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Airline Food Goes High-End

Airlines Aiming Higher With Fancier Coach Meals

These days, airlines are engaged in new flights of fancy: in an effort to set themselves apart from competitors, many have been upping the ante on food offerings.

Airlines began charging for meals post-9/11, but food-for-purchase replacements never fared well. They came with high price tags, questionable freshness, and inventory challenges. But major players have found a way to tackle these issues, and hope to enhance their brand images with a revamped reputation for good food.

Delta Air Lines serves Ben & Jerry's ice cream, cheese plates, and a new array of dishes created by culinary impresario Todd English that includes grilled chicken gyros and almond butter sandwiches. In May, American Airlines partnered with Boston Market, hoping to levy the rotisserie chain's name recognition. Although Hawaiian Airlines has long kept a focus on high-end food, it, too, has tried to elevate coach sales. While meals are free on Hawaiian, paying an additional $10 buys passengers satay chicken with vermicelli, or a sushi bento box with edamame and teriyaki chicken.

Airlines have found savvy methods of measuring the success of food programs, like using credit card readers to monitor the popularity of foods. Do you think the new tactics work? Has airline food gotten tastier?

Image Source: Getty
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