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American’s food service in its clubs has really been boosted, and perceptions of their club experience should be upgraded as a result. Onboard I got a predeparture beverage, and that’s actually notable. And I tried a special meal at breakfast for the first time, unfortunately it doesn’t seem to be the passport to a great inflight meal the way it is at lunch and dinner.
Avocado Toast in the Admirals Club
I’ve made fun of American’s attempt to be hipster but the addition of Avocado Toast to many of their clubs in the mornings is great. It’s tasty, and a substantive complimentary food option.
Sure someone must have invested heavily in avocado futures given the afternoon made to order guacamole they serve. But with this in addition to testing even more new food options in Phoenix, Houston, and Chicago they’re serving food at least on part with Delta (maybe better) and definitely better than United in its clubs.
This is from the C concourse club at Dallas Fort-Worth.
And this underscores just how good a deal the premium American Airlines Citibank card is. Not only does this $450 card come with Admirals Club membership, but authorized users have no annual fee and those users can access American’s lounges too and they get to bring in two guests each. (You can add up to 10 authorized users.)
I use the card for the 10,000 elite qualifying miles I earn each year after spending $40,000 on the card. And the card more than ‘pays for itself’ in the first year with the initial bonus.
Predeparture Beverages — From a Legacy American Crew
I tweet my frustrations with travel, so it’s only fair I call it when American gets one right.
Excellent start to the week — PDBs offered on @AmericanAir!
— gary leff (@garyleff) June 11, 2018
However it’s a rarity when legacy American Airlines flight crews offer drinks prior to pushback. And with the airline’s focus on exact on time departures it’s become culturally acceptable to shrink on everything else, combined with the airline’s unwillingness to upset employees by asking them to work there’s little they’ve been willing to do to actually push for predeparture service.
So it’s notable and a tribute to the crews that do it anyway knowing that there’s no reward to them for doing so, and no consequence if they don’t.
Trying a Special Meal for Breakfast
American’s kosher meals are really good. At least for lunch and dinner I’ve yet to have a bad special meal yet. So I’m pretty much always pre-ordering special meals whenever I’m confirmed in domestic first class at least 24 hours prior to departure.
A couple of weeks ago I was supposed to take the morning Austin – Philadelphia flight and finally try a kosher meal for breakfast. I wound up flying through DFW instead and in coach, so I didn’t have the change.
On a morning Dallas – Washington National flight though I was finally able to try breakfast. Breakfast is the meal US airlines do the worst job with generally I think, and that’s truly saying something, so I had hopes that ordering a special meal would be better.
Unfortunately the kosher meal at breakfast turned out to be… eggs, fruit, and pastries. The flight attendant brought out my wrapped tray, told me I’d need to unwrap it, and then he’d bring out the entree.
He forgot. I waited all the way through the end of pretty much everyone’s service when I finally asked for the entree and they brought it right out.
Now I do have to say that the eggs looked a bit better than the ones on my seat opponent’s tray (he hadn’t pre-ordered). And the fruit was riper than I’m used to on American at breakfast, although it’s been packaged in shrink wrap for awhile and the juices from the different fruits mixed in the bottom of the tray so my pineapple tasted a bit like grapefruit. Still, the overall quality was marginally better than if I hadn’t pre-ordered I thought.
Unfortunately it looks like – from this sample size of one – that pre-ordering the kosher meal at least for breakfast isn’t a ticket to a much better meal the way it seems to be in the afternoon.