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The logic in Passengers seems flawed that Jim could send a $6000 message back to earth, buy whatever he wanted at the bar and for dinner, but he could never get a better breakfast as an economy/non-Gold passenger.

Why can't Jim get a better coffee/breakfast?

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Because food is limited. They expect the crew to be awake for a month more than the passengers who are supposed to be awake a month prior to landfall. Unlike services like a phone call, food is budgeted ahead of time. At worst, Jim would have had one month of bad coffee before they landed, so it's expected he would suck it up. Instead he's going on a year and a few months. Food takes up space and is perishable, they wouldn't bring more than needed. And if they had brought extras for sale, there is no guarantee that it would be bought and would go to waste. That cuts into profits more than it would bring in revenue. It's a simple cost benefit analysis. Homestead is a capitalist venture after all.

Additionally, Jim is basically an indentured servant. He is paying for passage with his skills and labor. He's riding in credit as is. Unlike Aurora that paid full price. He has no money to buy with.

Practically speaking, he probably could upgrade, had a crew member been around. The company likely would allow upgrades, at a cost, if an employee could confirm that supplies arn't low and would override the system. Just like they did with Mac's employee ID and the AutoDoc.

  • 4
    I see what you're saying...but...what about lunch and supper? He was shown ordering whatever he wanted at the restaurant when he was shown "living a little" (after playing basketball and dancing). So why not breakfast too, at a cost? And clearly the technology is super advanced and most likely the food would be synthetic. – codeview Feb 28 '17 at 0:15
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    I don't buy the food is limited or perishable portion of your answer. If they can keep plants and animals in stasis for the duration of the trip they can keep food fresh too. Extra food would have been a minuscule fraction of the total mass budget for the trip. I view the restaurants like cruises I've been on where the base food is free but there are restaurants on the ship you can pay money to eat at. My guess is the upgraded basic meal plan in the movie is something that would have cost extra that Jim didn't pay for like you said because he was poor. Overall +1. – Erik Feb 28 '17 at 3:14
  • @erik Homestead Corp is a capitalist endeavor. Profit comes first. – cde Feb 28 '17 at 3:23
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    @cde clearly profit comes first but we don't really know the economics well enough in that universe to say if it is cheaper to buy food on one planet or another. Similarly you don't know the other details like maybe the Homestead Corp found out that most people do upgrade once they are close to the destination planet due to the power of interest compounding while they are asleep plus this would let Homestead Corp gouge the people later. So it might be more profitable to encourage people to delay purchase, etc, etc. Your answer is speculation and I feel that part is weak. – Erik Feb 28 '17 at 3:32
  • We know the cost of the flight for Jim and Aurora. We know that no one is supposed to be awake for 99.99% of the trip. We know that Jim has no problem charging things to his account, hacking or otherwise taking what he can. We know Homestead has no problem with billing them for thousands for a phone call. We know Homestead is looking for zillions of dollars in profit. If it were possible it would have happened. – cde Feb 28 '17 at 3:52
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Think of the spaceship like a cruise liner. All or most passengers will likely have three meals a day included in their tickets. I imagine Homestead don't really need passengers dying of starvation, so everyone gets fed and watered, except some get fed better than others.

If you skip to around 14m30s into the film when Jim is bashing away at the coffee machine, there the following exchange between the Jim and the machine:

Jim: "I want the mocha cappuccino extreme, bill my room please".

Machine: "Food can be purchased in the ship's...".

This suggests there's somewhere else on the ship where you can pay for better food or luxuries that aren't included in the cost of the ticket. In fact, later in the film, at around 40m:30s, when Jim meets Aurora for his "date", the following exchange takes place when Aurora admires Jim's sartorial upgrade:

Aurora: "You went shopping"

Jim: "I went shop lifting"

This suggests there are on-board shops, and Jim broke into one of them to obtain his suit. This would lead us to believe that if you have enough credit you can buy what you need, including better foods.

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