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airlinepeanuts
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Updated: Airline Catering SkyChef and Gate Gourmet lays off hundreds

Fri Sep 17, 2021 11:02 pm

Wonder what the greater implications will be, it seems the layoffs right now are contained to LAX, SNA and SFO.

https://www.ocregister.com/2021/09/17/a ... f-workers/
 
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lightsaber
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Re: Airline Catering Company SkyChef lays off hundreds

Fri Sep 17, 2021 11:51 pm

I had a friend (manager) laid off from another airline catering company. This is rough. My condolences to the workers, but that is a tough business. In particular with even first class (Delta, domestic) getting snack boxes.

I personally think coach will be boxes, even long haul, until people are flying more and meals become a decisive competitive advantage. e.g., how Emirates used meals to grow back during the good times.

Lightsaber
 
airlinepeanuts
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Re: Airline Catering Company SkyChef lays off hundreds

Fri Sep 17, 2021 11:53 pm

lightsaber wrote:
I had a friend (manager) laid off from another airline catering company. This is rough. My condolences to the workers, but that is a tough business. In particular with even first class (Delta, domestic) getting snack boxes.

I personally think coach will be boxes, even long haul, until people are flying more and meals become a decisive competitive advantage. e.g., how Emirates used meals to grow back during the good times.

Lightsaber


Sorry to hear about your friend. It's never easy losing a job.

I agree -- I think that things like good meals will be a competitive advantage as other airlines will just go with the bargain basement service.
 
MIflyer12
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Re: Airline Catering Company SkyChef lays off hundreds

Sat Sep 18, 2021 1:20 am

Meals haven't been a competitive advantage in the U.S. domestic industry since the industry was deregulated. It's only been a question of how low can you go, which, during covid, got answered: serve nothing.
 
WayexTDI
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Re: Airline Catering Company SkyChef lays off hundreds

Sat Sep 18, 2021 1:26 am

MIflyer12 wrote:
Meals haven't been a competitive advantage in the U.S. domestic industry since the industry was deregulated. It's only been a question of how low can you go, which, during covid, got answered: serve nothing.

Then again, most flights in the lower 48 are under 4 hours; East Coast to West Coast, you don't need a meal. If you cannot go more than a couple of hours without eating (some do for medical conditions), then you bring your own snacks.
 
MohawkWeekend
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Re: Airline Catering Company SkyChef lays off hundreds

Sat Sep 18, 2021 2:29 am

They figure they are already feeding their best customers in the Clubs. Move will save them money and make the FA job alot easier. Will also save fuel - less weight and no trucks. Don't laugh - it will be counted as a CO2 reduction somewhere : )

I would not be suprised to see airlines try and figure a way to make those Clubs a larger source of revenue. Cause they can't be cheap to run.
 
FlyingElvii
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Re: Airline Catering Company SkyChef lays off hundreds

Sat Sep 18, 2021 2:35 am

lightsaber wrote:
I had a friend (manager) laid off from another airline catering company. This is rough. My condolences to the workers, but that is a tough business. In particular with even first class (Delta, domestic) getting snack boxes.

I personally think coach will be boxes, even long haul, until people are flying more and meals become a decisive competitive advantage. e.g., how Emirates used meals to grow back during the good times.

Lightsaber

Payroll support is ending. This is just thr beginning of the layoffs.
 
Scarebus34
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Re: Airline Catering Company SkyChef lays off hundreds

Sat Sep 18, 2021 2:37 am

FlyingElvii wrote:
lightsaber wrote:
I had a friend (manager) laid off from another airline catering company. This is rough. My condolences to the workers, but that is a tough business. In particular with even first class (Delta, domestic) getting snack boxes.

I personally think coach will be boxes, even long haul, until people are flying more and meals become a decisive competitive advantage. e.g., how Emirates used meals to grow back during the good times.

Lightsaber

Payroll support is ending. This is just thr beginning of the layoffs.

I think you'll be hard pressed to find an airline who lays any frontline workers off. I know there are some corporate positions that were temporarily reinstated with the payroll support that likely won't be sticking around, but that's about it.
 
umichman
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Re: Airline Catering Company SkyChef lays off hundreds

Sat Sep 18, 2021 2:53 am

lightsaber wrote:
I had a friend (manager) laid off from another airline catering company. This is rough. My condolences to the workers, but that is a tough business. In particular with even first class (Delta, domestic) getting snack boxes.

I personally think coach will be boxes, even long haul, until people are flying more and meals become a decisive competitive advantage. e.g., how Emirates used meals to grow back during the good times.

Lightsaber


The airlines are all still serving plated meals in coach on long haul international routes as far as I'm aware. DL is now serving fresh boxed meals in domestic FC on all flights over 900 miles (as long as they depart before 9PM). Probably less work than the hot plated meals, but there's still catering work required to assemble the various meal boxes ( banana bread, oatmeal, and charcuterie options for breakfast and salad and sandwich boxes for lunch/dinner).
 
