As of September 1, many of you have gone hungry after flying in the forward cabin of American Airlines flights.
After a recent flight from Chicago O’Hare (ORD) to Baltimore/Washington (BWI), it looks as if American maybe “softening” their new policies. As a point of reference, the flight was flown on an American Eagle ERJ-175, and the flight distance is 620 miles, one-way.
As a review, American Airlines revised their First Class domestic meal times and standards effective September 1.
According to this chart, a flight of 620 miles, during meal time, would receive a “Beverage with Snack Basket.”
Of course, American also announced some exception markets. These markets are flights that are under the new meal standard time mileage requirements, but will still continue to offer full meal service. In general, these are competitive routes for the airline, or business heavy-routes.
You’ll notice that American lists an exception market from Chicago ORD to Washington Reagan (DCA). However, it does not list Baltimore/Washington (BWI) Airport as an exception market. So, according to the new standards, not only should the flight not receive any meal service, but even if it were to receive service, the meal would have been one of the new cold pre-boxed meals.
So…why do I say this? This is what I received on that flight.
It’s a steak salad, with cheesecake for dessert. Now, admittedly, it wasn’t the best meal ever, but it was something. The alternate option was a stuffed chicken breast with pasta. So, neither of these options fit into the new meal standards. Funny enough, the plates, cutlery and table setting were of the “old” standard, and not representative of the new meal trays.
I inquired with one of the flight attendants on the flight about the service, and why a meal was being offered, even with the new changes. She told me that American is “soft landing” the new policies, and are broadening it to additional locations, near the major markets in the exemption market. With Baltimore near Washington, this may be considered part of this “soft landing.” Unfortunately, American does not fly to Washington Dulles from Chicago, so I cannot compare or examine flights to there. A similar look at Chicago to Philadelphia shows full meal service, however. Perhaps since Philadelphia is between New York and Washington, it’s within this soft-area.
So, as much as we all thought the new meal standards would be terrible…it appears that many of the routes we thought would have meal service removed, are still intact.
Have you received a meal on any flights that were previously announced to have no service according to the new guidelines?
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