American Airlines Rolling Out Wellness Menu

American Airlines Rolling Out Wellness Menu

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Admittedly my expectations are pretty low here, but I’m kind of looking forward to this, I think?

American will serve some healthier meals

American Airlines has announced that it will be launching a new “nourishing wellbeing menu,” in partnership with a nutritionist from the James Beard Foundation. New menu options will include a mushroom and asparagus frittata for breakfast, and a harvest vegetable and grain bowl and golden roasted chicken for lunch and dinner. Furthermore, we’ll see a new dip duo served as an appetizer alongside the wellness main courses.

The new menu will be available in the premium cabins on select domestic, transcon, long haul Hawaii, and international flights. American states that if customers enjoy these items and they are popular, they could stick around in the long-run.

American Airlines wellbeing menu options

Personally I’m excited to see these new menu options, especially options like the harvest and vegetable grain bowl. American often serves the most ridiculously unhealthy food, and on top of that American tries all too often to serve fancy-sounding things, even on the very low budget that catering is working with. If American is going to spend a few bucks on a meal, personally I’d rather it not be a wagyu or truffle dish, because, well… the quality is not going to be great.

I’d much rather American try to serve simple and healthier food. For example, back when Delta had limited inflight service, I had an excellent grain salad on Delta, which was just about the best meal I’ve had on a domestic flight in a long time. I’d love to see more of that kind of stuff (ideally plated, though, rather than served in a box).

Delta first class grain salad

It sure would be nice if each flight had an option from the wellness menu, so that there’s some consistency. But I also understand American is probably just testing the waters here to see if this at all resonates with passengers. I realize I’m probably in the minority here, after all.

American bringing back pre-order only meals

While the new wellbeing dishes will be available as standard menu options on some flights, on other flights it will be available exclusively as a pre-order option. Along those lines, American is reintroducing the pre-order only program as of October 12, 2022, whereby some menu items are only available for pre-order.

This is being done as part of the wellbeing menu launch, though could include other items. For example, pre-pandemic we saw American often offer the charcuterie plate as a pre-order alternative to standard meals, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see that return as well. More options are always a good thing!

Bottom line

American Airlines will be introducing a new wellness menu in first and business class on select flights throughout the network. It’s nice to see American serving something a bit healthier than a cheese-filled omelet with sausage, or meatloaf with mac & cheese. I’m looking forward to hopefully trying one of these dishes on my next American flight.

What do you make of American’s new wellness menu concept?

Conversations (24)
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  1. MaryAnn Palmer Guest

    I don't care for it and I eat pretty healthy, really very few choices for lunch unless you order something "special" and none of those include meat. On our flight coming up in Dec. shows just a grain bowl no chicken wheres the photos show the roasted chicken with the grain bowl which would make it at least more substantial. Only meat offering right now on our flight is salami plate which doesn't sound too good for lunch.

  2. Shannon Guest

    Can any of the options be Gluten Free? American Airlines doesn’t know the answer to that question.

  3. silvia bonaccorso Guest

    I fully agree with Donna. I travel frequently , specially ex-US, and I cannot stand the food of American carriers anymore!

  4. Mark Guest

    I completely agree with Donna and Uldguy. Especially on long international flights, I want good food that is recognizable. I’m not a Vegan and not a vegetarian either. I too am a carnivore and enjoy meat. The healthy options should be available as just that, an option. One has to think, is AA cost cutting again? Are these healthy meals cheaper to serve passengers? Couldn’t care less about celebrity chefs. Put the expense of these...

    I completely agree with Donna and Uldguy. Especially on long international flights, I want good food that is recognizable. I’m not a Vegan and not a vegetarian either. I too am a carnivore and enjoy meat. The healthy options should be available as just that, an option. One has to think, is AA cost cutting again? Are these healthy meals cheaper to serve passengers? Couldn’t care less about celebrity chefs. Put the expense of these so called chefs into the actual food. Yes, I also enjoy the Breakfast Omelettes with cheese and mushrooms with a side of sausage. If I start to see only “healthy options” I will unfortunately have to look at other carriers that understand not all passengers want food fit for a dog.

  5. Bubthebuilder Guest

    Hard pass on that so called meal. I'll grab a real meal in the terminal before getting on the plane.

  6. JP Guest

    That looks like who ever ingests it will have gas before landing. Regular food is a safer bet at 35,000 feet.

    1. Doreen Guest

      Wasn't thrilled when we saw our choices for an upcoming flight the end if October. I'm all about wellness but the choices for lunch were totally unappetizing. What about a nice salad?

  7. DCharlie Guest

    Lol - Americans needing wellness diets from airlines. Probably the one and only place where they will dine on something nutritious.

    Just give us water to help us lose weight and reduce the obesity epidemic. We win, the airline wins and the health industry wins.

  8. glenn t Diamond

    What is this? Just pick 8 or 9 unrelated healthy items off the list and slap 'em on a plate, and voila, your healthy 'meal'.
    While it is much better than the usual carb-laden rubbish, it doesn't look all that appetizing. Working out what goes with what and presenting it nicely is clearly a work in progress for AA.
    Baby steps......

