Back in February, American Airlines announced that US Airways would improve its meal services.
- Effective April 1 they changed the cutoff for meals from flights of 3.5 hours or longer to those of 1000 nautical miles or greater which they said equated to flights of ~ 2 hours 45 minutes.
- That meant about 40% more US Airways flights would be seeing meals in domestic first class — or an increase of 126 flights a day.
But the news wasn’t all good. At the same time they announced that come September 1, US Airways and American would align domestic first class service — tray elements, food components, and meal cutoff times.
Speaking to an American representative yesterday, he reiterated the September 1 timetable and the 1000 nautical mile standard.
I find the use of ‘nautical miles’ in this context a bit misleading. Here’s what it means in ‘miles’.
Gone will be meals on my Washington National – Miami flights, for instance. No meal Dallas – Miami or Dallas – Las Vegas. Or Dallas-Charlotte.
Fourteen months ago in offering initial thoughts on the merger, I said that US Airways elites are hungry.
I even got that line into the New York Times and worried that they would ‘split the difference somewhere’.
Indeed that seems to be what’s happening.
Update: Some commenters mention key business routes like Chicago – New York LaGuardia. No doubt high revenue routes, and routes where there’s direct competition offering more, matter. An American spokesperson adds,
Some of our most popular routes that fall short of the 2.75 hours for the meal window with have exceptions. Just like there are market exceptions for US Airways.