Noshow
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Re: Airline Catering Company SkyChef lays off hundreds

Sat Sep 18, 2021 7:07 am

During these times of more and more passengers freaking out it might be wise to bring back some old school airline catering instead of reducing it? Feed people make them relax bring up their blood sugar level and enjoy a calm ride. Aside from that this is the final area to differentiate a brand as seat pitch is shrinking all the time. Many people are stressed these days, lines, security, masks, delays, immigration requirements. How about we step back get the big picture and bring the masses back to comfort level?
 
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vhtje
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Re: Airline Catering Company SkyChef lays off hundreds

Sat Sep 18, 2021 7:59 am

WayexTDI wrote:
MIflyer12 wrote:
Meals haven't been a competitive advantage in the U.S. domestic industry since the industry was deregulated. It's only been a question of how low can you go, which, during covid, got answered: serve nothing.

Then again, most flights in the lower 48 are under 4 hours; East Coast to West Coast, you don't need a meal. If you cannot go more than a couple of hours without eating (some do for medical conditions), then you bring your own snacks.


That’s too simplistic, and generalised.

In 2016 when I was living in San Francisco, I was working on a project in Chicago - in fact, west of Chicago, in Hoffman Estates. I would fly to ORD on Sundays around lunchtime, and after the drive on the I-90, would arrive in my hotel around 9:00pm. I would eat before boarding, but food choices upon arrival were not great, and were not great around my hotel, given Americans’ preference for early dining, most restaurants were closing when I got there. As a result, I was hungry.

A similar thing happened on the return on Thursdays. I would leave the office at lunchtime, drive to ORD for a 4:30pm departure for SFO. Again, with no lunch, I was hungry - it was a long stretch to dinner at 8:00pm in San Francisco.

Those packets of nuts and fruit on AA kept me sustained, but I would have appreciated a meal, particularly on the eastbound.
 
Josh76040
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Re: Airline Catering Company SkyChef lays off hundreds

Sat Sep 18, 2021 11:53 am

umichman wrote:
lightsaber wrote:
I had a friend (manager) laid off from another airline catering company. This is rough. My condolences to the workers, but that is a tough business. In particular with even first class (Delta, domestic) getting snack boxes.

I personally think coach will be boxes, even long haul, until people are flying more and meals become a decisive competitive advantage. e.g., how Emirates used meals to grow back during the good times.

Lightsaber


The airlines are all still serving plated meals in coach on long haul international routes as far as I'm aware. DL is now serving fresh boxed meals in domestic FC on all flights over 900 miles (as long as they depart before 9PM). Probably less work than the hot plated meals, but there's still catering work required to assemble the various meal boxes ( banana bread, oatmeal, and charcuterie options for breakfast and salad and sandwich boxes for lunch/dinner).


On a related note, the Delta boxes are disgusting. After the flight attendant practically tossed my partially crushed, WET box on my tray table, I joked to my seat mate, “I guess this is the least Delta can do right now. “ The grumpy flight attendant, who had barely spoken a complete sentence since the announcements, overheard me, chuckled and said, “Yes, it is” sarcastically,

At least I had a good chuckle at the sarcasm.
 
iadadd
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Re: Airline Catering Company SkyChef lays off hundreds

Sat Sep 18, 2021 1:26 pm

Perhaps LAX and SFO layoffs could be a result of heavily reduced Transpac travel that has no clear return to normalcy in sight ?
 
frmrCapCadet
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Re: Airline Catering Company SkyChef lays off hundreds

Sat Sep 18, 2021 1:35 pm

How much are these people paid? I ask, because job openings in the food business may be in the hundreds of thousands, and wages are going up. This could be one of those rare occasions that most of those laid off will do better. If anyone has details it would be useful to hear.
 
Ziyulu
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Re: Airline Catering Company SkyChef lays off hundreds

Sat Sep 18, 2021 1:38 pm

Back then in the early 2000s when US carriers got rid of meals domestically, did a lot of folks lose their jobs?
 
Boof02671
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Re: Airline Catering Company SkyChef lays off hundreds

Sat Sep 18, 2021 4:09 pm

frmrCapCadet wrote:
How much are these people paid? I ask, because job openings in the food business may be in the hundreds of thousands, and wages are going up. This could be one of those rare occasions that most of those laid off will do better. If anyone has details it would be useful to hear.

A lot of their locations are unionized and they make a lot more than $2.13 an hour.

Here is a link to their National Master Agreement

https://www.unitehere23.org/wp-content/ ... 016-FE.pdf
 
B747forever
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Re: Airline Catering Company SkyChef lays off hundreds

Sat Sep 18, 2021 4:49 pm

Regarding the Delta snack boxes, Delta could learn a thing or two from Alaska who currently have the best catering in First of all domestic carriers. Basically full service with hot meals on all flights longer than 1,100mi, and not just on a select few premium routes as other carriers.
 
