American Brings Back Edible First Class Salads On Lunch Flights

Filed Under: American

There’s no denying that American’s catering has become significantly worse over the past several years. I wouldn’t tie it exclusively to the merger, as the downhill trend of American food has been going on for years now. That being said, there’s no denying that American and US Airways “aligning” meals has led to a decrease in quality.

Just a few years ago American had international style service on all transcontinental flights, while nowadays you basically get the same food on a two hour flight as you do on a six hour flight.

My beef isn’t even with the fact that the service is less “elaborate,” but rather the fact that American food has become borderline inedible over the past year or so.

As I wrote about in late March, I’ve gotten to the point where I just avoid American’s domestic food whenever possible and would rather grab an overpriced sandwich in the terminal. And I suppose that’s ultimately better for my health anyway.

My main complaint has been that regardless of whether you’re on a lunch or dinner flight, you have the choice between a microwaved pasta dish and a terrible chicken or beef dish.


But it looks like there are finally some actual positive changes. As View from the Wing reported in early April, American changed up their domestic catering a bit as of May 1, 2015. The most significant improvement is that they finally brought back the entree salad on lunch flights.

I had it on a lunch flight today, and it was actually good. It’s the first time I’ve eaten lunch on a domestic American flight in a long time.

I know this is really minor in the grand scheme of things, though color me very excited about the fact that American finally has edible food for lunch again.


Now if they’d only start offering the salads on dinner flights as well!

Anyone else excited by American bringing back entree salads on lunch flights?

  1. How thoughtful of them to plate the meat separately and add egg and cheese as additional proteins (looking at you, UA).

  2. That’s definitely a step to the right direction for AA. Both UA and DL have improved their food offerings and introduced chef creations in the past 6 months. AA will need to work on it a little harder to capture better passenger opinions.

  3. Wow! That salad looks very good! Now, if they could just improve the quality of the chicken used in the chicken dishes, and offer larger salads on all flights.

  4. On American you begrudgingly tolerate your in-flight meal. On Delta I savor mine. But go ahead, keep thinking Delta’s bottom-barrel (while I have my Woodford Reserve double barrel… in the skies).

  5. Hmm. I took my first A321 transcon in about 6 months yesterday, and my fifth ever. I recalled the catering being pretty good a year ago – and pretty fantastic when I flew the route weekly on 752s in 2011. This time, the beef dinner was appalling. A hardened gray block of flesh, drooled with luke-warm potato slices and a gluggy tomato sauce. If they’re going to offer an excellent hard product that meets international standards, it’s crazy to offer a soft product that belongs on a Soviet-era Aerofolt flight from Leningrad to Minsk.

  6. It’s truly amazing that full grown adults can’t manage to feed themselves around domestic flights. Carriers should just offer a free snack box from economy to first class pax and tell them to pound sand if they can’t manage to go 2-4 hours without getting a full 3 course meal. It’s very simple, if you know you’re going to be in the air for 3-4 hours, you feed yourself beforehand … no different than if you’re going into a meeting or going to the theater. Boredom eating of poor quality food (which is what eating on domestic flights is) is a one way street to a humongous ass.

  7. Tiny salad there – not even close to the size UA or DL offer, or that AA offered before the 9/1 cuts.

    A shame what this merger has done.

  8. @Justin, many of us are on multiple domestic flights with tight connections. Often there is simply no time to eat in between. I might leave home in the morning, spend eight or more hours in the air or running through an airports, and arrive at my hotel at 10 PM.

  9. It’s crazy (and insulting) for AA to not offer reasonable meals in domestic first class. It’s also insane to serve poor-quality meals in international first class. It’s bad enough in international business, but I’ve been in first on plenty of long-haul international flights where the food was dreadful. Examples include LAX-LHR, DFW-LHR, DFW-HKG, HKG-DFW, LHR-LAX. The chicken has a weird “off” taste, the meats are covered in a nasty gloppy sauce, the salads are tiny or non-existant.

