KLM Royal Dutch Airlines is testing the sale of upgraded meals to passengers in coach who don’t want the standard airline economy-class food. Passengers will be able to choose one of four specialty meals when they check in online and pay for it with a credit card, the airline announced.
This “à la carte” catering will be available for 15 euros per meal only on flights between Amsterdam and Bangkok, Taipei, Dubai, Cape Town, Singapore and Denpasar (Bali) until the end of August. The meal choices are described as a healthy Japanese meal, an Indonesian rice table, an Italian meal and an organic chicken dinner.
Passengers on those flights will still be able to get the standard meal that’s included in the airfare, if they prefer.
Most of us aren’t going to be flying those routes between now and August, so this pilot program will be significant only if it turns out to be a success and the practice spreads.
Maybe we’ll end up being able to order the crummy, overpriced boxed food that we pay for on domestic flights in advance, so at least we won’t have to worry about the airline running out.
Maybe we cheapskates will find ourselves staring at our tray of rubber chicken while the passenger in the next seat tucks into a much tastier meal.
Or maybe we’ll end up paying for all meals on longer, intercontinental flights and the “free” food will go away altogether.
I hardly expect the airlines to start offering full meal service in coach again, at any price, on domestic flights. Most airliners used for domestic service are no longer equipped or staffed to serve hot meals.