WayexTDI
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Re: Airline Catering Company SkyChef lays off hundreds

Sat Sep 18, 2021 7:49 pm

Boof02671 wrote:
frmrCapCadet wrote:
How much are these people paid? I ask, because job openings in the food business may be in the hundreds of thousands, and wages are going up. This could be one of those rare occasions that most of those laid off will do better. If anyone has details it would be useful to hear.

A lot of their locations are unionized and they make a lot more than $2.13 an hour.

Here is a link to their National Master Agreement

https://www.unitehere23.org/wp-content/ ... 016-FE.pdf

Nobody in the US "make" $2.13 an hour by law, you should know that.
In reality, jobs paying $7.25 an hour (by law) are getting more and more scarce, even when allowed; it's free market.
 
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LAXintl
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Re: Airline Catering Company SkyChef lays off hundreds

Sat Sep 18, 2021 8:01 pm

Simple fact is less flights = less meals.

There has been a huge industry decline in flight volume, so such cuts will continue.
For instance at LAX through July flight volumes are down 35% compared to 2019 while key catering drivers such as international longhaul passengers volume is down 77% vs 2019.

And as far as pay, at LAX the starting pay per airport regulations is either $22.67 without health benefits or $17.00 with benefits.
 
umichman
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Re: Airline Catering Company SkyChef lays off hundreds

Sat Sep 18, 2021 8:31 pm

B747forever wrote:
Regarding the Delta snack boxes, Delta could learn a thing or two from Alaska who currently have the best catering in First of all domestic carriers. Basically full service with hot meals on all flights longer than 1,100mi, and not just on a select few premium routes as other carriers.


They are no longer serving the snack boxes in FC on flights over 900 miles. Yes, the boxed meals aren't as nice as hot meals, but I've had a number of them now and they are a certainly a step up from the Market/Bistro snack boxes which got pretty old.
 
phatfarmlines
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Re: Airline Catering Company SkyChef lays off hundreds

Sat Sep 18, 2021 8:37 pm

Ziyulu wrote:
Back then in the early 2000s when US carriers got rid of meals domestically, did a lot of folks lose their jobs?


Yes they did, and they didn't waste time after 9/11.

Article from 2001: http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/os- ... y,amp.html

Source: Orlando Sentinel
 
Boof02671
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Re: Airline Catering Company SkyChef lays off hundreds

Sun Sep 19, 2021 4:47 am

WayexTDI wrote:
Boof02671 wrote:
frmrCapCadet wrote:
How much are these people paid? I ask, because job openings in the food business may be in the hundreds of thousands, and wages are going up. This could be one of those rare occasions that most of those laid off will do better. If anyone has details it would be useful to hear.

A lot of their locations are unionized and they make a lot more than $2.13 an hour.

Here is a link to their National Master Agreement

https://www.unitehere23.org/wp-content/ ... 016-FE.pdf

Nobody in the US "make" $2.13 an hour by law, you should know that.
In reality, jobs paying $7.25 an hour (by law) are getting more and more scarce, even when allowed; it's free market.

Wrong servers and bartenders are paid $2.13 an hour.

I’m in the service industry are you?

Some states the restaurant has to make up the difference if their tips don’t average out to $7.25.

There is an exemption that they get paid $2.13 an hour as their base wage.

“The subminimum wage for tipped workers has remained at $2.13 since 1991. In 1996, it was decoupled from the regular minimum wage, such that the tipped wage remained at $2.13 even as the regular minimum wage was increased. At that time, the tipped minimum wage was equal to 50 percent of the regular minimum wage; today it is only equal to a record low 29.4 percent of the regular federal minimum wage of $7.25.
Customers’ tips pay the $5.12 difference between the federal tipped minimum wage and the federal regular minimum wage. Thus, customers provide a subsidy to employers of tipped workers worth more than twice the wage these employers are required to pay their tipped staff.”
 
frmrCapCadet
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Re: Airline Catering Company SkyChef lays off hundreds

Sun Sep 19, 2021 12:21 pm

In my state all workers are paid the minimum wage, including those who may receive tips. Exactly what that minimum wage is a little complicated, but the net effect is that $15 is becoming the standard minimum. Despite this, restaurants are not able to remain fully staffed.
 
WayexTDI
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Re: Airline Catering Company SkyChef lays off hundreds

Sun Sep 19, 2021 2:26 pm

Boof02671 wrote:
WayexTDI wrote:
Boof02671 wrote:
A lot of their locations are unionized and they make a lot more than $2.13 an hour.

