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In-Flight Food

It seems nobody cares if an airline serves free in-flight food anymore because we all know how good the food is. While airlines want to cut costs, quick service and casual dining restaurants in airport locations are pocketing more money from travelers. A recent survey reveals that 19% of leisure travelers and 21% business travelers bought a meal or snack on a plane in 2009. When a flight did not offer a free meal, only 6% travelers would purchase food on board, and 56% would buy it in an airport.

Airlines have a profit margin of 50-80% in alcohol sales. However, for every $10 sales of in-flight food, airline can only earn 5 to 10 cents. Regardless, airlines want to offer better-taste, in-flight food again (for a price of course). Healthy food/snacks are available in Air Canada and Alaska Airlines, and are tested by United Airlines in certain locations. American Airlines partners with Boston Market. Even JetBlue is planning to sell food in selected long-haul flights.

Customers benefit from the competitions as they have more options. Chain restaurants and foodservice companies may also be able to catch the opportunities and become airlines' healthy food providers. If not, maybe restaurants can also offer more to-go healthy food/snacks in airport locations? What do you think?

References:
The New York Times: http://tinyurl.com/linchikwok04152010
The picture was copied from: http://tinyurl.com/linchikwok04152010P

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