American and TWA to Stop Serving Meals in the Main Cabin...


Old Sep 21, 01, 3:08 am
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: a raft in the middle of the Atlantic
Posts: 51
Jeez guys, I must have missed something. Where does it say that on an eight hour flight to HNL there will be no food? Also, I think after checking with some AA employees that AA spends more in the range of $8+ per pax.

Any doctor will tell you that we, as Americans, are overfed to begin with. Seems like there will be two choices here. One: go hungry, Two: plan ahead, a new and absolutely amazing concept.

Lastly, after all the tragedies of the last week or so, it sure didn't take us long to start b*tchin and whining again did it? FWIW I see lots of ways to improve the major airlines, too. However if you'd like to see your favorite airline survive you'd better start changing your ways, just like you will for the new security measures.

Surely there must be more important things to hassle and argue about than whether or not there will be a meal served on a two hour flight.

Just my two cents.

What would you do if you weren't afraid?
summerdawn is offline  
Old Sep 21, 01, 4:03 am
Join Date: Mar 2000
Posts: 140
First we heard Northwest cut out its meal services for all domestic flight. Now it is American. I can understand a company trying to struggle through its finicial crisis by cutting cost. Southwest does not serve meal and was profitable airlines in last quater. Maybe AA, TWA, NW CEO decided to follow someone who is successful. But it works for one airlines does not mean it works for the other. One should be careful and know its market. I do not think people flying AA, TWA, NW instead of SWA or similiar because of the meal. But it is part of its services that attracted a lot of business travlers who are the major revenue of these airlines. With the economy slow down, these group of travlers reduced in numbers and traveling frequency. Airlines who are competing for these customers should be very careful to avoid digging its own grave by short term money saving cut that leads to loss of its major customers basis and royalty. If they are cutting less than two dollars of cost for meal and drink for couch passengers, how much other cut they may do about up keeping the airplanes? Matainance? Cutting conners that may affect the short and long term of the safety of the airplanes and its comfortability etc. News reported how much AA paid for security violations to FAA. They clearly decided to pay fine instead of fix the problem. Is it due to cost?
CBflyer is offline  
Old Sep 21, 01, 4:39 am
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: I have embarrasingly little status but my wife thinks I am great
Posts: 968
A particular benefit of having starved myself as a student through poverty is that I can easily go without one meal in any day. In fact I rarely eat three meals and can easily skip two. This makes travel a lot easier. I married into a family whcih cannot live with out three full meals a day and travelling with them is a pain.

I think both sides make sense. This is probably a bad decision for AA long term, but cutting out some meals will not cause pax to starve.

BTW I suspect there are Health and Safety rules requiring that airplanes have a certain number of toilets. I doubt there are any such rules for food provision. Comparing the two shows a certain lack of perspective IMO.
Kovich is offline  
Old Sep 21, 01, 6:42 am
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Great Britain
Posts: 1,442
I think that we may be missing the point slightly. One person mentioned this, but the real reason behind this was not so much the cut in food costs, it is that they can cut back (yet again) on Flight Attendants. I would assume that most flights will carry FAA minima. I mention this because I remember that on one 757 service out of SNA, they told me that as it was a dinner service on the way back from DFW, they would be picking up an extra FA. I assume that these will all go now. I assume equally that this is being done on HNL and not on London say, because they know that they would not be able to compete.

One wonders if upgrading will be worth the bother.

By the way, does two hours mean scheduled two hours or airbourne two hours? If the latter, how can one tell?

[This message has been edited by PAUL PALMER (edited 09-21-2001).]
PAUL PALMER is offline  
Old Sep 21, 01, 7:28 am
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Boston, MA
Programs: AA Lifetime Plat, QF Lifetime Gold, SPG Plat (Lifetime Gold), Hyatt Diamond, Fairmont Plat
Posts: 7,099
Reminds me of the last days of Eastern, when food service became NUTS.

As for me, I'd rather bring a quality sandwhich, bagel, or pizza on board in coach, if I have the time.

But the trend is terms of "what's next?"

nologic is offline  
Old Sep 21, 01, 7:41 am
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 66
I don't know if anyone responding to this thread is in marketing, like me, but in the commodity business, such as air transportation, it's criticat that the airlines are able to differentiate themselves in the market to attract and retain customers. SW does it through their approach, do does Virgin, etc. For AA to cut out food, causes one more differentiation point to go away, and degrades the loyalty of its customers. They become just one more member of the pack, similar to ATA, etc. I remember about 3-4 years ago, when AA put a big push on their chef-inspired food, and they positioned it as a way to attract new customers and generate demand - and differentiate themselves from all the other carriers. They needed to be more competitive, so they said. We're in a similar situation now, so if anything, they should really build out their food service to attract away UA, NWA, Delta customers. Not the other way around.
wavebender is offline  
Old Sep 21, 01, 7:55 am
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Fort Worth TX
Programs: Earned status with AA, DL, SPG, HH, Hyatt, Marriott, Seabourn, NCL, National, Hertz...I miss my bed!
Posts: 10,924
I guess this just gives me one more excuse to use when my friends and coworkers call me high maintenance for always upgrading to F.

I will agree, however, that the loss of meals in coach will be no personal loss for me. When flying coach, I almost never eat the bistro bag anyhow, choosing instead to bring my own food on from near the gate.

