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US Domestic F Meals: what is the US airlines’ POV?

Posted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 2:25 am
by questions
US airlines have become more adept at selling domestic F class seats and reserving upgrades for the most revenue-contributing flyers. However, it seems the investment in and quality of meal service is declining (according to various other sites). Photos of sandwiches, bags of potato chips and cellophane wrapped cookies thrown onto a paper lined tray for lunch on a three hour flight hardly screams PREMIUM.

It would appear US airlines are making more money from F than ever. So why is there a decline? Do passengers just not care? Do Marketing and Finance executives believe that there is no incremental bump in revenue to offer something more, i.e., “What we offer is just good enough. We would not make any more money if we served filet mignon.”

What is the POV of US airlines for domestic F catering?

Re: US Domestic F Meals: what is the US airlines’ POV?

Posted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 2:38 am
by Newbiepilot
Food was certainly worse in the mid 2000s in the bankruptcy eras. It seemed like every flight had a pasta with red sauce entree since it is super cheap to make. I remember after the HP merger, US Airways was atrocious. Snack baskets only up to 3.5 hours and the meals they had were dreadfully transcon.

Re: US Domestic F Meals: what is the US airlines’ POV?

Posted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 2:48 am
by einsteinboricua
I have yet to fly F on mainline UA. However, I can tell you right now that AA has the lead between it and DL. My last experience with F on DL we had a decent meal (SEA-ATL). But I just had a flight with AA (ORD-DCA) and whereas I was expecting a snack basket or a cold sandwich, we actually got the three course meal: salad with nuts, main entree (I chose the beef which was superb), and dessert (chocolate chip or snickerdoodle cookie).

Now, it WAS dinner so it was welcomed nonetheless. Way better than a snack basket on transcons like when US was still around, which was the norm.

Re: US Domestic F Meals: what is the US airlines’ POV?

Posted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 3:04 am
by bagoldex
questions wrote:
US airlines have become more adept at selling domestic F class seats and reserving upgrades for the most revenue-contributing flyers. However, it seems the investment in and quality of meal service is declining (according to various other sites). Photos of sandwiches, bags of potato chips and cellophane wrapped cookies thrown onto a paper lined tray for lunch on a three hour flight hardly screams PREMIUM.

It would appear US airlines are making more money from F than ever. So why is there a decline? Do passengers just not care? Do Marketing and Finance executives believe that there is no incremental bump in revenue to offer something more, i.e., “What we offer is just good enough. We would not make any more money if we served filet mignon.”

What is the POV of US airlines for domestic F catering?


I don't think many people care. Most people recognize the limitations of airline catering and either accept it for what it is or eat beforehand. Generally I only eat onboard if I didn't get to the airport in time to eat before or if it's a transcon or long haul flight where the food is apt to be marginally better than what would be served on LGA-ORD or BOS-MIA for example.

Re: US Domestic F Meals: what is the US airlines’ POV?

Posted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 3:31 am
by FlyHappy
As previously mentioned, the catering is certainly better than in the bankruptcy era. I wonder if many of those who lament the current quality do not remember or are not old enough to have experienced it.

The reality is that most F domestic fliers are business travelers and as such, can expense a quality meal in the airport.... which today often resemble shopping malls with massive (and good) food choice. Between that, and premium lounges, I think that F fliers aren't so concerned about in-flight gastronomy. Priority check-in, a comfortable seat/legroom, a quick egress, priority bag handling are the priorities.
Obviously, things are different for the long haul experience, and sure enough, US3 and Hawaiian do well here.

Personally, I find the meal offerings on DL and SY for 3 hour flights to be quite excellent.

Re: US Domestic F Meals: what is the US airlines’ POV?

Posted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 4:19 am
by LH658
Well American hospitality between Asian carriers is way different. Also in catering you are limited, though I had good meal services on DL and AA. UA, was okay.

Re: US Domestic F Meals: what is the US airlines’ POV?

