Major airport expands “on-board picnic” service

Passengers can buy them at any of 118 restaurants

Around ten full-service carriers around the world offer Economy passengers the chance to upgrade their meal for a fee, mostly on long-haul routes. On some, they can do this at check-in.

Research shows that 20% of passengers bring snacks on board that they’ve bought at the airport, rather than pay for food on the plane.

Seeing a small opportunity for extra revenues, London Heathrow has expanded its range of “on-board picnics” you can buy before boarding and take on the flight. Passengers waiting for flights at Heathrow buy the picnics at any of the airport’s 118 restaurants, such as Gordon Ramsey’s Plane Food at Heathrow T5 or chains like Pret a Manger. They vary widely in price, from GBP 5 to GBP 50.

All takeaway baskets are collapsible and can be placed under the seat or in the overhead bins. Some are insulated to “ensure the food retains maximum taste and freshness at 35,000 feet”.

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