American Brings Back Free Economy Class Meals on Select Transcon Flights


The big 3 US carriers are notorious copycats. We’ve seen this in everything from frequent flyer programs (perhaps the most unfortunate part of “this follow-me” trend) to free snacks, and today we’re seeing it again. This time, the copycatting has to do with the revival free meals (which is the best kind of copycatting in this industry, if you ask me :) ).

Early last month, Delta announced that they would be bringing back free meals on flights between New York and Los Angeles and San Francisco. A week later, this was expanded to several other transcontinental routes:

  • Boston–San Francisco
  • Boston–Los Angeles
  • Boston–Seattle
  • Washington, DC (Reagan National)–Los Angeles
  • New York (JFK)–San Diego (my home town!)
  • New York (JFK)–Portland
  • New York (JFK)–Seattle
  • Seattle–Fort Lauderdale
  • Seattle–Orlando
  • Seattle–Raleigh/Durham

Well, the great news is that American is now matching Delta. AA AAnounced todAAy thAAt (okay, I’ll stop) they will be bringing back free meals on flights between Los Angeles/San Francisco and New York-JFK as of May 1, 2017. Awesome!

The new meal services are described as follows:

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.

I’m really hoping that American will match Delta further and bring back free meals on other routes as well, though something inside me tells me this isn’t extremely likely. American is far less on the ‘premium’ end of things when it comes to the inflight experience when compared to Delta, so I don’t know if they’d be willing to spend yet more money on free meals (though I would love to be proven wrong).

I’m really excited about the improvement we’ve been seeing US carriers making to their inflight experiences. The revival of free meals was something I certainly was not expecting, but I’m really happy to see the big 3 US carriers finally investing in their passengers in even more ways. Well done American!

About the Author

I'm Alex, and I am an enthusiast in all things travel: miles and points, airplanes, airline products, and more. On this blog, you can read my take on recent travel/ commercial aviation news, trip reports, ramblings, rants, and opinions, and I'll even share some of my aviation photography from time to time. Hope you enjoy reading, and happy travels!