How American Airlines Will Bring Back Buy On Board Food For Purchase In Coach

At an employee question and answer session with executives after the American Airlines earnings call on Thursday, one crewmember asked, “Now that we’re serving alcohol and making food available for purchase in the main cabin, will alcohol be free to customers in Main Cabin Extra again? And also do we plan to expand our food for purchase options?”

In fact, alcohol is already free of charge in coach for passengers seated in Main Cabin Extra as well as Executive Platinum and Concierge Key members. And there are going to be new food options for sale in coach, but this program won’t start until after summer.

According to Chief Customer Officer Alison Taylor,

With MCE you are entitled of course to complimentary beer, wine or spirits on your flight. And that has been reintroduced as of the day we started serving alcohol in the main cabin. Which actually was a very nice correlation with the reversal of the mask as well.

With in regards to purchase on board in main cabin food, we’ve done a lot of research and very diverse focus groups across North America and internationally about what we should have on the aircraft. And so we’re looking at all different options. It could be chips and salsa. It could be gourmet popcorn. It could be boxes for breakfast. It could be kids meals, etc. where relevant and relevant time of day etc.

..You’re going to see those changes coming ove rthe months. We need to concentrate on a very successful summer in the meantime and be a simple offering that helps both our vendors and team members.

Here’s what American was offering for sale in coach before the pandemic. Now the options are extremely limited.

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. MIA-LAX had no alcohol or food this weekend in MCE. This in a flagship plane too. AA still cannot get its shit together.

  2. “It could be chips and salsa. It could be gourmet popcorn. It could be boxes for breakfast.”

    wow this is so innovative, I can’t believe no other airline has thought of this!

  3. Last week, on April 19th, when flying AA between CLT and PHL during the early afternoon, the flight attendants were not serving any adult beverages to passengers seated in our designated main cabin extra seats.

  4. American is planning to introduce The Limburger Cheese Pizza to honor the legacy of Doug Parker .It will stink up the cabin and be putrid

  5. I find it insane how flight attendants ripped off their masks in nano seconds but still insist on reduced service levels due to Covid risks, yeah ….

  6. And what about a complementary snack item for Exec Platinums flying in coach because the upgrade wasn’t available? It’s been a LONG time since they’ve offered that small show of appreciation for a frequent flyer.

  7. On MIA-BOS last Tuesday (April 19th), we were served complimentary wine in Main Cabin (no MCE, no status). However, no food was offered for sale.

  8. I flew last week (April 18th) in coach, upgrade wasn’t available (OMA- PHX). The flight attendant did come by a few times to offer me something from the snack basket and alcohol if I wanted a drink. So they are starting to implement this for ExecPlt in coach as the 18th was the first day they stated they would serve alcohol in coach. I think it will just take some time to transition again back to normal times.

  9. Just another data point:

    Flew CLT-SEA on April 24. 2d on the UG list as an EP, only the first cleared. The very nice FA came by a few times, and each time she addressed me by surname and offered me drinks or snacks. Snack choices were a 6 oz bag of Sea Salted almonds (which were quite good), or a package of Pringles I did not see.

    Was actually very impressed with the flight (as well as the matching outbound a week earlier). On time, on the ball, courteous staff. Was also given the option to rebook to a flight later in the week at no charge, because my Sunday flight was so full. This is the kind of “win-win” idea that more airlines need to be adopting.

    As a longtime SEA resident moving to CLT this summer, I’ve been transitioning from a top-tier AS to AA status. AS had a well-deserved rep for customer friendly policies here in SEA for years, and locals tend to feel especially loyal to them. So it’s been interesting watching AS endure myriad cancelations due to not beefing up staff in time–squandering some of their hard-won good will in the process. Meanwhile, AA seems to be doing better.

Comments are closed.