caleb1
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Just How Expensive Is That Bag Of Peanuts?

Thu Apr 26, 2012 8:19 pm

Having flown United for quite some time, I have to admit that I miss the way they used to give a small bag of peanuts or other snacks to passengers along with a beverage. Just wondering, how expensive is it for United and other carriers to provide these small snacks to passengers? Is it really that cost-prohibitive? I know that Delta, Alaska, and possibly Frontier still offer free snacks to passengers and I don't think this practice has had much of an adverse effect on their bottom line, if any. So, why not give us passengers a little something to show that we are still appreciated. It can't cost that much, or can it?
 
mrskyguy
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RE: Just How Expensive Is That Bag Of Peanuts?

Thu Apr 26, 2012 8:43 pm

It's a simply value added vs. weight/cost saved approach that many airlines have been following for over a decade now. One of the more famous early approaches to this was AAL's removing 1 of 3 olives from first class salads to save some thousands of dollars (figure eludes me now).
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UALFAson
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RE: Just How Expensive Is That Bag Of Peanuts?

Thu Apr 26, 2012 9:16 pm

I completely agree with you. I think it's insanely tacky that an airline the size, scope, and prestige of United can't be bothered to give a complimentary bag of pretzels or snack mix or something, especially on a 2-3 hour flight.

Before she retired, my mom got complaints on almost every flight about the lack of a snack with the beverage service.

I would argue that this is something that's not about what it costs, but what it costs in loyalty and customer satisfaction NOT to do it. Unfortuantely, no one buys plane tickets solely on the basis of whether or not they get a handful of free trail mix, so the bean-counters who run airlines these days have taken out their scissors and knives and cut this amenity.

(In their defense, it's not so much about what one bag of nuts costs, but what 150,000 bags of nuts each day cost and what tens of millions of bags a year cost.)
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max550
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RE: Just How Expensive Is That Bag Of Peanuts?

Thu Apr 26, 2012 9:27 pm

Here's a recent article about airline food.
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/11/bu...n-flight-meals.html?pagewanted=all
Toward the end they mention that DL saved $210,000 a year by removing a single strawberry from salads in first class.

Unfortunately when you're barely making money you need to cut every cost you can, keeping in mind that you don't want to lose passengers. Since there are probably very few passengers who wouldn't fly a certain carrier because they don't offer peanuts it's an easy expenditure to cut.
 
Rdh3e
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RE: Just How Expensive Is That Bag Of Peanuts?

Thu Apr 26, 2012 9:30 pm

Quoting caleb1 (Thread starter):
Is it really that cost-prohibitive?

So some back of the envelope calculations that are probably WAY off but should ballpark it for you.

From some old stuff I had lying around carrying 20lbs on an average flight will cost anywhere between .50c and 1.25 depending on stage. So thats your fuel penalty for carrying your peanuts. Which is basically nothing really. If you're giving every passenger a 1 oz bag of peanuts its only about 10 lbs for 140-160 people so less than a buck.

Then take probably .25c per bag incl catering, (and thats a total guess) and thats $35 for 140 people.

So you're at about $36 per flight for 140 people which is .257 per passenger. We'll just call it .26 because someone had to do the work to arrange the contract and oversee the procurment etc.

Then figure UA mainline did over 100M passengers in 2011, so $26M dollars savings approximately.

I will say I have NO idea if any of this is true, and i'll let others decide if that sounds about right.
 
jcavinato
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RE: Just How Expensive Is That Bag Of Peanuts?

Thu Apr 26, 2012 9:56 pm

It was Voltaire, who wrote (in the 1700s): "Accountants know the cost of everything but the value of nothing."

I think of that every time I'm on a 2-3 hour flight and there isn't even a small hand out snack.
 
brilondon
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RE: Just How Expensive Is That Bag Of Peanuts?

Thu Apr 26, 2012 10:12 pm

Quoting jcavinato (Reply 5):
I think of that every time I'm on a 2-3 hour flight and there isn't even a small hand out snack.

I don't really see the need to eat on a flight that is only 3 hours long. There are plenty of food outlets at the airport. I also don't find the food airlines serve to be all that appetizing or plentiful. I would like it if there was a way of bringing my own food on board, I don't like peanuts myself.
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BD338
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RE: Just How Expensive Is That Bag Of Peanuts?

