Believe it or not, but there are actually some people who enjoy having a meal up in the sky thousand of miles above sea level. Unfortunately, for this segment of airline passengers there is some bad news. The last warrior of the airline industry which had the courage to offer complimentary meals, Continental Airlines, has ceased doing so from a date marked in history as the end of free meals on airlines in America, October 12th 2010. Everyone will have to settle for a pack of cookies in the early part of the day and the rest of the day, simply a pouch of pretzels. Not to forget, the graciousness of the airline to offer hot drinks such as tea and coffee and cold drinks such as aerated beverages or juices that you will still be able to sip from your travel cup holder.
This is not to say that you will be deprived of a satisfying meal but the only difference is that you will now have to pay for it. Continental has joined the league of other airlines which look to save about $35 million every year, which seems like a lot, but realistically is just a drop in the ocean as compared to the kind of expenditures they have. However, during these rough times for the economy, every little bit counts. Catering for food on board is also now a stream for revenue that the airlines can easily earn from, similar to cheaper airlines who sell trinkets (like a drink holder) or wheelchair accessories to make extra income.
The biggest competition, which arises for airlines today in terms of sale of eatables on board, is the success of the airport food industry. Most passengers prefer to get a quick bite at the airport or pack a meal to have on board by purchasing it from an outlet at the ground terminal itself. Reason being that the variety of food on offer with the presence of many known food chains at the airport enables passengers to get more value for their money. Travelers spend up to $8 on average on food alone at the airport and airlines would like to capture that market by coming up with innovative and irresistible meal options on board itself.
Some airlines have jumped into the foray offering an enriching dining experience in the skies by putting on offer premium meals. These meals start off with a glass of sparkling wine and end with a dessert to tickle your taste buds. Everything comes at a price and so does this. United Airlines gives their passengers the facility to book at least 72 hours in advance through the internet and pay a sum of $24.99 for the meal. In spite of the changes, this might be worthwhile, so happy digging in.