Posted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 4:48 am
by jeffrey1970
I remember when I was a kid back in the 70's & 80's you could get a meal even on a 1 hour flight. However, a lot of people used to complain about the taste, and they would say that airlines should not even bother making food if it is going to be so bad. I guess they got their wish. lol

Re: US Domestic F Meals: what is the US airlines’ POV?

Posted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 4:50 am
by Rookie87
questions wrote:
US airlines have become more adept at selling domestic F class seats and reserving upgrades for the most revenue-contributing flyers. However, it seems the investment in and quality of meal service is declining (according to various other sites). Photos of sandwiches, bags of potato chips and cellophane wrapped cookies thrown onto a paper lined tray for lunch on a three hour flight hardly screams PREMIUM.

It would appear US airlines are making more money from F than ever. So why is there a decline? Do passengers just not care? Do Marketing and Finance executives believe that there is no incremental bump in revenue to offer something more, i.e., “What we offer is just good enough. We would not make any more money if we served filet mignon.”

What is the POV of US airlines for domestic F catering?


I’d be weary of using subjective views from other posters regarding their personal experience. I’ve been on flight where one person thought the meal was the best they’ve ever had and the one next to them took one bite and said it was garbage. At least at AA, the domestic F meals have been improving. What is being offered keeps changing and you can even pre order a fruit and cheese plate if you don’t care for either options when you’re buying your ticket.
Regarding the pictures, everyone thinks they are professional photographers AND not all flight attendants plate food as they should be. With those combined, you would end up with “bad” food pictures such as what you mentioned in your opening statement.
The cookies on AA are done by the same company that does the cookies for Double tree hotels and frankly, I find them to be delicious.
I’d kill for a pretzel roll on AA especially if heated up the right way (not burnt, not hard). I swear I need to do a trip report lol

Re: US Domestic F Meals: what is the US airlines’ POV?

Posted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 4:51 am
by adamblang
Domestic F meals vary widely within each of the major carriers. You'll get very different options on flights departing within an hour of each other on, say, American's ORD-DCA, because they fall outside of different meal bands or United's ORD-DCA within a time band because one's Express and one's mainline.

United's got a whole matrix of meal options with 32 (!) different market/duration/time/carrier variations: https://www.united.com/web/en-US/conten ... ining.aspx

Re: US Domestic F Meals: what is the US airlines’ POV?

Posted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 8:09 am
by jetwet1
Newbiepilot wrote:
Food was certainly worse in the mid 2000s in the bankruptcy eras. It seemed like every flight had a pasta with red sauce entree since it is super cheap to make. I remember after the HP merger, US Airways was atrocious. Snack baskets only up to 3.5 hours and the meals they had were dreadfully transcon.


The infamous US caesars salad? I actually liked it, the first 20-30 times I had it, after that it became a monotonous.

Rookie87 wrote:

I’d be weary of using subjective views from other posters regarding their personal experience. I’ve been on flight where one person thought the meal was the best they’ve ever had and the one next to them took one bite and said it was garbage. At least at AA, the domestic F meals have been improving. What is being offered keeps changing and you can even pre order a fruit and cheese plate if you don’t care for either options when you’re buying your ticket.
Regarding the pictures, everyone thinks they are professional photographers AND not all flight attendants plate food as they should be. With those combined, you would end up with “bad” food pictures such as what you mentioned in your opening statement.
The cookies on AA are done by the same company that does the cookies for Double tree hotels and frankly, I find them to be delicious.
I’d kill for a pretzel roll on AA especially if heated up the right way (not burnt, not hard). I swear I need to do a trip report lol


The pre ordering of a meal is a good idea, as long as the airlines can actually pull it off and yes, going back in time there was a tortellini dish that AA offered, I loved it, the wife hated it.

In general the food has improved over the last 5 years, till not up to the fresh cut prime rib days of old, but it's getting better IMHO.