How sad is the current state of the airline industry that food has now become a differentiator?

As I was suffering through another painful NJ Transit commute this morning, I happened to spy a Continental Airlines billboard proclaiming, "Other airlines feed you a promise. We feed you."

It got me thinking about the absolutely horrific experience that is business travel. And how sad it is that the institutionalized food they serve on board Continental is now seen as a differentiator.

On the other hand, food may be a smart differentiator since on-board customer service on any airline has become an oxymoron. As has on-time arrival. So maybe that cardboard-tasting imitation of a roast beef sandwich is a smart messaging move on Continental’s part. One thing’s for sure: the days when United invited us to "fly the friendly skies" are long gone. Business travel is to be endured and survived, not enjoyed.

3 thoughts on “How sad is the current state of the airline industry that food has now become a differentiator?

  1. Steve,
    To those with finer tastes, airline food is not the greatest bonus. But most Americans lacks this fine art proof the many overweights from junk food. Still, it’s free. People love free stuff. The perfect example is how multi millionaire movies starts die to bits when they get a bag full of free stuff at events often worth no more that $500.00 or even $1,000.00 dollars. But it’s free they gleam.
    Personally, the kosher airline food is really not bad at all.

  2. Your point is well taken, Paul. Continental’s campaign, and my comments, were aimed at the dismal state of domestic air service (where serving food is actually a point of diffentiation). That said, I recently flew first class to Portugal on TAP and wished they hadn’t offered any food at all. It was that bad.

  3. Fly Virgin more, Steve. I spent 10 full days on Virgin last year, when you add it all up; enjoyed every minute. Food’s good too.