Airlines have revamped their menus with tastier meals and more snacks in the race for economy class travellers.
British Airways and Etihad Airways are the latest to launch ‘niceties’ to their long-haul flights after Emirates brought ugali and rare champagnes on board last year.
On its Nairobi-Abu Dhabi flights, Etihad Airways has introduced Piper-Heidsieck Cuvée Brut NV champagne, Coffee Planet cold brew coffee and snack boxes with sweet and healthy treats.
In addition to food, passengers can buy comfort items such as Christian Lacroix amenity kits, which have skincare products by pioneering Hungarian skincare brand Omorovicza and Christian Lacroix cotton sleep wear.
“In addition to providing extra comfort and choice in the air, some of the items are great gift ideas. We aim to expand the range of items for sale in the future”,” said Etihad Airways country manager Kenya Joan Mwaniki.
Etihad Airways recently introduced an array of enhanced services for economy class customers, including pay-for lounge access and chauffeur transfers at different airports, neighbour-free seats and extra-legroom seats.
British Airways said it has invested multi-million pounds in catering for travellers in its long-haul economy cabin.
Travellers will be welcomed with pretzels (a type of baked bread) and a drink.
It has also brought onboard Magnum ice-creams, hot English breakfasts on overnight flights and a complimentary drink from the bar.
Carolina Martinoli, British Airways’ director of brand and customer experience said previously customers travelling in the cabin were served a snack, a three-course-meal or a light meal, depending on the time and length of their flight as well as a complimentary bar service of hot and cold drinks.
The new catering starts from next Wednesday and the menus that will change every six months.
Ms Martinoli said when taking a long-haul flight, great food and beverages make a real difference.
‘‘It’s a huge driver of customer satisfaction so we want to make sure we deliver a great experience,’’ she said, adding that the four-course main meal will have a full of flavour at 35,000 feet and we’ve created regional options depending on the route.
On the shorter daylight long-haul flights to destinations such as New York and Dubai, fliers will also receive a sandwich such as egg and cress with a chocolate or Nutri-Grain bar.
The airline is also serving regional main meal options around its network, such as chicken in spicy cheng du sauce on China flights, Hong Kong, Japan and Korea, kathrikai milagu seeragam and channa dal on flights to and from Chennai, Hyderabad and Mumbai and acchari veg and dal palak on flights to and from Bangalore and Delhi.
Travellers looking for a special treat can also pre-order meals which cost about Sh2,500 on flights from Heathrow up to 24-hours before their flight.
Next year, British Airways plans to invest in luxurious bedding and have a new seat with direct aisle access which you won’t have to jump over someone else.