American Airlines has been offering their old coach buy on board sandwiches as first class meals throughout much of the pandemic. It’s a sad service, but still better than what Delta has been giving customers.
Protein Box, Credit: JoeyE
During American’s “State of the Airline” presentation and question and answer with employees, Managing Director of Flight Service Brady Byrnes explained that they’re working through what’s next for meals and are talking with the flight attendants union “about what is the right timing both from a customer and from a crewmember perspective.”
Some flight attendants are reluctant to be asked to provide service that they haven’t had to offer for the past 10 months. Frequently you’ll hear that flight attendants are safety professionals and here primarily for your safety. However I have every confidence they can multi-task: they aren’t being asked to serve food while assuming the brace position.
According to Byrnes, the purpose of the Charlotte meals test is to “kind of understand when we do reintroduce full service, what products we should be offering, kind of streamlining the service for our flight attendants and really making sure that our customers enjoy it.” The return to service is going to be streamlined.
Furthermore, American has “no immediate plans to re-introduce the full service traditional pre-covid. ..in a nutshell we will establish service again when it’s the right thing to do for our customers and for our crew.”
However post-pandemic we might at least see improvements,
Sometime this year when we get our arms just around vaccinations and the pandemic goes away and the business comes back we’ll make sure that we are out there plugging our flagship service and really making a difference for our customers.
In August then-Senior Vice President of Inflight Jill Surdek told employees that we wouldn’t see a return of first class meals as they used to be, instead to expect “something that still has a premium feel but is different and more modern.”