With the global pandemic, airlines have looked to cut costs wherever they can, while saying the changes are driven by safety concerns.
Just last weekend I reported that American Airlines, which started giving out fruit and cheese plates in domestic first class on flights over 900 miles, eliminated meals on the longest domestic flights of more than 2200 miles (such as Miami- Seattle) and similar-length international flights.
They’ve already done an about face on this plan, ramping up domestic first class food service offerings on top of the fruit and cheese plate that used to be offered as ‘buy on board’ to coach passengers.
- Starting August 12 American Airlines will offer yogurt int he morning.
- Starting August 26 breakfast becomes a choice of yogurt or a croissant sandwich, and meals will offer a choice between the fruit and cheese plate or a turkey sandwich.
The new August 26 offerings only run through September 9. Food choices may change September 10.
Flights over 2200 miles will also receive a pre-arrival pass of the snack basket, and flights that overnight in cities where the airline doesn’t have arranged catering will get a snack box.
Let’s be clear, this is progress and it’s more than many other airlines are doing (to not all). Having yogurt, and eventually a sandwich option at both breakfast and lunch, is better than what the airline has been serving in domestic first class. New York – Los Angeles and San Francisco flights, longer Hawaii flights, and long haul international do get more substantive meals.
It’s a far cry from the service the airline is used to providing. The improvements here underscore that it’s possible to do more while meeting a desire to limit passenger and flight attendant interaction. And that, then, calls out for more – if a meal is now a packaged sandwich then is it to much to ask for a box that includes chips and maybe a dessert item?