American Airlines Introducing Free Meals in Coach on Select Transcon Routes

American Airlines announced today that they’ll be offering up free meals in coach on select transcontinental routes from New York  JFK to Los Angeles and San Fransisco.

The Main Cabin meals will be available on flights in both directions between Los Angeles and New York, and between San Francisco and New York. Depending on the time of day, customers will be offered a continental breakfast or a boxed meal with a sandwich wrap, kettle chips and dessert. The menu also includes a vegetarian option and a fruit and cheese plate. The new meal service begins May 1.

The meals will be served on American’s one-of-a-kind A321T fleet. American is the only airline with this dedicated fleet featuring a true international First Class experience on a trans-continental route, with fully lie-flat seats in both First and Business Class.

“Some of our best customers fly our trans-continental routes and we want to give them a top-notch onboard experience,” said Fernand Fernandez, vice president – Global Marketing. “Providing complimentary meals in the Main Cabin is yet another step we’re taking to enhance our service in this competitive market.”

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This doesn’t compete with Delta Air Lines, who is offering main cabin food on even more transcon routes, such as Los Angeles to Washington DC, but it’s a step in the right direction, though only a matter of time for American to follow Delta’s lead.

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I’m excited for these changes, though as an Executive Platinum member, I receive a free “meal” in coach anyways, so this won’t impact me too much, but I know for a majority of you, it will.

Now, I guess the question remains as to whether this will impact your ticket purchasing decision. I doubt people are booking flights due to a free sandwich, though, I guess all else being equal, it’s a nice differentiator between those airlines that aren’t.

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