Touchscreen, On-Demand Meal Feature Debuts on Japan Airlines

Japan Airlines' Anytime You Wish Meal Ordering app.
Tomml | E+ | Getty Images
Japan Airlines' Anytime You Wish Meal Ordering app.

With a few taps on your seat-side remote or TV screen, you can now order meals, drinks and duty free items when flying in business class on some Japan Airlines flights.

Japan Airlines on Monday rolled out its new Anytime You Wish service on its fleet of Boeing 777-300ER Sky Suite aircraft. Flight attendants still distribute menus and take orders for the first meal on long-haul international flights. But the new on-demand feature allows hungry fliers to order additional items later in the flight directly from their seat. (Read more: No Sushi for You: Japan Airlines to Serve KFC Meals)

The service debuted on the Tokyo to London route, with the airline planning to expand to U.S. and other European routes in the future.

After the first meal, business-class fliers can use the system to view meal images and descriptions, and place an order up to one and a half hours before landing. Additionally, duty free items can be viewed and purchased using the same feature embedded in the in-flight entertainment system.

(Read more: On Singapore Airlines, Fliers Order Premium Meals in Advance)

First-class passengers receive a more personalized one-on-one service by flight attendants and won't use the system. In premium economy and economy, fliers can use it to review duty free items, but the order service is not available.

Virgin America offers a similar touch-to-order food and beverage system onboard its flights, though only in economy class. (Read more: Road Warrior Tested: Virgin America First Class)

I like the concept and hope more airlines consider adding similar functionality. It allows you to avoid ringing the flight attendant call button or get up to visit the galley, as is sometimes needed today for mid-flight service.

For more information on Japan Airlines' Anytime You Wish service, click here.