Here is a link to their National Master Agreement

https://www.unitehere23.org/wp-content/ ... 016-FE.pdf

Nobody in the US "make" $2.13 an hour by law, you should know that.
In reality, jobs paying $7.25 an hour (by law) are getting more and more scarce, even when allowed; it's free market.

Wrong servers and bartenders are paid $2.13 an hour.

I’m in the service industry are you?

Some states the restaurant has to make up the difference if their tips don’t average out to $7.25.

There is an exemption that they get paid $2.13 an hour as their base wage.

“The subminimum wage for tipped workers has remained at $2.13 since 1991. In 1996, it was decoupled from the regular minimum wage, such that the tipped wage remained at $2.13 even as the regular minimum wage was increased. At that time, the tipped minimum wage was equal to 50 percent of the regular minimum wage; today it is only equal to a record low 29.4 percent of the regular federal minimum wage of $7.25.
Customers’ tips pay the $5.12 difference between the federal tipped minimum wage and the federal regular minimum wage. Thus, customers provide a subsidy to employers of tipped workers worth more than twice the wage these employers are required to pay their tipped staff.”

I knew you were going there.
Minimum wage for tipped workers is indeed $2.13 from the employer.
HOWEVER, the worker is guaranteed a minimum hourly wage of $7.25 by either customer tips, or by the employer making the difference. This is not varying by states, it's a US Federal law.
Here's the source:
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires payment of at least the Federal minimum wage to covered, nonexempt employees. An employer of a tipped employee is only required to pay $2.13 an hour in direct wages if that amount plus the tips received equals at least the Federal minimum wage, the employee retains all tips and the employee customarily and regularly receives more than $30 a month in tips. If an employee's tips combined with the employer's direct wages of at least $2.13 an hour do not equal the Federal minimum hourly wage, the employer must make up the difference.

So, a tipped employee will make a minimum of $7.25 an hour, so ifs, ands or buts.
If the employee works in a state that has a higher minimum wage than the Federal one, then that employee is guaranteed the highest of the 2.
Last edited by WayexTDI on Sun Sep 19, 2021 2:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
WayexTDI
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Re: Airline Catering Company SkyChef lays off hundreds

Sun Sep 19, 2021 2:30 pm

frmrCapCadet wrote:
In my state all workers are paid the minimum wage, including those who may receive tips. Exactly what that minimum wage is a little complicated, but the net effect is that $15 is becoming the standard minimum. Despite this, restaurants are not able to remain fully staffed.

In every single state of the US, the worker is guaranteed either the Federal minimum wage of $7.25 or his/hers own state minimum wage, whichever is the highest; that is either through full employer payment, $2.13 an hour + tips, or $2.13 + tips + employer making the difference up to $7.25.
And, you are correct: although a lot of states are still at the minimum Federal legal wage, the reality is that the actual minimum wage is getting closer to that $15 mark by the simple effect of the free market.
 
MIflyer12
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Re: Airline Catering Company SkyChef lays off hundreds

Sun Sep 19, 2021 3:24 pm

FlyingElvii wrote:
Payroll support is ending. This is just thr beginning of the layoffs.


That's the thing. End of September brings the end of the no-involuntary-separations mandate that came with the 3rd round of Payroll Suppport Program funding for carriers and certain contractors. I don't know if there will be big carrier layoffs (the revenue recovery to 2019 levels has varied a lot by carrier, and some carriers got more voluntary separations than others), but some of the ancillary service occupations are at risk - as this catering layoff shows.

WARN Act 60 day notice and the July timing to state officials - it fits.
 
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lightsaber
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Re: Airline Catering Company SkyChef lays off hundreds

Sun Sep 19, 2021 6:19 pm

MIflyer12 wrote:
FlyingElvii wrote:
Payroll support is ending. This is just thr beginning of the layoffs.


That's the thing. End of September brings the end of the no-involuntary-separations mandate that came with the 3rd round of Payroll Suppport Program funding for carriers and certain contractors. I don't know if there will be big carrier layoffs (the revenue recovery to 2019 levels has varied a lot by carrier, and some carriers got more voluntary separations than others), but some of the ancillary service occupations are at risk - as this catering layoff shows.

WARN Act 60 day notice and the July timing to state officials - it fits.

I believe we are seeing the start of warn act notices. It will be a different labor market in a few months, sadly. Airlines will be ... less brutal, but with less revenue (business travel in particular), they must cut expenses.

I'm afraid that, until there is a reason to attract higher yield coach, extreme cost cutting will be the rule with BOB, in my opinion.

Lightsaber
 
FlyingElvii
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Re: Airline Catering Company SkyChef lays off hundreds

Sun Sep 19, 2021 9:51 pm

lightsaber wrote:
MIflyer12 wrote:
FlyingElvii wrote:
Payroll support is ending. This is just thr beginning of the layoffs.


