Airline coffee is—for the most part—pretty crappy. But enough people need them for their productivity, and they are a popular choice of beverage in the air. For that reason, Airlines invest a lot in selecting coffee providers that will appeal to a wide range of customers. They must taste at least decent (I hope), while being economical enough for their bottom line.
For years, Delta has been serving Starbucks coffee onboard, and this is a partnership that they heavily advertise. United recently introduced a partnership with illy, which many frequent flyers were happy about. United even had team members attend illy’s University of Coffee, and made a video to showcase the new offerings.
Well, one Canadian airline is launching a partnership with a (somewhat unlikely) brand. WestJet announced today that they will be partnering with McDonald’s to provide coffee for customers onboard. This new offering will be rolled out starting today, and WestJet says that all mainline 737 and 767 aircraft will serve McDonald’s coffee by December 1.
This is the first time McDonald’s coffee will be available through an airline, and WestJet thinks their customers will enjoy the McCafé Premium Roast coffee. All the cups will also have a loyalty card attached, and customers can earn loyalty points from their free onboard coffee. According to CBC News, this move is part of McDonald’s effort to dethrone Tim Horton’s previously “untouchable” position in the Canadian coffee market. WestJet CEO Gregg Saretsky said that Starbucks and Tim Hortons both submitted a bid to be the coffee provider, but the airline ultimately chose McDonald’s “based on price and other factors including previous partnering with WestJet in children’s charities.”
If coffee isn’t what you usually get when you’re at McDonald’s, there is still hope. When asked whether other McDonald’s products, like chicken nuggets, will become part of the partnership, Saretsky said, “Possibly.”