  9. Sean Guest

    I recently had one of these meals from Vegas to PHL- and it was fresh and good! The plating was a bit messier than these photos though..I would a post a picture if I could. The meal composed of black beans, brown rice, a large side salad with edamame ,sliced grilled chicken in a light mild sauce and surprisingly fresh avocado “mouse”. The flight attendant requested feedback - huge thumbs up, seriously, I was surprised ..

    1. Santos Guest

      I prefer avocado rat but I get that people's tastes vary.

    2. Sean Guest

      haha well I should’ve just written ferret instead of mouse

  10. Lee Guest

    My wife and I received surveys from AA regarding menu choices. The questions focused on plant-based protein substitutes. The fact is that AA already has a wide range of dietary types from which to choose. If someone wants a plant-based meal, "vegan" is already a choice. As such, introduction of plant-based protein substitutes would not be checking a box that was not already checked. It sounds more like a cost-reduction initiative.

  11. uldguy Diamond

    This doesn’t need to be so difficult. Carriers that I have worked for in the past conducted numerous surveys, all with the same result. Customers want recognizable food and more of it. It doesn’t need to be fancy. Quality lean meats, properly cooked vegetables, etc. There are some airlines that do this very well, and not surprisingly they don’t blow a ridiculous amount of money on celebrity chefs. Instead, they put the money into quality ingredients.

  12. Donna Diamond

    I hate to be the resident cynic in the OMAAT tribe but one man’s ceiling is another man’s floor. In other words, the concept of “healthy” is left to one’s perception. As a person who would rather die than become a vegetarian much less a vegan, count me out with the movement that equates healthy eating with plant based foods. I’m a carnivore, I eat full fat meat, full fat dairy and very little carbs,...

    I hate to be the resident cynic in the OMAAT tribe but one man’s ceiling is another man’s floor. In other words, the concept of “healthy” is left to one’s perception. As a person who would rather die than become a vegetarian much less a vegan, count me out with the movement that equates healthy eating with plant based foods. I’m a carnivore, I eat full fat meat, full fat dairy and very little carbs, whole foods with no added sugars. My flight days are fraught with picking through a whole bunch of bad offerings. There’s nothing wrong with sausages and a cheese omelette, however, the AA omelette is powdered eggs (flour based), with mystery spices that are disgusting and running processed “cheese” spread. How can you F*up a cheese omelette? Leave it to James Beard.

    1. 305 Guest

      Amen. Recently took a Delta One flight JFK to SEA and the best “meat” option was some mini chicken meatballs dish where the meatballs were basically a side-show. That was out of SIX possible options. Everything was marketed as over-the-top fancy and healthy, but mostly equated to a bunch of rabbit food and fake meats

    2. Robert Fahr Guest

      Fruit and cheese plates, veggies and hummus, charcuterie boards, and grain bowls are all good by me. Anyone remember the soup, salad, and hot half sandwich lunch served on domestic flights? (Yes it was before 9/11). Simplicity.

  13. Alonzo Diamond

    With a lack of fat, no way in hell these "wellness" meals reheat well. Junk.

  14. John Guest

    Coincidence. Someone else also named 'John' decides to write the first post just before me! My carrier of choice is not AA, but I give them credit for devising something better. I have my doubts though. I mean, it would be a miracle and a half if the actual product looked anywhere near as attractive as this plated and staged example.

    1. Eskimo Guest

      There is 'John', and there is 'John' that stalks Eskimos.

  15. ryan Guest

    When these come out there should be a side by side comparison of the marketing photos above and what actually comes out on the tray. I have endless faith in AAs ability to turn these into a disgusting mess of a meal that in no way even resembles the marketing photos.

  16. John Guest

    Anything that doesn't look like vomit or taste like wet paper would be a step up for American. Worst food of any airline I've ever flown.

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Donna Diamond

I hate to be the resident cynic in the OMAAT tribe but one man’s ceiling is another man’s floor. In other words, the concept of “healthy” is left to one’s perception. As a person who would rather die than become a vegetarian much less a vegan, count me out with the movement that equates healthy eating with plant based foods. I’m a carnivore, I eat full fat meat, full fat dairy and very little carbs, whole foods with no added sugars. My flight days are fraught with picking through a whole bunch of bad offerings. There’s nothing wrong with sausages and a cheese omelette, however, the AA omelette is powdered eggs (flour based), with mystery spices that are disgusting and running processed “cheese” spread. How can you F*up a cheese omelette? Leave it to James Beard.

4
uldguy Diamond

This doesn’t need to be so difficult. Carriers that I have worked for in the past conducted numerous surveys, all with the same result. Customers want recognizable food and more of it. It doesn’t need to be fancy. Quality lean meats, properly cooked vegetables, etc. There are some airlines that do this very well, and not surprisingly they don’t blow a ridiculous amount of money on celebrity chefs. Instead, they put the money into quality ingredients.

2
Robert Fahr Guest

Fruit and cheese plates, veggies and hummus, charcuterie boards, and grain bowls are all good by me. Anyone remember the soup, salad, and hot half sandwich lunch served on domestic flights? (Yes it was before 9/11). Simplicity.

1
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