What is up with the horrible food on AA Premium Cabins?

Discussion in 'American Airlines | AAdvantage' started by THREEA4ME, Feb 14, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. THREEA4ME
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    THREEA4ME Silver Member

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    Not to nitpick, but when you are paying for a $1000-5000 seat, shouldn't you receive anything better than a Swanson's piece of meat or a Stouffer's pasta?

    If I'm served one more cheese tortellini in first class I'm going to have a conniption. When I was flying back from the FT conference last year (ORD-LAX on a 763 in FIRST), I was served something so inedible I couldn't believe it. I think it most resembled the steak they served onscreen in Shawshank. I asked the FA nicely, "Excuse me, but do you eat this?" She replied, "Sometimes. If I'm really hungry. Usually I prefer the Boston Market sandwiches we sell in coach." And it's so true. I'd much rather have a $7 sandwich than the slop they serve in first. I asked her why the food is going so downhill and mentioned business class fare on long haul flights I had ORD-CDG and DFW-NRT that were pathetic (except for the appetizers) and she replied, "Management tries to keep the food costs down to $10 in First/Business and $4 in coach."

    I couldn't believe she said it yet I totally believed it.

    Sad state of affairs.
     
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  2. pjoalfa
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    pjoalfa Silver Member

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    Hold on there. Stouffer's makes fantastic mac & cheese. The tortellini slop they serve in F is far below.
     
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  3. miamigrad
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    miamigrad Silver Member

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    For domestic first, I agree with your assessment. Provided I have time, I usually try to bring something onboard from the airport because of this.
     
  4. gemac
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    gemac Silver Member

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    1. Sounds like this FA has an attitude, not surprising considering the tone of communications she has been getting from her union regarding the status of contract talks. I'm quite certain that AA management doesn't share figures like this to its union employees.

    2. It's really difficult to cook a meal and then keep it warm for 8 hours and have it taste great. Try it sometime yourself. The problem with eating at many buffets is that most of the food there has been cooked an hour before and kept warm. Even an hour is tough, and 8 hours is really tough.
     
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  5. Microwave
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    Microwave Silver Member

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    I suggest you try some of the gruel served on other airlines in domestic F. At the risk of sounding like an AApologist (which I'm not), but I find AA's domestic F catering to be at or above any other airlines I've flown in recent years.
     
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  6. sobore
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    sobore Gold Member

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    Einstein said it best in a lesser known equation: Domestic F = Crappy Food.
     
  7. tom911
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    tom911 Gold Member

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    I don't really mind the pasta dishes. I find them edible, but given the choice between some other dishes (fish, chicken, beef, large salad), I'll always select one of those ahead of the pasta. Pasta in some form or another does seem to show up quite a bit on my flights.

    Did your cheese tortellini look anything like this (a meal I had LAX-HNL in July):

    [​IMG]
     
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  8. abk
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    abk Silver Member

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    My expectations are so low I am rarely either disappointed or pleased. I will say that a recent trip on Alaska pleasantly surprised me.
     
  9. roadwarrior365
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    roadwarrior365 Silver Member

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    I always find AA domestic F catering to be very good compared to other U.S carries like US or the old United.
     
  10. gemac
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    gemac Silver Member

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    It isn't even good gruel unless passengers are saying "Please, sir, may I have some more?". [​IMG]
     
  11. tom911
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    tom911 Gold Member

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    Well, they do offer extra cookies. I rather like the coconut cookie they've been offering recently compared to chocolate chip on every single flight.
     
  12. Chamonix
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    Chamonix Silver Member

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    I'm a purist and prefer the chocolate chip every time. That tortellini you posted actually looks ok, though I've sworn off the pasta on AA as something about the red sauced ones just makes me feel ill every time. I have to agree with pjoalfa, Stouffers is better!

    Problem for me is that I live mid-con (STL) so never get the "better" food that I see reported on transcons. :( Also, my usual commute is in and out of TUS monthly and they don't even have catering so the food is very minimal. A very small cold continental breakfast for a three+ flight to ORD, for example.

    I have to say I have been OK with the food in F on the 777s though, when I've been lucky enough to be on one!
     
  13. Although rarely "great", I find it unusual to be served food that was inedible in AA's premium cabins (I can't even recall a specific example of a time I couldn't eat the food, but I've never tried ordering the hamburger [​IMG])
     
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  14. tom911
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    tom911 Gold Member

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    I liked the burger, though haven't seen it for about 2 years now. Ever had the pulled pork sandwich and fried pickle? About 2 years since we've seen that, too.

