What’s wrong with airlines: Part 01

This post comes to you from Terminal 2 at Charles de Gaulle Airport. Am enroute from New York to Bombay. We landed half an hour ago. Took the Delta to Paris and onward to Bombay.

And frankly airlines suck !! And I guess its across airlines, not just Delta. The food sucks. Big time. If there is one thing that airlines can do to improve their image with the paying customer, it is better food.

Food as a commodity is non-existant in domestic flying in the US. In some cases you pay for a cold sandwich or some sort of the same tasteless heartless “stuff”. But on international flights, its another thing. Airlines are expected to provide food but do so grudgingly.

As the saying goes…..”the way to man’s heart is through is stomach” is very true in this case.

The airlines takes a dude, cramps him in an 18″ seat for over 7 hours or more and then gives him very little portions of completely passable food. Are you kidding me. If that aint a sign of “I Dont Like You The Paying Customer” I don’t know what is.

I do not have the statistical information, but I am sure that providing a better meal is not so very expensive in the larger scheme of things. I would gladly pay 10-20 $ more for a better meal. And why not. The whole experience of flying, especially in “cattle class” a.k.a economy is one of displeasure. Cramped seats, shabby aircrafts, boring entertainment, and indifferent airhostesses. The one thing that would make people happy in this case is good food. By that I don’t mean “patra ni macchi” and tandoori and biryani, but just good food. Not something that tastes like TV dinners.

My dinner on the flight consisted of two pieces of chicken each the size of a chicken tikka, some veggies, some insipid sauce, one lettuce salad (three bites) a roll so small it was “biting” size…if you know what I mean. And, and, and this whole thing of charging for alcohol pisses me off everytime I encounter it, even though this aint something very new.

One day, when I decide that I have had enough with architecture and urban design, and want to venture out, I will start an airline. And the USP for the airline will be food. Of course all the other stuff is a given. Good aircrafts, safety, security, on time blah blah blah. The biggest thing will be good food. Everyone will flock to the airline as much for the fun of flying in it as for the food.

There is a certain charm in eating while travelling. In India we travel by train and every station has a certain gastronomic delight we await eagerly. If its Karjat, its got to be vadas. If it is Dahanu, then its Nariyal Paani and Chikoo. If it is Baroda, it is the masala doodh. If it is Mathura, it is the petha…..and on and on and on.

Why cant the same be for airlines !!

So Mr. Chairman of Delta Airlines, this is my appeal to you as a customer. Please improve the food. And all you CEO’s of world airlines, you all too heed the warning. Improve food, or then the day aint so far away when my airlines, will kick your butt and then don’t say I didn’t warn you.

More on this in the days to come as I have a lot of travelling to do in the next two months.

5 Comments

  1. Kamla December 26, 2005

    Arzan:

    Yes, airlines are notorious for serving unpalatable food. I just took an American Airlines (AA) international flight and on the way out no food was served. Instead, they were selling doggie bags for $3 each! And on the way back we got a meal that consisted of white rice, with boiled chicken and a cup of wilted salad greens.

    As far as flying to India from the US. One word…you flew the wrong airlines. Delta and AA are not known for their food quality. Emirates, Cathay, Korean and Singapore have much better food served on their flights to India. I think Singapore Airlines has some great food, and service.

    Lufthansa serves passable Indian food, and so does Northwest/Air France.

    Better luck next time, and try flying a different airlines.

    Happy Hols!

    Kamla

  2. Bidisha December 27, 2005

    Only the American operated airlines charge you for alcohol, none of the others do. And agree with Kamla, I’ve flown with Singapore Airlines more than once, and the food is always awesome, along with the service. But its mighty expensive for flying to India, though 🙁

  3. Aarti December 27, 2005

    Maybe you should try and run an airline which provides good food, cheap tickets, excellent service AND manages to cope with rising jet fuel costs AND still makes a profit to stay afloat.

    The airline industry is a much more serious business than whining on a blog. Learn to accomodate or better still, fly business class. In either case, stop beating the dead dog. The airline-bashing gig has been done a bazillion times.

  4. arZan December 28, 2005

    Kamla

    Thanks a lot for the input. I had to fly Delta because of the freq. flier miles, which I have planed to use for a very special occassion.

    Bidisha, yes Singapore airlines has great food, but its an extra long haul from NYC to BOM an much more expensive than others.

    Aarti

    My blog, my space, i do as i wish. Thank you for stopping by. It is not compulsory to do so.

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