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American scales back inflight catering as part of ongoing coronavirus response

May 01, 2020
3 min read
American scales back inflight catering as part of ongoing coronavirus response
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If you must travel domestically on American Airlines in the coming weeks, you might want to pack a lunch.

(Also, consider postponing your trip if it's not related to essential work.)

Starting Friday (May 1), AA will implement a significant reduction in its inflight food and beverage service in an effort to reduce the risk of onboard COVID-19 transmission.

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On flights of less than 900 miles — typically less than 2.5 hours, according to the airline — the carrier will serve water, canned beverages and juice by request.

On flights between 900 and 2,200 miles, which American said are typically shorter than 4.5 hours, customers will be offered snack bags, including a bottle of water as they board. However, there will be no snacks or food for purchase during the flight. Snacks will only be distributed on mainline flights, so American Eagle passengers will need to bring their own provisions. Meals won't be available in first class, either. Water, canned beverages and juice will be provided to economy passengers on request. Alcohol will be available only in first class, also by request.

Related: American Eagle fleet adjustments will mean fewer cramped regional jets.

American also is even scaling back on its longest flights, those over 2,000 miles. This includes transcons, flights between the mainland and Hawaii and on the few international long-haul flights American is still flying. Snacks and food for purchase will still not be available in the main cabin. Non-alcoholic beverages will be served as usual, as will snacks like Biscoff cookies or pretzels. Complimentary meals will be provided to economy passengers on international long-haul flights. Alcohol will also be available, by request, on flights with meal service.

In first and business class on the longer flights, alcohol will be served, as will meals. But service will be pared back to a single tray, rather than a multi-course meal.

Related: American Airlines’ Boeing 767s, 757s among 80 planes that won’t fly again after the pandemic.

The changes come as airlines continue to field test best practices for inflight service and protocols during the coronavirus pandemic. This week, most major U.S. carriers announced that they would soon require passengers to wear masks while onboard. American has also recently modified its boarding procedures, closed a number of Admirals Clubs, and temporarily ended checked pet service.

Featured image by (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

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Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
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3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
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    For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

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  • Annual Fee

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    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

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Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

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  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases