Hot Nuts Returning To American Airlines

When United and American Airlines stopped service at the start of the pandemic, the small business that provided first class nuts nearly went under. They had 50,000 pounds of first class nuts packaged for the two airlines, but they weren’t buying.

Initially American told them to ‘wait three weeks’ after the decision to remove nuts from flights, then came back and let them know that “the nuts were gone for good.”

The store offered to individually bag the nuts, so flight attendants wouldn’t be handling them, but American didn’t want to serve nuts in first class – it wasn’t just a Covid-19 precaution after all. They offered the nuts as a package the airline could send to AAdvantage elite members, but American didn’t want to spend that money either.

So the company started selling first class nuts online, and unloaded its inventory. Some flyers reported they “actually took a bag on board an A[merican Airlines] flight…and [a flight attendant] happily heated them up in first class!” Great Nuts still sells them online, with free shipping on orders of $48 or more.

Well American Airlines is starting to bring back hots nuts, at least on some long haul business class flights. My domestic first class flights over the past 10 days still had packaged nuts.

Back in March, United Airlines brought nuts back to first class on short haul Hawaii routes, American is clearly behind here.

Nonetheless I’m hoping the nut situation improves because I have a Hawaii trip booked and I’ve always enjoyed the ‘Aloha Mix’. The candied pineapple mixed in is the best.

I’ve reached out to American to find out where they are in the process of fully returning warm nuts to the skies.

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. Dang, Gary, you work on this blog every day of the week? I appreciate that! It is most informative and entertaining with its mix of subjects!

  2. I had them last Wed (supposedly the first day) but even more exciting is ice cream (yes to sundaes!) is soon to return, too!

  3. Just had them twice today in J. I flew MIA-LAX-MIA yesterday amd got them both ways after upgrading from Y. Found some $120 r/t deals. Using them for toping off my EQM balance and earning additional SYUs!

  4. @Ron – I thought you meant that the legion of jokes was too tempting to resist. I’m trying to restrain myself as the jokes just write themselves.

  5. Something very comforting about the warm nuts.

    Don’t know why I don’t do it at home.

    Now if I could only get a predeparture beverage.

  6. Haven’t heard Gary Jones and the Hot Nuts since the 60’s.
    Don’t think it will get me back on American, though.

  7. If AA decides to bring back the ice cream sundaes they may as well reintroduce all the premium cabin amenities like glassware,hot towels and blankets. Reason the glassware was removed is because the manner in which they are packed, 12 glasses on a rack in a cart that has air circulating and that would not be wise during a pandemic. Ice cream sundaes are more labor intensive and some FAs like them while many do not. If the aIrlines plan on moving forward during the pandemic they need to do a better job of returning the amenities in the premium cabins or refrain from pushing a premium fare and offering minimal service.

  8. You know, after flying Qatar this summer and having four flights, both across the ocean and short hops, ALL with hot nuts, and lounges with showers, all these American (United States) and American (AA) advances are piddly. I mean, we still won’t open lounge showers due to “COVID safety” since soap and water is too risky. I am a major AA fan, exclusive to the airline in the US, and not a hater, but I am amazed that all of us here in the States are not calling for more. COVID excuses should end. Hot food, glassware, pre-departure beverages, lounges worth paying for (not food I can buy at Sam’s Club), showers, all of it. If I could fly Qatar and all the other classy airlines within the US I would. Please, would you guys call on the airlines to restore these other services. I know they are travelers’ first world problems. But dang would I like a shower when I have 8 hour connections at DFW or PHL because service is still reduced.

  9. Lucky will be happy. Based on his review, he really loves the hot nuts and pre-departure water photos.

  10. Yes I am an AA flight Attendant.. we started hot nuts again on Transcons to JFK LAX and JFK SFO now in first and business starting Sept ..people have enjoyed them. I also wear gloves while working so I don’t think an issue.

  11. Suz,
    all of you that tout the great “service” you get on some foreign airlines must love how well they treat their employees – just so you can have a few more perks.
    US airlines can do certainly better but there is no way I would choose to fly airlines that completely eliminate worker protection just to cut costs. Even most E. Asian airlines pay their employees less and some have mandatory retirement ages (well short of a career) for some employees such as flight attendants.
    The big European airlines are a much better comparison to US airlines.

    Anyone that is the least bit interested in protecting American workers should use the Middle East airlines – all of them – as a last resort.

    And there are still marked levels in service quality among US airlines.

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