Looking to increase the appeal of its in-flight meals, the airline has designed a special menu pairing each course with a pop song.
While American Airlines is removing in-flight meals on certain flights, one airline is hoping to make them a whole lot sweeter.
British Airways has developed a special “Sound Bite” menu that pairs in-flight meals to a 13-track playlist on the airline’s audio channel. The songs have been specifically selected to enhance certain dishes and draws inspiration from a recent study by Oxford University.
The study revealed that listening to music not only increases productivity but also heightens a person’s taste buds. In what he now refers to as “Sonic Seasoning,” Oxford professor Charles Spence concluded that listening to certain songs could make food taste up to 10 percent sweeter or more salty. British Airways is one of the first businesses to employ this research to elevate the traveler experience.
Based on the findings that British food is best enjoyed while listening to British music, the airline’s main course will be paired with “A Sky Full of Stars” by the British band Coldplay. Listening to the high tones in Madonna’s “Ray of Light” is expected to boost the sweet flavors in the rich pudding dessert. Travelers will end their in-flight meal with a cup of coffee while being serenaded by Plácido Domingo, since the tenor’s low notes are well suited for the bitterness of coffee. Other artists featured in the Sonic Bite playlist include Louis Armstrong, Lily Allen, and James Blunt.
“The sonic seasoning research is fascinating, and our pairings should really help bring out the flavors,” British Airways menu designer and chef Mark Tazziole said in a statement.
This is not the first time that Tazziole has looked for ways to enrich in-flight food. Researchers have found that people’s ability to taste is reduced by 30 percent while in the air, and Tazziole has also taken the effect of altitude into special consideration.
British Airways’ special “Sonic Bite” menu will be available on long-distance flights starting in November.