When the American and US Airways merger got the final go-ahead, I said there were ten things to expect. So far things are playing out pretty much… as expected.
One of those things was the US Airways-ization of American. New leadership said that American’s service standards would survive But what that turns out to meean is a meeting in the middle for meal times — American was at about 2 hours, and US Airways at 3 hours 30 minutes so the new standard is 2 hours 45 minutes.
But it’s US Airways’-style food.
Yesterday was my first time flying on a meal route on a flight qualifying for food since new American meal standards went into effect September 1.
Since I was on a meal flight it’s still catered with mixed nuts, but with a new presentation.
I had the beef enchiladas rather than the pasta.
And we were promised we’d get to keep warm cookies! (There had been rumors in American’s catering shop of chocolate cake replacing the cookie.)
It turns out though that it’s a different cookie — smaller, no choice of kinds, and not nearly as gooey or delicious.
My own working hypothesis is that by changing the meals — and in general feedback I’ve heard is very negative, though the enchiladas were fine — they’ll discourage customers from actually eating them. And then they’ll be able to declare that customer feedback has made it clear that first class passengers prefer uncomplicated service and the ability to work uninterrupted by a full meal. So changes to better meet their needs will entail even more meal flights replaced by the ubiquitous snack basket.
That is, unless United gains traction by broadening its meal window…
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