The Chipping Away at Passenger Amenities
Many companies think a good way to make money is reducing the product. Like at the grocery store, companies love to shrink the size of products while keeping the price the same.
For airlines, boosting profits has meant subtracting things from passengers and pretending they won’t notice. Or, if they do, requiring passengers to pay for them.
Last Wednesday we learned that United Airlines is downgrading meals to “snacks.”
United’s websitesays it’s eliminating full meals on flights under four hours outside of dinner time.
The blog View from the Wing points out that when United was looking for billions of dollars in cost savings, ironically called “Project Quality,” one of the places they went after was meal service. They even cut garlic bread and ketchup. However, they broadened their meal service windows in February 2015, offering meals on more flights than their competitors.
Still, United’s latest penny-pinching is outside the norm of airlines because it’s reducing meals offered to its more valued, elite passengers.
Frequent-flyers aren’t too happy , as it appears United has decided to only serve full meals to their higher-class travelers on flights departing between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m., and only on flights lasting 4 hours or more, instead of 3 hours.
A United spokesperson told View from The Wing: “We are offering customers a more simplified meal service on flights under four hours. With all of our food offerings, we monitor customer feedback and what they would prefer and adjust accordingly.”
Yes, the airline said this is based on “customer feedback”!