Thu Apr 26, 2012 10:16 pm

Quoting jcavinato (Reply 5):
It was Voltaire, who wrote (in the 1700s): "Accountants know the cost of everything but the value of nothing

Lord Darlington in Oscar Wildes Lady Windermere's fan (1892), he was answering a question about who is a cynic. But the sentiment remains exactly the same for an accountant IMHO and applies to the question. It's an oddity of human psycology but you can take a lot away from someone but it's the little things they always remember and complain about the most. The poster above suggests $26M a year, the logic seems OK but I bet the volume of peanuts they would buy means they pay nowhere near 25 cents a bag, so the real cost is probably a bit lower. Do airlines need to give away peanuts etc. probably not, as a small customer relations exercise is it worth the effort? maybe, it's one of those little things. There again, there's always the group that will complain about anything...No peanuts/only got peanuts/boy that steak in first class was tough! etc. etc. so the airline can't really win.
 
AirframeAS
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RE: Just How Expensive Is That Bag Of Peanuts?

Thu Apr 26, 2012 10:20 pm

Quoting caleb1 (Thread starter):
I know that Delta, Alaska, and possibly Frontier still offer free snacks to passengers

AS, yes. F9 no. The cookie is gone per the Frontier threads. WN still has the "free" snacks.

Quoting caleb1 (Thread starter):
So, why not give us passengers a little something to show that we are still appreciated.

Customers always want something for free. Why not add a couple dollars to the ticket to pay for such snacks? But then again, people are like "Why should I pay for his when I don't want to pay for it?"
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kc135topboom
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RE: Just How Expensive Is That Bag Of Peanuts?

Thu Apr 26, 2012 10:29 pm

It is not about the peanuts, or any other snack or beverage. It is all about the bottom line. If an airline can save $26M per year on just peanuts and snacks, then cutting out the free beverage, Coke, Pepsi, or what ever, that they are not selling can save even more. A 12 ounce can of Coke or Pepsi is served to two passengers, in the small plastic cups. For a flight carrying 150 passengers, that is 75 12 oz cans they are carrying, that is about 56 lbs, not counting the weight of the empty cans. 56 lbs added to 1000 flight per day per airline means they are carrying around 56,000 lbs of dead weight each day, system wide, or more than 20.4 million pounds per year. So how much extra fuel is burned by the airline just to carry around 12 oz cans of Coke?
 
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IslandRob
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RE: Just How Expensive Is That Bag Of Peanuts?

Thu Apr 26, 2012 10:41 pm

Maybe the airlines could offer a choice: you either get an inflight magazine, or a bag of peanuts. Those heavy magazines must cost a fortune, both in terms of procurement and fuel (to fly them all over creation). -ir
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Yflyer
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RE: Just How Expensive Is That Bag Of Peanuts?

Thu Apr 26, 2012 10:43 pm

Quoting brilondon (Reply 6):
I would like it if there was a way of bringing my own food on board, I don't like peanuts myself.

  There is a way to bring your own food with you on board. You put a bag of chips or trail mix or a sandwich or whatever your favorite snack is in your carry-on bag and bring it onto the airplane. I do it all the time. As long as there's no liquid involved it's fine.
 
eastern747
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RE: Just How Expensive Is That Bag Of Peanuts?

Thu Apr 26, 2012 10:54 pm

When I worked at Eastern, a good part of my time was in "dining services", both in the field and in the executive offices.(MIA)
The problem wasn't really the basic cost of of the bag of nuts, it was the fact we had to pay the caterers a fee to handle them and board them. (I'm sure bags not used we recycled and we were recharged) Thank you Marriott! I believe the cost was @.25. We had the same thing with olives!. There used to be a 3 part container that had lime wedges, lemon wedges, cherries for drinks. One big discussions was cartons of milk. Because we had to ice to chill stuff, the milk was suppose to be replaced every time we were catered. Can you imagine the $$$$$......Did you ever wonder why the egg slices on your salads were all the same size...even in coach?.........WADA eggs....raw egg whites put in a tube, with an inner tube filled with egg yokes....hard boil and slice. Every slice the same....FYI
 
PPVRA
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RE: Just How Expensive Is That Bag Of Peanuts?

Thu Apr 26, 2012 11:01 pm

The reason they don't cut beverages but cut peanuts is because it's easy to defend beverages while it's hard to defend peanuts.

The people who criticize accountants don't really understand accounting and it's purpose in the first place, so they wouldn't know that accountants aren't the ones who determine that United won't be serving peanuts any longer. If it was as simple minded a decision as people claim this to be, then planes would be flying without free water and free soda, as alluded to above.

When times are lean, management may challenge certain "nice to haves" and the people in the company (should be a product department of some sort) who are responsible for the peanuts on board have to back up their argument that spending however many millions of dollars a year on peanuts is a good idea. Easy to do with free drinks, not so easy with peanuts. Accountants provide management across the organization with information, they don't decide peanuts stay or go.

