How American is Handling LAX Catering Since Their Contractor Was Found With Listeria

A week ago American Airlines suspended most of their catering at LAX after trace amounts of listeria was found at Gate Gourmet, which catered most of their flights (along with Delta, and several international airlines).

That’s a smart precaution to take, but it created big operational problems. For a few days it’s meant double catering some flights into Los Angeles so there’d be food and beverages for flights out of LA. It’s meant providing food for passengers to bring onboard.

American Airlines Gate-side Food Carts, 1990s – early 2000s

And it’s simply meant onboard catering that doesn’t meet customer expectation. American has been providing travel certificates as apologies. Virgin Atlantic, another Gate Gourmet customer, has been handing out vouchers to each in the terminal.

Via the Forward Cabin is appears that LAX has their catering close to in hand through other providers. Here’s a route-by-route update on the status of food and beverage provisioning at American:


· Full prescribed service for LHR, PVG, GRU and PEK, all serviced by AirFayre

· NRT and HND continue to be supplied form DFW on inbound flight 2401. Tentative date for returning to full prescribed service is November 14th

· AKL, SYD and HKG are currently being serviced by LSG with modified service. Tentative date for returning to full prescribed service is November 14th


· Full prescribed service for the MIA market is scheduled for Thursday, November 9th

· Full prescribed service for the JFK market is tentatively scheduled for Thursday, November 16th. “Refuel and Refresh” (gate side amenity) will be offered for these flights

· Originating flights (overnight aircraft) continue to be double provisioned. “Refuel and Refresh” (gate side amenity) will be offered for these flights

· Thru flights continue to be double provisioned


· Full prescribed service is tentatively planned for Thursday, November 9th. Catering to be handled by LSG

International inbound/Domestic outbound

· Inbound aircraft stripped by Gate Gourmet. Refresh and Refuel offered at the boarding gate. Gate Gourmet to board beverage carts (1 in F/C, 2 in M/C)

As flights return to full prescribed service, LAX Flight Service will discontinue providing food vouchers. Effective this Thursday, the only remaining flights for which Flight Service will provide Employee Cafeteria food vouchers to those working JFK only. All international flights, MIA and Hawaii should be back to normal. All international flights, CLT and PHL are being provided crew meals as scheduled.

On the Tarmac at LAX

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. Gary – any idea when the International inbound/Domestic outbound returns to full prescribed service? I’m on one of these flights in F on Nov. 15 from LAX to DFW (788 aircraft) and was wondering what to expect.

  2. I have a cross country flight on 11/17 out of LAX, will be interesting to see if this is resolved by the end of next week.

  3. Howard says:

    Gate Gourmet ( one of world’s largest caterers – owned by the HAN Group – Hainan Airlines) has had a history of problems in various world airports. I would expect the airlines would keep a closer inspection of Gate Gourmet, even though Delta and others continue to use them.

  4. So I’m LAX-NRT friday. I take it this means they have two sets of catering for DFW-LAX and LAX-NRT on the plane when it leaves DFW?

    To make it fit I’m betting it’s going to be Y meals (or worse) for everyone even in J. Figures the one time I book AA instead of CX to SIN this happens.

  5. Does anyone have experience with what the “modified service” to HKG looks like? Going LAX-HKG on 11/14 and it sounds like we should probably stock up on snacks…

  6. Just received a $100 voucher for my flight from LAX-LIH tomorrow in 1st class. Hopefully they will at lease have beverages for a 6 hour + scheduled flight!

  7. We were on a flight from LAX to SEA in first class yesterday. The previous day we received emails stating that food service would not be up to standard levels and we received $50 vouchers. The food service we did receive was far more than we expected for a 3 hour flight that was marketed as “refreshments” meal service. We were given a choice of a nice looking salad bowl or turkey wrap and chose the wrap. This was followed with an assortment of bake shop cookies in a bag. I believe that American is going the extra mile to try to please its customers while it works on finding a permanent solution.

  8. Yesterday’s service (11/16) from LAX to JFK was NOT normal service. It was like an old coach meal.They are dropping bread, desert, etc on the inbound flight from JFK to have space to cater the return from LAX to JFK from their JFK caterer. Both directions are not the standard transcon product now.

  9. Paid for first 797-9 lax to dfw December 5, 2017. 825 flight And presented a box with a small turkey sandwich and about five blueberries. I have read many items about vouchers; yet to see one and I am on paid first lax- dfw today- dec 7 as well as dec 17. Fa’s just say, ” this is embarrassing”. I am plat pro about to qualify for execplat. Sad.

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