What’s an airline to do with an inventory backlog of shelf-stable snack boxes that are no longer selling on board? Some JetBlue passengers will now receive them on the ground when planes are delayed. Rather than issue meal vouchers the company will distribute the older EatUp snack boxes to travelers waylaid by crew or mechanical delays lasting more than three hours. Weather-induced delays will remain snack free.
An internal memo details the new plans, noting that it was trialed successfully at 10 stations over the summer. The change takes effect late next month.
IROP Snack Boxes
Beginning in late January, Airports Crewmembers will give Customers EatUp boxes instead of meal vouchers for controllable delays over three hours (e.g., mechanical, Crew legality not due to weather, tech stops, Business Partner delays, equipment changes). Teams trialed the program at 10+ BlueCities over the summer and will implement to all stations, including international where permitted by local government. We have a large stock of our former EatUp boxes (BeefUp, PerkUp and PumpUp) that will be utilized. Of course, if a Customer has extenuating circumstances such as a dietary restriction, a meal voucher will be given.
On the plus side, cutting waste is a good thing. And with the boxes no longer for sale (an updated selection was launched over the summer) the company needed a good way to use the remaining stocks that doesn’t involve just throwing the boxes away. On the down side, the boxes are mostly various flavors of sodium (the new boxes are somewhat better on this front) so the quality of the snacks is questionable. Then again, so is the quality of most food available for purchase in a terminal with the vouchers airlines issue.
Regardless of the taste and health profile, this change does mean clearing out the old supplies, something the company needs to do one way or another.
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I wonder what they consider “extenuating circumstances” with regards to dietary restrictions. I’m generally in the middle of one or another of healthy eating regimens, and if they told me that I had no choice but to take what they are giving me, I might find that rather upsetting. Even when I am not specifically eating for a certain goal, I like having a choice, and I like something with some tangible amount of protein.
I would hope that food allergies and major intolerances would be considered extenuating circumstances. For the most part, the premade boxes include nuts in some form, which makes at least part of it inedible for me, and I would imagine that diabetics and vegetarians/vegans would be in the same predicament.
Good news is that the BeefUp box definitely has protein in there. And lots of sodium, too. I really like the *idea* of doing this (even with the new product after the old stuff runs out), but those boxes are so unhealthy.
This is a smart cost-cutting move by JetBlue, but not good for the consumer. Personally, I hate box lunches and prefer to pick out my own food. It makes sense to offer this as a choice for those who prefer the convenience, but not to completely eliminate the food voucher.
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