Dining on plane once was elegant. Then, it became fodder for comedians’ jokes. It all but disappeared. Now, today, it is being improved by leaps and bounds and becoming a profit center. Amazing! Passengers are willing to pay more for better food.
Airlines across Europe and the U.S. are now offering economy passengers the chance to upgrade their meals, ordering ahead of their flight, and choosing from menus more readily found in cabins at the front of the plane.
“The craze started last year, and since then, every airline has jumped on the bandwagon to have a pre-order program,” notes Nikos Loukas, an airline catering consultant, and founder of inflightfeed.com.
AirBerlin was the first carrier to launch an a la carte service for economy customers, teaming with upscale German restaurant Sansibar. The onboard menu includes a favorite from the restaurant’s own: a veal and pork currywurst.
Adding some local flavor is just one way make an airline’s in-flight experience stand out.
Blaine Miyasato, Hawaiian Airline’s vice president of product development, has joined with local businesses to source items that evoke the spirit of Hawaii — from wasabi ranch popcorn to toffee covered macadamia nuts.
TSA wants more data for its Pre-Check program
TSA, the agency that finds no personal privacy boundary for any of their operations, is looking for more ways to delve into citizens’ private date. The Department of Homeland Security, FBI, CIA and others already feed out terrorism watchlist. But, listening to our phone calls, monitoring other public data is not enough for TSA. Now they want our commercial and credit data as well to see if we are worthy of flying without an extraordinary hassle.
Today’s Pre-Check works fine. There have been no problems. Perhaps, because all passengers are already effectively Pre-Checked for every flight by virtue of matching everyone’s name against the combined terrorism watchlist.
What more do the watchers at TSA want? Here’s the latest Request for Proposal.
Individuals participating in expanded PreCheck efforts would sign waivers allowing the use of commercial data for prescreening if the agency pursues such an option, TSA said. “Use of additional data elements that will further enhance the integrity of the risk reduction proposition offered by these solutions is very desirable, the agency said.
In a presentation Monday, TSA procurement specialists said the keys to success for any proposals would include a high volume of people signing up to become trusted travelers, confidence in the selection of trusted travelers, increase in positive passenger experiences, safeguarding of personally identifiable information, and readiness for demonstrations.
TSA said it would evaluate white papers within 30 days of receipt and hold demonstrations within 60 days. It plans to end live prototyping under the effort by Dec. 31, 2013.