American Drops the Barbecue Sandwich From Buy On Board Due to “Negative Feedback”

A week ago I wrote about American’s super gross ‘barbecue chicken sandwich’ that they sell in coach.

Here’s what they promised, and what they delivered:

I suggested that for an airline based in Texas this is doubly embarrassing since it doesn’t even constitute barbecue.

Well, American Airlines has removed the barbecue chicken sandwich from buy on board “due to negative feedback.”

Those who pre-ordered their coach buy on board will be offered the new sandwich, so there should at least be something left for them when flight attendants come through.

(HT: The Forward Cabin)

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. catering Department at American Airlines needs to be Shown the Door and take their Celebrity Chefs with Them. Garbage on a Plate

  2. Had this a couple of weeks ago. It wasn’t quite as bad looking as Mr. Petersons’, but serving something like this cold is just asking for failure.

  3. I think United BOB coach menu is halfway ok. They normally have a cheeseburger or rice bowl dish for hot items.

  4. This is a good change. I had to laugh, because on the menu in each seatback for July, there’s an interview with a flight attendant on one of the panels, in which he asked his favorite buy-on-board item. His answer: the turkey and arugula sandwich–which is not on the menu! Poor editing! But now it’s back on the menu since it’s been substitute for this BBQ thing.

  5. Just shove all that nastiness down the throat on parker.
    And see if he continues to sell them on board.

  6. I had one of these sandwiches a week ago. The chicken was OK, I did not eat the bread. But agree – weak on the BBQ sauce. Would have been better if it was hot (like UA serves hot sandwiches)

    I wish they would put the Caesar salad with chicken back on the BOB menu.

  7. It continues to amaze me how failed airline SkyBus – aka Ryanair of America – had inarguably better Bob food at better prices than the legacies have ever offered.

  8. Good one turd less to gag a customer
    Now How do they drop 90% of what they have?
    There were doing 100x better in 2000 with onboard dining /catering

  9. The turkey sandwich I bought in June was nothing to write home about. And a mini cup of honey mustard salad dressing to pour onto it didn’t help, either.

  10. Anyone have theories why BOB on US carriers is such garbage? From this sort of thing to the nasty UA “Tapas Boxes” full of junk food. Why aren’t they capable of BOB similar to Euro or Asian carriers. Even LCCs like Easyjet And AirAsia serve up far more palatable food. Is it just crappy catering services at US airports? Bad technology? (I.e. not allowing people to pre-order a hot meal BOB – such an idiotic loss of potential revenue there) or maybe the FAs can’t be trusted to both handle that and pour Pepsi before they retreat into the galley with their IPads? I wonder…

  11. Let’s recap facts reported in recent months:

    1.) blog posts here in VFTW with pics included showing poorly maintained, dilapidated planes, some of which with seats taped off like a crime scene because they were not airworthy for safe use by passengers;

    2.) numerous blog posts here, and many newspaper/magazine reports of the FAA stepping up oversight of maintenance practices (along with the widely reported chronically problem plagued Allegiant), some of which have later been deemed as “non-compliant” for American;

    3.) a CEO who acknowledges he has yet to fly any of the new planes with the (too crappy for him) seatback IFE-less crappy interiors, seating configurations featuring hard as cement, but numbing, “no legroom”, pretend reclining, teeny tiny (child sized) seats there’s not a chance in hell he can fit in for a 45 mins flight, let alone the six hour transcons he expects flyers to pony up hundreds (maybe even thousands for last minute road warriors) of dollars to be stuffed cheek by jowl like cattle into, all of which, of course, is complemented with teeny tiny toilets for teeny tiny people that he, the CEO, has yet to answer the call of nature standing OR seated in, topped off by…

    4.) a revolting, inedible, $9.99 buy-on-board rip off sandwich unfit to feed a dog (the pics posted by the passenger and included in an “Absurdly Driven” column by Chris Matyszczyk of Inc. magazine practically make one want to wretch just seeing it, and figuratively, I guess, when one sees what was promised, what was delivered, and how much the airline had the chutzpah to charge for that now discontinued garbage that wasn’t even worth 99-cents if offered for that)

    If these few recent examples don’t make clear something is terribly wrong at this airline, and that despite all this it somehow feels no shame that it’s planes are in a state of disrepair (even if those things reported are NOT that which impacts the aircraft’s overall airworthyness); the airline has come under FAA oversight for maintenances practices, some of which since have been deemed non-compliant; the CEO has made clear by his actions (which, of course, do speak louder than his words to the contrary) the cabin configurations and miniature seats/bathrooms, no legroom rows he signed off on are unworthy of his royal derriere; and food so bad, yet sold for $9.99, that made the mystery meat of yore practically look like five star dinining at the French Laundry…

    Then nothing will.

    Oh, and speaking of buy on board meals done right, Aer Lingus’ Irish Breakfast lived up to the advanced billing when that was had in years past.

    Totally yummy, and unless that has changed since last eaten twice in 2015, an absolute must for carnivores!

    Oh, and speaking of meat, Aer Lingus’ “Book the Cook” steaks also last eaten twice in 2015 before the price was hiked from $25 or so paid then were also excellent for the flight from JFK to Dublin for both of us, while the several hours delayed return flight resulted in murdered shoe leather (as I guess would be expected from a lengthy delay…)

    Just the same, when done right, and priced appropriately as the Irish Breakfast was, or the perfectly done steak for the JFK-DUB flight when it was ~$25, buy on board can be awesome!

    Oh, well, as concerns miserable and only getting worse, American Airlines, as long as it knows there’s no real threat of any kind of meaningful competition emerging anytime soon to threaten the cozy cartel’s oligopolists’ club, ain’t nothing gonna change there for the better anytime soon… 🙁

    I think their arrogance and indifference, plus of course, a CEO who seems to think it’s perfectly fine to never bother flying in the cheap seats he buys and expects everyone else to sit in, has made this fact of life abundantly clear.

  12. I had it on July 14th. Awful. Maybe I should ask for my money back. Good riddance!

  13. My only question would be, does American or any other airline audit their suppliers? Sample the meals they prepare? Compare them with standards, other than by weight?

    On my last trip to a place in South America (direct flight) I chose pasta. I don’t like chicken that tastes like boiled. I could not make the composition of the dish by any means. I finally asked a flight attendant and it seemed it was pesto pasta????
    I don’t have great expectations with regards to food, but at least something I can identify.

  14. I have never purchased a meal in Economy but American’s First Class Flagship meals are GREAT!

  15. This issue seems to be a double edged sword. When they announced free food for elite members, the quality seemed to quickly deteriorate. It seems that costs associated with now offering free food for elite members now sitting in coach (due to fewer first class seats on new configurations) is a factor. Too bad the leisure traveler is stuck in the crossfire of paying $10 for garbage. At least I pay what it is worth – nothing.

  16. For some reason all the airlines think that if they say the food is made by “Chef someone” that it is good. Most common people don’t eat all the fancy, snooty food and would appreciate just a plain, edible food item. We fly first class on both Hawaiian and Alaska to Hawaii and you wouldn’t believe some of the meal choices. I know some people will eat anything put in front of them but just plain old, ordinary choices would be a pleasant surprise!

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