Bon appétit: American’s improving domestic first class meals

Jul 6, 2021

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Air travel is slowly returning to normal. Aside from growing passenger numbers, airlines are reopening their lounges and restoring pre-pandemic levels of in-flight service.

In April, American Airlines slowly began introducing new fresh offerings for domestic first-class passengers on cross-country flights. Soon, it will expand these offerings to most domestic flights and improve its selection on longer flights.

Stay up-to-date on airline and aviation news by signing up for our aviation newsletter.

American Airlines has confirmed that as of next week, July 14, it will be expanding its “Fresh Bites” offering for first-class passengers to domestic flights over 900 miles. These cold meal boxes include items like yogurt and breakfast sandwiches in the morning and sandwiches and salads for lunch and dinner. There’s always a protein option and a vegetarian option. Plus, there are usually some sweet and savory accompaniments, such as fruit salads and cheese and crackers.

An AA spokeswoman told TPG, “The Fresh Bites offerings are part of the larger strategy to carefully return service to domestic first class passengers, in a way that helps care for the well-being of customers and flight attendants.”

Previously, these meal boxes were only available on flights over 2,200 miles. First class passengers on shorter flights got lighter snacks like yogurt parfaits and sandwiches with no accompaniments.

Then, on flights over 1,500 miles, first class passengers will receive more substantial “Fresh Bites” boxes. Think bigger entrees and additional accompaniments.

Related: American Airlines’ CEO talks bringing back buy-on-board service, including alcohol

American Airlines breakfast
First class “snack” on American Airlines. (Photo by Andrew Kunesh/The Points Guy)

First and business class passengers on premium transcontinental flights (New York-JFK to/from Los Angeles and San Francisco), long haul Hawaii flights (to/from Dallas/Fort Worth and Chicago), and long-haul international flights will continue to receive hot meals.

Breakfast is offered on flights departing between 5:00 a.m. and 9:45 a.m., while lunch/dinner is offered from 9:46 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Aside from flights from Anchorage (ANC) to Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) and Chicago (ORD), all other departures just receive packaged snacks. Also note that the offerings may be different for American Eagle flights.

Related: Here’s what food and drinks you can expect on your next flight

Bottom line

American Airlines’ latest catering update is a big step up over what it’s been serving over the last few months. That said, unlike United, it won’t be bringing back hot meals on short and medium-haul domestic flights yet. Last month, the Chicago-based carrier restored hot meals on domestic routes over 1,500 miles and on hub-to-hub flights over 800 miles or two hours or longer.

As of now, there are no changes for those sitting in the back of the plane. The airline is offering full non-alcoholic beverage service on flights over 900 miles, but won’t be bringing back onboard alcohol or food sales until at least mid-September.

Featured photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy.

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 50,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants in the first three months of card membership.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 50,000 Bonus Miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
  • Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants with your card within the first 3 months of membership.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
$250
Balance Transfer Fee
N/A
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.