I’ve been saying for a long time that I do not understand why food on flights has to be so horrible. It’s not the cost-cutting part, I get that. What I don’t get is why airlines don’t try to follow one of two routes which I believe would be a better action:
1. Marketing approach!
Have some caterer provide the food and cut your costs by allowing them to advertise on the flight. Let them tell me who made what I’m eating and where I can find them once I land and I guarantee that they will make sure that the food in front of me doesn’t suck so much. Such a deal should also result in having the airline pay less for the food, since the caterer is getting free advertisement – if I like it, I know where to go eat when I land.
I’m not an expert in this area so maybe there are other problems here which I’m not seeing (greed sounds like something I may be missing).So that brings me to option 2.
2. Make me pay for it, but at least give me options!
Airlines are getting really really good at price segmentation. You’ve got low-cost airlines, regular economy tickets, economy tickets + extra legroom, economy tickets + even more extra legroom and then the business/first class choices. Depending on how much you’re willing to budget for your comfort, you have enough options to satisfy almost everyone. Except for meals.
Meals come in two flavours. If you’re in the expensive bracket (business etc.), I’m guessing your meal may actually taste like food (I wouldn’t know because I was never there, but if you pay that much for a ticket and still get crappy food, I’d be quite furious if I were you). If you’re in the economy section, irrelevant of other upgrades, you get flavoured plastic. Why? Why does this have to be black and white?
How about you give me the option to get even MORE of my money for something that tastes at least somewhat like organic matter? Yes, it will be overpriced, yes I will complain loudly about it, but at least give me the option. Just because I don’t travel business doesn’t mean I can’t get a few bucks out to not eat recycled paper. Yes, it’s annoying that I have to do that and that your regular food serving can’t be at least half-decent, but if I am willing to do it, why not let me?
To my great surprise, someone has finally caught on to this! KLM is now introducing an “A la carte menu” in the economy class. As the title says… it’s about time!
…Of course, soon I will probably blog complaining about how they’re making me pay extra for decent food. Oh well, you can’t change human nature.