It seems that Emirates realises there could be savings to be had, with the airline planning to offer pre-departure meal ordering.
In the first instance, this will be rolled out from 25 July onwards in Business Class, on all flights between Dubai and London Heathrow, London Gatwick, and London Stansted.
Up to 14 days before a flight (but 24 hours before departure), passengers will be able to browse the onboard menu on Emirates.com or with the Emirates app and choose their preferred meal choice.
In turn, there are many benefits for Emirates. Let us list a few off.
Firstly, a reduction in food wastage. We’ve seen how airlines like to reduce costs, thus reducing the amount of food that needs to be ordered, lifted and carried in the air all add up.
As well as that, it will provide data to drive the Emirates passenger experience improving time management and adding another layer of insight into meal consumption onboard. Meal preordering will be added to the existing suite of AI-enabled customer preference tracking data and cabin crew reports, which facilitate menu planning and optimal food loading to deliver the premium ‘restaurant in the sky’ inflight dining experience.
In the sky, the cabin crew will use a custom-built application on a device to view the meal selection and serve the passenger their choice of hot dish.
Emirates plans to expand the meal preorder initiative to more routes and classes in the near future. It will closely monitor customer feedback from the initial rollout phase.
It all adds up
Whilst pre-departure food ordering is a significant benefit for the business class passenger, so they can guarantee the meal they want, the benefits for the airline in terms of only preparing and loading what is needed, as well as the analytical data this gives could be a lot more valuable – allowing the airline to focus on cost savings and delivering what is needed, rather than every single choice on the menu.
Emirates is surprisingly a little late to the game – many airlines have had this integrated into their premium offerings for some years – so it’s interesting to see that the airline is finally offering this to passengers.
We’ll have to see how the rollout goes, and if it is extended beyond the London routes.
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