Provided by: Singapore Airlines
The scent of in-flight meals once again hangs in the cabin at 35,000 feet.
From vegan meatballs to ice cream sundaes, airlines are offering new options and classic favorites to lure returning travelers.As Peak travel season wanes With inflation weighing on household and business budgets, it’s even more important than usual for airlines to win passengers.
Favorite in-flight meal ending For comedians, it’s not the biggest reason travelers choose airlines. Price and schedule are much stronger factors. But it’s the comfort on board that could go a long way in winning over passengers, especially those willing to pay for premium seats, analysts say.
“Food is one of the most tangible signals of how airlines think about their customers,” said Henry Hartveldt, founder of travel consultancy Atmosphere Research Group and former airline executive.
The onset of the Covid-19 pandemic disrupted travel and halted nearly all food and beverage services on flights as airlines restricted contact between crew and passengers to avoid spreading the virus. record loss We asked them to cut costs as much as possible, such as in-flight meals.
As travel resumes, airlines around the world are rolling out new menu options. alcohol saleshas returned to coach cabins in the United States, along with some new ready-to-drink options.
As tastes change and airlines face supply chain challenges, seat back tray table dining is making a comeback with a few tweaks.
A better in-flight menu can improve an airline’s image and help attract more high-priced travelers. First and business class customers have become even more important as airlines try to recover from the economic fallout of the pandemic.
“Incentives to spend more money for incentives to get premium class passengers [on food] is expensive,” said Steve Walsh, partner in transportation and service operations at management consulting firm Oliver Wyman.
Still, he estimates that food and beverage costs are only about 3% of a full-service airline’s expenses.
By: Singapore Airlines | American Airlines
Meals are sold in many coach cabins domestically and are generally free on long-haul international flights, but many of the new services are aimed at premium class passengers with fewer passengers and more elaborate service. .
Many videos have been posted online with airline passengers reviewing the food, presentation and service in detail. will come to be expected of you. Mistakes in menu and service are amplified on his social media by disappointed travelers.
One suggestion: Delta Air Lines is offering long-haul international passengers a new sundae cup premixed with chocolate, cherries, and a spicy Belgian cookie called speculoos (known as Biscoff cookies in North America). .
“It’s clearly a tribute to Biscoff.
In more upscale cabins, such as the international Delta One, passengers can create their own sundae with a choice of toppings such as Morello Cherry Compote, Chocolate Sauce and Speculoos Cookie Crumble.
delta airlines ice cream
Source: Delta Air Lines
Delta Air Lines said in July that revenue recovery for premium products and extra-legroom seats outpaced standard coach sales.
Last week, the airline partnered with James Beard Award winner Mashama Bailey, executive chef of Savannah, Georgia-based restaurant The Gray, to create a “southern-inspired” cabin for domestic first-class passengers departing from Atlanta. announced that it would provide food. Delta His One travelers departing international flights from the hub can also pre-order menu items handpicked by Bailey.
For years, airlines have partnered with celebrity chefs to design their menus, but more recently, they have stepped up their partnerships with local businesses. In February, American Airlines brought Tamara Turner’s Silver Spoon Dessert Bundt his cake to the domestic premium his cabin.
Even before the pandemic, airlines were expanding options for travelers who wanted to vegetarian and vegan dietThese kinds of alternative dishes are now getting more attention.
“Pasta is not always the solution,” says Delta’s Henny.
Singapore Airlines, the airline that operates some of the world’s longest flights, has commissioned Southern California-based luxury spa Golden Door to develop dozens of recipes for its in-flight menu. Golden Door Executive His Chef Greg Frey his Jr. focuses on vegetable-focused dishes that are perfect for in-flight digestion.
“I think people are understandably worried that they won’t be satisfied with this vegetarian diet. [think] “I only need this piece of meat.” And after all… you don’t need that much protein when you’re sitting on a plane and relaxing.
Frey developed the portobello mushroom “A “meatball” dish served with risotto made from vegetable broth. Mushroom balls are steamed and served with heirloom tomato sauce.
“It’s very satisfying and you get all the umami flavors,” he said. “The best part is after an hour. Don’t go, ‘Oh, I wish I didn’t have the meatballs.'”
Vegetables and salads are one of the most difficult dishes to serve on board.
Airline chefs need to ensure ingredients are strong enough to withstand transportation and refrigeration, so tougher vegetables such as kale are a better choice than delicate varieties.
“We have to be very careful about the types of greens we offer,” said Leah Rubertino, a spokeswoman for American Airlines. “For example, arugula is not our friend.”
Airlines are serving salads on more flights than they were before the pandemic, Rubertino said.
The airline now offers a vegetarian option in many first-class cabins on domestic flights: the Fiesta Grain Bowl, which includes rice, quinoa, black beans, cauliflower, corn and zucchini.
Airlines are trying to source vegetables more locally, providing caterers with fresh produce and reducing transportation time and costs.
Since 2019, Singapore Airlines has used vegetables from AeroFarms, a vertical farm near Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey. Spokesman James Boyd said the airline plans to source from other vertical farms closer to major airports in the next few years.
Aerofarms Vertical Farm in New Jersey
Leslie Josephs | CNBC
Once the ingredients are procured, the challenge arises of feeding thousands of passengers. This is made even more difficult by his extensive supply chain, labor shortages and delicate ingredients.
Airlines, like airport catering kitchens and other suppliers, are struggling to find staff in tight labor markets.
American Airlines CEO Robert Isom said in a quarterly conference call in July, “There is no problem with providing pillows, blankets, plastic cups and food on aircraft.
Delta’s Henny said airlines are phasing out meals to ease the strain on service.
“I knew that flipping a switch wasn’t enough,” he said. “In the midst of the pandemic, we had to be very creative.”
As food service expands, airlines are encouraging travelers to order meals in advance. This allows airlines to know what to pack on their planes, whether it’s a special meal for a religious or other dietary restriction or a first class favorite dish.
On the other hand, some flight attendants have to handle luggage on board.
Susannah Kerr, a major airline flight attendant and member of the flight attendants union, told CNBC that if flight attendants don’t prepare vegetarian meals for premium class passengers on board, ” We may prepare an extra salad.” Make a larger salad and incorporate a cheese plate.
“We definitely got better at ‘MacGyvering,'” she said.
Correction: This article has been updated to remove an incorrect description of the Singapore Airlines risotto.