American Airlines has started testing out a food pre-order system for Main Cabin passengers on select flights from its Dallas/Ft. Worth hub to New York LaGuardia, Philadelphia, and Seattle. The pre-order can be done on aa.com and works for flights in both directions, as long as it is done 24 hours in advance. You also do not have to pre-pay for these meals: instead, payment will be collected on-board using a credit card.
Looking at an upcoming booking from New York LaGuardia to Dallas/Ft. Worth in the upcoming weeks, I saw that the option to pre-book was indeed available as of February 1, 2018:
For the specified flight, there were three options to choose from:
- Fruit and Cheese Plate for $8.99
- Chicken Caesar Salad Wrap for $9.99
- Turkey Sandwich for $9.99
This is in addition to the buy-on-board snacks that American sells in the Main Cabin, which includes Pringles ($4.00), Hummus ($5.00), and the Flight Bites Box ($9.00, which contains Beef Jerky, Cheese Spread, Wheat Crackers, a Cookie, Mini Crackers, and Chocolate Almonds).
The menu options for the test markets appear to be the same as, if not similar to, the Fresh Meals that AA offers on certain flights over a specific duration or distance. Therefore, I suppose the reason why American is testing out this concept is purely in the event that a customer wants to select a popular food item that may run out of inventory on a particular flight, or just simply as a means of determining how the consumer response is towards pre-flight merchandising and whether that could create future opportunities to sell more sophisticated products in the future.
Either way, it’s cool to see American trying out something new. Hopefully, the program is successful the carrier may expand it to other flights, or even perhaps start catering hot meal items for customers willing to purchase them. After all, this is something that carriers like Air Baltic and AirAsia X, among other low-cost carriers, have done for some time.
Have you tried the pre-order meal service recently on American?