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History of IFSA
About IFSA

Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, the International Flight Services Association is a global professional association created to serve the needs and interests of airline and railway personnel, inflight and rail caterers and suppliers responsible for providing onboard passenger services on regularly scheduled travel routes. IFSA's membership is dedicated to the advancement of the art and science of the multi-billion dollar inflight and railway onboard services industry.

The Association's Structure:
A Board of Directors governs IFSA, which includes the president, vice president, secretary, treasurer, chairman and nine directors. Of the nine directors, six represent the Active membership and three represent the Supplier membership. The Association's objectives are then implemented through a wide range of standing and ad hoc committees.

History of IFSA

The International Flight Services Association (IFSA) was officially launched in January 1966 when 43 industry pioneers attended the first commercial airline foodservice seminar at Cornell University. This seminar was the outgrowth of two previous meetings held at Cornell in 1964 and 1965.

From the first, the new association was guided by Dr. Gerald Lattin of Cornell who managed the affairs of the association until 1985. An annual conference has been held every year since 1966.

Mission Statement:
Lead, develop and represent the global business interests of the onboard service industry.

The objectives are:
In order to serve the needs of the membership, we will:

  1. Provide a global forum to research, develop and communicate information to IFSA members, the industry and the public.
  2. Encourage expansion of the organization's scope beyond food and beverage to integrate other elements of the customer experience.
  3. Represent the global interests of the Association and its members before legislative and regulatory entities as well as promote uniform guidelines of food safety, sanitation and security for the onboard service supply chain.
  4. Maximize industry participation and presence worldwide by fostering business partnerships and building networks in other markets to support industry development and strengthen working relationships with other industry associations, publications and groups.
  5. Recognize exceptional contributions to the industry and develop future leaders.
Categories of IFSA Membership

Active Members
Active Membership is open to any bona fide airline, railroad or inflight or rail caterer. For purposes of these bylaws, an inflight or rail caterer is any company (i.e. a person, firm, partnership, corporation or department or division of a corporation) actively engaged in the conduct of an inflight or rail catering operation or operations on a full-time, regularly scheduled basis. Active Memberships shall be in the name of --- and on ---a company basis (e.g., a specific airline, under its corporate name, may become an Active Member), and may not be transferred or assigned.

Supplier Member
Supplier Membership is open to any bona fide vendor. For purposes of these bylaws, a vendor is any company (i.e., person, firm, consultant, partnership, corporation or department or division of a corporation) actively engaged in providing food or other products or services to entities in the transportation industry, including but not limited to airport or railway foodservice facilities, airlines, railways, and/or inflight or railway caterers. Supplier Memberships shall be in the name of --- and on --- a company basis, and may not be transferred or assigned.

Individual Membership
Individual Membership is available to individuals who wish to maintain a close relationship with the inflight or railway foodservice industry. Those eligible may include but are not limited to educators and persons not presently employed in any other IFSA membership classification, including those now retired from the industry. This membership category has no voting rights.

Associate Membership
Associate Membership is available to governmental or private, not-for-profit associations or agencies directly or indirectly involved in aviation, railway, inflight or railway foodservice, airport management, rail station management, public health, sanitation and safety. The IFSA Board of Directors must approve such associations or agencies for Associate Membership. This membership category has no voting rights.

Honorary Members
Any person who deserves special recognition for his or her outstanding contribution to aviation, Association service, government, public service or inflight catering, may be elected an Honorary Member upon being proposed for such membership by at least ten (10) Active and/or Supplier Members, and upon receiving a majority vote of the Board of Directors. This membership category has no voting rights.

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