It’s Too Dang Early for This!

The meal service standards that US Airways went to in the spring — and American adopts tomorrow — call for an ‘enhanced snack basket’ in first class on all flights from 700 to 999 miles.

Fort Lauderdale – Washington National is 899 miles. So it gets an enhanced snack basket. It’s not an ‘exception market’ for a meal like the shorter Chicago O’Hare – New York LaGuardia.

Here’s the thing. There actually is some variation in the snack basket. Sometimes it has fruit. Sometimes there are shrink wrapped breakfast cakes.

And sometimes there’s not. Like on a 6:55 a.m. departure.

I appreciate catering, especially departing from a terminal where the only ‘restaurant’ offering hot food didn’t get the hot food ready for opening and where only one place offers something they even call a cappuccino (most espresso drinks not supported). Coffee matters.

But chips, pretzels, and mixed nuts? The flight is too dang early.

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. Well, at least they’re not Pringles. American can’t recycle those for a 5 cent return and add it to their EBIDA.

  2. Doesn’t sound very “enhanced” to me. Nor does it sound at all appropriate for breakfast. Yuck. If thay don’t want to offer hot meals in First (and I still believe it’s a huge mistake to cut back services to your biggest revenue producers, but anyway), couldn’t they at least come up with a muffin and an apple or a banana? How hard is that?

  3. If you had important customers in your office first thing in the morning would you feel comfortable with that offering? I surely wouldn’t. It’s downright embarrassing.

  4. You flew Bahamas air didn’t you? You flew DCA to NASon the outbound. So on the return, you flew to FLL and chilled out, then took the flight back to DCA. Right? That makes sense and is a nice little detour from NAS…if you took that route.

  5. The raspberry fig bars aren’t half bad and a bit filling. It’d be my choice for an early-AM flight.

  6. Because nothing goes better with the first cup of coffee in the morning than…..pretzels & mixed nuts???
    Agreed, that stinks at 6am.

  7. DCA-FLL, well, mostly leisure route so they get away with whatever. That MIA-DCA is not an exception blows my mind. Sure to be a rude awakening for connecting intl business travelers coming in from Latin America, etc. Welcome to the U.S.! I picture some travel agents getting calls saying “I though you booked me in FIRST??!!”

  8. How about an airline that takes a stand against feeding us dogfood and other crap? I agree with Captain’s post… You wouldn’t treat clients this way in your own business. So, why are we letting airlines serve us like this? The nutrient content of airline “snacks” is ZERO. We eat it because we don’t respect ourselves enough to take a stand against crap.

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