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Airline Food

American Airlines Passenger Served 16-Month-Old Meal

American Airlines Passenger Served 16-Month-Old Meal
Jennifer Billock

Apparently, a lot of airlines freeze their meals and keep them frozen up to a year before serving them on the plane — but a recent passenger on American Airlines discovered that his vegetarian meal wasn’t just a year old, but nearly a year and a half old. At least he ended up getting something else to eat.

American Airlines—and many other airlines—freeze their passenger meals for up to the extent of their yearlong shelf life. But a passenger on a recent American Airlines flight had a different experience when he ordered a special vegetarian meal and discovered it was made 16 months prior, well past the year mark.

“I was shocked so waited until regular service and asked the flight attendant,” the passenger said, reported by View from the Wing. “She went and brought another attendant to understand/figure out. I explained my concern that the meal was manufactured in Feb 2018 and this is June 2019. The second attendant took the meal from me and came back. The next part is hilarious. She told me that the date is NOT the expiration date of the meal. I didn’t know how to respond to that. They were nice enough to offer me the regular pasta which I ended up eating.”

The passenger didn’t want to eat the meal because he couldn’t be sure it was kept at the right temperature for that entire length of time.

American Airlines did comment, noting that the meal was served within the guidelines of the industry standard. But, the airline is working on getting meals for passengers that are no older than 40 to 60 days.


[Featured Image: Twitter/ sjaytx]

View Comments (5)


  1. catocony

    June 12, 2019 at 2:34 pm

    Those meals are good for years as long as they are stored properly.

  2. amanuensis


    June 12, 2019 at 3:32 pm

    Silly me. I thought the reason why the catering companies have flight kitchens at the various airports is so that they can prepare meals within a couple of days of when they are served.

  3. milepig

    June 13, 2019 at 7:53 am

    The passenger was worried that it hadn’t been stored properly for the entire length of time? Wouldn’t the same concern be there is the meal was 2 days old? Why is this even worthy of a report?

  4. 4sallypat

    June 13, 2019 at 2:36 pm

    MRE anyone ?

  5. UKOK

    June 17, 2019 at 7:59 am

    Opened this thinking a passenger was served a baby meal.

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