[Edited 2012-04-26 16:04:45]
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Viscount724
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RE: Just How Expensive Is That Bag Of Peanuts?

Thu Apr 26, 2012 11:15 pm

Quoting IslandRob (Reply 10):
Maybe the airlines could offer a choice: you either get an inflight magazine, or a bag of peanuts. Those heavy magazines must cost a fortune, both in terms of procurement and fuel (to fly them all over creation).

But inflight magazines generate a lot of revenue from advertising.
 
jcavinato
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RE: Just How Expensive Is That Bag Of Peanuts?

Thu Apr 26, 2012 11:18 pm

As a CPA I can tell you that it is possible to analyze and come up with whatever number anyone (a boss) wants. One big part of any cost analysis is how do you allocate the fixed costs. There are 17 basic ways. You can come up with 17 different answers. So you can use which ever one you want to come up with whatever number you want to prove your case.

I have been on company boards where we are presented in-depth cost savings projects to approve, and when most things are held the same over the next month or so we never see any of the savings from the cuts that were in the project. It's like if one passenger didn't make the flight and the seat went empty, the plane with 130 seats does not experience a cost reduction of 1/130th of its flight costs. So many of the fixed costs remained the same.

So, I do not believe that the company saved $25 million by eliminating the peanuts. The only thing that really matters in a cost savings is how much less of all the checks do you write after the decision was carried out. Did you get to actually eliminate something that costs you something on an on-going basis?

Transportation economics are weird compared to manufacturing industry costs. For one, the costs of an outbound truck run are greatly tied to the revenue and direct and fixed costs of the return one. How you divide up the costs between the two is often largely a flip of the coin decision.

This is why it's harder to be a transportation manager than one in other industries. Too, how do you compete against another company that is in bankruptcy? Or, the worse competitor is one that does not know how to compute its operating costs at all. They price at whatever gets them the most cash in the short term. In the meantime, they dragged everyone else down.

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IslandRob
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RE: Just How Expensive Is That Bag Of Peanuts?

Thu Apr 26, 2012 11:23 pm

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 14):
Quoting IslandRob (Reply 10):
Maybe the airlines could offer a choice: you either get an inflight magazine, or a bag of peanuts. Those heavy magazines must cost a fortune, both in terms of procurement and fuel (to fly them all over creation).

But inflight magazines generate a lot of revenue from advertising.

They can print little ads all over my peanut bag. I promise to read them all, and I'll be in a better mood, hence more susceptible to the ads, 'cause I'm not so hungry. Everybody wins. -ir
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PPVRA
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RE: Just How Expensive Is That Bag Of Peanuts?

Thu Apr 26, 2012 11:25 pm

Quoting jcavinato (Reply 15):
So, I do not believe that the company saved $25 million by eliminating the peanuts. The only thing that really matters in a cost savings is how much less of all the checks do you write after the decision was carried out. Did you get to actually eliminate something that costs you something on an on-going basis?

The weight saving argument is too far out there for me, even though I understand the idea. I'd use the actual cost the airline pays for it and any type of logistics/catering costs involved in getting the peanuts onboard.

As with anything in accounting, there are proper and improper methods for specific situations, and then there is the professional judgement aspect to it too.
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planeguy727
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RE: Just How Expensive Is That Bag Of Peanuts?

Thu Apr 26, 2012 11:49 pm

For give my simple view, but you buy a plane ticket for transportation, not food. It's not like you go into a restaurant in Chicago and complain 2 hours later when you walk out and aren't in NYC.
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IslandRob
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RE: Just How Expensive Is That Bag Of Peanuts?

Thu Apr 26, 2012 11:57 pm

Quoting planeguy727 (Reply 18):
It's not like you go into a restaurant in Chicago and complain 2 hours later when you walk out and aren't in NYC.

But I might complain if, during the course of the meal, the staff didn't serve me a free glass of water. -ir
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frmrCapCadet
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RE: Just How Expensive Is That Bag Of Peanuts?

Fri Apr 27, 2012 1:09 am

Detroit kept taking 25 cents here, 50 cents there out of their cars. You know what happened. Pretty soon they were POS. Peanuts themselves are not the question. It is the all over quality of service. Last time I was on SW, they offered me a few extra packets of peanuts. I did not ask for them. But, I am diabetic, and it meant I did not have to stop at a restaurant on the way home, which I did not want to do, it was about a two hour drive. Do I remember. You bet I do.
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mjzair
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RE: Just How Expensive Is That Bag Of Peanuts?

