American Airlines Bringing Back Sandwiches To Domestic First Class

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?

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, 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. Sandwiches are good

    Chips and dessert are empty calories and we can all stand to eat less while gyms are closed

    AA still sucks. Apart from not blocking seats, they said Black Lives Matter in their earnings call while other airlines smartly avoided making such a charged political statement.

  2. @Gary It is highly likely that you were used by AA sources as a trial balloon to see what the reaction would be like. Not surprised by this about face by AA.

    @Jason not sure why saying Black Lives Matter is a charged political statement. Next you’ll be saying that Delta forcing folks to wear masks or be denied boarding is a charged political statement.

  3. @Fred, there’s nothing political about wearing masks. Biden and Trump have both been photographed in masks. This is a matter of public health. All of our lives matter. Now let’s shift gears to Black Lives Matter, note the capitalization.

    1. The organization was founded on the basis of unjust police shootings of Black citizens. Scientific research has found no significant differences in the rate of unjust shooting by the victim’s race. A senior research leader at Michigan State University was removed from his post (although he remains a tenured full professor) for his participation in the research, but that does not invalidate his findings of fact.

    2. The organization incubates Black supremacy. A Black person tweeted, we need to make sure Black Lives Matter isn’t Black Lives Better. A torrent of attacks followed, implying clearly they believe Black Lives are in fact Better, which is literal supremacy. Several pro-Black twitter accounts also cheered on the rioters and looters, claiming (without logic or evidence) that Black people are reclaiming what was stolen from them by White people.

    3. The President of the United States, a democratically elected leader of the free world, declared that writing Black Lives Matter in public in New York is a “symbol of hate.”

    4. The organization gaslights individuals who say All Lives Matter, a literal statement of universal equality, and causes them to believe they are bigots. Mental gymnastics and flawed analogies are involved in the gaslighting.

    5. The organization practices wanton hypocrisy in reacting only when a Black life is taken by a White perpetrator, never by another Black perpetrator.

  4. Jason is going to be in for quite the rude awakening in 101 days

    Always super smart to be on the wrong side of history

  5. @Jason the same President also declared that we should inject Bleach into our bodies, go pump yaself up full of bleach dude, maybe that will improve your thought processes.
    (Just to make sure you understand, the President of the US saying something does not make it the truth, the same way that former President Clinton saying he didn’t have sexual relations with Ms Lewinski didn’t make it true that he didn’t get his d**k sucked off in the Oval Office)

  6. Gezz you know travel is suppose to be enjoyable as is reading travel blogs then some people just have to enter into a political discussion with their personal views can we have a “political free zone” other than directly related to travel please?

    Now back to sandwiches if their of high quality sure works for me. Gary traveling long haul both domestic and international once was something to look forward to especially First and Business and now even premium coach however the pandemic has changed that for who knows how long but in any event fundamentally changed for a long time. Here’s the question having said that the thought that occurs to me is how much will say international travel/tourism decline say over the next three to five years? I venture 30% or more, with 30% being closer to five years. Start that with you earn all these points and looked to redemption for biz or first, you get on the plane and they give you a deli sandwich some chips and a drink, thats it. And now the 380 is more or less gone save EK there goes the suites and showers. Frankly that shower was fantastic long haul

  7. I wish UA-NYC lived in a “happy” socialist society where I was born and grew up….Maybe then he/she will sing a different tune….They also started with the theme that “someone’s lives mattered” (in that case it work the working folk)…..

  8. @Ex-Soviet what would you call a federal government literally paying SMEs to pay the wages of workers, and paying giant airlines to pay workers’ wages with the explicit condition that workers cannot be fired till a certain date?
    You can spew all your made up bs with your made up handle, however for all intents we are already “socialized”.

  9. Get hot meals you eat with a fork and knife back in premium cabins fast

    Much more sanitary than food you have to handle with your fingers

  10. Given AA’s erratic history of consistently changing its course and approach to the market, one can only hope AA’s pilots can still steer a true course.

    Apparently, nothing will help AA until its management and Board are relived of the awesome responsibility of making competent and correct decisions. For the same price as DL, why would any sane person elect AA? Quality catering, nicely crafted drinks, and timely service still count.

  11. Are you REALLY so hung up on airline food that this is a serious article? Just get me where I want to go safely and on time. I’ll gladly buy food that is much better than anything an airline can serve me before I leave or after I arrive.

    Such a petty item to care about.

  12. Flying all day w short connection, coast to coast and no food in First until Aug 12. Brutal.

  13. @Ex-Soviet – given we are turning into a near-fascist society, guessing the US is starting to feel just like home to you?

  14. Just another reason why Domestic First Class isn’t worth it unless your Company is footing the bill…

    Get to the airport an extra 30 minutes early & get some food, or something that won’t tick your fellow passengers off if you bring it on the plane. Southwest & Delta are blocking middle seats..

    Save yourself some money unless it’s on the expense account.

  15. These offerings are the Buy On Board food in Coach – which are free to EXPs.

    But guess they are only being offered in F, and not sold in coach or comp for EXPs in coach. Barclay was providing a $25 per flight credit for BOB but I guess that does not matter if it not being offered.

  16. Wish all readers and writers were as enlightened as Jason (above)…he is exactly right. So tired of the left being whiners, victims and crybabies. The truth is that if you fight with the police, bad things could happen to you. The police are not going to give up just because you don’t want to be detained. …and they shouldn’t. I’m grateful for the brave men and women (99% who are excellent servants) who put their lives on the line each day to deal with the scum that wont follow the law.

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