights. OS flights from DXB-VIE serve a very good meal and a decent snack on the 6 hour flight...I usually had the salmon and you have all the fresh bread you can eat. Nice.

SIA also offers some good meals topped off with fabulous service.

Even Ukrainian International Airlines has a decent sandwitch and all the grog you can slam down your throat on the 2 hour flight from VIE-ODS.

In my mind, (maybe it's a conspiracy theory), I believe that cutting back on the meals has less to do with cost than it has to do with getting the customer used to accepting less. Crappy or no meals was the first step on the downward spiral of customer service. The inflight meal used to be a selling point.

I find it very difficult to believe that the $5 it costs to make one of those meals, (if you're paying more, you really are getting ripped off), is what brought down so many airlines.

(I used 'decent' about a dozen or so times...which is about the best one can expect from goat class...)

[Edited 2007-05-14 13:43:49]
What the...?
 
ag92
Posts: 1045
Joined: Wed Jul 26, 2006 5:23 pm

RE: Airline Meal Service -- Does It Really Matter?

Mon May 14, 2007 9:16 pm

In India AFAIK you get a meal regardless of how short the flight is, though our meals are proper for free

Here in Singapore you get snacks for the flight from SIN - KUL everything else is a full meal for economy

Regards
Ag92
 
Rivet42
Posts: 603
Joined: Mon Aug 08, 2005 11:26 am

RE: Airline Meal Service -- Does It Really Matter?

Mon May 14, 2007 9:48 pm

... there's nothing like the smelll of that English breakfast being heated up at the back of the plane to welcome me back to London at the end of a long overnight BA flight. Yum!

I really miss those full hot breakfasts on UK domestic shuttle services - what a way to start the day.

I judge airlines by their food in Y - it's what makes me pick one over another, but then living in London, I am spolt for choice in just about every direction.

It's also useful to note which airlines offer free meals at their hubs for connecting passengers - for example, at DXB, Y passengers on EK with a connection of more than 4(?) hours are invited to use a dedicated dining room; at SEL, KE used to do the same thing, except that it was a lunch-box (I'm not sure if they still do it). How many other airlines do this? It doesn't seem to be very well advertised (for good reason, I suppose).

Further, on a JL flight from SYD to LHR a few years ago, the connection at NRT included a FREE overnight stay in the JL hotel, which was 3* style with full hot buffet breakfast. How common is that?
I travel, therefore I am.

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: 57echo, ACA033, aflyingkiwi, AS512, Baidu [Spider], coolian2, flydia, Google [Bot], Google Adsense [Bot], LAX772LR, pdx, PlanesNTrains, robsaw, shamrock350, tcaeyx, UA444, UAEflyer, Unflug and 227 guests