I flew home to Austin from Los Angeles on Wednesday night. I had the chance to visit the new Flagship lounge there, so I had a preflight bite to eat and wasn’t hungry. I prefer to work or watch shows uninterrupted on my flights anyway, so I figured I’d be skipping dinner.
The flight was delayed while we waited for pilots who were on a delayed flight inbound from Las Vegas. An already late aircraft sat on the ground in Las Vegas for about an hour before making its way to LAX. And once you land at LAX it can take awhile to taxi to your gate. My 6:35 p.m. flight was wheels up at 8:45 p.m.
To be clear I didn’t want dinner. But I was still surprised to be offered a choice of a turkey wrap in a brown cardboard box, or a turkey wrap in a brown cardboard box.
American Airlines Terminal 4 LAX
Nearly two months ago American stopped using Gate Gourmet for catering at LAX when listeria was found at their facility.
Initially there was very little food out of LAX for most flights (though a handful of long haul international — London, Shanghai, Sao Paulo, and Beijing — already had a different caterer, Air Fayre). LSG SkyChefs was added to the mix to cater more flights with a focus on long haul, New York JFK, Miami, and Hawaii service first. Customers on flights without the expected catering were getting proactive apology emails and vouchers towards future travel.
- Domestic non-transcon flights are still be double catered on the inbound aircraft. So a flight coming in from Dallas will have meals for Dallas – Los Angeles, and for its onward segment departing Los Angeles.
- Domestic flights in the early morning starting their day at LAX though don’t get double provisioned the night before. Those get coach buy onboard meals in first class. That covers about 16 flights a day. And those customers are the ones American is still reaching out to with apology and voucher.
Notably Gate Gourmet, while not providing food, does still service American Airlines aircraft in Los Angeles. They take out the trash and may be boarding beverage carts.
Both Flying Food Group and Gate Gourmet Servicing an Aircraft at the Same Time on Wednesday
It turns out my flight was just a mis-cater, it didn’t receive its double catering on the way in, and that’s why they didn’t provide advance notice with a voucher yet offered the buy onboard wrap as our meal option.
American expects to return to normal catering in early January.