That's the thing. End of September brings the end of the no-involuntary-separations mandate that came with the 3rd round of Payroll Suppport Program funding for carriers and certain contractors. I don't know if there will be big carrier layoffs (the revenue recovery to 2019 levels has varied a lot by carrier, and some carriers got more voluntary separations than others), but some of the ancillary service occupations are at risk - as this catering layoff shows.

WARN Act 60 day notice and the July timing to state officials - it fits.

I believe we are seeing the start of warn act notices. It will be a different labor market in a few months, sadly. Airlines will be ... less brutal, but with less revenue (business travel in particular), they must cut expenses.

I'm afraid that, until there is a reason to attract higher yield coach, extreme cost cutting will be the rule with BOB, in my opinion.

Lightsaber

I am glad to see we agree. I have been saying this for months.
Florida, The Islands, and the Sunshine States are going to be the primary destinations seeing any kind of loads, yet again this winter.
 
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LAXintl
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Re: Airline Catering Company SkyChef lays off hundreds

Tue Oct 05, 2021 4:35 pm

Gate Gourmet now also laying off 536 in California. Cuts come as government funding expires and the company is left with additional employees beyond its business needs to serve a reduced volume of flights.

https://www.dailynews.com/2021/10/04/ai ... rs-at-lax/
 
727231
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Re: Airline Catering Company SkyChef lays off hundreds

Tue Oct 05, 2021 5:37 pm

The catering lost out when more and more airports finally went to outside vendors and food courts. Used to be only a snack bar operated by airhost or something bland like that.
 
CALMSP
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Re: Airline Catering Company SkyChef lays off hundreds

Tue Oct 05, 2021 5:40 pm

its going to be interesting in DEN when LSG takes over UA. So many of the current catering employees are moving to the ramp and/or UGE in order to keep their flight benefits. I don't know how LSG plans to be able to source enough staff for UA ops.
 
Exeiowa
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Re: Airline Catering Company SkyChef lays off hundreds

Tue Oct 05, 2021 6:00 pm

I agree you can survive a few hours without food onboard, but I am constantly surprised by how many people will willing pay for overpriced food and beverages at sporting events which last the same length as a flight, rather than wait till they are outside the venue. So I am not sure we should count out completely the effect of onboard catering, although myself would not personally go out of my way if spending my own money. But on business trips you can normally wrangle the algorithm enough to give you what you want and remain in compliance.
 
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LAXdenizen
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Re: Airline Catering Company SkyChef lays off hundreds

Tue Oct 05, 2021 6:48 pm

Exeiowa wrote:
I agree you can survive a few hours without food onboard, but I am constantly surprised by how many people will willing pay for overpriced food and beverages at sporting events which last the same length as a flight, rather than wait till they are outside the venue. So I am not sure we should count out completely the effect of onboard catering, although myself would not personally go out of my way if spending my own money. But on business trips you can normally wrangle the algorithm enough to give you what you want and remain in compliance.



Yes, an average adult can survive a few hours without food (say, on a 4 hour transcon). But that assumes one has just eaten or has a full belly the moment the door closes. I would imagine in most cases, people eat at home prior to leaving for the airport (and even then it's likely an incomplete or rushed meal). So factoring in travel to the airport, parking, shuttles, check-in, security, finding your gate, queuing at the gate - by the time you finally sit down you haven't eaten in 3-4 hours. By the time you get to your destination, you may not have eaten a reasonable meal in 9 - 10 hours.

As I routinely fly with 3 elementary school-aged kids, we take Delta because they have IFE on domestic flights. I would gladly choose an airline based on food availability. It's just one thing off my plate to have to manage as a dad. That small meal can make-or-break a trip and be the difference between a good flight and a miserable flight.
 
MIflyer12
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Re: Airline Catering Company SkyChef lays off hundreds

Tue Oct 05, 2021 6:55 pm

LAXdenizen wrote:

As I routinely fly with 3 elementary school-aged kids, we take Delta because they have IFE on domestic flights. I would gladly choose an airline based on food availability. It's just one thing off my plate to have to manage as a dad. That small meal can make-or-break a trip and be the difference between a good flight and a miserable flight.


Have you flown Alaska and used the pre-order of wraps/cheese & fruit plates? Do you think that's a reasonable accommodation for your situation?
 
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LAXdenizen
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Re: Airline Catering Company SkyChef lays off hundreds

Tue Oct 05, 2021 7:40 pm

MIflyer12 wrote:
LAXdenizen wrote:

As I routinely fly with 3 elementary school-aged kids, we take Delta because they have IFE on domestic flights. I would gladly choose an airline based on food availability. It's just one thing off my plate to have to manage as a dad. That small meal can make-or-break a trip and be the difference between a good flight and a miserable flight.


Have you flown Alaska and used the pre-order of wraps/cheese & fruit plates? Do you think that's a reasonable accommodation for your situation?



