seeking comments on airline food

I am seeking comments on airplane food — especially international carriers, even if you haven’t flown in a while. The link above connects to an article focusing on British Airways’ meal service. What do you think airlines should do to improve their food service in terms of cost, payment, presentation, choices or other considerations? I’m looking for comments over the next week or so. Link and comments will go into a permanent blog entry. Read some news from KLM. See my opening comment below and add your own.

Airlines are cutting corners and adding fees in ever more annoying ways lately. One of the reasons I like Virgin Atlantic is that – so far – their food service is still included in the ticket price. They have long had provision for vegan, kosher or other dietary restrictions. I have occasionally flown business class, but other than some additional ‘freebies’ like a glass of champagne or o.j. upon boarding or real flatware instead of plastic utensils, I don’t see much difference between these upper class meals and what Virgin serves in economy class. All drinks, including alcohol, with the exception of champagne, are included. Meals are usually a choice of at least 2, if not 3 varieties. This is typically a chicken dish, a beef dish and a vegetarian dish. Salad, bread and butter, extra water, a choice of red or white wine, some cheese and a dessert. Sure, the portions are small and you still have to keep your elbows pinned to your sides, but the food is fresh, the main courses are hot and the cabin staff are prompt with the tea and coffee. Virgin used to include a choice of cognac or Bailey’s after dinner and very often they will still pass out ice cream bars or sandwiches for folks to slurp while watching any one of the dozens of (free) movies, TV shows, or other entertainment options. Note: I’m not paid by Virgin to rave about them. I just really like their service. Sadly, even Icelandair has begun charging separately for food items in economy class. One can only hope this will not be permanent. If it is, I’d like to see a pre-payment option either when the ticket is purchased or during online checkin. The airlines could always ask about food when you check your bag or at the gate. Perhaps the choice of menu item would be at the last minute, when the airline knows what food is available on that particular flight.

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