Food For Sale: Do you buy it? [POLL]
In recent days the topic of airline food has been in the news. There have been numerous articles written about the downfall of airline food, to how the buy on board program works – with Philly.com even showcasing their journalists hunger pains when the crew sold out of Italian club sandwiches at Row 24.
I spoke about the “downfall” of airline food on FOX5 in San Diego just two weeks ago. I was asked what I thought started the decline of food on coach, and really, it all started with the cost cutting post 9/11. Slowly, airlines phased out free food in coach and started the a-la-carte program. The first airline being America West Airlines and the last airline to phase out free food was Continental just last year. Therefore, it should be common knowledge that if you’re sitting in coach you’re going to have to pay for your food and snacks.
Now the economics of having a buy-onboard program is where the passengers may lose out. The airline won’t be stocking the plane with 150 sandwiches, or one for each person, because the chances of everyone buying one is slim to none. So, they preform a “market analysis” on each route to gauge just how much food is being purchased on a particular flight and then they adjust the initial inventory accordingly. The last thing they want to do is put more food on the plane than is sold, therefore creating both food and monetary waste. I would guess (an educated guess) that most airlines will board enough meals for 20% of the airplane. The rest of the inventory would be snack items.
All of this talk got me thinking: how many of you actually wait to buy food on the plane, as opposed to buying it in the terminal or packing it with you? Also, if you’ve ever found yourself in the situation where you were seated in the back of the plane and food had already sold out — did you contact the airline to let them know? Take our poll!