American Airlines Bringing Back Hot Meals To Domestic First Class

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.

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.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Weird: I received a boxed breakfast meal on the 45 minute flight from LAS-PHX in first just a few weeks ago

  2. Given that most folks are alarmed by the recent barrage of delta variant news and resumption of mask mandates, and businesses have delayed resumption of office activities and business travel, will anyone be on the planes this fall to enjoy Doug’s bounty?

  3. It is not the “supply chain” but an incompetent management staff in concert with a new Director of Catering at DFW HQ who cannot problem solve nor come up with solutions “on a good day”. Nepotism, back slapping failure. Flights cannot get bottled water or ice in most stations. Sometimes the flight attendants have to “beg and borrow” from other airlines to just get ice and water for First Class passengers. Funny how other airlines have no problems with the “supply chain”. Parker and Isom do not care and they sure love the influx of billions in revenue for their undeserved bonuses and perks. Even our Business Class menus to London have choices like “Corned Beef and Cabbage” and “Mexican Enchiladas” as a Premium choice!!! Who thinks this up? The employees are sick of the abuse from passengers. As we say……HQ motto is “We are not happy until you are unhappy”. Everything has a sadistic edge when it comes from DFW HQ. They treat the passengers like animals. Time to fire all of senior management and bring in leadership from Lufthansa, Korean, KLM and Swiss to clean this place up. They would be appalled by the laziness and avarice at the top tier.

  4. “Given that most folks are alarmed by the recent barrage of delta variant news” I don’t think most people are. That’s why there is a push-back against a mask mandate for those who did the right thing and got vaccinated and very low risk young kids in school for example. Planes are full or filling up again. Airlines are starting to signal back to normal and unless they do something stupid, people are going to continue to fly. We gotta learn to live with this. People have had enough.

  5. Delta needs to get ahead of American and United. Our fist class service was awful getting the same crap boxes as coach does, but was complimentary. (Technically paid in the first class fares). I fly a lot on Delta basically exclusively Delta and First Class. A hot meal would be great.

  6. Hot meals have been back on domestic Flagship First flights for at least a month. They have been enjoyable.

  7. Will this include hot nuts as well?
    What about domestic glassware? Why is that so hard?

  8. Delta, are you reading this?

    Can’t believe that DL is still offering the “bistro boxes” in business class while AA and UA are offering full meals. This is from past two months experience on all three carriers on flights 4-5 hours long, with DL flown last on 7/15.

  9. Some of you are so entitled. You know you can buy food at the airport. Food is just complimentary. You guys acting like greedy kids who are catching a case because they can’t get hot food on an aircraft . Lol . Just enjoy the fact you got to your destination Tion without crashing

  10. David says:
    July 29, 2021 at 2:19 pm
    “Given that most folks are alarmed by the recent barrage of delta variant news” I don’t think most people are. That’s why there is a push-back against a mask mandate for those who did the right thing and got vaccinated and very low risk young kids in school for example. Planes are full or filling up again. Airlines are starting to signal back to normal and unless they do something stupid, people are going to continue to fly. We gotta learn to live with this. People have had enough.

    G-damn man. Hell yes I’m alarmed. And YOU David are also part of the problem, along with the unvaccinated, unwashed walking IED’s.

    Kids in hospitals is way up, Delta is 100x more contagious (actually understating that I believe), and breakthrough cases are on the rise – those people “did the right thing” yet unfortunately they are a spewing fountain of contagious infection without a mask.

    “We gotta learn to live with this”. Yeah, just what they said about polio and smallpox and the plague and ….

    Get your head on straight. Put on a mask.

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