It’s only been two weeks since American Airlines introduced ‘fresh bites’ boxes to flights at least 900 miles long and already they’re planning to bring back hot meals to first class this fall.
First reported by aviation watchdog Jon NYC, this has been confirmed to me by American Airlines as well.
Big things coming this fall for AA
First Class actual meals
Ice Cream on long haul and international glassware
(Unrelated, pilots very unhappy with the snack boxes they’ve been getting vs. real food)
— ˜”*° JonNYC °*”˜ (@xJonNYC) July 19, 2021
I first reported the rumor a week ago. Now Ameican Airlines spokesperson Leah Rubertino tells me, “We haven’t established a specific date for the return of hot food to domestic flights but are working on it!”
The issue as I understand it is supply chain. While the plan is to ramp this up as soon as possible, ideally in about a month, they weren’t even able to get flights out of Dallas properly catered to the point that their goal was simply to have enough water on board for coach passengers. Catering companies just didn’t have the commercial drivers on staff to get trucks out to the planes.
Pilots have complained about the on board meals as much as the passengers – they generally get what first class passengers get – and that is a major driver of the return to normal on board service.
We don’t yet know which routes or what length of flights will receive hot meals domestically first, or even at all. United Airlines has brought back hot meals on flights only over 1500 miles, along with shorter hub-to-hub routes. But – menu under development notwithstanding – this is almost certainly going to be a move in a positive direction.