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Sunday 6 September 2020

Here's a weird one. Meet people keen to eat airline food

Most regular flyers - other than those at the pointy end - endure airline catering rather than enjoying it. 

But in Thailand, over 100 diners craving in-flight meals after months of travel restrictions flocked to Thai Airways International Pcl’s offices this week to try a new pop-up restaurant and get a reminder of the forgotten flavours of onboard dining.

The national carrier, which has grounded most of its planes in recent months, transformed the cafeteria of its Bangkok headquarters in Chatuchak into an airline-themed restaurant and opened it to the public, Reuters reported.

“I ate a lot,” said Pirachat Pengthongworrapetch, 36, who heard about the restaurant online. “It’s better here than in the air because it’s cooked to order.”

Prices range from between 95 Baht and 180 Baht ($4-6) so customers enjoy an affordable and novel meal. And, to be fair, Thai's catering is pretty good.

Diners got to meet cabin crew, who greeted them in full uniform as they entered the restaurant, which is decorated with airplane parts and seats to lend it an authentic aircraft feel.

“Spare parts from engines, windows and fan blades were used as furniture,” Thai Airways Catering Managing Director Varangkana Luerojvong said.

Each decoration has a QR code attached so visitors can look up information about the parts.

Varangkana said the restaurant, which serves about 2,000 meals per day, was a way to recoup some lost revenue during the coronavirus pandemic, and there are plans to turn other Thai Airways offices into similar dining experiences.

The Thai bankruptcy court will decide on Sept. 14 if the airline can go ahead with its restructuring proposals.

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