  10. How about comparing meals on UA, DL,AS and AA. Until someone does something different we are going to be served the same crap. I would also like to see the FA’s put some energy in the meal service, instead of saying, “For Lunch we have chicken or pasta”, also would like to see the FA’s take some pride in how they serve the meals, no reason to serve everything at once, unless the pax asked for it that way…

  11. No soup?

    My recent UA lunch had a nice bowl of tortilla soup, and a salad with chicken breast, along with a roll.

    A small bag of crunchy tortilla strips that I split between the soup and the salad. Ranch dressing.

    It was pretty good.

    Other choices were a chicken and rice dish (may have been beef?), and vegetarian was ravioli.

  12. I flew AA A321 SFO-JFK both in F and J recently and I thought the food selection looked good but tasted horrible. Anyone of the major Asian airline serve better food in Y on a shorter flight.

  13. My flight yesterday had great quinoa salad but they forgot to load the protein , was able to have pastrami sandwich from the back instead by gracious FA

  14. @ Justin – The point is not that we’re mentally incapable of deducing how to acquire food on a travel day. The point is: why the f*@k should we have to? Airlines in every other rich country – from dense populous ones like Japan to empty unpopulated ones like New Zealand to big complex ones like Germany to flyspeck ones like Singapore – have figured out how to economically produce decent mass-market food, and how to serve it on short-haul flights. Often, in coach. Usually for free.

    A 3-4 hour flight means 7-8 hours of travel time. Why should I have to block out an extra 45-minutes at an airport diner to do the airline’s job for them? On Sunday I went 13 hours without food on an LGA-ORD-SFO trip. Would it have been within my mental powers to arrange for a Seamless delivery guy meet me at LaGuardia with a stir fry? Sure. But last month I flew 147 miles from Sydney to Canberra and got a lovely meal and two free glasses of wine. Do we always have to be proud of being bad at things?

  15. “I know this is really minor in the grand scheme of things, though color me very excited.”

    Maybe this should be the tagline for what’s left of your travel blog. Especially now that the Trip Reports and Ask Lucky sections have apparently been suspended or discontinued. Oddly the credit card shilling doesn’t seem to have gone anywhere.

  16. @ Justin – Has nothing at all to do with what is functional. Some people like the journey to be just as memorable as the destination. When I fly F class I expect to get something more for my extra hard earned money, and the catering is very important, right after seat comfort. If an airline wants to earn extra revenue by being the provider of “a way to a man’s heart is through his stomach” then more power to them.

  17. Haven’t flown AA Domestic lately, but we flew AA 777 FC NRT-LAX in early March 2015. The surly FAs served us horribly overcooked food. It probably seemed even worst since our outbound flight was SQ SC, but it still was nearly inedible. 🙁

    Yet in 2014 we flew Iberia from LHR to MAD in Bus, barely over 2 hours, and the friendly FAs served us wonderful salmon and small bottles of excellent Spanish wines. The total experience made the flight on a very old plane quite enjoyable.

  18. I recently did a round trip from SFO to Lima, Peru in business class through MIA. I had the beef entree going down and tried the chicken coming back. Both were inedible, overcooked, visually bad, and tasteless. I thought maybe it was limited to just that route, given that I have had great meals on the 777-300 to London, but reading the comments I guess not. Too bad. Hopefully they get it together if they really want to “go for great”, especially for meals in premium seats.

  19. Well that is a great news but so far I haven’t experienced any positive change in that matter hopefully on next trips.
    But what I think will be hard to solve is the inconsistency of on board service that has been worsening day by day . Looks like the FFAA just do whatever they want regardless any kind of procedures learnt during training
    But just back from 787 inaugural what can you expect from their training is on this flight was the first time the saw the real aircraft , all the training was done over videos and diagrams !!!!!!!. No body was able to lower the business class central seat division!!!!

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 *