Fri Apr 27, 2012 1:43 am

The point of air travel is to get from point a to point b.
I find it hard to believe anyone cares about a shiny little bag containing what, 15 peanuts. How come no one complains about getting on a city bus and not getting a snack.... Train travel is pretty popular outside the US, yet the times I have taken the train, I have never gotten anything for free.
I understand that this may seem like a degradation of service, but really, does the snack option really influence the carrier of choice?
 
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usdcaguy
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RE: Just How Expensive Is That Bag Of Peanuts?

Fri Apr 27, 2012 2:00 am

Quoting jcavinato (Reply 15):

So, I do not believe that the company saved $25 million by eliminating the peanuts. The only thing that really matters in a cost savings is how much less of all the checks do you write after the decision was carried out. Did you get to actually eliminate something that costs you something on an on-going basis?

I wholeheartedly agree with this. It seems like personally, whenever I cut something I really like out of my budget, like eating at nice restaurants, I end up spending the money on something else. In that scenario, I often will end up buying more groceries or fast food, the cost which needs to be factored into the savings. Also, what will I replace an evening at a restaurant with? A night at the bar? $30 on cocktails to me is a catastrophe compared to $40 at a nice restaurant. Not only would I have to eliminate the restaurant to save the amount I would spend at a restaurant but also the desire to go out on Saturday night, get out of my house or go on a date.

For the airline, this "replacement paradox" could translate into something as indecent as executive bonuses given in lieu of peanuts or something as innocent as more staff to answer customer questions about upgrades. Also, what could is happen is that management might wait a year, and after seeing more money sitting around, decide to refurbish the offices at headquarters and end up saving $0 in the second year. In the end, money spent on the customer is money spent making THEM happy. Money taken away from customer expenditures and forgotten about makes management look good and eventually gets them rewarded financially. And perhaps it makes them happy as well, but they sure are fewer in number than the passengers.
 
mdavies06
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RE: Just How Expensive Is That Bag Of Peanuts?

Fri Apr 27, 2012 2:30 am

What about the cost of crews? Surely this has to be accounted for as well?

As a novice observing, I have noticed that airlines which do serve free food on board (e.g. BA, QR) have 5 and even 6 crews on board an 320/737 type plane to serve business and economy, whereas in airlines which do not serve free food (e.g. FR, EZY) the number of crews on board is usually 3-4. Therefore, I would say that the cost of serving peanuts, biscuits, bird seeds or whatever is not just from the cost of food and caterer, but the cost of crew as well.
 
PDX88
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RE: Just How Expensive Is That Bag Of Peanuts?

Fri Apr 27, 2012 4:02 am

Quoting brilondon (Reply 6):
I would like it if there was a way of bringing my own food on board

There's no rule that says you can't. I always bring my own food on the plane.

I love watching passengers dump their half full drinks into the garbage cans right before they board a flight because they think the no liquids rule applies to going on the aircraft. If it's past security (solid or liquid), you can take it on the plane.
 
ba777-236
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RE: Just How Expensive Is That Bag Of Peanuts?

Fri Apr 27, 2012 5:32 am

You can laugh all you want about peanuts being worthless but I flew United back last fall and will never fly them again.

I flew HNL-ORD - an almost NINE HOUR flight and didn't get more than two cans of pop. I was lucky in that I was well prepared and had my own snacks, but I saw people around me paying 5 bucks for a small tin of Pringles chips. And their so-called "snack boxes" are 10 bucks for crap.

I would have happily paid for a meal on the plane, but no.. they don't have any! My next flight to Hawaii will be on Air Canada or Hawaiian.
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AirframeAS
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RE: Just How Expensive Is That Bag Of Peanuts?

Fri Apr 27, 2012 5:36 am

Quoting BA777-236 (Reply 25):
I flew HNL-ORD - an almost NINE HOUR flight and didn't get more than two cans of pop. I was lucky in that I was well prepared and had my own snacks, but I saw people around me paying 5 bucks for a small tin of Pringles chips. And their so-called "snack boxes" are 10 bucks for crap.

You have no right to complain as you said yourself: You were prepared and your own snacks.

Quoting BA777-236 (Reply 25):
I flew United back last fall and will never fly them again.

All because you were prepared and had your OWN snacks? Really? Okaaaaayyyyyy........
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Faro
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RE: Just How Expensive Is That Bag Of Peanuts?

Fri Apr 27, 2012 8:13 am

Quoting max550 (Reply 3):
Toward the end they mention that DL saved $210,000 a year by removing a single strawberry from salads in first class.

For an airline with USD 32 billion in revenues in 2010? Sad, very sad...

