A decade or so ago before the advent of budget airlines in the Philippines, onboard eats were always a part of passengers’ flight experience. I remember being served real food then, including a plateful of tasty lasagna from Grand Air. Those were not long-haul flights either, but domestic flights lasting just over an hour.
Nowadays, cutting costs is the name of the game, so you’ll be lucky to be given a bag of chips (AirPhil Express still does it!). Most of the time, there will be no free snacks, just overpriced food items that look far from appetizing.
I joined the Skyscanner Airline Food Review recently and decided to sample Cebu Pacific Air’s onboard eats. Here are my findings, rating each element from 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest.
FOOD BOUGHT: Chicken and Peach in Focaccia Sandwich (P100)
Frankly, the presentation needed a lot of improvement. When I was still choosing which food item to buy, I almost didn’t pick this sandwich as it looked unappetizing. It was encased in plastic and while it made the sandwich remain fresh, it didn’t improve its appearance. The open side which would have given me a glimpse of what was inside was covered up with the Cebu Pacific logo.
I was very pleasantly surprised when I took a bite though. The sandwich was delicious! The filling consisted of chicken strips with slices of peach. The amount of mayonnaise on it was just right, and the bread they used—focaccia—was fresh and herb-sprinkled. I liked it so much I set aside half of the sandwich to eat later.
VALUE FOR MONEY: Rating—7
Relative to its taste and the prices of the other items in their menu, this sandwich is well worth the money. However, the other items in their menu is overpriced. I mean P50 for a bottle of water? Seriously?
MENU VARIETY: Rating—8
Cebu Pacific has enough variety of food items on sale, from the sandwiches, to chips, several pastries, and yes, cup noodles for those who are after a quick, filling (though not necessarily nutritious) meal. There are a number of beverages available too, from basic coffee or hot chocolate, to beers and juices. Overall, the menu is good enough for short flights but definitely lacking if you’re flying for four hours or more.
I wouldn’t make it a habit to buy from this airline’s onboard eats for short flights. However, if I would need something to eat during the flight, I would definitely choose the Chicken and Peach in Focaccia Sandwich again.