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American Airlines Cutting First-Class Meals on Shorter Flights

Skift Take

First-class passengers are usually trying to work or sleep on short hops like this. But, still, those snacks better be good.

— Jason Clampet

American Airlines Group Inc., the world’s biggest carrier, will discontinue first-class meals on most flights of less than 2 hours 45 minutes, providing a snack instead.

The change is effective Sept. 1 for flights within the U.S., Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean, the carrier said on its website and in an e-mail to frequent fliers today. American previously provided first-class meals on flights of more than 2 hours.

“We looked at what the customers wanted, and found a good number of customers didn’t want a full meal on a flight less than two hours,” Casey Norton, a spokesman for Fort Worth, Texas-based American, said in an interview today.

Under the new policy, first-class passengers on a flight of less than 1 hour will receive a “packaged snack,” while those on flights less than 2 hours will get a basket with a “variety of sweet and savory snack options,” according to American’s e- mail.

Flights between 2 and 2 hours 45 minutes will offer a snack basket with fresh fruit, breakfast breads or sandwiches and packaged snacks.

The changes will align meal policies at American and merger partner US Airways Group Inc., Norton said. In April, the airline reduced to 2 hours 45 minutes from 3 1/2 hours the minimum flight time for first-class meal service on US Airways flights, he said.

American will retain full meal service for first-class customers on its busiest routes that are less than 2 hours 45 minutes, including Dallas-Fort Worth to Chicago or Chicago to New York.

An appetizer will be added to meals on flights between 3 1/2 hours and 4 1/2 hours, while longer flights also will get a dessert and pre-arrival snack, the airline said.

American and US Airways combined in December and will operate as two airlines until securing U.S. regulatory approval to mesh flight services in about a year.

To contact the reporter on this story: Mary Schlangenstein in Dallas at maryc.s@bloomberg.net To contact the editors responsible for this story: Ed Dufner at edufner@bloomberg.net. 

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