I would wager if you took into account: i) the salary + benefits of the persons/dept who came up with that bright idea + ii) the cost of implementation (internal memoranda, correspondance with catering, cost accounting exercises, reporting, etc), you would get a figure not too far removed from USD 210k.

What a sad, sad joke...


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RIXrat
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RE: Just How Expensive Is That Bag Of Peanuts?

Fri Apr 27, 2012 8:16 am

In the above postings I saw the weight issue being brought up several times. If weight on a plane is so critical, why don't the airlines weigh every passenger and then charge them accordingly up or down the scale. I'm being sarcastic, but that would surely even out the load factor.
 
cmf
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RE: Just How Expensive Is That Bag Of Peanuts?

Fri Apr 27, 2012 10:03 am

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 26):
You have no right to complain

 

Based on what is he not allowed to have an opinion on the product offered? That he knows what it is before setting foot on the plane or even before buying the ticket doesn't change anything. Just adds the question why he used them anyway.
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anamericanin
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RE: Just How Expensive Is That Bag Of Peanuts?

Fri Apr 27, 2012 10:41 am

Quoting PDX88 (Reply 24):
I love watching passengers dump their half full drinks into the garbage cans right before they board a flight because they think the no liquids rule applies to going on the aircraft. If it's past security (solid or liquid), you can take it on the plane.

That was not the case for me in Istanbul when I was connecting there. Could not bring a bottle of pop purchased at a machine in the gate area on to the a/c. Then again, TK offers a sandwich, sweet and drink on the 1h 20m flight IST-KIV, so it wasn't that big of a deal (except that I wanted one more Coke Zero before returning to Moldova).
 
CPHFF
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RE: Just How Expensive Is That Bag Of Peanuts?

Fri Apr 27, 2012 12:17 pm

Quoting IslandRob (Reply 10):
Maybe the airlines could offer a choice: you either get an inflight magazine, or a bag of peanuts. Those heavy magazines must cost a fortune, both in terms of procurement and fuel (to fly them all over creation). -ir

Inflight Magazines are a source of revenue. Free Coke is not.

I have colleagues who have worked with "Holland Herald" (KLM) and "Scanorama" (SK) Inflight Magazines. They make a lot of money from those ads and paid editorial. In 2007, a full page ad in Scanorama was close to € 10 000. (now we also now why a genuine Rolex cost so much LOL)
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eaglepower83
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RE: Just How Expensive Is That Bag Of Peanuts?

Fri Apr 27, 2012 1:09 pm

Quoting BA777-236 (Reply 25):
You can laugh all you want about peanuts being worthless but I flew United back last fall and will never fly them again.

I flew HNL-ORD - an almost NINE HOUR flight and didn't get more than two cans of pop. I was lucky in that I was well prepared and had my own snacks, but I saw people around me paying 5 bucks for a small tin of Pringles chips. And their so-called "snack boxes" are 10 bucks for crap.

I would have happily paid for a meal on the plane, but no.. they don't have any! My next flight to Hawaii will be on Air Canada or Hawaiian.

B.S.
I flew OGG to to LAX and in conjunction with the drinks, they had snack boxes AND full sandwiches and salads for sale.
A turkey sandwich or asian noodle salad are 7-8 dollars each, and they're quite good.

I wish they'd have a smaller snack box for like $5, that'd be perfect. I don't need the $10 Tapas box for a 2hr flight.
And the snack boxes aren't crap either. They're filled with pretty decent, brand name foods.

That's the one + I guess you could say in having to fork over $ for food. The quality IS higher. Oftentimes I'll buy United's food because it's around the same price and same quality or better, than the terminal food, depending on the airport.
 
anamericanin
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RE: Just How Expensive Is That Bag Of Peanuts?

Fri Apr 27, 2012 1:18 pm

Quoting BA777-236 (Reply 25):
I flew HNL-ORD - an almost NINE HOUR flight and didn't get more than two cans of pop. I was lucky in that I was well prepared and had my own snacks, but I saw people around me paying 5 bucks for a small tin of Pringles chips. And their so-called "snack boxes" are 10 bucks for crap.

I flew ORD-HNL and had regular drink service - they gave me full cans each time (I'm a bit of a pop fiend). They did have Pringles but they had a decent selection of sandwiches, salads in addition to the snack boxes, which I didn't find to be too bad at all.

Quoting EaglePower83 (Reply 32):
B.S.
I flew OGG to to LAX and in conjunction with the drinks, they had snack boxes AND full sandwiches and salads for sale.
A turkey sandwich or asian noodle salad are 7-8 dollars each, and they're quite good.


Oftentimes I'll buy United's food because it's around the same price and same quality or better, than the terminal food, depending on the airport.