I'm 50, so I grew up with an expectation of food being served on domestic flights. That devolved into an option to purchase food on domestic flights (fine, I'll adjust). That then devolved into no option to purchase food on domestic flights which I discovered on AA LAX-MIA-LAX in August (yo, this was an unexpected problem!)

I have not flown Alaska.

Yes, the food situation can be somewhat mitigated by bringing from home, but there's always the potential for:
    1. a TSA agent stopping me to examine our foodstuff
    2. said TSA agent prohibiting said foodstuff (yogurt)
    3. Food being cold at the time of consumption
    4. food spilling or being crushed
    5. food taking up valuable space on my carry-on (as I said I've got 3 children)

    Alternatively, buying food at the airport can mitigate the lack of food on board, but there's always the potential for:
      1. Restaurants closed
      2. Not great food options
      3. astronomical prices
      4. Poor food quality
      5. Long lines
      6. Wait times to be seated
      7. Wait times to be served
      8. Wait times to get bill

All the above are potential stressors. Knowing that there will be food on the plane (pretty much the best time to eat something) reduces that stress. I mean, there are tray tables there for a reason and it's not to clip ones toenails.
 
T5towbar
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Re: Airline Catering Company SkyChef lays off hundreds

Tue Oct 05, 2021 8:19 pm

CALMSP wrote:
its going to be interesting in DEN when LSG takes over UA. So many of the current catering employees are moving to the ramp and/or UGE in order to keep their flight benefits. I don't know how LSG plans to be able to source enough staff for UA ops.



Pretty much all of the previous Chelsea (former UA Food Service) have been transitioned over to Gate Gourmet staff. They kept everyone who wanted to stay. They removed the UA markings off of all of the trucks and will be putting on the Gate Gourmet logos. I guess they are keeping the kitchen and all of the vehicles as well to serve the UA contract here in EWR.

I don't know how much the rumor was true, but I don't think that they can now come over to UA unless they started as a new hire, and would lose their company seniority. So people (who could come over - especially the people with SIDA) pretty much stayed put. I don't know what the pay is either, but I think it on par with UA. I also heard that their company seniority (vacation; boarding; furlough) would not be carried over or honored if they tried to come over to the ramp, even though we are hiring (like everyone else). Since they are no longer UA employees, all of their seniority is now gone.
 
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lightsaber
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Re: Airline Catering Company SkyChef lays off hundreds

Tue Oct 05, 2021 8:44 pm

LAXdenizen wrote:
MIflyer12 wrote:
LAXdenizen wrote:

As I routinely fly with 3 elementary school-aged kids, we take Delta because they have IFE on domestic flights. I would gladly choose an airline based on food availability. It's just one thing off my plate to have to manage as a dad. That small meal can make-or-break a trip and be the difference between a good flight and a miserable flight.


Have you flown Alaska and used the pre-order of wraps/cheese & fruit plates? Do you think that's a reasonable accommodation for your situation?



I'm 50, so I grew up with an expectation of food being served on domestic flights. That devolved into an option to purchase food on domestic flights (fine, I'll adjust). That then devolved into no option to purchase food on domestic flights which I discovered on AA LAX-MIA-LAX in August (yo, this was an unexpected problem!)

I have not flown Alaska.

Yes, the food situation can be somewhat mitigated by bringing from home, but there's always the potential for:
    1. a TSA agent stopping me to examine our foodstuff
    2. said TSA agent prohibiting said foodstuff (yogurt)
    3. Food being cold at the time of consumption
    4. food spilling or being crushed
    5. food taking up valuable space on my carry-on (as I said I've got 3 children)

    Alternatively, buying food at the airport can mitigate the lack of food on board, but there's always the potential for:
      1. Restaurants closed
      2. Not great food options
      3. astronomical prices
      4. Poor food quality
      5. Long lines
      6. Wait times to be seated
      7. Wait times to be served
      8. Wait times to get bill

All the above are potential stressors. Knowing that there will be food on the plane (pretty much the best time to eat something) reduces that stress. I mean, there are tray tables there for a reason and it's not to clip ones toenails.

I'll add, as a parent, trying to coordinate food at the airport is stressful and time consuming and everyone has a preference that requires putting on the patent voice of "we are waiting in one line and if you won't choose, stewed beets it is." It is almost like some airlines prefer families not fly.

If I can pre-buy food for flights, I do. Ironically, LCCs are great at this, legacies not so much.

We're going to speed and cost as the differentiators. Next economic boom, it will be food again, nut that is years away.

Lightsaber
 
freakyrat
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Re: Airline Catering Company SkyChef lays off hundreds

Tue Oct 05, 2021 8:49 pm

Lightsaber"(/quote

I'm afraid that, until there is a reason to attract higher yield coach, extreme cost cutting will be the rule with BOB, in my opinion.

