Level up: More airlines serving business class food in economy class

Economy class meals are just not cutting it anymore for business travelers. Source: Shutterstock

SAY goodbye to mystery meat and soggy cheese in flights. 

More airlines are giving economy passengers the choice of business class food – for a fee of course.

Air France, KLM, Austrian Airlines and British Airways have caught on the trend, and it looks like Cathay Pacific could follow suit.

As company budgets are slashed, more business travelers are opting for economy or premium economy seats, but many are willing to pay for more add-on ancillaries including better inflight meals.

SEE ALSO: Travelers are willing to spend on airline ancillaries, report says

Business class food, cooked and presented with more finesse, is available for order from an à la carte menu.

The choices are also more diverse, a far cry from “chicken or fish, sir?” queries in economy class.

Austrian Airlines hires an external company to execute their business class “chef-on-board” program, where passengers get a taste of fine dining, including stewards in white jackets and toques.

In economy class, passengers can pre-order business class meals from a limited menu, which features signatures like the wiener schnitzels and chocolate mousse.

SEE ALSO: Budget airlines are trying to lure more business travelers

With food tourism and appreciation of fine dining on the rise, there is no doubt passengers’ palates are becoming more discerning.

In a separate report by Skift, Delta vice-president for onboard services Lisa Bauer said, “You literally put the same entree in front of the customer, and you have different bowls and trays in many colors.

“If the dish looks microwavable, they don’t think it’s fresh. Food scores much higher when it is not presented like it comes out of a carton.”

However, the same report emphasized passengers still prioritized seats over food. Most airlines are innovating their seat design and comfort every five years to keep up with the competition.