Why American Airlines Miami Departures Have Had No Food Or Drinks In The Evenings

As American Airlines prepares to bring real meals back to domestic first class, they’re having supply chain issues even catering the products they currently offer customers on board.

Some of the problems are related to issues everyone has been seeing throughout the pandemic – catering companies tend to pay low wages and it’s tough to find employees – and some has been specific to Omicron and how many workers have been out sick recently.

At an employee question and answer session earlier this month, a recording of which was reviewed by View From The Wing Ameican’s Managing Director of Onboard Dining and Service Jodi Spicer noted that the airline has a 120 day lead time for catering items so they can’t simply replace items they’re short with others.

The biggest problems have been at their Miami hub, she relayed: “We’ve been struggling greatly in Miami.”

The caterer there wasn’t able to hire anyone, didn’t get a single applicant when trying to add staff recently. As a result American has “had people on site for the last 60 days..helping them raise wages, helping them bring in temporary employees.”

But hiring commercial drivers license drivers is difficult. And they “pull people forward” each day to cover lack of staff, and then the final 15-20 departures of the night (she later mentioned the “last 20-30”) have no one left to cater planes. Although the past few weeks they’ve had more staff and fewer planes without food or taking long delays for catering.

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 InsideFlyer.com, 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. They have had this problem for months from Miami, flew first class Miami to PHL in October they did not have enough drinks or snacks for first and nothing for the people in coach. Poor on board service, screwed up our reservations. They really are the world’s worst airline!

  2. “120 day lead time for catering items”

    If this is due to AA’s own company policy to require it not sure why can’t be more flexible in this situation to resolve it, finding alternative options quickly!

  3. Demanding Uber low prices and paying the lowest wage that is legal has come home to roost and triggered a collapse of the low-wage economy. If we want good service and regular supplies and operations, there’s a cost to be paid and Americans only want to benefit from one side of the equation. Not to mention those thousands of Central Americans trying to cross the southern border would be more than happy for these jobs (even at a $15 minimum wage) but the source of such labour in all service sectors has dried up.

  4. Earlier in 2021 paid for first class ticket Miami-Seattle in the evening, nothing but a tiny can of Pringle’s and a bottle of water was served for a seven hour flight in first class(longer than most int’l flights from Miami). To make matters worse the flight left from the more remote gates where no food options were available.

  5. Did you ever think these “applicants” couldn’t pass the drug test, hence didn’t want to apply?

  6. Another reason not to fly the worst airline in the business.
    What a POS as big as they are they can’t figure something out?
    Shows you how much they care about customers.

  7. Have any of the complainers here had the turkey pastrami monstrosity brought to them in first class? If not, stop complaining.

  8. How about giving every passenger a voucher at the gate or at check in, to buy food in the terminal? Problem solved.

  9. 120 day lead time tells me a lot of why they can’t manage this correctly. Why 120, how about 90 or 180 or 473? How about you send some folks down to Costco and load up on soft drinks and bottled water. It would probably be cheaper than the supplier they fee this out to. It’s not that hard to adjust if they had to. Don’t have CDL drivers, hire it out, get smaller trucks to fill the gap. There are ways around the issues. I’m sure it’s more complicated in real-time for the folks on the ground there but when they say it out loud you see where the weak links are. Maybe they could pull from another division. They do ship cargo for a living on AA, don’t they? Maybe quit paying some random chefs to pimp business class meals and just get some food going.

  10. When I fly first with them I puckup my own food even if I get a meal on the flight. I think it would just be easier if AA would give all first class and business passengers a food voucher or use their lounges to have the passengers pickup their meal or have them catered flights with food.

  11. Recent first class flight from MIA to SFO. Two types of subway sandwich were offered rather than hot food. Hot nuts replaced by a small package of nuts. No ice cream Sunday. Oh well. I’d rather have a Classic box.

  12. “Why American Airlines Miami Departures Have Had No Food Or Drinks In The Evenings?” – because AA management screwed up. Besides, where on earth you can even buy the mediocre food AA is serving in F and J? No wonder they are struggling to find suppliers…

  13. Miami still having help issues as our Federal government still gives handouts..so no Incentive to go to work!!

  14. My AA flight pushed 20 minutes late at MIA a couple weeks ago because they couldn’t get the sodas on the airplane. I was told it has become common. Apparently that was true.

  15. Poor customer service and on-board service. It is obvious that Sun Country doesn’t care about their customers. Cutting corners and trying to save as much money as they can for the C suite execs in the company.

    In a 3-hours flight from MSP to MCO, we were served a small glass/cup of drink, ONLY. How cheap can you go? I flew Saudia and Emirates where I was served full hot meals and drinks on-board for 2-3 hours flights.

    Sun country used to be a good airline!!! I am so disappointed in the service and treatment of customers. I am not sure if I will ever fly SC again.

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