Updates to the New American Airlines Beverage Service Standards

This past weekend, I noted how American Airlines has recently upgraded their onboard plastic cups to a larger size.

I had a US Airways flight attendant and reader of the blog send me a message about this new upgrade, and gave me some interesting information for a post-merger update on beverage service. The commenter wanted to remain anonymous, but I thought it was of value to post his comments and thoughts here.

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As it stands now…

  • On US Airways metal flights, you’re offered only the beverage cup, except on US Airways Shuttle and transcontinental routes. In First Class, you may be offered a pre-departure beverage based upon time in a plastic cup, and then will be served real glassware in the air. If the passenger asks for the full can, they’re given it.
  • On American Airlines metal flights, you’re offered the entire can of beverage, regardless of flight length. In First Class, it’s not policy to offer a pre-departure beverage, though some flight attendants may provide it based on timing. In the air, you’ll be served with real glassware.

Of course, in either case, you’ll find variances in the policy based upon flight attendant discretion, but according to what’s “on the books,” that appears to be the official word.

So, what did this reader have to say about the upgrade to larger cups (unedited)?:

jamie. i’m a DCA based US FA, and the larger cups are a hold over from US. actually, the larger cups go back to the 1989 merger with PI. piedmont served a whole can. and, US for a while, adopted the procedure. however, it was not cost effective, and thus the larger cups came into being. if a passenger asks for a whole can, we give it to them. of course, the whole can is procedure on the ‘shuttle’ between the cities of LGA/DCA/BOS. glass ware is furnished in FC for the main beverage services, while the plastic is used for the predeparture service……….when we can get to it. it also helps having plastic for the ‘pre’ as it facilitates the clean up process before we take our jumpseats prior to takeoff. glad you noticed. enjoy.

After talking to him further, here’s what’s been told about the new American and beverage service:

  • Full cans of beverage will no longer be offered, and will be replaced by the larger, single-serve cup.
  • Service in First Class will continue to be in real glassware in the air.
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So…say bye bye to the whole can, folks!

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  1. 2Tall says

    I have noticed not getting the can of beer in F on AA. I find it annoying as invariably it takes too long for a refill. I have started requesting the can.


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