    [​IMG]
     
  15. sithlord
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    sithlord Silver Member

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    AA used to spend the most on food. More than the food its the current state of the planes.
     
  16. I know the burger got mixed reviews... but mostly negative. I'm a bit of a burger snob so always chose to avoid it when it was on offer.

    I've never tried the pulled pork... any good? Do you have a picture?

    Seeing how I usually have to connect and end up eating multiple airline meals in a day while traveling, I try to chose a large salad in domestic F as often as possible.
     
  17. JY1024
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    JY1024 Gold Member

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    I actually quite enjoyed the BBQ chicken salad I had a few times this week. Then again, I had one week where I had the darned salmon salad 4 times, so it's a good change of scenery. Frankly, I don't mind the food on AA. I'm not gonna say it's the best food out there, but I guess I just don't have the "I paid $$$ for an first-class experience, and I want lobster thermidor"-type of mentality*. I'll also be the first to admit that I don't have any other comparable data points to use. I haven't flown F in any other domestic airline within the last 15-years. [​IMG]


    *just to be clear, I'm in no way implying that this is the attitude the OP has. I'm just giving a typical generalisation I've heard from some flyers who have drastically different expectations of airline food than my expectations. :)
     
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  18. pjoalfa
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    pjoalfa Silver Member

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    @tom911 yes- it looks exactly like that on every single (non breakfast) flight MIA-SDQ or JFK-SDQ. "Pasta or Chicken?" for the last 3 years at least. It's edible, certainly more so than the other offerings.

    OK I get it's hard to make food that has to keep for 8 hours good, so why even try? Why not give us frozen microwavable stuff? There are many microwave meals that beat the pants off the airline meal. Or just give us the same stuff they sell in back. And it's not just short haul that sucks, I had notably bad food on my Asia flights last year as well. Japanese meal is pretty good though.

    @JY1024 nah, doesn't have to be lobster, just edible.
     
  19. Lalala
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    Lalala Silver Member

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    The best thing they are serving these days is crispix cereal and a banana. Seriously. THE. BEST. THING.
     
  20. magic111
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    magic111 Silver Member

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    I have always accepted the meal on a plane to be a diversion to the awake time. I prefer a cake or pudding over the sundaes but since the sundaes take longer to eat they better qualify for the diversion factor.
    Maybe they should rip out about half the 1st class seats and install a Wolf stove. Along with hiring sous chefs for every flight they might better accomodate those who wish for flying restaurants.

    I like the oatmeal cranberry cookies better than the coconuts tom911 prefers
     
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  21. studio76
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    studio76 Silver Member

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    I don't find AA's food too bad (it's that they don't serve it in F on shorter flights that gets me...)

    I just got off a 4 hour flight on BA CE, and there was not a single green object on the tray. It's a route I fly nearly twice a month, and as of FEB, they have even removed the 3 grapes from the cheese tray. The only Veggies were the small pieces of chopped mushroom in the main (which gets dumped out of a caserole into your bowl in front of you) and the one candied cherry on top of the chocolate mouse. Other than that every single thing served to me was beige or brown. I don't know why I was so focused on the colour of my dinner tonight, but it was slightly off putting.

    AA usually gives me lots of green things... Even the garnishes on Tom911's burger above are more veggie than BA has served me in total the last 3 months.
     
  22. Microwave
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    Microwave Silver Member

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    Pitting AA domestic F against BA CE is going to be a landslide for AA every time... CE catering is iffy at absolute best IME, although I will add the caveat that I never fly BA CE more than 3 or 4 "zones", so the long-haul CE flights may not be as bad, but I doubt it would ever approach even AA midcon catering... Just my two pence, others may disagree!
     
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  23. studio76
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    studio76 Silver Member

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    My take on it is that AA's food is perhaps a bit more downmarket, but better done. I'd rather have well done 'comfort food' (cheeseburger/quesadilla) than 'posh nosh' that is bland and greasy.

    For freshness, Austrian and Turkish are the tops (Do & Co Catering) - QF is quite good as well.

    But now back to AA domestic meals.

    (my fovorite AA thing is the Miso Cilantro dressing on the HI flights)...
     
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  24. tom911
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    tom911 Gold Member

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    The sandwich was pretty good. Don't recall being a fan of the fried pickle.

    [​IMG]
     
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  25. tom911
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    tom911 Gold Member

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    Has the oatmeal been around for breakfast the last few months? Just loved that with the fruit plate on the side. I haven't seen it in a long time.
     

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