American’s New Morning Vegetarian First Class Meal Box

Earlier this month American Airlines told its pilots that they’re testing what they call ‘tapas’ in domestic first class. That’s of interest to the airline’s pilots because their crew meals are “a reflection of what’s happening in first class.”

This test of new meals is happening on about 40 flights a day departing from Charlotte. It began January 13 and runs through March 9, 2021. There are two choices in this new meal test, a “fresh new protein box and vegetarian box meal concepts” according to an American spokesperson.

Last week I shared photos of a protein box. Here’s the morning vegetarian box as spotted on a Charlotte – Phoenix flight this past Sunday morning.

Credit: Silly19

Credit: Silly19

Inside the box, in addition to fruit and yogurt, was a sandwich of cream cheese and roasted vegetables. (The a.m. protein box had eggs, turkey and cheese.)

Basically it looks like a buy on board coach option, and would be perfectly appropriate for that I think. It does compare favorably to what Delta is currently offering.

American is ‘evaluating’ whether these trial meal boxes will be rolled out more broadly. Over the summer employees were told we wouldn’t see a return of first class meals as they used to be, but hopefully this isn’t all there will be for awhile. What do you think?

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. We flew AA first last week and nothing was offered, even on a 6:00 a.m. flight. I wasn’t expecting anything so there was no disappointment so we just grabbed a bite between flights at DFW. The airlines just need to decide what they are going to do and communicate with the customers so that they know what to expect.

  2. This has gone on long enough. Is anyone out there able to explain how this fine but a heated/plated entree is instant death to everyone onboard? Same with booze….hand you a bottle of water or beer (first only on course) and its fine….jack&coke = death. Its all just conditioned acceptance at thus point.

  3. Looks far better than powdered eggs and dry bread that was a majority of AA’s standard domestic breakfast pre-pandemic.

  4. AA needs to plan meals with the understanding that: 1) not everyone likes cream cheese; and 2) not everyone likes cilantro. The gastronomic low point of my AA experience was when they featured “cilantro mashed potatoes”. “creamy cilantro salad dressing” and “cream cheese omelets”.

  5. I for one like the hot plate: scrambled eggs. They’re just looking for a way to cut back expenses.
    And Ryan, you have a point. It always astonishes me that AA serves a salad with cheese on it’s Asia flights. Hello! Any chef/dietician aware of the increased incidence of lactose intolerance in that population?

  6. This is a move in the right direction. Elimination of animal products ( excluding dairy for now) will save money, be more healthy, is more environmentally and ethically sound. I can’t imagine any reasonable person objecting to it.

  7. Based on the few comments already listed, is there Any doubt why Meals have been eliminated or greatly reduced? Everyone is a Critic and there is No way to satisfy the masses let alone the whackadoodles with all these crazy diets/allergies and utter displeasure of “i do not eat vegetables and never will”… is ridiculous that people think think Airlines should cater to every dietary concern. Who is Paying for that Nonsense? If You have Issues….That is YOUR PROBLEM and a Problem You need to address.

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