American Airlines Is Bringing Pre-Order Meals Back For Transcon And Hawaii Flights

American Airlines started letting customers pre-select their meals online when they’re flying in premium cabins back in the fall of 2012. Delta didn’t roll out this feature until early 2019 and going into the pandemic United was still in testing.

The airline offered meals pre-ordered between 30 days and 24 hours before a flight, selecting from items that are offered on board anyway. This was extended to regional jet flight back in March of 2020 right before meal service was eliminated early in the global pandemic.

American is now bringing back premium cabin pre-order meal selection for most flights between the U.S. mainland and Hawaii, and for flights between New York JFK and both Los Angeles and San Francisco, starting February 10:

Los Angeles – Kauai is considered a short haul market, so gets excluded from this. And while any other flights to Kauai that American may operate, and flights to Kona, will get this option flights from those Hawaiian destinations do not.

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. My one experience with pre-ordering meals and I think it was with American. When they were serving dinner the FA asked me what I wanted and I had to explain that I had pre-ordered. She looked at me like I was speaking a foreign language and then looked at her papers and found my name. “Ah, there you are, I’ll see if we still have your choice” she said. Never again.

  2. Maybe it was a money loser. That is the only explanation I come up with for how AA successfully pulled off a neat, customer-friendly feature like ordering meals 7 years before Delta. DL must not have been trying.

  3. I assume that AA is like UA in that they double cater the flights from the mainland because there are no meaningful flight kitchens at LIH and KOA.

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