Changes in Inflight Service

Has anyone else noticed this change?

Over the last 14 years, as I have commuted between Asia, Europe and North America, the basic service plan for a long haul flight (longer than 5 hours) was:

Beverages, Main Meal, Tea/Coffee, (Lights Off) Ice cream midway through lights off, as well as water and juice every hour (Lights On), Breakfast/Sandwich before Landing.

However, over the last year or so, ice cream has disappeared, but more importantly, the light meal before landing is also gone. Since most long-haul flights are across borders, I think it is quite inhospitable and maybe even inhumane, to remove the light meal before landing. On a 5 hour flight, 3 hours have passed from the last meal, when the plane starts to make its descent. By the time the plane lands, taxis to the gate, and the passengers pass through immigrations and customs, at least one hour has passed, and in US airports maybe even two or three hours. That is 4-6 hours without food. On a 7 hour flight, the passengers will have been hungry for 6-8 hours.

What will a simple sandwich cost the airline per flight? $2/sandwich? $300-500 per flight? How much in terms of fuel costs? A simple sandwich would weigh about 100g.  So 15-25 kg of extra weight per flight.  At $20 per kg, maybe sandwiches for 250 passengers on a 7 hour flight could cost the airline, $500 in fuel costs, and $1000 altogether.

Considering that I just paid $1000 for my long haul flight, as did the 200 or more passengers sitting next to me, does the airline really want to keep us hungry for 7 hours till we are able to get to the nearest restaurant? Is that treatment really humane?

This entry was published on February 13, 2011 at 9:09 am. It’s filed under Airlines, Aviation, tourism, travel and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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