The policy change is set to take effect on Sept. 1 and will affect flights within the U.S., Mexico, Canada, and the Caribbean.
Instead of savoring fine dining, first-class passengers will enjoy...snacks. What kind of snacks? American Airlines responded to Business Insider's inquiries with the following information:
- Flights 1 to 2 hours (less than approximately 699 miles) that previously received mixed nuts, will now receive a basket of savory and sweet snacks for customers to choose.
- Flights about 2 hours - 2 hours and 45 minutes (approximately 700-999 miles) that previously received traditional meal service will now receive a Lite Bites basket, offering a variety of options including: fresh fruit, breakfast cakes, tea sandwiches and sweet or savory snacks.
In case the substitution of assorted snacks for nuts doesn't sound like such a step down for first class, bear in mind that the nuts were warmed prior to serving.
American Airlines didn't make this decision without conducting some research.
"We looked at what the customers wanted, and a good number of customers didn't want a full-meal on a flight of less than two hours," airline spokesperson Casey Norton told Bloomberg.
American Airlines previously served full meals to first class passengers on flights lasting longer than two hours. But the carrier has adjusted their policy to match that of their merger partner, U.S. Airways.
According to Bloomberg, U.S. Airways reduced the flight limit for first class meals from to 2 hours, 45 minutes from 3 hours, 30 minutes this April.
For example, one flight likely to be affected is the 2 hour, 10 minute trip from Dallas/Ft. Worth to Atlanta: the first-class fare is more than $640 one-way.
Travelers flying American out of Chicago, Ft. Lauderdale, New York JFK, and Miami will catch a break: first class meal service will remain on selected short distance routes.
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