American now lets you reserve your first/business class meals in advance in select markets

American just announced that they’ll be allowing first and business class passengers traveling between Dallas and New York LaGuardia and between New York JFK and Los Angeles to select their entree between 24 hours and 30 days before departure.

If you have a confirmed booking just go to the “My Reservations” tab and select the flight. Below the flight details you’ll see an option to make an “Entree Reservation.”

Click “Choose Before You Fly” and you’ll be brought to a page that describes the program.

Then the next page will display the entree choices.

This is definitely an interesting program, and I’m curious to see how it goes for them. When I first saw the announcement my hope was actually that the menu options online would be expanded since you’re pre-ordering. Singapore Airlines does this with their “Book the Cook” program, where you have about a dozen entree choices for any given flight.

They seem to just be offering the standard entrees from the menu, with the benefit of pre-ordering being that you’ll actually get your meal choice.

I’m curious how this will impact the number of entrees they provision. In other words, the flights between New York and Los Angeles have 10 first class seats, so assume nine passengers select their entrees in advance. Will they load all three entrees for the other passenger so they still have a choice, or will there just be one?

Anyway, if well executed this could be an awesome program. And let’s hope that over time this will allow for additional entree options in advance.

Comments

  1. These programs make a lot of sense financially for the companies because they can cater less. I bet this will lead not only to more/better options, but Expansion to most routes with meal service.

  2. @Nathaniel – you’re assuming AA overcaters… they do not. For domestic first, the number of meals is exactly the number of seats. This is largely about improving customer satisfaction. (On international first where there are lots of choices and overcatering, as mentioned by Ben, it does make sense from this angle.)

  3. Singapore Airlines does this with their “Book the Book” program

    do they have the hunger games? 😉

  4. I cant believe it took a domestic carrier this long to figure this out–SQ has been doing this for some time and I enjoyed viewing what was available–especially since I have dietary restrictions. Thank you American and thanks Ben for sharing this.

  5. Finnair has a similar program for its business class passengers. I usually reserve my main dish on flights from Singapore to Helsinki and back. I take whatever is served on my connecting flights from Helsinki.

  6. Wow you’re making me feel old by making this into big news. Was SOP back in my days as a DFW Gate AAgent (1980’s).

    And back then (when the only Elire level was Gold and upgrades didn’t always fill the cabin), AA would UNDER cater domestic First. If an MD-80 (12 seats) was booked 11, then I would typically be catered with 12 setups (tray/salad/bread/dessert) but only 10 entrees. 2 or 3 of the entrees would be pre-ordered “special meals” (seafood platter was the most popular) ans a split between 2 options for the rest. If all 11 actually showed up, or I had a last minute 12th passenger, SkyChefs had wandering caterers in the terminal with extra meals. I could usually get last minute entrees, setups were a bit harder. For an upgrade or non-rev, I’d always warn that I might not have a First Class entree, you might get what coach is serving (oh yea, Coach also had hot entrees back then … AND you could also order special meals, though they were more for dietary needs than entree selection).

    If you did a “same day standby” It was common knowledge that you’d be losing your special meal

  7. Was actually looking forward to trying the service out on an ORD to LAX leg – just logged into select an entree and my choices were…
    Roast Beef Wrap

    Yup. One choice. Um…how is that a CHOICE?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *