American Airlines Is Serving $1 Shelf Stable Pasta In First Class. Is Premium Travel Dead?

American Airlines is rolling out new first class meals. Aviation watchdog JonNYC flags that beef becomes available by pre-order only, rather than something that will be catered on board normally. That should save some money.

What’s more interesting to me is how they’ll be catering flights where they don’t have the ability to provision fresh food. There are a number of cities where airlines don’t set up catering contracts.

  • They may “double cater” a flight with food out of their hub, service one meal to passengers leaving the hub and the other meal to passengers coming back.
  • But if the flight is too long, or the plane sits too long (including overnight), they’ll offer “shelf stable” food that doesn’t require refrigeration.

American Airlines has introduced a new ‘shelf stable’ “Meal of the Moment 3 Cheese Pasta” that flight attendants will mix hot water into prior to serving. This replaces the shelf stable MyPasta introduced in fall 2022.

On the Meal of the Moment website the price is listed as 99 rupees (US$1.19). It’s unclear what the cost is to American Airlines – U.S. pricing may be different, but they’re also buying in bulk. The pasta is supposed to be made with boiling water, not just hot water (and ideally not with airplane tank water). It has a 9 month shelf life.

Would you eat this, and do you consider it to be a premium meal you’d enjoy in first class?

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. America is a capitalist farce. Shareholder value is increased. CEO’s are paid in stock. Don’t fly US carriers if you can avoid them

  2. Wouldn’t eat this or serve it if I worked there AA is a total embarrassment now that’s to that shit merger they had yrs ago and I didn’t think AA could get any lower with this incredibly cheap ass ceo!! I’ll definitely avid AA when I can they are my last choice.. if AA flies direct and say United goes there but takes 2 legs I’ll definitely fly United!

  3. @Gary, this is the last post where follow up comments were sent to my email (@Arguendo’s comment.) I haven’t been getting notification of new posts, either.

  4. I mainly fly first and service is the worst. Only 16 seats. Food is a joke and attendants are so lazy. I actually used the call button and still took 5 min on a domestic flight.

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