Who says economy passengers cannot be treated like rockstars?Qantas Airways (IATA Airline Code – QF) announced on November 11, 2014 that it will be expanding its food options and introduce its Select on Q-Eat service to international economy passengers on selected flights starting on November 25, 2014. Guess which is the first flight getting this enhancement?
The center-piece of the new economy dining experience will be a 50% increase in food portions and meal choices (from 2 to 3). Passengers using the Select on Q-Eat option online will be provided with an additional meal choice exclusive to this option. The following is a little video on the new dining experience:
Passengers on the Melbourne (IATA Airport Code – MEL) – Dubai (DXB) – London (LHR) flights (QF 9 and 10) would be the first to enjoy the new service. Here is the tentative rollout plan QF is implementing:
Similar to our discussion yesterday on its One World partner British Airways (BA)’s new pre-order options (refer to link), QF is going one step further by extending its online food order system to all international and Tasman economy passengers by March 2015. This is an aggressive timeline but could yield great results for consumers and the airline.
Passengers would benefit from:
- More choices (from 2 to 4 when using Select on Q-Eat option)
- Higher quality of food and service
- Bigger portion sizes (up to 50% more)
Successful implementation of the new program can yield the following benefits for Qantas:
- Better real-time catering inventory which will reduce costs
- Enhance food quality by working with vendors based on demand
- Obtain feedback on dishes based on demand and can adjust menu accordingly
Here is a list of main competitors servicing various routes directly from Australia:
This new service may have caught competitors by surprise. If ticket prices are the same, economy class passengers would likely choose Qantas to fly to Australia given the new perks. Airlines would have to evaluate whether rolling out a similar system would be cost effective as most of them serve other markets outside of Australia.
Critical Success Factors
Qantas would need perform the following to be success with this product:
- Market this new service aggressively so that economy passengers would put prioritize this airline as their first choice when visiting Australia.
- Design performance metrics to monitor food quality and service. Make adjustments accordingly. Build capacity and bandwidth to the Select on Q-Eat system so that it can manage the increased load from all passengers.
- Make changes to the menus regularly so that economy passengers know that this is not an experiment.
This is a win-win for Qantas Airways and its international economy passengers. It is also excellent news for individuals and businesses who use Qantas credit cards to collect reward points and save money on flights. The timing is great to push out new service offerings just before the Christmas holiday rush and Summer down-under.