Back in 2011, Virgin Atlantic commissioned UK design firm MAP to redesign its food trays to accommodate a more coursed-out dining experience. Instead of the everything-all-at-once system that they had been employing, they wanted to serve the savory food followed by a dessert course. Now MAP has delivered and, in addition to fulfilling the initial request, they were also able to cut down on the weight and size of the trays as well which means that the total weight of the aircraft will be lowered for every single flight. Less weight means less fuel, which means a better bottom line — we’re talking millions of dollars in savings here. Does this mean that Virgin Atlantic will be passing on their savings to their customers by slashing their ticket prices? Perhaps.
Companies institute cost-saving measures all the time. Just because they’re saving money, though, that doesn’t necessarily mean that we the flyers will be the beneficiaries. Virgin Atlantic could just as easily absorb the savings and keep prices at the same levels they are now. That’s totally their call to make.
In the meantime, these new trays look pretty great. They have a spongy plastic base that keeps the dinnerware from sliding around all over the place. There’s also a snap-on addition that creates two separate tiers so your entree can exist on a different level from your cake. Additionally, MAP was able to redesign the coffeepots on-board Virgin Atlantic flights and I’m sure their entire flight attendant staff is saying “ta” in thanks.
h/t to Fast Company Design