KLM Royal Dutch Airlines has started testing à la carte meal service in Economy Class, on a number of selected flights.
When traveling on First or on Business Class, passengers can usually choose from a few different menus before the meal service, or even before taking off. In Economy, usually passengers get two options – if they are among the first being served (“Chicken or Pasta?”). If you end up sitting in a row that gets the main dish as the last ones, you may be left without any choice and just get the meal that is left.
At the end of May, KLM launched a pilot project testing à la carte catering in Economy Class on flights from Amsterdam to Bangkok/Taipei, Dubai, Cape Town, and Singapore/Denpasar. Passengers will be able to choose from four dishes while the pilot test runs across the peak tourist season in the summer, until the end of August, 2010.
KLM will continue serving its standard meals onboard, this choice of menu is offered in addition to the usual catering. The four dish choices include:
- a healthy Japanese meal,
- an Indonesian rice table,
- a Bella Italia meal (big Italian dishes) and
- a “sustainable” dining meal of organic chicken, vegetables and cheese.
Orders can be placed and paid for by credit card, when checking in online. The cost is EUR 15 (USD 18.62) per dish. Important, that in order to get this service, one must check-in online between 30 and 24 hours prior to departure. Note: if you ordered a special meal when you made your booking (e.g.: vegetarian, kosher, lactose-free, etc.), it will be replaced by your a la carte choice.
“The wishes and choices of our customers are key. We will be testing them during the pilot project. Our aim is to align our products even more closely to what different customers want,” said Erik Varwijk, Executive Vice President of KLM Commercial.
We are looking forward to hear back from KLM how the pilot project goes, but to be honest, – shall it be successful – providing this service on flights to all the worldwide destinations that KLM flies to may be much easier than providing the same service for flights flying back to Amsterdam from across the globe. We look forward to seeing this service being rolled-out to all flights and maybe starting an onboard a la carte catering competition among airlines?