Dear American Airlines, Shredded Salmon Pieces From a Lunch Salad Isn’t “Lox”

A few months ago I complimented American Airlines efforts at catering regional jet breakfast. They haven’t put ovens in the RJs, so they serve a cold plate, and frankly I wish they’d serve the same smoked salmon bagel on mainline.

The problem is that the lox plate I get varies every. single. time. Sometimes there are capers, sometimes no capers (but never tomato!), the bagel itself varies but is never fresh.

Still I was happy when a flight attendant offered me bagel and lox Friday morning, they had run out of the fruit plate. I was happy that is, until I got the tray.

Does it need to be said that taking crumbled pieces of the cold salmon they serve with lettuce at lunch and putting it on a plate with a bagel is not a “bagel and lox”..?

Never mind that the cinnamon roll was stale, and no matter that senior leadership has its roots with America West outside of Phoenix, an airline with hubs in New York, Philadelphia, Miami, and Los Angeles should know what lox is. American, your lox on Friday was an affront to all that is good and Jewish.

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. Yuk! That is just a salmon roll, on a l/o bagel IMO. I could go for it as a salmon, tomato, lettuce and mayo roll (not bagel though), but to call it bagel with lox is a bridge too far. (I’ve been too spoilt with the real deal at countless delis in NYC: my second home! Shame on AA!

  2. You write this article as if you don’t know how airline catering works. I’m pretty sure Robert Isom wasn’t down in the kitchen monitoring the food. This is like blaming ATT when your iphone malfunctions. I agree that there are catering inconsistencies that need to be addressed, but it has to be done on a vendor level which there really aren’t many to choose from.

  3. Agree 100%, Gary. Airlines need to have greater supervision and control on what their food vendors do.

  4. Just another benefit from eliminating the competition and leaving us with but 3 below par legacy carriers. Get used to the CRAP—Catering Real American Passengers!

  5. It’s not the worse “lox”: item they serve. They have a bagel with lox and spreads, where one of the spreads is a lox spread that had the density of a golf ball. It made yours look good.

    I too never had a fresh bagel on AA. I would have said “never on any airline” but I took Delta LAX-SJO and, while the bagel was plain, it wsa fresh.

  6. YES YES We here at American are going for sub par homeless shelter standard
    Yes that means nasty because we
    penny pinch our caterers to the point they will give our customers
    all the crap scraps and reject pieces they can find that would otherwise be tossed
    Something Special in the air
    It’s our finest offering since our lobster roll

  7. Yummy. Canned salmon. At best that is hot smoked northwestern style, definitely not cold smoked lox. Just because it is salmon doesn’t mean it is lox.

    It’s the equivalent of saying they offer Irish beer and then handing you an O’Douls.

  8. Be sure to blame Gate Gourmet and American Airlines as AA contracts Gate Gourmet to put out this below par spread.

  9. Maybe they decided to simplify and just order/bought a lot of the same chopped up salmon so they could use it multiple ways. But it makes one wonder if this was in some way just leftover food that was not used in a lunch or dinner….

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