American Airlines has been working to bring real food back to domestic first class and they’ve been looking at meal options. It was their hope during the pandemic never to return service to the way it used to be, offering something “more modern” that “still has a premium feel.” What they’ve been serving is often something like this:
The airline, though, is surveying customers on what they’re going to need to offer in domestic first class based on customer expectations.
[O]ne portion [of the survey] had rankings of various items of importance to the premium cabin dining experience and “Flight Attendant Service/Demeanor” was one of the items along with Entree, Beer/Wine, Salad, Non-Alcoholic beverages, etc. There were a few questions related to service on it, which I found interesting, but generally seemed like it was about fine-tuning offerings.
One of the questions, not mentioned in this report, was “How important is the pre-departure beverage to your domestic premium cabin experience?”
Look, on an American flight earlier this week it was 90 minutes from boarding before I could have a glass of water. I was running late so didn’t stop to buy a bottle in the airport, the shops that were open all had long lines. A pre-departure beverage is the bare minimum courtesy for a first class passenger. Otherwise why even pretend you’re offering the product?
You might think – and some executives hope – that you don’t need a predeparture beverage. And that’s true. It’s just that they already offer this product, and it’s called coach.