American Airlines is bringing back the option of pre-order meals on transcontinental flights and flights between the mainland US and Hawaii. American Airlines first came up with the idea of letting premium cabin passengers pre-select what they wanted to eat in 2012. Delta Air Lines was slow to follow American’s lead but did start to offer pre-ordered meals in 2019. Meanwhile, the nation’s other major carrier, United Airlines, was still testing the concept as we were entering the COVID-19 global pandemic.
Before airlines started to halt inflight meals due to the coronavirus in March 2020, American Airlines offered it’s premium customers the option of ordering anything from the pre-existing onboard menu. The only rule was that the item had to already be on the menu and that it could be ordered anytime from 30 days and up to 24 hours before the flight. According to the aviation enthusiast website, a View From The Wing, American Airlines is reintroducing the option on certain flights.
Pre-order meals are not available on all flights
While the option to select pre-order meals is coming back to several American Airlines’ longer domestic flights, it is not available on all of them. Starting February 10, passengers on flights between New York JFK and the Californian cities of Los Angeles and San Francisco will have the option of booking pre-ordered meals. The feature will also be available on some flights between the US mainland and Hawaii. Excluded from the program is American Airlines flight AA265 between Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and Lihue Airport (LIH) on the Hawaiian island of Kauai. For some reason, American Airlines regards this flight as a short-haul market flight despite its flight time of more than six hours.
The flights where pre-ordered meals are available in first, and business class are:
- John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK)- Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
- John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK)- San Francisco International Airport (SFO)
- Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW)-Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL)
- Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW)-Kahului Airport (OGG)
- O’Hare International Airport (ORD)-Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL)
- Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT)-Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL)
How to pre-order a meal
American Airlines’ first and business class passengers can pre-order a meal 30 days before and up to 24 before the departure time. If you need to make changes to your flight, you will also need to select a meal again. American says that if you need to change your booking, the meal you originally ordered may not be available.
To pre-book a meal, you will need to go online and visit aa.com; when the page loads, click:
- My Trips/Check-in
- Enter your flight information
- Scroll down and select reserve a meal
- Select your meal option and click save, and then exit or next
What kind of meals are available?
After partnering with the James Beard Foundation, a premier culinary organization, American Airlines offers its first and business class passenger various dishes created by some of the country’s top chefs.
A selection of dishes created by Sarah Grueneberg of Monteverde Restaurant include:
- Artichoke ravioli
- Spinach and ricotta Rotolo pasta
- Grilled Roman-style artichokes
- Mushroom Bolognese
- Dark chocolate Budino
After relying on cold sandwiches for nourishment while flying, it’s nice to see that American Airlines is bringing back the pre-flight meal selection on some of its longest domestic flights.
Have you ever pre-booked a meal on an American Airlines flight? If so, please tell us how it was in the comments.