Brent Pin­heiro 

brent.pin­heiro@guardian.co.tt 

In an in­dus­try no­to­ri­ous for cut­ting costs and charg­ing econ­o­my pas­sen­gers for every ad­di­tion­al ser­vice, Caribbean Air­lines (CAL) is tak­ing a dif­fer­ent ap­proach. The lo­cal car­ri­er is qui­et­ly rein­tro­duc­ing free hot meals to the econ­o­my cab­in on a phased ba­sis, af­ter re­mov­ing the ser­vice due to the COVID-19 pan­dem­ic. 

As of April 15th, Guardian Me­dia un­der­stands a hot break­fast, lunch, or din­ner meal is now be­ing served on­board de­pend­ing on the flight tim­ing. For now, meals are on­ly be­ing served on se­lect flights orig­i­nat­ing out of Port of Spain, Trinidad (POS) in­clud­ing the New York (JFK), Mi­a­mi (MIA), Toron­to (YYZ), and Or­lan­do (MCO) ser­vices but will be rolled out to se­lect ser­vices de­part­ing from oth­er des­ti­na­tions at a lat­er date. 

On April 15th CAL al­so up­grad­ed the meal ser­vice on its Ja­maica (KIN)-Port of Spain (POS) route from a pre-pack­aged snack bag to a sand­wich of­fer­ing. The POS-KIN route’s meal ser­vice will be up­grad­ed to the sand­wich op­tion from April 24th. In a de­ci­sion tak­en by CAL, the on­board changes are meant to pro­vide cus­tomers with “more sub­stan­tial meals, that would bet­ter serve their needs at this time.” The air­line’s paid pre-or­der meal ser­vice, which it in­tro­duced two years ago, and Caribbean Cafe – the buy-on-board ser­vice – re­main avail­able. 

Like many full-ser­vice air­lines, CAL sus­pend­ed its hot meal ser­vice dur­ing the COVID-19 pan­dem­ic in a bid to pro­tect cus­tomers and crews. Meals were re­placed with sand­wich­es/prepack­aged snack bags to re­duce con­tact points. Post-pan­dem­ic in­ter­na­tion­al trav­el has now re­bound­ed to al­most 2019 lev­els with CAL car­ry­ing two mil­lion pas­sen­gers in 2023, and the air­line is seek­ing to both at­tract new fly­ers and main­tain its cur­rent cus­tomer base.

The de­ci­sion to re-in­tro­duce hot meals is the lat­est in a slew of changes aimed at im­prov­ing the pas­sen­ger ex­pe­ri­ence at var­i­ous cus­tomer touch­points. Over the past few months, CAL has in­tro­duced re-de­signed board­ing pass­es, up­grad­ed cab­in in­te­ri­ors on some of its old­er air­craft, and un­veiled new uni­forms for cus­tomer-fac­ing staff. The air­line ex­pects to launch sev­er­al new Caribbean routes this year, as well as in­duct new air­craft in­to its fleet.

Article source: https://airlines.einnews.com/article/705731340/qRlolM7FRb5NFqQT?ref=rss&ecode=vaZAu9rk30b8KC5H

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