When I’m on a long-haul flight, I like to get my meal quickly. But Japan Airlines has taken the idea of ‘fast food’ to the next level, and has started serving KFC meals on some of its international flights.
If you’re on a flight between London and Tokyo during the Christmas period, your meal tray may well feature a chicken drumstick and breast fillet. Not to mention a flatbread, some coleslaw and a few lettuce leaves. With no deep-fat fryers on board, don’t expect chips with that, though.
As someone who doesn’t eat meat, I have to say this new move wouldn’t really affect me much, as long as the airline continues to offer a vegetarian option. What might get to me though is the smell of hundreds of these fried chickens wafting around the cabin. I imagine it’d be a bit like taking the night bus.
Chicken or fish?
The key is whether there’s also the option to choose something else. Surely you should be able to expect something vaguely healthy when you’re such a captive audience. The airlines that get high ratings for food and drink in our survey tend to offer at least two standard meal options on the menus for economy passengers.
The quality of airline food – and the issue of whether you have to pay extra for it in the first place – can make the flying experience a much more pleasant or frustrating one. Which? members’ comments about their airline experiences included:
- ‘Utterly abysmal and extremely unhealthy’
- ‘The food was horrible, tasteless and luke-warm’
- ‘The food was dire and inappropriate, with more attention paid to fancy packaging than content’.
Some also complained about the lack of hot food. On a no-frills flight where you pay for everything, there’s little hot food available. Adding fast-food options could be a popular move. You do know what you’re getting with brand names (Japan Airlines’ meals stick to KFC’s trade secret recipe). And ‘normal’ meals aren’t necessarily that healthy anyway.
Japan Airlines are offering the KFC meals to passengers from now until the end of February 2013. This is the first collaboration that I know of between a fast food chain and an airline. Maybe it’s a sign of things to come.
How would you feel about the prospect of McDonalds or Burger King being offered as your in-flight meal? Do you think the standard of food on planes is getting better or worse?