Here it’s again that time of the year to take off to some daunting destination, far from all the homie Christmas madness to a different sort of holiday frenzy. Sited comfortably at Lufthansa I start my journey. It’s noon and i’m craving a light French style breakfast, may be a croissant or some buttered baguette sandwich, but instead an almost frozen pasta salad lays in front of me, cold and uninviting. At least there’s some coffee and orange juice to ease the disappointment.
What’s wrong with airline service nowadays? What happened to the “dinning experience” no longer than a decade ago? I still recall the 2001 luxurious treatment on board of economy Swissair or KLM. Even other European airlines like Alitalia or Olympic did not fall behind serving those warm Mediterranean meals.
Let’s have a quick look at the Evolution on Wings. In the early days of civic aviation meals on board were unthinkable as the cabins were loud and passengers were way nervous to eat. The very first in-flight meals served in Europe were tea and venison sandwich. This was served in 1919 on the route between England and France in a plane that accommodated only four passengers. On the same year it was KLM that installed a kitchen on board, but after 15 mins cabinet holding drinks felt down due to vibrations. The competition certainly did not stop there. By 1928, Lufthansa came up with the so called ” flying dinning car” on the route Berlin-Paris. A small in-flight kitchen made possible to serve a hot meal to 15 passengers at their individual trays. And so on.
The competition made these airlines up their service bar until recent decades when airline business is facing hardships to keep the cost under control. Since most European airlines are on crisis mode, they have constantly to cut costs, and that’s to regards to service on board. That’s how my lunch on board of Lufthansa looked like recently. And I should be even pleased to get this pasta salad because most other European airlines are only offering drinks on board.
But that’s definitely not the case with other lush airlines like Emirates.
The 13 hours flight to Kuala Lumpur was gratifying. Just by asking an isle seat in a fully booked flight we got upgraded to first class. The whole modern setting, the comfort, the outstanding service of the crew set the stage for an unforgettable experience. The long flight, the 7 hours jet-lag, the pre-flight agitation went away smoothly and even before realizing it here we land.
Helo Kuala Lumpur!