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ClassicLover
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Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2004 12:27 pm

After 8pm, airlines in the USA serve no meals in domestic first class. What do you get on AA on ORD-DEN in First?

Wed Jun 27, 2018 12:50 pm

For all the pictures that go with this report, please click here.

Knowing the meal window times for airlines is pretty important to me. When flying business class, this determines what flight time I select. For example, on British Airways you get afternoon tea on flights departing between 14:00 and 17:59. I used to always choose these flights until they removed the scones, so now I am more flexible.

Within the United States, most of the airlines cut off their domestic First Class dinner time at around 8pm. Flights departing after this time get some other kind of service. For example, on United a flight that is over 2 hours and 20 minutes and less than 3 hours gets "Refreshments, which include a selection of premium snacks and fresh fruit" after 8pm.

What do they do at American Airlines on a flight of similar length? Let's have a look.

AA1432 – Chicago to Denver (ORD-DEN)
27 May 2018
Boeing 737-823 – N839NN
Seat: First Class 3A
Departure: 20:20 Arrival: 21:58


After spending some time in the Flagship Lounge at O’Hare, it was time to board. Unusually enough, I was on exactly the same aircraft as the previous flight, just in a different seat.

Being a petite sort of guy, when I stretch my legs out fully in the bulkhead seat my toes just hit the divider. Therefore if you’re over about 5’7″ tall, you will have less room to stretch your legs than if you had sat in other seats further back.

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Missing in this row is the little table that flips down from between the seats in front. Still, if you want no-one reclining into you and you’re not tall, the front row is very comfortable. Before departure the cabin crew serve pre-departure drinks. They will make you whatever you like it appears. I already have a note to in future not have the sparkling wine on American as it really is awful.

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Video announcements periodically play during boarding too, about carry-on luggage and what not. I’m used to these announcements being made by the crew in Europe as opposed to a video so it was nice to see something different.

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Our sector between Chicago and Denver was timed at two and a half hours. Imagine sitting there that long and not having a nice meal served like I'm used to on BA? Trepidation all round. Drinks are served first and I took a wine – again, terrible – and a water. It’s a thing on American Airlines domestic first class to have warmed mixed nuts served in a ramekin, so nothing unusual there as they’re always nice. After this is the main event which I’ll detail below and after eating you get a mint. But what is served as your Lite Bites snack on a flight with no meal?

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Forking out hard earned cash for a seat in first class on a flight with no meal gets you a cookie! Being a premium cabin, you get to choose between something called Snickerdoodle and Chocolate Chip. When the flight attendant offered me the choice, my look of bewilderment at the word Snickerdoodle and frozen expression caused her to offer both cookie types to me if I wanted. I wanted – anything to recoup my investment on the ticket!

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Served lovingly on individual paper napkins, the cookies are warm from the oven and tasty. I really like sweet things, so I found them to be really nice. Turns out Snickerdoodle tastes like cinnamon, but why use a boring name like cinnamon when you can Snickerdoodle? Really though, this is the food served on a two and a half hour flight in first class? Are we all 10 years old here?

Image

By comparison, above is the food offered on a British Airways flight in Club Europe – the equivalent to American’s first class – departing at 10:25pm. That’s more like it!

There is nothing at all wrong with warmed nuts and there is nothing wrong with warm cookies. However, when you’re paying for a seat up the front of the aircraft it would be nice to get something more to eat than a cookie. If it was a one hour flight, fine but not for two and a half hours. Perhaps the best thing about this flight is the fact I learned all about Snickerdoodle cookies and how they taste. I guess it was worth the price of the flight after all.

What do you think of the cookies served after 8:00pm on American in domestic first class? Remember, for all the pictures click here.Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.
I do enjoy a spot of flying, especially when it's not in economy!
 
outbackair
Posts: 100
Joined: Thu Jul 14, 2005 6:01 pm

Re: After 8pm, airlines in the USA serve no meals in domestic first class. What do you get on AA on ORD-DEN in First?

Wed Jun 27, 2018 1:39 pm

Great approach to a trip report. What could have been incredibly boring turned out to be refreshing and funny! More like this please!

Have you thought of NOT flying first class and having a great meal in a restaurant before or after the flight. Or, simply buying a year's supply of cookies and a couple of bottles of good wine with the saving?
 
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Super80Fan
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Joined: Thu Jul 06, 2017 4:14 am

Re: After 8pm, airlines in the USA serve no meals in domestic first class. What do you get on AA on ORD-DEN in First?

Thu Jun 28, 2018 1:30 am

Good report. "Going for great" indeed by DUI Dougie cutting costs to fund his alcohol fund. Sadly, every airline in Europe basically has our air carriers beat with services provided in premium cabins. While the seats might be better on US air carriers the soft service is not.
RIP McDonnell Douglas
 
Carfield
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Joined: Fri Dec 19, 2003 5:49 pm

Re: After 8pm, airlines in the USA serve no meals in domestic first class. What do you get on AA on ORD-DEN in First?

Thu Jun 28, 2018 1:37 am

Unfortunately, most folks do not actually fork out money for first class, so passengers sort of let most domestic airlines getting away from meals after 8pm.
I am surprised that they do not offer at least a snack basket service.

Thanks for the nice comparison!

Carfield
 
jetero
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Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2014 3:45 am

Re: After 8pm, airlines in the USA serve no meals in domestic first class. What do you get on AA on ORD-DEN in First?

