I just got back to Vancouver last night from a long trip to Atlanta. All together, it’s about a 10 hour journey from airport to airport with the lay over for the connecting flight. I flew Air Canada on the way there, and returned on their partner airline United. As many of you have experienced, neither serve complimentary food any more in an effort to keep their costs down and fares low. Instead, they charge $5 for a “snack box” of a bunch of items I’m not sure who eats. But I guess when you’re hungry and stuck for a few hours with no where to go, crackers with hummus looks like a steak dinner. I started to think, why hasn’t a food company aligned themselves as a sponsor with an airline and offered their products as complimentary to passengers? What an ideal opportunity to reinforce a company’s food brand or launch a new product. Couldn’t you see a Canadian icon like Tim Hortons serving donuts and kid-size timbit packages on Air Canada? Or, Subway offering some of their new sandwiches to passengers – no better way to introduce new food items than having a captured audience of starving people sample them. And then there’s the added goodwill when the airline crew exclaims over the PA, “Today’s lunch is being served compliments of Subway” followed by a standing ovation from the 200 plus passengers. Okay maybe just the wave, but you get my drift. An experience like this is worthy of telling others and can create some excellent buzz for both the food company and the airline. There are probably some exclusivity deals that airlines have with food providers like Cara but if there is a will, there is a way.
Rajan is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of BIG Marketing for Small Business. He's an award-winning marketing strategist who is passionate about branding, digital marketing and social media. He spent nearly a decade as the marketing executive at global IT firm Peer 1 Hosting and was instrumental in their explosive growth.