Paying extra for upgraded meals is one of the growing ways that airlines can make even more money from passengers.
The industry puts it under ancillary revenue (like charges for bags, seats etc) and airlines present it with phrases like ‘an opportunity to upgrade the inflight experience’.
Paying for food and drinks inflight is in now called a nice friendly name – BOB (Buy on Board). British Airways already has this on some flights and Lufthansa is introducing it on some long haul flights from May.
Now Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS) is introducing their version of BOB on short and mid haul flights from Geneva. From the end of May, SWISS economy class passengers will be able to buy Swiss dishes, gourmet sandwiches, hot & cold snacks, and drinks. The new service, called SWISS Saveurs, contains a range of new perishable products based on local flavours and favorites.
All of the products will be available to Business Class passengers at no extra cost. Economy Classic and Economy Flex passengers will continue to be offered a separate complimentary snack and drink with the opportunity to pay for the signature dishes. Economy Light passengers will also be able to buy items from the new food offering.
This could be an example of the usually excellent service on SWISS. But could be a step on the way to charging for all food and drink.
SWISS has developed the new products in cooperation with Retail inMotion, part of the LSG group of companies, and Swiss retailer Globus.
As part of the partnership SWISS will be implementing Retail inMotion’s onboard retail management software, Vector In-Flight, to capture and process payments on board.
Retail inMotion will implement various onboard ordering services, including range development, category management, crew training, and menu card & catalogue design. Retail inMotion also assumes responsibility for managing the financial performance of the airline’s onboard ordering program.
Lorenzo Stoll, Head of Western Switzerland for SWISS:
“SWISS Saveurs will redefine our passenger experience from Geneva. With Retail inMotion’s expertise, we will provide greater quality and choice in our food and beverage offer, and drive customer satisfaction with our valued guests.”
Lars Redeligx, Chief Commercial Officer at LSG Group Europe:
“We have been able to develop an onboard retail concept with SWISS that is truly revolutionary for the industry. The new SWISS concept shows how a retail program can underscore an airline’s brand values.”
N.B. Image credit: SWISS