American Launching New Buy On Board Meal Partnership, Will Affect First Class Too

It’s been quite some time since American Airlines refreshed their buy on board offerings in coach. Today they announced a new partnership with Zoës Kitchen. New items will be available for purchase starting December 1.

Here are the new coach items:

  • Breakfast Sandwich: Turkey bacon, egg slices and tomato topped with baby arugula on a waffle brioche bun with Calabrian pepper aioli
  • Continental Breakfast Box: Belgian waffle, hazelnut spread and fresh berries
  • The Grüben: Zoës signature sandwich with sliced turkey, Manchego cheese, crunchy Mediterranean slaw and feta spread layered on marble wheat bread, served with a Zoës chocolate chip cookie
  • Chicken Wrap: Grilled chicken wrap with mozzarella, roasted tomatoes, arugula and artichokes, served with a Zoës chocolate chip cookie
  • Hummus Duo: Zoës signature hummus duo, including their classic flavor topped with Kalamata olives and basil pesto hummus, served with pita bread, cucumber and carrot

As an Executive Platinum who receives complimentary buy on board and a drink when sitting in coach I wish they’d offer substantive items and not just snacks on flights shorter than three hours.

I suspect this will be a positive for most passengers, since it has been some time since the choices in coach have rotated. However for me it isn’t. About the only foods in the world I dislike are hummus and anything from a goat or sheep (which includes feta).

This item in the release caught my eye,

Along with the new Zoës options, American will continue to offer its signature fruit and cheese plate and breakfast platter. Throughout 2019, American and Zoës will continue to collaborate and introduce additional items in Main Cabin as well as domestic first class service.

I asked American how the Zoës partnership would affect domestic first class and was told that they plan to “introduce a Zoës dish as a pre-order item similar in style as the cheese plate you can pre-order today.”

So this is not “first class just gets a coach buy on board item free” (thank goodness) and it doesn’t replace other entrees. Instead the plan is to make a new light option available for customers to choose at least 24 hours prior to departure.

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. Can they add fruit to the baskets on the short-haul flights like UA does? A nice additional to all the carbs they have in there currently.

  2. Most feta in the US is from cow milk. If they were using goat milk feta I would think they would call it out, as it’s more expensive.

  3. The cheeses on the domestic cheese plate are so pedestrian, hoping they’ll be some improvements there. In contrast, the cheese out of LHR includes a proper mature cheddar and is excellent.

    Personally, I prefer most goat and sheep cheeses to domestic cow cheese.

  4. I find this an interesting partnership from a branding perspective – Zoe’s, last I read, was in the process of being acquired by Cava, so I’d think that a lot of things could be in flux, and that this would present some exposure for AA.

  5. Uhhh… I eat at Zoe’s once a week. This is a Gruben: Grilled turkey, swiss cheese, slaw and spicy mustard on rye.

    This is not a Gruben: sliced turkey, Manchego cheese, crunchy Mediterranean slaw and feta spread layered on marble wheat bread.

    It’s not only NOT a Gruben it’s virtually nothing like a Gruben. Except that it has turkey and slaw, I suppose.

  6. Hey Dug!
    Hold on here, I can’t keep up with all of your changes and additions. But I was 1st in raising bag fees . 🙂

    Hamburgers? anyone?

  7. What’s with the Turkey bacon….geez it seems no one wants to offer anything containing pork these days in case it offends

  8. Zoe’s offers a lot of really good hot meals. I have to think the airline versions will be cold. The Gruben, for instance, is a lower fat/calorie version of a Reuben sandwich. Does not exactly translate to a cold sandwich.

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