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With over 100k miles scheduled on American this year I’ve been flying on United for the past few months, so I’ve only heard (and written about) the most recent changes to their catering by proxy. In summary, first class passengers on American are furious about the airline cutting down on meal service. Monitoring the Executive Platinum group on Facebook is like watching a crowdsourced temper tantrum, and many elites are thinking about jumping ship to other carriers.

Well, this past Friday I flew American between San Francisco and Dallas, and I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised by the meal. Maybe I was expecting the worst after all of the bad press, or maybe I’m just thick skinned — but my macaroni and cheese with beef was fantastic.

Suffice it to say that there may still be hope for the domestic first class meal.

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Top Story

A story in The New York Times ran late last week lamented the decline of the mileage run, those quick trips taken solely for miles to earn elite status. They’re right: with United and Delta ushering in new programs next year that focus more on consumer spend rather than distance flown, it’s going to be far more difficult to game the system for status.

But the fat lady has not yet sung. American still has their mileage program in tact (lo, I just booked a $186 ticket from New York to Sicily) and evolutions of the mileage run will always exist. Yes, the future may involve running for the last $6 short of $10,000 or for extra miles purely for redemption. But there will always be a community of bargain hunters looking for the cheapest path to the highest tier. I plan on playing this game for a long, long time.

Social Quote of the Day

In fairness, Southwest’s old livery was also very ugly, whereas AA gave up something beautiful and iconic.

@jbarro | Josh Barro, Reporter for The Upshot at The New York Times



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Photo Credit: Mileage runs may not be dead, but they are changing. American Airlines