How to…

How to rethink U.S service

October 02 2019

Following Alaska Airlines’ merger with Virgin America, Julie Baxter discovers how the SPIRIANT team helped reinvent its U.S. premium service

Embrace change
LSG Group has a long relationship with Alaska Airlines (on the catering side in Seattle) so when the merged airlines asked its subsidiary SPIRIANT to work on a new premium tableware offer, the synergy came to the fore. Eva Hotz, SPIRIANT product manager premium experience, says: “Alaska Airlines is reinventing the idea of what can be offered in the U.S. Big carriers are very traditional and slow to change but the merger gave the airline a chance to really think outside the box and evolve its offer.”

Establish goals
Alaska Airlines’ aim is to focus on being highly-sustainable without neglecting contemporary wellbeing, she adds. The brief was to create a tableware range that also draws on the natural attractions and regional produce of its home base.

Focus on food
Hotz says: “The focus was on smaller, quality food offerings – superfoods, soups, salads and smoothies, backed with lots of information about the produce. Our team’s goal was to provide the perfect canvas for modern, timeless service. A contemporary look designed to let the food shine.”

Keep it simple
Perhaps the most significant change was a move from round crockery to square. “Building in versatility and rethinking presentation meant we could rationalise to seven minimalist pieces. The new tray is a signature item itself, with shaped ends, a wood effect and anti-slip finish.” adds Hotz. “We used durable, long-life and sustainable porcelain; disposable items are also from sustainable materials.”

Face practicalities
There were four trolley styles in the merged operation – Boeing, Airbus, High bright and Skywest – so equipment had to work with them all. The tableware was easily stackable to add further practicalities

Inspire delivery
Hotz adds: “With Alaska Airlines very inclusive approach, management, crew, catering teams and designers all gave input into the final concept. Now everyone loves it!”