ANA charges for drinks on domestic flights, teams up with Starbucks to serve free coffee

Seeking to cut back on its operational costs, ANA on April 1st 2010 started to charge passengers in economy class on domestic flights for all drinks other than water and green tea. Instead, passengers can purchase drinks from ANA’s ‘My Choice’ paid catering menu. Beverages available for sale include premium mandarin orange juice, Darjeeling tea and onion gratin soup. Wine, champagne, sake and shochu served in ANA’s business class are also sold in economy. 

Two weeks after introducing its paid drinks policy on domestic flights, ANA teamed up with Starbucks in a ‘tryvertising’ campaign to promote the launch of Starbucks new VIA instant coffee brand in Japan. Since April 14, the day Starbucks launched its VIA coffee brand in Japan, ANA has served complimentary Starbucks VIA coffee  on domestic routes. The free coffee service has just ended on May 31st, and ANA now charges 200 yen (USD2.20, EUR1.80) for a cup of Starbucks Via. 

Both brands benefited from the joint sampling campaign: offereing passengers in economy a free cup of coffee allowed ANA soften the introduction of its paid drinks policy a little bit. Starbucks, meanwhile, hoped to change the inferior perception associated with instant coffee by letting consumers try its new product for free in a relevant setting. In September 2009, Starbucks held a similar campaign with United Airlines when it introduced its VIA brand in the U.S. Passengers onboard United flights could sample the coffee and take home some free VIA sachets as well. Besides this one-time offer, United Airlines also serves regular Starbucks coffee in-flight for free.

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