American Airlines New ‘Low Protein’ Meals In First Class

While I wrote over the summer that American Airlines wouldn’t bring back real meals to first class any time soon I was first to break the news that they would offer former coach buy on board sandwiches up front.

United responded with adding sandwiches as well. Matthew Klint reviews United’s new first class sandwiches. They don’t look great, they aren’t healthy, but Matthew says they are “tasty, especially when heated.” Delta only serves snack boxes, so it’s not like competitors offer better.

Let’s take a look at American’s current lunch and dinner sandwich, enjoyed this past week on a flight from Dallas Fort-Worth to Washington Dulles. The standard offering appears to be a ‘low protein’ meal.

Credit: TravisMT81, used with permission

American Airlines still sells first class, and doesn’t discount it based on providing less service. This represents a current first class meal. Travis, who took the photo, says “[g]lad I ate before my flight!”

The airline for its part offers,

The Valencia Chicken Sandwich is currently served during lunch and dinner as a domestic first class fresh snack. The sandwich shown in the photo does not appear to be up to our specification, and we are working with our catering partners on this report. Customer and flight attendant feedback is always important and appreciated.

In fairness at least the chicken wasn’t raw and the meal wasn’t expired.

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. Wow that’s a great looking chicken sandwich! Must have come from Singapore Airlines First class cabin 😉 They just need to cut down on the massive portion of chicken
    I better buy up to dine like a king:)

  2. Those loose chunks of chicken belong on a hoagie roll or similar (slit on top lengthwise) so the meat doesn’t spill out everywhere. A sandwich on a bun or sliced bread should have a full breast of meat or sliced deli-style meat.

    AA where do I send my application for ‘Sandwich Consultant’? First one’s on the house.

  3. The poultry ‘industry’ is unspeakably cruel. Consumers, most of them unknowingly, support ( via their consumption) a system in which the birds are mistreated and pumped full of drugs and hormones. If they knew the extent of it, consumption would slump dramatically.

  4. To be fair, I have seen plenty of these with a decent amount of chicken. It usually is hard to keep it all in sinc ethe chicken is chunks. I would not be surprised the person taking the picture took chicken out.

  5. This pic was obviously doctored to look especially anemic, I want a lie detector test that this passenger didn’t remove some of the chicken before snapping this pic, I say go to the Four Seasons Hotel BEFORE ypur flight! Why worry about airline cuisine when you have hindreds of chances throughout your day to EAT!

  6. This meals reminds me shelf-stable sandwiches USAirways “leadership” was trying to feed AA F customers after the merger.

  7. I’ve had a few of these and they’re not bad. This is clearly a bad apple. I usually take off one of the pieces of bread and eat it open faced.

  8. I had this sandwich recently (DFW-SEA) & also thought it was odd the chicken was in little chunks.

    I should have had the fruit & cheese plate (which, thank god Alaska Air will start offering in Main Cabin starting Nov 4!)

  9. The chicken sandwich appears to be inconsistent… I have a decent one and one not so good. In the future, I’d stick with the fruit and cheese plate.

  10. I was served this sandwich on a DFW-SAN flight. Absolutely disgusting and so little chicken. My transatlantic flight from Heathrow-to DFW was just as bad. Fortunately, there is British Airways which has been much better.

  11. Americans eat way too much protein. For health plant protein is better than meat protein. But if you must eat meat, then lean meat 3x a week and no more than playing card deck size. Eat like the Asian traditional diet and you live longer and healthier. Just compare cancer and heart disease incidence between older people living in Okinawa and theUSA. Multiple times more disease with USA.

  12. Recent flight from LAX to DFW there was zero service in First. FA’s didn’t offer anything more than the snack bag (water bottle, wipe & pretzels) upon boarding and they then sat the entire flight. There is NO longer any reason to fly in first on AA as they continue their race to the bottom.

  13. I don’t eat or drink on the plane, for a flight 3 hours or less. Safer to NOT remove your mask, for everyone. I wish the airlines would give first class passengers, or all passengers, really, a voucher for a beverage or snack in the airport.v And open their lounges for first class, instead of closing most of them. The boarding areas are way short of seating space. Safer for everyone than eating on board. Give just water on board, or juice for those with low blood sugar.

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