Airline Food For Sale

When fuel prices started to skyrocket, Delta Airlines decided to pull it's flight from Salem Municipal Airport to Salt Lake City, Utah. The last flight departs October 10. It's a sign of the struggles that airlines face to increase dwindling profits during an economic downturn. Did any of us really expect that a big airplane full of seats was going to continue to fly into our city everyday? A city that doesn't even have a Trader Joe's. It's too bad because that Delta flight with free parking and short lines was really convenient.

In recent travels from PDX, I got a taste of what you can expect from air travel nowadays, as the airlines look out for their bottom lines. I flew a US Airways direct flight to Philadelphia Pennsylvania. $48 for six days parking in the economy lot at PDX. Extra bags, $25. You are allowed one carryon and one checked bag free. Car seats and booster seats are also free. Shortly after the plane reached altitude, about 10:30am pst, The flight attendants came out with the lunch tray. $7 for a stale sandwich and yogurt. And get this, they were saying that they only had so many meals and you need to buy one now, before they sold out. Not what you want to hear at the beginning of your 4 and a half hour journey. $2 for a coke or water, $7 for a cocktail. Seat space tight. The movie, What Happens in Vegas, was free if you have your own headsets and to purchase a pair was $5.(not the tube kind) Ads now appear on the top side of the meal tray. The best part of the whole flight though, was when the flight attendent announced on the intercom that they have this great new credit card with bonus miles for passengers who sign up in flight. They actually walked down the aisle with a clipboard and pen asking passengers if they wanted to take advantage of this great deal. I didn't see any passengers even flinch at the this idea of increasing their lines of credit. It must have been embarrassing for the flight attendant whose job description has recently changed from serve the customer to sell the customer.

11 comments:

KandN said...

and so it becomes even more difficult to estimate the total cost of a vacation if you choose to fly - sad, very sad.
Several years ago we flew to DC via Frontier. We were pleased and surprised to be fed a nice sized chicken wrap on the way there. On the way back, we kind of assumed the same meal would be coming our way (yes, we're pretty green when it comes to flying), but it was not to be. We were starving by the time we hit Portland and very glad to see that the Arby's in Wilsonville still had their drive-up window open.

jeff said...

Take Hut Limousine to PDX instead.

Someone I know (but haven't spoken to directly) is apparently claiming that Trader Joes is planning on going into Keizer Station... we'll see. Personally I think if they can make a go of it in Portland's Hollywood District (to the point of building a new one recently), they can make a go of it down here.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps if the city of Salem had thought to get two airlines flying into Salem there would have been competition and perhaps lower prices. I couldn't afford to fly out of Salem and I checked several different dates, times and destinations. On short trips (like to LA) the price was about double the price of flying out of Portland. :(

KandN said...

I think the hut is a super option - if you're by yourself. Otherwise, it's tough to justify the cost of each additional passenger, unless you're going to be gone for an extended period of time.

: JustaDog said...

I don't eat on planes unless the flight is at least 4 hours, then I bring exactly what I want.

I never did like the idea of my ticket price subsidizing other people's "free" meals and welcome the airlines finally charging those that use the service

liseanne27 said...

I haven't been on a flight since February, but that was Southwest and I was pleasantly surprised by the food/snacks I received. I guess its because I don't expect anything from Southwest except peanuts and pop. It will be a sad sad day when they follow suite with Delta and start charging for pop. Also, the HUT isn't a bad option unless you don't have a ride to the stop on Market St. If not, won't you have to add in the cost for the cab ride?

Anonymous said...

Hey someone has to pay for the CEO and bigwigs at the top to get multi-million dollar paychecks, and sweet retirement deals!

h said...

Alaska still gives free soda (Jones!) or a free beer or glass of wine and chex mix type snacks. They are my airline of choice, I wish they'd come to Salem.

Anonymous said...

i must always fly at odd hours (late at night/very early morning), i never get meals on planes. i'm lucky if i'm even awake when the snack cart goes by, but i dont need those salty/sweet calories in a jam-packed plane while breathing recycled, dry air. i just get water, and bring whatever i want to eat with me. at least i know i wont get too hungry before we land!

Anonymous said...

Why do we not look into having Southwest Airlines target Salem? They are the best airlines out there and take great pride in their service. We prefer to travel the southwest airlines over any other as they have the best cancellation policy in the event one who has to work for a living has to change plans. Wake up Salem. Are we not the CAPITOL???????

Anonymous said...

Sadly, as is the case with so many businesses, the words "Customer Service" mean nothing. I used to take my own food on long flights, and would often get envious looks as I ate whenever I chose to, and did not have to wait for the carts to be brought out.
I thought that airline food was always mediocre, and this was the case years ago.