  
 
cmf
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RE: Just How Expensive Is That Bag Of Peanuts?

Fri Apr 27, 2012 1:20 pm

Quoting CPHFF (Reply 31):
Inflight Magazines are a source of revenue. Free Coke is not.

There is no free coke. How including it changes revenue depends on multiple factors. Nickel and diming often has a negative effect on long time revenue. Much more complicated than categorically stating it doesn't generate revenue.
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SouthernDC9
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RE: Just How Expensive Is That Bag Of Peanuts?

Fri Apr 27, 2012 1:23 pm

Quoting caleb1 (Thread starter):
So, why not give us passengers a little something to show that we are still appreciated.

I can remember when people would complain about the bag of peanuts being all they got on a flight, and what a joke that was. If they gave out peanuts as a show of appreciation then we would hear a chorus of "That's it?"

Plus, isn't the "no snacks" thing a bit overblown? Delta almost always seems to hand out a little something, and actually on a recent late evening flight when they were giving out peanuts or some such (and this was way back in coach), I asked the FA if they had any of the Delta biscotti on-board, she made an extra effort to track some down for me and gave me two packs of those delicious little things. Talk about feeling appreciated, I wanted to marry this woman right there on the spot. (I'm admittedly easy to please.)

Honestly, thanks to the airline service we have today, I can put in a full day of work, head to the airport and be with my family down south later that evening... spend the weekend, enjoy Mama's cooking for a few days, fly back, then be in the office the next morning. I actually appreciate that. (And I usually bring back a carry-on bag full of homemade treats from my mom, which TSA always jokes about confiscating.)
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RE: Just How Expensive Is That Bag Of Peanuts?

Fri Apr 27, 2012 2:14 pm

Quoting caleb1 (Thread starter):
Just wondering, how expensive is it for United and other carriers to provide these small snacks to passengers? Is it really that cost-prohibitive?

I think it depends on the airline, and what exactly it's offering. At B6, for example, up to 6 different complimentary snack options are offered. The difference between them and other airlines, however, is that their snacks are name brand, and not packaged in a standard "jetBlue" container. In doing this, I'm sure that they get steep discounts on account of the advertising being done for the snack producers. Coca-Cola, Quaker, Terra, Linden's, Stauffer's, Popcorners, King's, and Dunkin' Donuts are all benefitting from their products being advertised on B6 flights. At the same time, customers get to enjoy them for free, with the hope being that they'll search for those snacks when they're at home (great example: since the intoduction of Popcorners snacks on B6 flights, their presence has grown exponentially in the local markets).

Quoting planeguy727 (Reply 18):
For give my simple view, but you buy a plane ticket for transportation, not food. It's not like you go into a restaurant in Chicago and complain 2 hours later when you walk out and aren't in NYC.

I wouldn't go quite *that* far   . After all, if you purchase a room in a hotel, should they only provide a bed? The primary purpose of a hotel is a place to rest your head when you're out of town, correct? However, hotels gain popularity for the extra services they provide (bars, restaurants, vending, laundry, etc). Airlines, as well as trains, provide service in order for your time to pass by that much more quickly. It's a welcome distraction for those who would otherwise be staring at a seatback...hours on end.

Quoting caleb1 (Thread starter):
So, why not give us passengers a little something to show that we are still appreciated.
Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 8):
Customers always want something for free. Why not add a couple dollars to the ticket to pay for such snacks? But then again, people are like "Why should I pay for his when I don't want to pay for it?"
Quoting SouthernDC9 (Reply 35):
I can remember when people would complain about the bag of peanuts being all they got on a flight, and what a joke that was.

Indeed. It just goes to show that some people will never be satisfied, and we can't please everyone (hard as we may try). I've had numerous people become irate because out of 6 various snacks, pretzels wasn't one of them. Once, a lady nearly read me the riot act because we serve Coca-Cola soft drinks; in her opinion, we may as well have served her potable water (never mind that she was beasting out on a heavily-processed tray of shelf-stable cheese. hmmmmm!). Thankfully, incidents like those are rare, but it does happen. In the end, it's still nice to be able to offer something to hold you over 'til your next meal, and I'm happy to serve it (potable water and all haha)   . Cheers!
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Rara
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RE: Just How Expensive Is That Bag Of Peanuts?

Fri Apr 27, 2012 2:15 pm

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 26):
You have no right to complain as you said yourself: You were prepared and your own snacks.

He's got every right to complain. Nine hours with just beverage service is pathetic, whether he knew it in advance or not.
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b6a322
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RE: Just How Expensive Is That Bag Of Peanuts?

