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Old 09-10-2002, 08:48 PM   #1
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Can We Stomach Paying For Airline Food?

Can We Stomach Paying For Airline Food?

Imagine the next time you book a flight, you're asked if you want to purchase a meal or a snack. If you decline, your fare is $20 to $50 cheaper.

According to some U.S. airline executives, this could be the future.

These executives said the policies -- while still very much in the conceptual stages -- would apply primarily to passengers in coach or those who purchased nonrefundable tickets.

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Old 09-11-2002, 07:19 AM   #2
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$20 or $50 is a bit steep, and certainly not anywhere near the sub-$5 that it costs to put that tray in front of you. (certainly more, round-trip, and if you have multiple segments with meals)

This wouldn't really affect me at all. Most of my travel is first class and includes a lunch or dinner. For breakfast, I eat at the Presidents Club before taking off. In the rare instance when I'm in coach, paying $8 for a sandwich at the airport that I can bring onboard is fine with me and results in a much finer meal than you could buy onboard.

For economical short and medium haul travel, airlines really don't need to be worrying about serving meals. Bring your own and get over it. When you're up front or on the real long hauls where it would be impractical for everyone to bring food for themselves, it's reasonable for the airlines to be expected to serve a meal included with all fares merely to keep complexity and confusion to a minimum.

Times really have changed. I'd love to find articles about Continental Airlines serving Subway sandwiches to coach passengers on short and medium haul flights. This must have been in the late 80s or early 90s, although it was very short lived. One problem with the Subway catering plan was that several of the components on Subway sandwiches are not suitable for travel, so everything was served "dry." Additionally, given the thousands of possible permutations of sandwich ingredients, you didn't exactly get the same kind of choices that you had when you were at the store. The current sandwich that they serve is more like a bread roll with a small slice of meat included.
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