American Airlines has been testing protein boxes in domestic first class as meals which replace their serving the old coach buy on board options front. The airline tells me that next week this expands to non-premium flights over 2200 miles.
In other words premium transcon flights like New York JFK – Los Angeles and San Francisco continue to get hot meals, along with some Miami – Los Angeles and the planned New York JFK – Orange County flights.
What’s new is that non-premium transcon flights longer than Charlotte – Los Angeles will get ‘Fresh Bites’ instead of the old coach buy on board wrapped sandwiches.
Starting April 14, we’ll expand the Fresh Bites test to domestic First Class customers traveling on flights over 2200 miles (~4.5 hours or more). Earlier this year we introduced the new Fresh Bites meal concepts on a trial basis beginning with First Class domestic flights departing from CLT.
Fresh Bites includes items such as fresh fruit, yogurt and breakfast sandwiches in the morning and sandwiches, salads and fresh appetizers for lunch and dinner. The offerings being tested are heartier options than the fresh snacks customers currently receive, but also incorporate customer favorites such as fruit and cheese.
American has been working hand in hand with the APFA and a team of experts from the Travel Health Advisory Panel for guidance and feedback throughout the planning process. Flight attendant and customer feedback has also played a critical role in ensuring the careful return of new fresh offerings.
OM Box, Credit: JoeyE
Morning Box, Credit: Silly19
The Fresh Bites ‘expanded test’ will be offered on routes like:
- Charlotte – Seattle
- Charlotte – San Francisco
- Boston – Phoenix
- Washington National – Los Angeles
- Miami – San Francisco
- Miami – Seattle
- Philadelphia – Los Angeles
- Phoenix and Dallas – Anchorage
- West Coast – Hawaii
Another way to read “working hand in hand with flight attendants” is to understand that many flight attendants have been against serving food, or offering other inflight service again.
- There’s little risk of transmission from touching a meal that someone else touched. Covid-19 generally spreads through the air, not via surface contacts which the CDC says is a 1 in 10,000 risk.
- Hot food is also no more of a risk than cold food. And once they’re serving something – whether coach buy on board or protein boxes – there isn’t a meaningful change in close contact with cabin crew to serve warmed food. (American long served kosher meals including hot entrees while limiting flight attendant direct contact with the food.)
- And there is no greater risk of virus transmission serving meals DC – Los Angeles (where hot meals aren’t offered) than there is serving meals New York JFK – Los Angeles.
Nonetheless, American Airlines has done more to feed passengers during the pandemic than Delta has.