Seriously, Who At American Airlines Thought This Was Food?

U.S. airlines don’t do a very good job at breakfast, certainly compared to international carriers and compared even to the meals they serve for lunch and dinner. And American Airlines regional jets don’t have ovens, so they don’t offer hot food. Sometimes that leads to better meals, and occasionally to very poor catering decisions.

One passenger shared the meal they were served in first class on an American Eagle breakfast flight from New York LaGuardia to Atlanta. It looks like a broken up granola pieces sandwich and that’s what the passenger thought that it was, describing it as “the driest sandwich known to mankind” although they “thought it was chorizo too at first.”

Credit: AANYC1981, Used With Permission

I asked American what this meal is supposed to be, and a spokesperson told me “[t]hat is the waffle brioche sandwich and the cinnamon rugelach.”

This sandwich is, apparently, not a catering mistake. From the on board menu guide, while noting that SkyWest Bombardier CRJ-700 flights lose the fruit and rugelach:

However I’m told that while this meal has been offered for over a year, American doesn’t consider the meal as-pictured to be “up to [their] specification” and they’re re-evaluating the offering.

I’ve written about the American Airlines shelf stable soup, the raw chicken sandwich and their shelf stable milk

American has been known to serve 16 month old food. Wait… what?

However I’ve searched and a waffle brioche sandwich isn’t actually a thing that exists in the world.

Last year the food and beverage team at American adopted ‘simplicity’ as a mantra, which often meant trying to do less with inflight meals. My suggestion for the team is that it’s simpler when you don’t try to make up dishes that aren’t actually a thing.

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. Talk about triple-loaded carbs! It’s like eating a sandwich filled with sugar and more sugar. Might as well give a candy bar. Where is the protein in this meal?

    Why can’t they just put an egg/egg substitute in the sandwich, or a side of yogurt?

    Terrible meal.

  2. @KimmieA: I suppose AA might consider the almond butter as a mitigating factor for that carb bomb!

  3. Now if you google “waffle brioche sandwich” (be sure to put the words in quotes), you will find one entry. 🙂

  4. The only reason I remain Concierge Key for the privilege of this top shelf dining
    The catering is fabulous onboard and consistent with the Premium Flagship Lounge.
    @ American we are going for great folks!
    I’m Doug Parker World Class CEO and I approve this message

  5. Where is Gordon Ramsay when you need him?
    To clean out all the mold and stench of the catering while firing the boss and letting the busboy takeover who could do a better job
    What a great show that would be!

  6. They are an airline not a restaurant. And the trip is on a regional jet. AA should prioritize safety, timeliness and value. Buy a sandwich before boarding if you need to eat on a regional flight. As it happens, the fresh fruit on several recent AA long hauls in Business and Prem ec has been amazingly tasty and fresh. And the fares are excellent. It’s not fashionable to say it, but I am very satisfied with my AA experiences and so too the vast majority of my colleagues and friends

  7. I was served granola with berry cream cheese in a wheat wrap years ago on regional AA first. Was as disgusting as it sounds. Sadly the “granola sandwich” has been part of their lineup for years.

  8. I take an AA international flight each month. My last flight was two weeks ago. The selection of food was fine.

    I got an e-mail yesterday telling me to go online to pre-select my meal for my flight next week.

    I went to my account and saw that the menu choice has changed markedly.

    My not being a beef eater, I was surprised to see there is no fish or chicken offered with the new selections.

    Did AA’s chef forget that many people do not like beef?

    Hey, AA, please bring back the fish and chicken on international flights!

  9. In the top left of the passenger’s photo of the breakfast is what looks like a piece of salmon sashimi! If it’s not that, then please someone take a guess as to what it might be??

  10. Cantaloupe not sushi. Sushi would be edible
    Almond butter-not smart for those who have nut allergy-would never expect the “spread” to be nut based

  11. I flew back from Shanghai to LAX on American I kid you not the flight attendants threw everybody a completely frozen sandwich, absolutely inedible, and then came back 20 minutes later and picked them all up and threw them all in the trash.

  12. That sandwich doesn’t make sense. That being said, why are airlines serving meals on such short flights? How long is a flight from LGA to atl? 1:20-1:30?

  13. Wow, even the AA fanboys who love to complain about Gary blasting AA won’t directly defend this monstrosity.

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