Last month, Vistara announced their lite fares, where one can get a slightly cheaper ticket by giving up the free meal amongst other frills. The lite fare started flying today, and also the buy on board program along with it. In line with their classy lineage, they’ve chosen to brand their BoB menu Cafe Aubergine. The new Vistara food menu is now available in a seatback pocket on board their planes.
I took a look at what they have to offer, and they seem to have a healthy mix of snacks and meal options. Tea and coffee continue to be complimentary. The only hot food items on the menu are of the ready-to-eat variant. Some of the items on the list include:
- Popcorn/Chips/Chocolates: INR 100- 150 (Perfect for munching while watching their IFE)
- Cup Noodles/Rajma Chawal/Biryani/Poha/: INR 150 – 200 (Vegetarian and non-vegetarian variants)
- Packaged Nuts: INR 180-190 (No buy on board menu can be without them right?)
On the pricing front, I found the rates to be quite reasonable and in line with how other airlines in the country have priced their food. One thing to note is that Vistara will only accept debit cards and credit cards for onboard purchases. While it is a noble idea to go all digital on the payments front, I have repeatedly observed on IndiGo and Spicejet flights that cash is still king when it comes to buying onboard. Good news is, most international credit cards will work as well. Amex/Master/Visa are accepted on board.
At the moment, you cannot pre-book your snack which could be frustrating at times when your desired option is not available when the cart comes along. I hope Vistara gives passengers the pre-booking option shortly. Alternatively, they could add the possibility of selling residual meals on the plane as well. An ingenious 9W Flight Steward once tried!
Vistara’s Cafe Aubergine is a bold move towards unbundling catering on domestic flights. Though it is early days, it would be interesting to see how passengers respond to buy onboard on full-service carriers. Moreover, if Vistara succeeds, other players may follow suit. After all, Jet Airways has been thinking since 2012.
Did you grab a bite from Vistara’s new Cafe Aubergine? What are your favourite items out there? ?