The buy-on-board formula, first introduced by low-cost carriers (LCCs) to cut costs and improve revenues, has now spread to most carriers operating short/medium-haul flights. However, airlines constantly work to find ways to differentiate their service from that of competitors. Consequently, over the last few years, the buy-on-board concept has taken on different nuances, with airlines introducing the possibility for passengers to pre-order their desired meal at 40,000 ft. The last carrier to offer this personalized service is Austrian Airlines.

A Wiener schnitzel at 40,000 ft. Why not?

Starting today, if you are booked on an Austrian Airlines flight lasting 50 minutes or longer, you have the possibility to pre-order your meal. Depending on how long before passengers book their flight, they can choose their favorite meal from one month to 48 hours before departure.

All Austrian Airlines passengers need to do is visit the carrier’s website and let the regional Austrian Airlines Melangerie Menu inspire them. Once the tasty meal has been chosen, the passenger can rest assured that they will enjoy their chosen treat while cruising over Europe. Austrian Airlines does not require passengers to pay when pre-ordering their meal, but cashless onboard instead.

Austrian Airlines pre-order in-flight service

Photo: Austrian Airlines 

Austrian Airlines’ Chief Commercial Officer, Michael Trestl, highlighted how the introduction of Austrian Airlines Melangerie PreOrder not only enriches the airline’s offer to its customers, but it will also positively impact the sustainability of the carrier’s operations. Indeed, by better planning how much food will be served onboard a flight, the pre-order option allows the airline to prevent food waste. Additionally, by loading the right amount of food on a plane, the airline prevents its aircraft from taking off with an unnecessary weight that would increase fuel consumption and, thus, CO2 emissions and costs.

AUA A320-214 Austrian Airlines in-flight

Photo: Austrian Airlines

What should Austrian Airlines passengers expect from the new PreOrder service?

The Austrian Airlines Melangerie PreOrder service is available on all short/medium-haul flights, lasting 50 minutes or more, departing from or bound for Vienna International Airport (VIE).

Austrian Airlines passengers can choose from a wide range of hot meals and sandwiches among the meals offered. Each passenger is allowed to purchase up to five meals. Additionally, when onboard the flight, customers can purchase other Austrian Airlines meals, snacks, and beverages, as it has been until now.

Austrian Airlines in-flight service

Photo: Austrian Airlines 

Passengers can also trust all meals offered in the Austrian Airlines Melangerie Menu meet sustainability standards. Indeed, all meals are prepared using regional, seasonal, organic, and fairly produced food, thus lowering the level of processing and positively impacting the environment.

WienerSchnitzel (C) Austrian Airlines

Photo: Austrian Airlines 

Austrian Airlines to join a long list of airlines

In the short/medium-haul market, a lot has changed for economy class passengers. Even when flying with a flag carrier, the experience now resembles that of a low-cost carrier, with just a few perks left. Complimentary drinks and snacks have been one of the first frills to have been removed from legacy carriers amid their attempt to lower costs, and thus fares, to compete with budget airlines.

Although customers have been adapting to the new economy class experience, they still expect something more when flying with a flag carrier. Therefore, these airlines have developed a wide range of marketing strategies to enhance their product and make it more customer-centric than that offered by LCCs, with the pre-order service being a good example.

Austrian Airlines in-flight service

Photo: Austrian Airlines

Therefore, Austrian Airlines is the latest of many carriers worldwide, including some budget airlines, to have designed such a service. For instance, in Europe, British Airways Speedbird cafè also envisages the possibility of pre-ordering meals by Michelin-starred chef Tom Kerridge. Additionally, as a way to elevate its service standards from that of its competitors, British Airways still offer a complimentary bottle of water and a light snack to those economy class passengers that do not want to spend additional money for an in-flight refreshment.

How much do you miss the complimentary in-flight service on short/medium-haul flights? Let us know in the comment section below!

  • Austrian-Launches-LAX-2

    Austrian Airlines

    IATA/ICAO Code:

    Airline Type:
    Full Service Carrier

    Vienna International Airport

    Year Founded:

    Star Alliance

    Airline Group:
    Lufthansa Group

    Annette Mann



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