First-class passengers on some American Airlines flights are having their gourmet cuisine taken away. The airline announced this week that it will cease first-class meal service on most flights lasting less than 2 hours, 45 minutes.
The policy change is set to take effect on Sept. 1 and will affect flights within the U.S., Mexico, Canada, and the Caribbean.
Instead of savouring fine dining, first-class passengers will enjoy…snacks. What kind of snacks? American Airlines responded to Business Insider’s inquiries with the following information:
- Flights 1 to 2 hours (less than approximately 699 miles) that previously received mixed nuts, will now receive a basket of savory and sweet snacks for customers to choose.
- Flights about 2 hours – 2 hours and 45 minutes (approximately 700-999 miles) that previously received traditional meal service will now receive a Lite Bites basket, offering a variety of options including: fresh fruit, breakfast cakes, tea sandwiches and sweet or savory snacks.
In case the substitution of assorted snacks for nuts doesn’t sound like such a step down for first class, bear in mind that the nuts were warmed prior to serving.
American Airlines didn’t make this decision without conducting some research.
“We looked at what the customers wanted, and a good number of customers didn’t want a full-meal on a flight of less than two hours,” airline spokesperson Casey Norton told Bloomberg.
American Airlines previously served full meals to first class passengers on flights lasting longer than two hours. But the carrier has adjusted their policy to match that of their merger partner, U.S. Airways.
According to Bloomberg, U.S. Airways reduced the flight limit for first class meals from to 2 hours, 45 minutes from 3 hours, 30 minutes this April.
Some first-class customers may complain about this reduction in premium service. Although a two-hour flight isn’t very long, the amount of time spent boarding the plane and leaving the airport means that passengers could be doing without a meal for much longer than the flying time, even though they’re paying a lot to ride in the front of bus.
For example, one flight likely to be affected is the 2 hour, 10 minute trip from Dallas/Ft. Worth to Atlanta: the first-class fare is more than $US640 one-way.
Travellers flying American out of Chicago, Ft. Lauderdale, New York JFK, and Miami will catch a break: first class meal service will remain on selected short distance routes.
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