I’ve been a critic of American Airlines domestic first class meals, though I’ve had multiple people tell me that the current chicken meatballs aren’t bad and the short rib is better than some of the other choices.
American Airlines lets you pre-select your meal up to 24 hours prior to departure. That’s not like Singapore Airlines where you get a wide variety of choices. Instead you’re mostly just choosing from among the options that would be available onboard. However this way you know they won’t run out of your first choice selection.
- For pre-order only there’s an added option for a fruit and cheese plate
- And at the end of January I wrote about their test of pre-order buy on board food for coach.
American also introduced special meals by pre-order earlier this year. And ordering special meals is the key to getting better food onboard.
I’m not sure I’d order a Muslim meal because the government has access to your reservation information, and flying while Muslim triggers all sorts of government (and fellow passenger) alarms. (Update: American tells me that special meal preferences aren’t shared with DHS or TSA though I doubt they’ll ever convince me DHS doesn’t have access to full PNR data.)
On Friday I tried American’s kosher meal for the first time flying Los Angeles – Austin at lunch time. And it was amazing at least as far as American Airlines domestic first class meals go.
It came fully wrapped, which I like because if I was Kosher I’d want to know that the meal hadn’t been mixed with American’s other dishware.
The hot entree was also fully wrapped, on top of the package holding the cold items. It was chicken wrapped in foil.
To be sure the chicken was overheated and extremely hot, something the flight attendant didn’t warn me about. It took awhile before it cooled down enough where I could pull off the wrapping (and the foil was stuck onto the package very well). Still, the chicken itself was in a delicious curry so I didn’t mind that it was overcooked.
Here’s the rest of the tray.
Honestly the gefilte fish wasn’t the best I’ve ever had, but for packaged airplane food it was tasty.
There was packaged water along with coffee and tea.
It came with a dessert (and I was still offered the same cookie as everyone else after meal trays had been picked up, which I declined)
The other nice thing about getting all of the packaging was it meant once I was done eating (and it was too much food, I didn’t eat it all) I didn’t need to wait for a flight attendant to come collect my tray.
One of the things I hate most about eating onboard is waiting for my tray to be picked up, it’s difficult to take my laptop out and work and I sit there wasting time. But with this packaging I could just rest my laptop on top of it and be fully productive while waiting for the flight attendant to come pick it up.
All in all this was the best lunch I’ve had on American Airlines since the US Airways-ization of onboard meal service in September 2014.
Now I’m torn. My next first class flight on American with meal service is likely to be Dallas – Seattle. Do I order to kosher meal again to test for consistency out of another station, and especially outside of Passover, or do I try another special meal to compare (not the Muslim meal because I don’t want to get sent to Guantanamo)?