American Brings Back Free Snacks In Economy

Filed Under: American

In December United announced that they’ll be bringing back complimentary snacks in domestic economy. They were so excited about it that they even made a YouTube video about how to enjoy your snack:

Now it looks like American will be following their lead, and offering free snacks in economy for the first time in over 10 years. American is making this announcement the same day that United is restoring the free snacks they announced a couple of months back (aside from just wanting to save costs, I don’t really get why it takes two months to restore free snacks).

American will offer free snacks in economy, including complimentary Biscoff cookies on domestic flights departing before 9:45AM, and complimentary pretzels on flights departing after 9:45AM.

American’s new free snacks

These snacks will debut as of this month on American’s flights between New York and Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco, and Miami and Los Angeles. Free snacks will be available on other domestic flights as of April 2016.

Furthermore, American will be bringing back complimentary meals in economy on their flights between Dallas and Honolulu starting in May.

Per the press release:

“We want customers to choose American every time they fly,” said Fernand Fernandez, American’s vice president – Global Marketing.  “We are giving our customer more choices to enhance their personal flying experience by offering new service and new entertainment options in all cabins.”

American’s vice president of global marketing also had the following to say about this “investment,” per Scott Mayerowitz at the AP:

“We know that we have customers who select our airline based on price and we’re really excited to offer them a product that is superior to choosing an ultra-low cost carrier,” Fernandez says to AP.

Alrighty then. Good to see they’re trying to compete in such a high league. 😉

With this change, all of the “big three” US carriers now offer free snacks in economy. Even so, they’re still trailing behind JetBlue, which has been been offering superior free snacks in economy since they were founded.

JetBlue’s free snacks

Bottom line

It’s nice to see complimentary snacks return to economy on all three global US carriers. Personally I wouldn’t call it “investing in their product” as much as just undoing the over the top (mostly necessary) cost cutting of the past decade. With airlines experiencing record profitability, it’s time they at least make the flying experience somewhat civilized again, and I think they’re doing a good job of that.

One thing I find funny is that American chose Biscoff cookies for their morning flights, which has been Delta’s most well known snack for years. You’d think they would go with something they can call their “own” instead.

Still, good news all around here!

  1. As a frequent Delta flyer who has been enjoying free snacks in economy for years, I am astonished that American didn’t have free snacks in economy.

  2. Hi Ben, how about for Executive Platinums? Do we get the whole meal or the same snacks as the rest when seat in economy?

  3. @ Fred — As an Executive Platinum member you still get a complimentary paid snack (fresh or pre-packaged) plus a free drink.

  4. A small bag of flavorless dry pretzels?!? American looked for the lowest bar with which it could hurdle. Try again.

  5. Well it least it gets a bit better in economy, though i’m sure many folks would rather have a free checked bag over some free pretzels anyday.

  6. American has had a snack mix for awhile now. You think they would offer this as it is already in place instead of biscoff (direct Delta copy) and dry pretzels

  7. I don’t understand how people get excited with a biscoff and a pretzel, is that really a snack or a nibble? how about a bone?

  8. When I started reading the press release, I was really expecting them to announce enhanced food/amenities for Main Cabin Extra passengers on transcon flights, like on DL. Disappointed.

  9. AA is just a cheap copycat of Delta. Whatever Mr. Anderson says or does AA will copy. They are just too incompetent to make it happen faster.

  10. Wait even on flights as long as JFK-LAX, United and American did not have *any* free food at all? This pack of pretzels is a new development? Wow.

  11. Dallas to HNL is 8.5 hours. You mean to say they did not have complementary meals in economy on that flt already? WOW! Chicago to Paris is 8.5 hours with 2 free meals in economy.

  12. It’s quite smart. Eating one of these tiny portions of pretzels of cookies will make passengers MORE hungry (insulin secretion is triggered). This means they will buy more of the over-prized paid snacks.

  13. Another example of AA following instead of leading, and doing so in a way that suggests they’re looking for the cheap solution instead of a good one. United’s snacks are way more original. I can just see Doug Parker saying “let them eat pretzels.”

Leave a Reply

If you'd like to participate in the discussion, please adhere to our commenting guidelines. Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *