Soon American First Class Passengers Can Pre-Order Fruit & Cheese Plates In Lieu Of A Meal

Filed Under: American

For several years now American has been letting first & business class passengers pre-order meals when traveling in premium cabins. Up until now they haven’t given you access to food you couldn’t get onboard, but rather they’re just letting you choose in advance so that as many people as possible get their preferred meal choice. Presumably this also helps them better decide how much of each meal to load.

Unlike Singapore Airlines and some other airlines, though, they haven’t let you order anything that wouldn’t otherwise be available onboard. It looks like that will be changing soon.

As reported by The Forward Cabin, as of November 8, 2017, American will let first & business class passengers traveling within the continental US on a lunch or dinner flight order a fruit & cheese plate in advance in place of an entree. Passengers who select this option will receive a fruit and cheese plate with crackers, a side salad, dessert, and warm bread. This option won’t otherwise be available onboard, so it will be exclusively for those who pre-order it.

This is a fantastic concept. Sometimes neither of the main course options sounds great to me, or I just know I won’t be very hungry. In those cases, a fruit and cheese plate sounds like a nice option to have.

Interestingly American is sort of stealing Alaska’s idea. Just last week Alaska Airlines announced that they’d begin letting passengers pre-order meals when traveling in first class, on a limited basis. As part of that, they announced that passengers could also order a fruit & cheese plate in lieu of a main course. So while American will be the first airline to implement this concept on a large scale, I don’t think they can take credit for coming up with the concept.

Regardless, I’m happy to see it!

Could you see yourself ordering a fruit & cheese plate on an American flight in lieu of an entree?

(Tip of the hat to JonNYC)

  1. Yes I can. If I have two meal flights in a row, I could see myself ordering it for the second flight. Also good to have an option if I don’t like the other two choices. This is an unqualified positive.

  2. I wonder if AA will use this as a data point to drop hot meal service for fruit and cheese plates on flights that historically get a lot of these pre-orders?

  3. Yum! This is a really good idea. I hate that feeling of having suddenly consumed 1,200 low-quality calories while sitting on my butt for 4 hours.
    More often than not I simply skip the meal and opt to get a salad or something when I land.

  4. I would totally do this. I often eat before a flight so that I can get a better and/or healthier lunch/dinner. This allows meal service to basically serve as a nice dessert. Good move AA.

  5. Yes , great idea. Why did it take those dotards so long to do it.
    I wouldn’t have had to suffer thru those stuffed
    Peppers twice.

  6. Let’s face it, most of AA’s domestic entrees look like they have been pre-eaten, the same way one can buy a pre-owned item. A fruit and cheese plate, even if it is not of Qatar Airways or Air France standard, can only be an improvement. Even on overnight Atlantic flights, I have for years requested the express service with just the salad and the cheese plate, then lights-out (or more accurately mask-on).

  7. With the current age of Airline Menus which last for one Month (international) to 3 months (domestic) or more, the time has come for airline’s to become utilise the internet to streamline their processes. Why carry extra meals no one wants, when you can ask your customer 7 days in advance and make it to their preference? No one rational is going to complain if they pre-ordered the Chicken Kiev with mash, and they deliver the Chicken Kiev with mash. It saves the hostess the time explaining dishes and writing them down, saves on waste, and it guarantees the passengers get the meal they want.

    Hopefully this is AA trialling before moving it out to more options.

  8. The cheese plate (with 3 pieces instead of four) is always available as dessert. So unless you want cheese and a sweet desert, you could just as well skip the hot entree. I usually eat very little of the main dish as I avoid carbs when I can.

  9. It’s a step in the right direction but I’m sure the lactose intolerant crowd would rather just see a fruit plate option instead. AA and DL love to slather cheese on just about everything in site, which is unfortunate for these folks.

  10. No, I won’t order – they could just hand you a buy-on-board fruit and cheese item. Looks like more of a cost savings item.

    I would like to see more healthy hot dishes.

  11. Hrm, not really sure I care. DL let’s you pre-order VGML (and any other special meal), and while AA let’s you pre-select your option, there are many times that there are no veggie options or parts of the meal aren’t veggie (eg, chicken strips throw on a salad). While it’s nice to offer a “lighter” option, it doesn’t really fix the problem of not offering special meals.

  12. I would evaluate my options before hand but based on past history, the fruit & cheese option would win out very often.

  13. You all cheer now, but one year from now we’ll hear this: “due to overwhelming demand for our award-winning Fruit & Cheese Plate in lieu of other items, we are discontinuing hot meal service in our First Class cabin on all domestic flight segments.”

    This is a pilot program to see how many F passengers are willing to go without a hot meal, mark my words. Choose the fruit & cheese plate at your own peril.

  14. As much as I applaud your ability to find victimhood in this situation, Gregg, cheese has very little lactose in it unless it’s some weird mixed product.

    Real cheese has close to zero sugar – lactose – in it. Of course whatever crappy product you buy at Wal-Mart in a can does have sugar in it, but that doesn’t seem to be what they’re serving.

    The real question is: why is there status in being a victim in America? It’s sickening. How do we get rid of Gregg and his ilk?

  15. it’s a step in right direction – I find most menu options odd – I usually bring my own food as I’m gluten and dairy free so most foods served on US carriers won’t work for me. fruit would be nice option so the FA has something to give me as they tend to feel bad when I can’t eat what they have. I share my gf cookies with them when they refill my wine.

    I love flying foreign airlines who offer special meal options.

  16. I recently took 10 American flights in First. Hot food was only served on two of them – both early morning flights. On the others there was just a “snack tray” which had nothing I liked.

    But anything but the usual “chicken or pasta” choice is welcome

  17. I have ordered the cheese and fruit instead of the ice cream sundae, and it has been a very poor imitation of a real option. Two dabs of questionable cheese with a smear of unidentifiable fruit and a couple of not too fresh crackers/cookies.

  18. i’m ~~sorry.~~ blame my grammar teachers.

    “For several years now American has been ~~lettering~~ first & business class passengers pre-order meals when traveling in premium cabins.”

  19. mmmm, I think we are spoiled in Australia, domestic J class food great, even on a 60 minute flights on QF and then add their lounges, way ahead. Having traveled AA F , which I consider a joke, I guess a bit of cheese is an improvement.
    Also why do they serve form the back row by the time they get to row 1 or 2 the choice has gone!

  20. @William Y – What a bitter lonely man you must be.

    All Gregg did was to suggest a fruit plate option instead of fruit and cheese. I happen to agree with him, not because I’m lactose intolerant (I’m not) but simply because I abhor the taste and smell of cheese. I guess that makes me a “victim” too.

    Winter is coming. Time to climb back under the rock you came from.

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