Thu Jun 28, 2018 1:38 am

Hmmmm flying for the purpose of eating dinner ... I’ll have to try that once
 
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reffado
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Re: After 8pm, airlines in the USA serve no meals in domestic first class. What do you get on AA on ORD-DEN in First?

Thu Jun 28, 2018 6:21 pm

Interesting report! And I wonder if this is different by route? I recently flew AA MIA-JFK in F, after 8PM (my flight departed around 9), and dinner was served, with choice of lasagna or beef. We also got the cookies you showed (which were warm and very tasty). Actual flight time was around two and a half hours as well.
 
toobz
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Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2010 6:33 am

Re: After 8pm, airlines in the USA serve no meals in domestic first class. What do you get on AA on ORD-DEN in First?

Thu Jun 28, 2018 8:41 pm

haha and there is the difference. Most Americans will tell you that euro C class sucks because the seat is similar to Y. True. But most don’t understand that you still get much better service and a full meal. I guess it depends on what you want...a big seat and no service or a Y seat with a blocked seat next to you and a decent meal. I’ll always take Euro C. My butt fits just fine in a smaller seat :)
 
Newbiepilot
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Joined: Tue Aug 30, 2016 10:18 pm

Re: After 8pm, airlines in the USA serve no meals in domestic first class. What do you get on AA on ORD-DEN in First?

Fri Jun 29, 2018 12:44 am

Carfield wrote:
Unfortunately, most folks do not actually fork out money for first class, so passengers sort of let most domestic airlines getting away from meals after 8pm.
I am surprised that they do not offer at least a snack basket service.

Thanks for the nice comparison!

Carfield


Looking at UA’s ORD to DEN flights so far today only 22 out of 176 first class seats were upgrades. That is only 12.5%. The rest of the first class seats were paid for. First class is far cheaper than it used to be and upgrades are less and less common on business routes. Now a weekend to Florida or the E175s with 12F seats to the Midwest is a bit different.
 
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vhtje
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Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 12:40 pm

Re: After 8pm, airlines in the USA serve no meals in domestic first class. What do you get on AA on ORD-DEN in First?

Fri Jun 29, 2018 5:23 am

Great report, thank you!

I lived in California for two years until last summer. I enjoyed it but one thing that frustrated me and that I could never reconcile is how early Americans took their evening meal. It was not unusual to be asked for dinner at 18:00, or even 17:30. With the phenomenally quick service at restaurants there, it meant the meal was often over and we were out of the restaurant by 19:00 or 19:30.

I have not regularly taken meals at that early time since I was in the nursery with Nanny. In comparison, now back in England we rarely take our evening meal before 20:00 - as it has always been, since I was old enough to dine with my parents.

Perhaps this explains why US airlines do not offer a meal after 20:00 - they found the majority of passengers had eaten already, and so it was wasteful? Or, are they simply being stingy and cutting costs?
I only turn left when boarding aircraft. Well, mostly. All right, sometimes. OH OKAY - rarely.
 
GTTIC
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Joined: Tue Jul 01, 2008 8:32 pm

Re: After 8pm, airlines in the USA serve no meals in domestic first class. What do you get on AA on ORD-DEN in First?

Fri Jun 29, 2018 10:59 am

What food was available in the lounge? For a flight barely over an hour I'd rather eat real food in the lounge anyway.
Cabin crew, doors to automatic and crossdress.
 
toobz
Posts: 796
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2010 6:33 am

Re: After 8pm, airlines in the USA serve no meals in domestic first class. What do you get on AA on ORD-DEN in First?

Sun Jul 01, 2018 7:18 pm

Real food in a lounge? Don’t see that very often.
 
anstar
Posts: 3085
Joined: Sun Nov 23, 2003 3:49 am

Re: After 8pm, airlines in the USA serve no meals in domestic first class. What do you get on AA on ORD-DEN in First?

Mon Jul 02, 2018 4:14 am

GTTIC wrote:
What food was available in the lounge? For a flight barely over an hour I'd rather eat real food in the lounge anyway.


You don't get lounge access on US carriers if flying domestic F.
 
mchei
Posts: 18
Joined: Thu Jan 04, 2018 1:20 pm

Re: After 8pm, airlines in the USA serve no meals in domestic first class. What do you get on AA on ORD-DEN in First?

Sun Jul 08, 2018 12:19 pm

I don’t happen to fly on Business too often but it’s kind of ridiculous that LH has a pretty decent selection of food even in 40 minutes flights. Plus they always serve warm rolls of different kinds. KLM does the same on a one hour flight between CPH and AMS. I mean you know you get the food and when you are used to Economy you take it. I see a lot of regular Business flyers decline the food and going for a beer or a wine only instead.
I’m okay with the middle seat being blocked but when you fly from MUC to HEL or OSL it’d be great to have another seat instead of these Recaro Slim Line, especially when they are worn out and you sit on the blank seat.

To make it short: Business means food and drinks for me :)
 
Eirules
Posts: 1722
Joined: Sat Aug 04, 2007 5:17 am

Re: After 8pm, airlines in the USA serve no meals in domestic first class. What do you get on AA on ORD-DEN in First?

Sun Jul 08, 2018 2:55 pm

I flew LA-Boston in First with AA a couple of months back. A flight of some 5 hours and I didn’t even get the cookie or nuts, just a drink. Pretty crappy if you ask me. Thankfully my BA status got me lounge access at LAX so I binged on champagne and food
The way you cut your meat reflects the way you live....

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