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US Airways starts Premium meal option in economy class but will it take-off?

US Airways continues to try and enhance its customers’ in-flight experience with the introduction of DineFresh, a premium meal option in Economy.

The concept, which starts on the airline’s services today, is to allow customers to treat themselves when flying internationally to Europe, the Middle East and South America.

The new premium choice has been created to enhance the airline’s current complimentary meal offerings. In addition, the airline is also introducing several new items to US Airways MarketPlace, its selection of snacks, meals and beverages available for purchase on domestic and international flights.

“The new DineFresh meal option, which is paired with complimentary wine, gives our customers more choices when traveling internationally in Economy,” said Hector Adler, vice president, InFlight Services.

“With this new option, US Airways becomes the first U.S.-based carrier to offer a premium meal experience for customers in the main cabin.”

US Airways’ new DineFresh program allows customers to choose from either a vegetarian meal consisting of a Caprese salad with balsamic dressing, Portobello mushroom tortellini, Mediterranean-style appetizer and turtle cheesecake for dessert or a protein meal consisting of citrus-marinated chicken skewers, seasonal grilled vegetables, classic shrimp cocktail and creme brulee cheesecake for dessert.

US Airways DineFresh

The new service sounds appetising but it does come at a cost.

The premium entrée is priced at $19.99 and must be purchased at least 24 hours prior to the flight. Passengers traveling on flights where DineFresh meals are offered will be notified in advance via email as to their availability and can visit the appropriate web page to order.

As part of a refresh of its MarketPlace offerings, US Airways is adding Shock Top, a Belgian-style wheat ale with a hint of orange, to its list of beers, which already includes Beck’s, Budweiser and Bud Light. A sparkling wine option is also being added on select trans-Atlantic flights. Beer, wine and spirits are available for $7 each, Stirrings premium cocktail mixers are available for $8 each and sparkling wine is available for $9 each.

Also new to the airline’s MarketPlace Menu are three tasty snacks: Brent and Sam’s Chocolate Chip Cookies, made with all natural ingredients and no preservatives for $3 each, Emerald Whole Cashews, featuring no trans fats and zero cholesterol for $3 each and The Original Chex Mix, a party favorite for over 50 years, for $3.49 each. Food options range from $3 for snacks to $8 for fresh meals. Based on customer input, the airline is also adding the popular spicy cherry soda, Pibb Xtra®, to its complimentary line-up of sparkling Coca-Cola beverages.

We’re not sure if this is a good move by the airline. Does it mean the current complimentary meal options are not good enough? Are economy passengers going to put their hands in their pockets for more food on a flight? Are they really value for money?

If you are travelling with US Airways then let us know what you think of this new service.


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