Fit for Flight: AA’s Much Improved Regional First Class Breakfast

Sep 11, 2018

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.

Eating healthy while traveling can be difficult. Once, TPG Points and Miles writer JT Genter (who happens to be my husband) and I were each served a highly-processed breakfast in first class on a regional American Airlines flight from Charleston, SC (CHS) to Dallas (DFW). While some breakfast is always better that no breakfast, we couldn’t help but notice that the breakfast contained a surprising 70+ grams of sugar.

American Airlines cold "shelf stable" breakfast.
American Airlines’ old “shelf stable” breakfast.

After the flight, two years ago, JT reached out to American Airlines to ask about the amount of sugar in the meal and check if AA would consider offering a healthier meal option. At the time, an American spokesperson shared the good news that improvements were coming:

“We’re working to refresh our regional menu offerings in spring 2017. As with all of our menus, we’re consistently evaluating how we can update our food offerings while providing the highest quality, most nutritional and tasteful meals that our customers will enjoy.”

American would eventually refresh its regional menus in September 2017. Shortly after the menus were refreshed, an American Airlines spokesperson explained that there would be two options going forward:

“For breakfast we have two options of continental breakfast or a cold breakfast plate. The breakfast plates range from smoked salmon/bagels to protein plate.”

So, for the last year, we’ve been eagerly awaiting our next first class flight on an American Airlines regional jet during breakfast on a qualifying route. However, these meals are only served on regional jets departing after 5am, traveling over 900 miles and flying for longer than two hours and 30 minutes. In addition, there are a few exception routes that also offer a cold breakfast:

  • Chicago (ORD) to/from Hartford (BDL), Newark (EWR) and New Orleans (MSY)
  • Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) to/from Leon, Mexico (BJX), San Luis Potosi, Mexico (SLP) and Queretaro, Mexico (QRO)
  • Atlanta (ATL) to/from New York LaGuardia (LGA)
  • Los Angeles (LAX) to/from Denver (DEN)
  • Phoenix (PHX) to/from Mazatlan, Mexico (MZT)

After missing a few elite upgrades on eligible flights, we finally had the opportunity this week to try the new cold regional breakfast on a morning flight from Atlanta (ATL) to New York (LGA).

On our flight, breakfast was a choice of muesli with coconut flakes or a protein plate. I ordered the muesli, which came topped with fresh fruit and coconut flakes. The muesli was served with a cup of vanilla Greek yogurt, a package of granola and a cinnamon roll. Although serving yogurt with muesli seemed like milk-product overkill, the muesli was tasty and not too sugary. And, I was happy that the coconut flakes weren’t soggy.

American Airlines
American Airlines’ muesli breakfast.

JT ordered the protein plate, which consisted of sliced ham, prosciutto, cheddar cheese, brie cheese, tomato slices, cucumber slices and a hard boiled egg cut in half. It was served with a fruit bowl with grapes, pineapple, kiwi, an orange slice and a strawberry as well as a cinnamon roll. He was surprised to find that everything, including the sliced egg, tasted fresh.

American Airlines
American Airlines’ protein-plate breakfast.

Neither of us took more than a few bites of the cinnamon roll, which was sweet but tough and cold. But, even with the disappointing cinnamon roll, these breakfast trays are significantly better than what we received two years ago.

Bottom Line

It’s not often that we get to share good news about an airline, but credit where credit is due: AA did a great job improving the first class breakfast offerings on their regional flights. On our flight, both breakfast options were fresh and reasonably healthy, and I’d say that my muesli dish was as good as hot breakfasts I’ve eaten on some of American’s mainline routes.

Featured image courtesy of American Airlines.

American Express® Green Card

WELCOME OFFER: 30,000 Points

TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $600

CARD HIGHLIGHTS: up to $100 annual CLEAR statement credit, up to $100 annual LoungeBuddy statement credit, 3x points on travel and transit, 3x points on restaurants worldwide

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 30,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $2,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on all eligible travel, from subway swipes and window seats to hotel stays and city tours.
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points at restaurants worldwide.
  • Receive up to $100 per year in statement credits when you use the American Express® Green Card to pay for your CLEAR® membership at select airports and stadiums across the U.S. and Permissible Biometric Scanning Technology terms: eye scanning, irises scanning and fingerprints scanning.
  • Use the American Express® Green Card to purchase lounge access through LoungeBuddy to any of the lounges in the LoungeBuddy network – no memberships, elite statuses, or first class tickets required. Earn up to $100 in statement credits per calendar year on your LoungeBuddy purchases.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $150 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
See Rates & Fees
Annual Fee
$150
Balance Transfer Fee
See Terms
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.