Three years ago American Airlines introduced pre-order meals.
Premium cabin customers can pre-select their meal choice either online or over the phone within 30 days of (and up to 24 hours prior to) travel.
This isn’t the same thing as “book the cook” — the idea of choosing from an extensive menu of meals that the airline will then have onboard for you (as offered by airlines like Singapore, Thai, and EVA). Instead it’s a way of making sure you get your preferred meal choice — that the airline doesn’t run out of your selection by the time a flight attendant takes your order.
Pecan Crusted Chicken Salad
Beef Filet with Lobster Mac and Cheese
In mid-September American took this functionality down off their website — 30 days prior to the US Airways integration. Since the meal selection window is also 30 days from travel, it seemed related to pre-order functionality with legacy US Airways flights. Pre-ordering was expected to return to the website in November, though in the meantime you could call and some folks had the American Airlines twitter team let them know meal choices for their flight and register a selection.
It’s no longer necessary to hack AA.com to choose meals on your own without calling or getting help from the twitter team. Because pre-order meal service is back at AA.com.
You can pull up your reservation online and if you’re in first class, on a flight with meal service, and it’s within 30 days of travel you should see:
And indeed I just choose from the two options on an upcoming flight: