Home » Aviation: Ticket Price affects passengers preference more than In-flight Food – COO Africa World Airlines AWA

Aviation: Ticket Price affects passengers preference more than In-flight Food – COO Africa World Airlines AWA

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aviation Mendis travel ticket

In Response to a Facebook discussion on the effect of In-flight Catering on passengers and expected scrapping of In-flight catering by most airlines, Mr. Sean Mendis the Chief Operating officer, COO, of West Africa’s leading Airline Africa World Airlines, AWA, had this to say: “Some interesting comments here.

Let me share some other data from a comprehensive passenger survey we did last year on the issue of inflight catering.

1) Less than 10% of passengers choose an airline because of food. This number drops to below 5% on flights less than 2 hours.

2) Approx. 5% of passengers actually have strong positive feelings about airline catering. Approx. 10% of passengers have strong negative feelings about airline catering. 85% of passengers are indifferent or have only mild feelings.

3) The quality of item provided mattered much more than the quantity of the item. A small but well packaged pack of biscuits weighing just 30gm was much more appreciated than a 100gm sandwich which may have been dry or with less filling.

4) When complimentary food service was removed or replaced by food-for-purchase, there was actually a drop in passenger complaints and an increase in passenger satisfaction.

The same passenger who was indifferent about the catering before was now satisfied because he only bought the catering if he wanted it (and hence had higher satisfaction since he made the choice), the passenger who liked the catering in the first place still liked it and now bought it, and the passenger who didn’t like the catering to begin with was now indifferent because he didn’t buy it.

In summary, there is no sure fire way to satisfy every customer. The key is to upset as few customers as possible, rather than to impress more customers – because a customer with negative impression will leave your business while one with just a neutral impression will continue to use your business for reasons other than catering (price, schedule, etc..).

All else being equal, you will upset some people regardless of what you do – you might as well upset less people AND spend less doing that, than to spend more money and upset more people.

Finally, the entire expectation that airlines should automatically provide food is unreasonable. I don’t go to a restaurant, order an expensive meal and eat for 2 hours, then ask them how come we haven’t reached London yet.

Airlines provide transportation as their core business. If an airline also chooses to offer food, drink, massages, entertainment or whatever else during the flight that is the choice of that particular airline and of the consumer who chooses that value proposition. History has shown however that consumers will chase the lowest price.”

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