Lightsaber[/quote]

Yes You are right. I just checked a fare for next July DFW-SBN for a rescheduled Indy concert. Looks like the airlines are going to try to make up lost yields. Fare is going up $100.00 R/T. I going to wait and see what Southwest is going to charge from DAL-MDW.
 
freakyrat
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Re: Updated: Airline Catering SkyChef and Gate Gourmet lays off hundreds

Tue Oct 05, 2021 8:58 pm

Hey Lightsaber You are right about the food at airports. I was once flying AirTran from BMI-HOU via ATL when some girl sitting in fron of me brought some smelly Sushi on board. She was also going to HOU. In Atlanta I got even and brought a box of Popeyes Cajun Chicken on baord.

Anyway this is a great topic. I remember living in Houston and flying Continental a lot under Gordon Bethune. You would always get something nice at mealtimes in Coach. That went all out the window with Smisek as he got rid of their Chelsea Flight Kitchen etc.
 
USAirKid
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Re: Airline Catering Company SkyChef lays off hundreds

Tue Oct 05, 2021 9:06 pm

727231 wrote:
The catering lost out when more and more airports finally went to outside vendors and food courts. Used to be only a snack bar operated by airhost or something bland like that.


The onboard catering isn't really related to what is served in the terminal. I've never known them to be handled by the same company.
 
MIflyer12
Posts: 9991
Joined: Mon Feb 18, 2013 11:58 pm

Re: Airline Catering Company SkyChef lays off hundreds

Tue Oct 05, 2021 11:10 pm

LAXdenizen wrote:
MIflyer12 wrote:
LAXdenizen wrote:

As I routinely fly with 3 elementary school-aged kids, we take Delta because they have IFE on domestic flights. I would gladly choose an airline based on food availability. It's just one thing off my plate to have to manage as a dad. That small meal can make-or-break a trip and be the difference between a good flight and a miserable flight.


Have you flown Alaska and used the pre-order of wraps/cheese & fruit plates? Do you think that's a reasonable accommodation for your situation?



I'm 50, so I grew up with an expectation of food being served on domestic flights. That devolved into an option to purchase food on domestic flights (fine, I'll adjust). That then devolved into no option to purchase food on domestic flights which I discovered on AA LAX-MIA-LAX in August (yo, this was an unexpected problem!)

I have not flown Alaska.


I am likewise of an age where there was an expectation for food - even on something like BOS-ORD.

I'm taking some Alaska flights next week and have pre-ordered, a couple of segments greater than the qualifying 670 miles. I don't know if they would have prompted me as the final 20 hour advance purchase deadline approached. The choices were rather limited but it avoids a scramble to find something in the airport and carry it on-board.

With CARES Act (and subsequent) PSP money gone, and the no involuntary furloughs restriction that went with it, I believe airline catering support employees are in for tough times.
 
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AirKevin
Posts: 840
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Re: Airline Catering Company SkyChef lays off hundreds

Tue Oct 05, 2021 11:19 pm

LAXdenizen wrote:
Yes, the food situation can be somewhat mitigated by bringing from home, but there's always the potential for:
    1. a TSA agent stopping me to examine our foodstuff
    2. said TSA agent prohibiting said foodstuff (yogurt)
    3. Food being cold at the time of consumption
    4. food spilling or being crushed
    5. food taking up valuable space on my carry-on (as I said I've got 3 children)

Also add said TSA agent not putting everything back in the bag in the same order it was taken out, which results in said food being flat. I don't particularly like eating flat waffles. Also, if you're returning from a trip, bringing food from home might be a bit challenging to do.
 
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UPlog
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Re: Updated: Airline Catering SkyChef and Gate Gourmet lays off hundreds

Wed Oct 06, 2021 12:06 am

With government handouts finishing, I reckon many companies will finally right-size.

We see it in airlines finally now dropping cities they had to serve, and its only natural host of companies look at their workforces and adjust as appropriate.
 
N628AU
Posts: 377
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Re: Airline Catering Company SkyChef lays off hundreds

Wed Oct 06, 2021 2:41 am

WayexTDI wrote:
frmrCapCadet wrote:
In my state all workers are paid the minimum wage, including those who may receive tips. Exactly what that minimum wage is a little complicated, but the net effect is that $15 is becoming the standard minimum. Despite this, restaurants are not able to remain fully staffed.

In every single state of the US, the worker is guaranteed either the Federal minimum wage of $7.25 or his/hers own state minimum wage, whichever is the highest; that is either through full employer payment, $2.13 an hour + tips, or $2.13 + tips + employer making the difference up to $7.25.
And, you are correct: although a lot of states are still at the minimum Federal legal wage, the reality is that the actual minimum wage is getting closer to that $15 mark by the simple effect of the free market.



California does not allow tip credit. Servers in CA get the state mandated minimum wage plus tips.
 
