Heathrow introduces world’s first ‘on-board picnic’ service
Travelers can take hampers arranged by Heathrow restaurants on flights, counting pizzas and meals by Heston Blumenthal and Gordon Ramsay.
Heathrow Airport is presenting passengers an “on-board picnic” dining selection where they can be able to convey a “bespoke hamper” with them on their flight. The service is offered from today at all of Heathrow's 118 restaurants thru its five terminals. The 49 varieties included diversity from chain cafés, like Pret a Manger and EAT, to restaurants counting Heston Blumenthal’s The Perfectionist Café and Gordon Ramsay’s Plane Food, plus Caviar House and The Gorgeous Kitchen.
The hampers differ in price and size agreeing to venue, however usually cost between £5 and £50 and are around 40 x 20 x 10cm. All are collapsible and intended to be effortlessly stuffed away under the seat or in the overhead locker. Some hampers are insulated bags aimed to “ensure the food retains maximum taste and freshness at 35,000 feet”, maintaining hot food warm and cold food cool, like the ones from Caviar House which features an ice compartment. Passengers who give back their insulated bags to Caviar House are presented a 15 per cent discount on their next on-board picnic acquisition.
Hampers can be custom-made to meet any dietary necessities upon demand at each of the restaurants and can be ready-to-go or ready in about 15 minutes, liable on the type of meal chosen. The Perfectionists’ Café is believed to offer pizzas to go in about a minute.
Travellers can taster the offerings of the on-board picnics offered in Terminal 2 at a pop-up “park” which launches at the terminal to mark the fresh service.
The park space, set up in partnership with the Royal Parks Foundation, features the “scents of freshly cut grass and plants, the sounds of birds chirping” and sunlight-type lighting in addition to a park bench, a lamp post and even street signs to help generate a urban park-like feel.
Passenger can get into the "park" and the food tasters from this month between 7am-8am, 12pm-1pm and 7pm-8pm every day until September 24.
British Airways (BA) said it welcomes the new picnic service, and doesn't envisage it affecting cabin space usage or creating too much extra rubbish to be cleared from passengers who bring a hamper on board.
"If customers wish to bring their own food on board, they are very welcome to," said a spokesperson for BA.
Beginning at £5, the new picnics might even be a more within your means in-flight dining option for travellers when matched to budget airline food prices.
Passengers on an easy Jet flight can anticipate paying about £6.20 for a meal that contains a sandwich, a snack and a soft drink, or £6.90 when ordered with either a hot drink or soup as a substitute.
Ryanair's in-flight food prices array from about £3.57 (€4.50) for a sandwich and between £1.19-£4.76 (€1.50-€6) for snacks, to £1.59-£2.78 (€2-€3.50) for a soft or hot drink.
According to research by Travelsupermarket.com, last year, airlines were found to charge up to 2,600 per cent more than supermarkets for in-flight food and drink.
Budget carriers like easy Jet and Ryanair were singled out for harnessing the major mark-ups while the largest price upsurges were discovered on hot drinks.
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