Airlines have been using COVID-19 as an excuse to cut in-flight catering costs.
- Delta has suspended alcohol, meal service, kosher meals, and other services on all domestic flights in all classes of service.
- American isn’t offering any meal service or kosher meals on flights under 2,200 miles in any cabin.
- JetBlue has suspended alcohol and other services.
- Southwest is only serving water for their drink service.
- Alaska is not serving any alcohol in coach and isn’t serving hard alcohol in any cabin.
Their media relations team wrote to me that, “For the safety of our customers and crew, we have made changes to our inflight food and beverage service. This includes pausing special meal requests on flights other than offering Kosher meals on our flight between Newark and Tel Aviv.”
They didn’t have a response when I asked why the kosher meals are only safe on the Newark-Tel Aviv route…
I’m baffled as to why removing kosher meals from all flights in all cabins systemwide helps safety. Kosher meals are sealed and should be the safest meal around. United said the changes are in place indefinitely.
But I suppose that sounds better than saying kosher meals are removed due to budget cuts.
Other airlines have also cut back on kosher meals. Reports have other airlines like KLM are not taking kosher meal requests as well.
El Al owned Borenstein caterers received a CARES Act bailout of $2,758,079, but even El Al has cut back on their offerings, with just one boxed meal on a flight from JFK to Tel Aviv.
Do you think that these are safety measures or just cost cutting measures with a convenient scapegoat? What has your experience been with meals on flights during the COVID-19 era?