Oh, the irony of the airline industry. It seems that while airlines are going down in an array of bankruptcies, flying giants are merging to stay afloat, and traveling has hit a dismal low, some airlines are looking to focus on the upper crust of flyers instead. MSNBC.com reported last week that Delta, American, and United Airlines are all incorporating celebrity chefs into their menus. According to the article, guests on United Airlines traveling from South America or Japan are now offered appetizers designed by chef Charlie Trotter.
“Everything has been upgraded,” says Stephan Pyles, who is known for his creative Southwestern cuisine and has signed on as one of American’s three culinary celebrities. “Just as the customer in a restaurant has become more sophisticated, refined and demanding in terms of their food, that demand has filtered to the airlines.”
Sitting in the cheap seats? No worries! It seems Delta Airlines remembered the working class as well.
Delta Air Lines enlisted celebrity chef Todd English to design its fee-based coach meals — a chicken bistro salad with goat cheese crostini and organic spinach for $8 — available on certain flights longer than 2 1/2 hours.
However, don’t get too excited. Airplane food will still be airplane food, according to some in the aviation industry.
“Just because the food is gorgeous and delicious in a restaurant doesn’t mean it will be that way in the plane,” says Bill Oliver, vice president of the Boyd Group Inc., an aviation consulting firm.