American’s New Entree Salads Really Are An Improvement

At the beginning of April I reported that American Airlines would be bringing back entree salads as a lunch choice on flights between 2 hours 45 minutes (1000 miles) and 4.5 hours effective May 1.

This was a popular offering prior to September when American and US Airways synced up their meal times, and moved their catering options closer to the US Airways standard. This was a very bad change.

I was flying a ton of American domestic flights (with pretty much a 100% upgrade success rate) in April, but it wasn’t until yesterday that I wound up on a lunch flight with the new May catering.

Here’s the salad, with goat cheese, apples, and nuts and a vinaigrette dressing.

For dessert I was given a choice of a cheesecake or the cookie. And since American fixed the cookie, that’s what I chose.

One Mile at a Time likes the salads, too. I think his salad looked better — with cherry tomatoes, eggs, blue cheese and beef rather than chicken. But that’s also the point, the salads are different, it’s not the same exact option every time (inedible mystery beef or pasta).

Passengers now also get real plated snacks now instead of the ‘lite bites’ basket in domestic first. These look quite good, certainly compared to the inedible shrink wrapped sandwiches of old.

Here’s the thing.

  • This isn’t ‘great food’ it is US domestic first class food.
  • It isn’t as good as what American used to serve. If that’s your standard, you’ll be disappointed.
  • But it’s much better than what they’ve been serving the last 8 months.

I’ve been skipping the meal service most of the time of late, I’d rather work straight through anyway. But I’ll take them up on the salads.

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 »

More articles by Gary Leff »


  1. Wow, you American Airlines loyalists are really deprived of decent catering and service if you think that salad is something to get excited about. Meanwhile, United’s food is mostly always palatable, and Delta’s food is actually restaurant-quality good.

  2. What a shame it’s still not up to the standard of before the US Airways inspired downgrades.

    And that these are still less substantial and appealing than what Delta and United are now serving at lunch.

  3. TOTALLY disagree!!! My chicken was not cut, felt like a piece of rubber and I sent it back as I couldn’t recognize what it was (had to ask the fa what it was) and didn’t want to eat something that had no recognizable identity and felt like rubber when I touched it and was a peculiar shade of gray. The salad was a few limb, tasteless, arugula leaves (I could only tell this by the shape certainly no taste could have been eating paper). UGH 🙁

  4. I agree with Nick. Today we get huge praise for yet another non-American airline raising the bar for another game changing First Class product yet there’s excitement about a salad by AA!! ??
    ALL American airlines need to drag their profit driven yet lazy *sses into the 21Century and up their game! Or maybe being happy with a cookie is reward enough for all American passengers!?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *