It will make all the difference, won’t it?
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Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.
I’ve been hearing the cavernous grunts of rejoicing.
These come from hardy citizens celebrating that American Airlines is bringing free food back for economy passengers.
American’s announcement wasn’t quite breathless.
Still, the basic information is that from May 1 you can partake of all this: “Depending on the time of day, customers will be offered a continental breakfast or a boxed meal with a sandwich wrap, kettle chips and dessert. The menu also includes a vegetarian option and a fruit and cheese plate.”
You might be so moved by this imaginative menu that you miss some of the details.
The meals are only being offered on one specific type of plane — the Airbus A321T.
Oh, and there are only two routes involved in the experiment: New York to Los Angeles and New York to San Francisco.
So forget it, Seattle and Boston. You might have decent football teams, but that doesn’t qualify you for free kettle chips.
Naturally, American is making this move because Delta is already starting its free meals service.
And from April 24, Boston and Seattle are included in Delta’s fit of generosity.
Why, then, is American only serving these meals on one type of plane that only has 92 seats in total? And why only these two routes?
Well, there’s a little more competition on these routes, so American doesn’t want to look too dowdy.
There’s another aspect, though, to American’s announcement that has an endearing quality.
You will likely be moved, as I was, by the words of Fernand Fernandez, American’s global vice-president of marketing.
“Some of our best customers fly our trans-continental routes and we want to give them a top-notch onboard experience,” he said.
What a curious admission.
Firstly, how quaint that American admits it hasn’t been giving its customers a top-notch onboard experience.
Equally charming is the notion that any American customer who doesn’t fly these routes doesn’t get a top-notch onboard experience and seemingly hasn’t had one for years.
Just for once, wouldn’t it have been nice to hear: “We’re launching free meals in economy because Delta’s already doing it. We’re only doing it on a couple of competitive routes, because we want to see if it really makes a difference, and if it doesn’t we’ll just take the perk away again. As for Seattle and Boston. Oh, does anyone really care about Seattle and Boston?”?
If that was the truth, that is.
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.