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General | 3 min read

Wrong Meal

A Frontend Developers Introduction to the Complex World of Inflight logistics

Ruslan DanylchukFebruary 21, 2022

Before joining LimeFlight in 2019, I had only experienced the aviation industry from an aisle seat in the economy class when travelling to a far-off location. But, even from there, I marveled at the wonders of modern technology that can safely carry an aircraft taller than some multi-story buildings into the sky and back again.

As an avid traveler, I have often taken long-haul flights, and while falling asleep on a plane is not my forte, there was always one part of the flight that I looked forward to—the food. I have always loved the dining experience at 40,000 feet. That is until the serving cart reaches my seat and I realize that the chicken masala that I had my heart set on was all gone, and I must settle for the mushroom risotto.

From my seat, I never realized the complexity of the process of feeding each passenger on a flight. Or the extensive list of hoops that an airline must jump through to supply my fellow passengers and me with an inflight service, such as complying with multiple food safety regulations, accommodating allergies and dietary restrictions, and much more—actually, the list is quite extensive. Only now that I've had a peek behind the metaphorical curtain can I fully appreciate the complexity and logistical operation that brought my sadly unwanted mushroom risotto to my fold-out tray table.

Today, I understand that a complex process is going on behind the scenes which begins before I even buy my ticket. Catering managers need to predict the meals that customers want to eat, ensure special meal requests are met, monitor inventory, communicate with caterers, and much more.

It was surprising to learn that many airlines still do this using outdated systems with complex spreadsheets full of mind-boggling formulas that would make Nash envious. LimeFlight, on the other hand, takes a far more innovative, vertically integrated approach. Simply put, our solution allows catering managers to plan meals, load them, track inventory, and even determine the best place to uplift them. For us, this is an A-to-Z approach, or as we call it, from LoadPlanning to MealPlanning and from InventoryManagement to RouteOptimization.

But my amazement doesn't end there. LimeFlight is doing everything it can to become the logistics solution for future air travel. By integrating the most advanced technologies to predict passenger behavior, LimeFlight aims to reduce stress and pressure for catering managers further. For example, imagine if an airline could predict what passengers would be most likely to consume during a flight and fill their trolleys with exactly this? Wouldn't that be fantastic?

In the future, LimeFlight will be able to notify airlines when it detects trends, such as toward lower sugar consumption so that it can adjust the number of sugary drinks carried on board. Or it will identify patterns in loading and meal plans and suggest how they can be standardized through its highly modular capabilities to help airlines reduce redundancy and manual tasks.

As a Frontend Developer, my role in this journey is to take the complex and make it uncomplicated. So, while LimeFlight transforms the mind-boggling formulas and confusing tables into a fully integrated solution, I translate this into a user-friendly, simple, and straightforward interface. In this way, I help take the difficult, demanding and stressful work out of the hands of airlines so they can focus on what's important - my chicken masala.