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Back in December 2017 Etihad embarked on yet another “let’s try to stop losing money” venture when it began offering its amenity kits for sale to all and sundry. At the same time the airline also started to offer a limited number of food and drink items for sale in the Economy Class cabin in addition to the complimentary items already offered – now that “buy onboard” range has been expanded.
The new items Economy Class passengers will be able to buy include products from Munchbox and Freakin’ Healthy which, the airline says, “promise to deliver healthier food options using natural ingredients, no added sugar and are GMO free“.
The full list of buy onboard items now looks like this:
- Freakin’ Healthy Raw Chocolate Bars
- Hunter Ridges Crisps
- Hunter’s Gourmet Vegetable Crisps
- Munchbox Roasted Corn Kernels and Almonds | Assorted Nuts
- Nakd Snack Bars
- Joe & Seph’s Gourmet Popcorn
- Saile & Sabga Gourmet Hot Chocolate
- Piper-Heidsieck Brut NV Champagne by the glass
- Snack Box (Sea Salt Crisps, Smarties, a Kit Kat and a Mars Bar)
- Christian Lacroix male and female branded amenity kits with Omorovicza products
- Christian Lacroix branded sleepwear
I took a quick look at some of the prices being charged (see here) and I have to wonder who’s actually paying $2 for a bag of chips but apparently there’s a market for this.
So far all the buy onboard items are snacks (or higher-end drinks) but I can’t help but wonder when the airline will start adding full meals to the menu too.
The way Etihad appears to be scrabbling around for every last bit of cash it can lay its hands on (selling amenity kits, selling entrance to premium lounges, selling pajamas etc…) leads me to think that these new buy onboard options are a precursor to something else.
It wouldn’t surprise me in the least to see Etihad slowly begin to cut the quantity and quality of its onboard food/drink offering while, at the same time, introducing larger and better buy onboard options for travelers to “upgrade” to.
I doubt the airline will ever fully do away with complimentary food & drinks on long-haul flights (not even BA/AA/United have done that yet) but if Etihad’s finances don’t start showing an uptick soon there will undoubtably be more cost-cutting and money-raising measures introduced and its food/drink service is ripe for further “enhancement”.