Why Is Airline Food So Bad?


There has often been a lengthy debate regarding the overall quality of the food and beverages, which is served in the airline industry. While recent researches clearly state that the airlines, on their part, almost always defend the existing state of their food and beverage section, the truth is something else. While there have been widespread allegations on the parts of passengers, with special regards to those who use the Canadian Airlines, the airline staff have categorically stated that the overall services, with special regards to their eateries section, has always been considered better than the other airlines. While the claims are not bogus, the statistical data has a rather different story to tell.

According to AirGuideOnline (2006), the statistical data collected over the last six months, it has been revealed that many airlines downgraded their in-flight services. The downgrading started in the last fall but it was slowly restored and brought back to normalcy in the spring season. Certain claims by passengers regarding the downgrading of luxury services in airlines are legitimate.

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The Lack of Luxuries

According to AirGuideOnline (2006), there have been confirmations regarding the suspension of the wine list, the absence of amenity kits, and the absence of appetizers in meals, the complete lack of herbal tea and the absence of decaffeinated coffee. One of the main reasons why this happens is because the airlines are always lacking in terms of manpower. Over here, the Demand theory plays a prominent role in deciding the quality of the airline food. It is ironic that while the airline industry is glamorous and capable of being considered the best in the show business, it is always running short of manpower. Owing to the shortage in manpower, the food and beverage section has often been stated to suffer terribly. This scenario also tells us more about, production and cost: many variable inputs.

Application of the Competitive Model

The airline food has often been considered awful. In fact, there have been widespread demonstrations regarding the palpable condition of the food and beverage section in the airlines. A recently conducted scientific study states that almost 92% of the total standup comedians, who worked in the early and late eighties, made a lot of money by sharing jokes regarding poor airline food. While there is no particular economic theory that can be applied to this phenomenon, the fact still remains that the airline staff, while trying to strategize their food and beverage section, simply forget to pay heed to the basic economic theories which govern their day to day lives. Over here, application of the competitive model is considered ideal.

The Intertemporal Decision Making and Capital Values Theory

There can be two economic theories which can best explain the deplorable conditions of food in the airline industry. The first theory states that the airlines try and save money by serving the cheapest food to its passengers. The second theory states that while trying to please each and every passenger by serving their choicest food, they actually end up pleasing none. In a bid to improve the overall quality of food, airline industries need to try and limit their menu options. It sounds more like a theory of preferences. In accordance to the economic theories pertaining to limiting the “choice factor”, if the airlines are to improve the overall quality of their food, they need to try and limit the available choices. This is similar to Intertemporal Decision Making and Capital Values and a theory of preferences. For example, a vegetarian meal would always involve a fruit, which in turn would be appreciated by all the passengers aboard the flight. Hence, whenever the choices are limited, the chances of the product being not appreciated by its end users, is also greatly reduced. If this is followed with regards to the airline food, the endless list of complains regarding the poor quality of food would also reduce to a great extent. (Talwalkar, 2007)

Work cited

“Airline food reviews”. AirGuideOnline: The Best source For Global Air Travel. 2006. Web.

Talwalkar, Presh. “The strategy of limiting options: why less can be more.” Mind Your Decisions. 2007. Web.

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