AW and NWA charging for food. How long till AA will do the same?

FA Mikey

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Aug 19, 2002
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America west charging for food in coach. Starting on the 15th of this month northwest will do the same. A year ago who could have imagined the idea? Today its only a matter of time before we are all doing it, and it becomes the accepted norm. Who knows the Competition may come down to which airline has the best food for sale in coach.
I remember EAL did it on there frill free Moonlite or Moonlight special flights for CF.
 

TWAnr

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Aug 19, 2002
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From The New York Times:

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American Airlines has determined that selling food on flights would be too complicated and expensive, and it is in early talks with concessionaires to sell food at gates, said Todd Burke, a spokesman for American. Northwest, though, is planning to sell food aboard some flights in a month-long trial starting on Wednesday.

http://www.nytimes.com/2003/01/12/business...ney/12WEST.html (on page 3).
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MrMarky

Advanced
[blockquote]
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On 1/13/2003 1:42:15 PM TWAnr wrote:

American Airlines has determined that selling food on flights would be too complicated and expensive, and it is in early talks with concessionaires to sell food at gates, said Todd Burke, a spokesman for American.
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[/blockquote]

HA! Now they expect people to PAY for those crummy Bistro Bags? What a joke.

It's quickly getting to the point where the car wash industry outclasses the airline industry. Or maybe it's already beyond that point.
 

Veritas

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Aug 19, 2002
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From Jane Allen's weekly update:[BR][BR]
[BLOCKQUOTE dir=ltr style="MARGIN-RIGHT: 0px"]
[P][FONT color=#3333ff]Airline food has been getting a fair amount of attention in the press lately. The announcements made by Northwest, United and America West in the past couple of weeks are still a focus for the media. In turn, a number of you have asked what American is doing in response. United recently announced some pretty extensive reductions in their domestic first class meal policies and in the types of food they’ll be serving. They have gone to all-cold lunches and dinners in first class, with the exception of transcons. America West has been very visible with its current experiment of selling various types of meals onboard, from a small $3 snack box to a $10 hot Chicken Kiev. And Northwest, working with LSG SkyChefs new “Inflight Caféâ€, is testing sales of sandwiches and salads.[/FONT][/P]
[P][FONT color=#3333ff][/FONT]
[P][FONT color=#3333ff]Like some of our competitors, we’ve also been in discussions with vendors about ways to provide food options to those customers that would like a meal on flights where American does not offer one. Our analysis indicates the cost and logistics of offering food for sale during the flight are not likely worth the effort. Selling food onboard may result in the need to add flight attendant staffing, which may sound appealing – but it is very unlikely that the additional revenue we would receive would cover the costs of adding flight attendants. And frankly, I doubt that any of you are eager to be in a situation where you’re handling even more money than you are today. There are also a number of other logistical issues to consider, as well, including how much food we would need to board to avoid potential waste.[/FONT][/P]
[P][FONT color=#3333ff][/FONT]
[P][FONT color=#3333ff]Thus, our approach has been to work with vendors to develop the concept of selling simple menu options in the gate areas. This approach does raise other issues, related to what individual airport boards will permit, and whether or not the airport concessionaires hold exclusive contracts for selling food, and so on. Assuming we are able to work through these types of issues with the individual airports, we are looking at testing this concept. [/FONT][/P]
[P][FONT color=#3333ff][/FONT]
[P][FONT color=#3333ff]As you might guess, there are a number of variables associated with implementing this type of service on such a wide scale – we’re talking about hundreds and hundreds of departures every day. To begin with, we would arrange testing with a vendor in a few key cities, allowing us to get a much better feel for whether or not our customers would be willing to buy food from a vendor at the gate. At the same time, this would allow the vendor to determine whether or not providing meals for sale in gate areas is both logistically feasible and economically worthwhile from their perspective. Clearly, a vendor cannot afford to offer a product that customers do not wish to buy. [/FONT][/P]
[P][FONT color=#3333ff][/FONT]
[P][FONT color=#3333ff]There are several reasons we believe the gate area is the best approach. First, by offering meals through a vendor, American assumes no costs and would realize some revenue through commissions. In addition, we do not have to develop any automation, procedures or training if a vendor is wholly providing this service. At a time when we’re doing everything we can to reduce costs, this reduces any financial risk or exposure to the company and that is extremely important.[/FONT][/P][/BLOCKQUOTE]