American Airlines started letting customers pre-select their meals online when they’re flying in premium cabins back in the fall of 2012. Delta didn’t roll out this feature until early 2019 and United is still in testing.
While American moved forward with pre-orders for buy on board in coach, they didn’t actually extend pre-orders to first class on regional jets. Regionals have different meals than mainline aircraft because they lack ovens so don’t serve hot food in first class. However that’s coming.
Starting March 11 first class passengers will be able to pre-order on regional flights that offer meal service. That means the earliest travel date to receive a pre-order meal is March 12, since meals can be pre-ordered 30 days to 24 hours before a flight.
During the testing phase for this functionality there were reports that special meal and pre-order meals were being offered to American Airlines customers on regional flights in error. This seemed to occur primarily on routes where there are both mainline and regional flights.
American also tells me as well that “beginning March 11, Flagship First and Flagship Business passengers can preorder a chicken cobb entrée salad on flights from the United States to Europe and South America, and a charcuterie plate on flights back to the United States.”