Fri Apr 27, 2012 2:25 pm

It all comes back to penny-wise, pound foolish.

Internationally I tend to fly *A, but domestically I tend to fly either Delta or jetBlue. On my most recent DL flight I can't even begin to describe my surprise when the flight attendant asked me, "Would you like Biscoff Cookies, Pretzels, Peanuts, all three?" I had started to say "Cookies" when I (in a very surprised tone) asked "Did you say all three?!"

It may be different for some, but I happen to like food. Even if its just a pack of peanuts and a coke. Or Tomato juice. Or what have you.

I'm scheduled for a United JFK-SFO in July, and granted thats a P.S flight but I'm still not sure what to expect.

I like my food!

For all the bag fees the general flying public pays, its kind of nice to get a bag of peanuts to make you feel like you're not paying to sit in a tube with your knees up in your chest next to someone who on Southwest would have to buy two seats.
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Tbone354
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RE: Just How Expensive Is That Bag Of Peanuts?

Fri Apr 27, 2012 2:34 pm

Peanuts? Not in today's climate. Lordy, Lordy, someone on the plane might be allergic and sue for millions. And they'll get it! There is your "cost". The cost of any other snacks would simply be passed on to the pax. Airlines are not going to eat the cost of a snack. Pardon the pun. Much like that other poster...I bring my own food on board if and when I absolutely must fly.
 
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RE: Just How Expensive Is That Bag Of Peanuts?

Fri Apr 27, 2012 2:45 pm

Quoting jcavinato (Reply 15):
Did you get to actually eliminate something that costs you something on an on-going basis?

err, you know, the direct variable cost of purchasing the peanuts.... so yeah....

Quoting IslandRob (Reply 19):
But I might complain if, during the course of the meal, the staff didn't serve me a free glass of water. -ir

But probably not complain if you didn't get the free bread right?

Quoting usdcaguy (Reply 22):
A night at the bar? $30 on cocktails to me is a catastrophe compared to $40 at a nice restaurant.

We have very different priorities   I agree with most of the rest of your post though, well said.

Quoting BA777-236 (Reply 25):
I would have happily paid for a meal on the plane, but no.. they don't have any! My next flight to Hawaii will be on Air Canada or Hawaiian.

Have fun connecting. On Kayak.com a RT ticket ORD-HNL for whatever their stock dates were is currently $876. That's a pathetic fare, way too low. 10.3c per mile to be exact. How is anyone supposed to make money when their Yield is 10.3c?

Quoting anamericanin (Reply 30):
That was not the case for me in Istanbul when I was connecting there.


It varies a lot by country I believe. Here in the US you are *generally* allowed to bring anything purchased after security onto the airplane.
 
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RE: Just How Expensive Is That Bag Of Peanuts?

Fri Apr 27, 2012 3:02 pm

IMHO we have already reached such a low level of inflight service, why not just ditch the service altogether? I cant remember the last time that I even accepted a beverage or snack on board an aircraft. The bother of having the tray down long enough to receive the items, consume them and then have the trash taken away just isn't worth the insignificant benefit of the "service". If I want something I am self sufficient enough to bring it along myself and take care of my own needs. For trips under 4-5 hours I don't see the need to carry anything but water.
 
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RE: Just How Expensive Is That Bag Of Peanuts?

Fri Apr 27, 2012 3:03 pm

Quoting B6A322 (Reply 38):
For all the bag fees the general flying public pays, its kind of nice to get a bag of peanuts to make you feel like you're not paying to sit in a tube with your knees up in your chest next to someone who on Southwest would have to buy two seats.

Honestly, until I started reading this thread I had no idea that peanuts had such enormous power to make people feel better about themselves and their choices as consumers. Amazing!

When you fly you're basically paying to be transported from point A to point B in a reasonable amount of time without being killed, and while I'm sure we all have tales of delays, etc, in the grand scheme of things the airlines do this incredibly well (and considering that flying does basically equal hurtling through the air in a metal tube, the admittedly regrettable loss of life that has occurred over the years is astoundingly minimal).

Thanks to air travel I can get from DC to Miami, for example, in about 2.5 hours. Driving, in that amount of time I'd be just past Richmond probably. Even factoring in the risk of starvation, emaciation, delirium, sadness, etc that may apparently result from not being given a handful of peanuts, flying is still a pretty good deal.
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RE: Just How Expensive Is That Bag Of Peanuts?

Fri Apr 27, 2012 3:06 pm

Quoting IslandRob (Reply 10):
(to fly them all over creation)

I thought I was the only one who said that... 
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RE: Just How Expensive Is That Bag Of Peanuts?

