Last Tuesday, March 14, premier airline company American Airlines announced that starting May 1 of this year, all passengers of the economy class on selected routes will once again receive a complimentary meal. It's a definite upgrade to the airlines' "no-frills basic economy seats."
This new service is only available on two domestic routes: New York to San Francisco and New York to Los Angeles, the two most in-demand domestic routes. Passengers will have the option choose from a continental breakfast, a fruit and cheese plate, a vegetarian option, or a boxed meal. A sandwich wrap, a small packet of chips, and dessert are said to be included in the box.
This move from American Airlines is similar from Delta's recent announcement as well. But unlike AA, Delta will feature free meals on economy class on several more domestic routes such as New York JFK to San Diego and Seattle, Washington Reagan to Los Angeles, and Boston to Los Angeles starting this month. When asked why American Airlines is only focusing on two routes for the free meal, a company spokesperson said that it's their only priority as of the moment.
This new service by the carrier will be featured in their special Airbus A321Ts. This industry-leading aircraft features 10 first class seats, 10 business class seats, and 72 economy class seats, according to Skift. According to the company, it's the only fleet that's dedicated to bringing a true international First class experience on a trans-continental route.
Whether other airlines will copy this move, it's yet to be announced. In a statement, Fernand Fernandez, vice president - Global Marketing, said: "Some of our best customers fly our trans-continental routes and we want to give them a top-notch onboard experience. 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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