Did you know that some snakes die trying to eat themselves? For example, a rat snake was found dead, having swallowed 2/3 of its body. As crude of an analogy as it is, Turkish Airlines does more than starve itself by drastically reducing meal service: it actually eats itself alive.
Turkish Airlines Dramatic Catering Cuts
First, let’s look at what you can expect on Turkish Airlines in terms of dining when flights resume next month.
Turkish Airlines Catering Cuts On Flights Under Two Hours
On domestic flights and international flights under two hours, passengers in both business and economy class will receive a bottle of water.
Turkish Airlines Catering On Flights Two – Eight Hours
On flights between two and eight hours, business class passengers will receive a box containing:
Additional drinks will be served and crackers will be offered on flights longer than five hours.
Economy class passengers will receive a picnic box with:
On flights over five hours, a second picnic box will be served with a different sandwich and cake.
Turkish Airlines Catering On Flights Over Eight Hours
On longhaul flights over eight hours, business class passengers will still receive only cold meals. The first service will include
- 2 mezzes
Additional drinks will be served.
The second meal service will include a box with
In economy class, the first service will include a box with
The second service will include a picnic box with
- pre-packed cake
No coffee or tea will be available in either cabin. In business class, no glassware, menus, or towels will be used.
Turkish Airlines Once Had The Best Airline Catering
To understand the depth of the catering cuts, you must understand what catering was like before the cuts. In short: among the best in the business, if not the best.
Or the first meal service on my recent flight from Istanbul to Atlanta:
And economy class meal service was also very decent:
For many North American travelers heading to Europe, Turkish Airlines represented an inconvenient option since flying to western Europe via Istanbul requires so much backtracking. But the in-flight catering made it worthwhile. Dining on Turkish Airlines was such a treat; it set Turkish apart and made it one of my favorite airlines to fly. I know many Award Expert clients and blog readers feel the same way.
Why Turkish Airlines Engages In Self-Cannibalism With These Meal Service Cuts
I’m going to be a bit of a contrarian here and argue that food still VERY MUCH matters, even during COVID-19. I get that revenue is way down, demand is way down, and airlines are balancing safety and sanitation concerns with soft product considerations.
But on a long flight, your body still gets hungry? How is a nicely-plated, hot meal more dangerous than a sandwich? If crewmembers wear gloves when serving and collecting the dishes, where is the unacceptable threat?
This new meal service policy is a vast overreaction that goes far beyond the problem itself and represents a pathetic attempt to pinch pennies. Turkish Airlines is hardly alone in looking for ways to preserve revenue, but it’s draconian meal cuts certainly place it in an unfortunate position.
When Turkish Airlines cuts what makes it Turkish Airlines, it cuts itself. It does not just starve itself, but eats itself alive by eating away at the very fabric of what makes Turkish Airlines so unique.
These are “temporary” measures. Perhaps by fall Turkish Airlines will return to its legacy meal service model. But I kind of doubt it at this point. I’d guess more like 1-2 years. And not only does take away all desire I have to fly Turkish Airlines, it also confirms my fears about the future of flying.
> Read More: KLM Previews The Dreary New Normal Of Flying…