Fri Apr 27, 2012 3:25 pm

Quoting cmf (Reply 34):

There is no free coke. How including it changes revenue depends on multiple factors. Nickel and diming often has a negative effect on long time revenue. Much more complicated than categorically stating it doesn't generate revenue.

Exactly. US tried to charge for soda, and it backfired big time on them. Even today, you can find people who say things like "I'm not flying on US Airways, they charge for Coke." It was a poor decision that has caused lasting brand damage.

Today, I'd go as far as to say that they are the best managed airline in the States. But their image doesn't match that. One major reason is trying to charge for Coke.
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cmf
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RE: Just How Expensive Is That Bag Of Peanuts?

Fri Apr 27, 2012 3:39 pm

Quoting rdh3e (Reply 40):
But probably not complain if you didn't get the free bread right?

But I'm much more likely to go back to the restaurant that include bread.

Quoting SouthernDC9 (Reply 42):
Honestly, until I started reading this thread I had no idea that peanuts had such enormous power to make people feel better about themselves and their choices as consumers. Amazing!

Welcome to the world of smart customer relations. Where you take slightly smaller profit today to get the customers future spend.
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RE: Just How Expensive Is That Bag Of Peanuts?

Fri Apr 27, 2012 4:15 pm

Quoting aeroblogger (Reply 44):

I think US got the most grief for their attempt to charge for water, on top of soft drinks and discontinuing the pretzels and peanuts. After a recent trip my brother took on US, no service was provided whatsoever so not sure if in-flight service has moved up....or down.....a notch.
He flew MCO-CLT-RIC. The MCO-CLT segment was 72 minutes takeoff to touchdown. A F/A served several small cups of water to those who rang the call button; however, no other beverage service of any kind was offered. A seatmate asked the F/A as she headed back to the galley "may I have a cup of coffee?" in which she responded "No, we don't perk coffee at 4pm in the afternoon." On the CR9 segment CLT-RIC operated by Mesa, the flight was 52 mins in duration and both F/A's stood in the forward galley area and talked the entire flight. They never once walked the aisle or acknowledged any passenger. There was no turbulence on either flight.....a beautiful sunny spring day. He commented he overheard the crew in the galley to CLT complaining about their contract vote and crappy bids for their May flying.
He'll see if it was a fluke. He flies them again this week to CLT. Point is however, whether he liked it or not, and if he could declare he'd never fly US again......he had to due to corporate fare rules as his preferred DL flights were too expensive......more than 60+ million other people chose to fly US last year, and likely that same number will do it again in 2012.
Peanuts, pretzels, Coke or water aside......they're raking in the revenue whether their passengers are charmed or not.
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RE: Just How Expensive Is That Bag Of Peanuts?

Fri Apr 27, 2012 4:31 pm

Quoting PI4EVER (Reply 46):

Definitely understand your sentiments. I can tell you that UAX doesn't cater jet flights under 220mi, so as a comparison I'm not sure what US's rule is. They may actually have not had supplies to give out.

interesting observation about the Mesa FA's, if you ever want to see a FA really bust their ass for a customer you should try to grab a GoJet segment sometimes, I've never had a bad experience with them and they are always willing to help you out. They gave full beverage and snack (snack is their own dime, not UA's) on my flight with them ORD-ATW I believe it was or some such similar route. I think the flight was only 27 minutes air time. They worked chime to chime the whole flight straight, great folks.
 
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RE: Just How Expensive Is That Bag Of Peanuts?

Fri Apr 27, 2012 6:27 pm

Quoting IslandRob (Reply 10):
Those heavy magazines must cost a fortune, both in terms of procurement and fuel (to fly them all over creation). -ir

I'm sure it's similar at most carriers, but I know "American Way" is an item that is required to "pay for itself" every year. If the ads and revenue and value in carrying it don't pay (ie AMR has to pay ANY part of the production, distribution, restocking, weight, etc) then it's gone. I saw that in an article somewhere when someone asked just that question.
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RE: Just How Expensive Is That Bag Of Peanuts?

Fri Apr 27, 2012 6:38 pm

Quoting PDX88 (Reply 24):
There's no rule that says you can't. I always bring my own food on the plane.

A few years back, I was on a flight where someone stopped off at The Varsity on their way to the airport, to pick up something to eat on the plane.

They were in the last row on a MD-88, and there were a lot of envious looks as they made their way down the aisle.

Now there's gonna be a Varsity in the airport ... be interesting to see how often this happens w/that convenience.

(and then, how fast they need the restroom after consuming their lunch/dinner)

* (The Varsity, for those that don't know, can be found in Google)