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william
Posts: 3524
Joined: Thu Jun 10, 1999 1:31 pm

Re: Updated: Airline Catering SkyChef and Gate Gourmet lays off hundreds

Wed Oct 06, 2021 3:27 am

Hope the OP friend finds work quickly. I used to work for Sky Chefs in the 90s, fun times and fun memories. Stuff that happens on the ramp would make for a good sitcom, comedy and drama. The amount of food thrown away off an incoming flight, wow! You don't miss something till its gone, and I am puzzled reading people lament about the loss of food service. Be truthful, you really did not eat the food anyway.
 
frmrCapCadet
Posts: 5039
Joined: Thu May 29, 2008 8:24 pm

Re: Updated: Airline Catering SkyChef and Gate Gourmet lays off hundreds

Wed Oct 06, 2021 12:06 pm

william wrote:
Hope the OP friend finds work quickly. I used to work for Sky Chefs in the 90s, fun times and fun memories. Stuff that happens on the ramp would make for a good sitcom, comedy and drama. The amount of food thrown away off an incoming flight, wow! You don't miss something till its gone, and I am puzzled reading people lament about the loss of food service. Be truthful, you really did not eat the food anyway.


Airline food in coach class (I can't speak for 1st) has always had an element of 'piss elegance' about it. And what with vegans, vegetarians, no gluten, and other variations it is about impossible. There are limited menus of foods with shelf life, taste at least a little better than OK, and nutritious, plus easy to serve and easy to heat. Some even have an element of elegance. If the computers work you would order your food two days ahead of time, and about when in the flight you would prefer it. And pay for it.

ps - WN's peanuts suited me just fine, FAs would even give me an extra couple, and I could skip stopping for a snack on the drive home.
 
WayexTDI
Posts: 2449
Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2018 4:38 pm

Re: Airline Catering Company SkyChef lays off hundreds

Wed Oct 06, 2021 2:05 pm

N628AU wrote:
WayexTDI wrote:
frmrCapCadet wrote:
In my state all workers are paid the minimum wage, including those who may receive tips. Exactly what that minimum wage is a little complicated, but the net effect is that $15 is becoming the standard minimum. Despite this, restaurants are not able to remain fully staffed.

In every single state of the US, the worker is guaranteed either the Federal minimum wage of $7.25 or his/hers own state minimum wage, whichever is the highest; that is either through full employer payment, $2.13 an hour + tips, or $2.13 + tips + employer making the difference up to $7.25.
And, you are correct: although a lot of states are still at the minimum Federal legal wage, the reality is that the actual minimum wage is getting closer to that $15 mark by the simple effect of the free market.



California does not allow tip credit. Servers in CA get the state mandated minimum wage plus tips.

CA, and other states, goes above and beyond Federal Law, that's their choice. However, the $7.25 cash + tip is the minimum basic wage for every worker aged 18 and up; my statement is correct.
 
LNCS0930
Posts: 222
Joined: Sun Mar 01, 2020 9:17 pm

Re: Airline Catering Company SkyChef lays off hundreds

Wed Oct 06, 2021 2:19 pm

B747forever wrote:
Regarding the Delta snack boxes, Delta could learn a thing or two from Alaska who currently have the best catering in First of all domestic carriers. Basically full service with hot meals on all flights longer than 1,100mi, and not just on a select few premium routes as other carriers.


Didn’t Delta among a couple of others as recently as 2018 and 2019 bring back meals in parts of economy on transcons? It seems carriers just use bad times as an excuse to cut stuff even when bad times are over. I think you can safely say all the major carriers will make more money this year than they made in 2010, 2011, 2012 and in some cases like UAL maybe even 2013 and 2014 too. Last I remember meal service was pretty good in those years
 
Noshow
Posts: 2683
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2016 3:20 pm

Re: Updated: Airline Catering SkyChef and Gate Gourmet lays off hundreds

Thu Oct 07, 2021 9:10 am

Catering looks like being seen by many airlines as a cost factor only these days. So they abandon it and the catering companies. I am surprised that legacy carriers don't use food more efficiently to create some unique brand profile above the one of low cost airlines. For 10 dollars worth of "free" food you can easily sell a ticket for 50 bugs more and make passengers happy. It's not about lobster but -say- a cheese sandwich or not. Legacy pricing and lowcost-airline non-service just don't add up. Some airlines like KLM provide some basic food service even in economy class at no extra cost. I think this is the right way to do it.

We are behind the boom days now it is back to fighting for customer business after covid-19 and improving services.
 
Noshow
Posts: 2683
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2016 3:20 pm

Re: Updated: Airline Catering SkyChef and Gate Gourmet lays off hundreds

Thu Oct 07, 2021 9:42 am

And what I forgot to say food might be the best tool to fight unruly passengers.

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