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An Interesting Take on the In-flight food delivery and waste collection system

The Current In-fight Food Delivery and Waste Collection System

In the present era, food delivery and waste collection are done in a manual fashion by the cabin crew.

The Existing Food Delivery System

1. The Food is prepared in the galley area.

2. Then the food and beverages are transported and distributed to the passengers by the mechanism of service trolleys or carts along the cabin aisle.

3. A second round with service trolleys takes place as, after the serving of food and beverages, hot drinks are served separately.

4. After a definite time of the commuters consuming their food, a third round is performed by the cabin crew with a service trolley to collect the used meal trays and waste.

Well, the number of rounds with the service trolley varies with respect to short and long-haul flights. In short-haul flights, the trip of the service trolley along the cabin aisle happens around two times. Once for distributing the food and beverages like light snacks and drinks. The second time is for collecting the waste after the passengers are done having the food. But in the case of Long Haul flights, this transportation of the food and accumulating the waste takes place around two to three times. But that’s not it. To ensure an environment in the aircraft that's absolutely hygienic and squeaky clean before landing, the cabin attendants further take supplementary rounds to collect the waste but this time it's not done with the service trolley. Instead, plastic bags are implemented for collecting waste.

Now, this was the whole framework of the food delivery and waste collection system. So from the working of these two systems, it can be presumed that several potential improvements can be brought into this arena.

This existing system is manual. It calls for the requirement of at least 2 cabin members to operate with a service trolley. So due to this, there are two main problems (one minor and one major) that arise from this design.

1. As the Cabin attendants have to move the trolley all the way through the cabin aisle, the cabin aisle also forms the only path for the passengers to use. Supposedly, the crew members are distributing the food with the service cart, and at the same time, one of the passengers has to use the lavatory. While he goes through the aisle toward the lavatory, there forms chaos because he has to overtake the cart. After all, the cart occupies the entire width of the aisle. So he has to sort his way out by adjusting and overpassing the cart. While this is happening, the passengers situated near the cart get disturbed. Hence a potent solution that can be made for this problem is by making the size of the service cart more compactly portable by transforming it into a small-scale size plus adding some additional functional features and accessories.

2. While ticket booking, many people prefer to book their meals beforehand. This makes it easier for them to just enjoy the meal while flying without confusion and queries about ordering food on the flight. But the food that the passenger books are served through the service trolley only. But as this service trolley is a manual enhanced process and moves with respect to the serial wise numbering of seats. So if the person is residing in the last seat then he has to utterly wait for his turn to receive the food. Hence, in this happening, customer satisfaction is extremely disrupted and the existing manual cart trolley mechanism is making him fly with limitations because he is not getting his pre-booked meal in the stipulated time period.

Be it a brand, an airline, or any business, it is the customers who define the worth of the brand and give a voice to it. So if the customers at the end are not satisfied then it makes no point. An airline’s executive line should ensure that the passengers' demands are met both on the ground and while flying. We shouldn’t make him travel with limitations. The passengers need to feel cared for, pampered, and satisfied.

So these two major reasons dramatically call for the requirement of improvisations and potential innovations in the existing design model of the food delivery system. Now let us put a glance at the problems associated with the waste collection system.

The Recommended Automated Process

There have been many models and ideas presented and patented for improvising the food delivery and waste collection system. Some of the notable ones are:

In 1965: The Moving Cabinet

The current existing food service carts to a great extent bear a resemblance to this 1965 patented design, The Moving Cabinet. But the significant difference between the 1965 model and the present cart model is, now the service trollies are accompanied by tracks along the aisle to smoothen their travel on the aisle.

In 2016: The Automated System Design

In this creation, the meals are dispatched and the wastes are collected from the passengers via a conveyor system that exists withinside or underneath the cabin floor. The outlet of the system is made at the aisle seats of each row. There will be an occupant present at each and every seat row. So that occupant will give the passenger the meal, or take care of the waste materials.

The automated process in a more detailed form:

Note: None of the above-mentioned designs has been applied onboard the commercial aircraft yet.


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