Of course, the other downside to this that I see is that with the anticipated cuts in FAs on flights, these FAs are now going to spend more time cleaning up after passengers who leave their fast food bags and wrappers stuffed in the seat back pockets. Or worse yet, who eat before take off and then shove their trash at the FAs during the pre-takeoff safety check. This is not to mention the cleaning costs of now having to worry about cleaning grease off the seats and seat backs, removing ketchup smears from blankets and pillows, and dealing with the stench of competing fast food grease wafting through the main cabin. I'm wondering how the cost accountants factored this in. One knows that the airline meals were designed to minimize mess on flights.

Perhaps we all need to start posting over in FT Airports about the best places to get good food to go in our frequent airport locations. Personally, I always grab the chicken pesto sandwiches from Starbucks when passing through ORD. They are better than just any coach meal and most of the F snacks.
techgirl is offline  
Old Sep 21, 01, 8:17 am
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Tejas, I just can't get away from the place
Programs: Exxon Mobil Supertanker, WN Double Peanut, Accor Golden Cockroach
Posts: 8,351
I'll just start bringing a cooler full of sandwiches and walk down the aisles during beverage service hawking them.
boilermaker is offline  
Old Sep 21, 01, 8:44 am
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: PHL/KOA - SU '03 M BB NCAA Champs/Phillies '08 WS Champs/Eagles '18 SB Champs
Programs: AA Plat (3MM)/Hyatt Plat/former HH Diamond
Posts: 683
<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by freeupgrade:
While I realize AA needs to save money, and am truly sorry for them re: last week's tragedies, I do not think it is reasonable to expect someone flying from DFW-HNL to go without food. This is an 8 hr. flight.</font>
I totally agree on this one - my wife, three year old, one year old and I are traveling in January from PHL to KOA via DFW and HNL.

Here's our schedule:

AA FLT 1261: Lv PHL at 5:47 AM, Ar DFW 8:32 AM

AA FLT 5: Lv DFW 9:30 AM, Ar HNL 2:05 PM

HA FLT 208: Lv HNL 3:35 PM, Ar KOA 4:15 PM

Let's see, we'll need to get to the airport at about 3:45 AM (no airport concessions will be open) and we'll have less than a one hour connection at DFW, lugging two toddlers, two carseats and carryons (including coloring books, crayons, etc.) That doesn't leave too much time to stop and buy any meals - So now are we going to have to bring along a gallon of milk and a bucket of KFC? I think this is a bit unreasonable.
tudorcity is offline  
Old Sep 21, 01, 8:52 am
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: PHL/KOA - SU '03 M BB NCAA Champs/Phillies '08 WS Champs/Eagles '18 SB Champs
Programs: AA Plat (3MM)/Hyatt Plat/former HH Diamond
Posts: 683
<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by summerdawn:
Jeez guys, I must have missed something. Where does it say that on an eight hour flight to HNL there will be no food? Also, I think after checking with some AA employees that AA spends more in the range of $8+ per pax.</font>
Well, summerdawn, I hope its not true, but this is straight from the press release cited by LoveHateUA:

FORT WORTH, Texas, Sept. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- By Nov. 1, American Airlines and TWA will stop serving meals in the main cabin on most domestic flights, and in first class on domestic flights of two hours and under. This includes flights to Canada, Mexico, Hawaii, the Caribbean, as well as two-class services to Central and South America. American will continue to provide meals in all cabins of its domestic nonstop two- and three-class transcontinental flights (American Flagship Service), as well as three-class international flights to Europe, Asia and South America (International Flagship Service).

Edited to insert boldfacing.

[This message has been edited by tudorcity (edited 09-21-2001).]
tudorcity is offline  
Old Sep 21, 01, 9:01 am
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Oceanside, NY USA
Posts: 1,128
I, too, feel the removal of food service to Hawaii is unfair. JFK-LAX is 2475 miles with a meal, while LAX-HNL is 2556 miles, yet no meal service.

I am traveling to from JFK-LIH in February with my wife and three young children. We are
overnighting in LAX, and taking the 9:05 am flight to HNL, then on to Kauai. Since we'll have to check in at LAX around 7:30 in the morning, it doesn't give us a lot of time to seek out food options for the flight to Hawaii. And if I remember correctly, there are no supermarkets at LAX. Plus,I'm not happy about the idea of paying three times the going rate for a croissant at Au Bon Pain.

I could see eliminating coach meal service domestically to cut costs, but not to
Hawaii. This makes no sense.

Maybe AA wants to emulate JetBlue. But on those flights, at least you get satellite TV.
glenngpr is offline  
Old Sep 21, 01, 9:08 am
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Highland Park, IL USA
Programs: AA PLT 2MM, UA Plat, SPG Gold, HH Gold
Posts: 561
The thing that worries me about this is delayed flights. I don't have a problem with having to plan ahead when I know the schedule, but on a flight that sits on the tarmac for two hours before a two hour flight? How do you plan for that? It has happened to me all the time BOS-ORD or ORD-BOS, especially with winter deicing coming up.

Maybe they should do what the European rail services do and sell food aboard as an option?
ka9taw is offline  
Old Sep 21, 01, 9:19 am
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Join Date: May 2001
Location: MSY; 2-time FT Fantasy Football Champ, now in recovery.
Programs: AA lifetime GLD; UA Silver; Marriott LTTE; IHG Plat,
Posts: 13,015

Although coach passengers on Dallas/Fort Worth flights will lose meals in most cases, an exception will be flights to and from Hawaii.

Mr. Burke said the long flights are considered transcontinental service and would continue to serve meals.

American spent $770 million on food and beverage service last year, an average of $7.61 for the 86.2 million American passengers and 14.9 million travelers on American Eagle Airlines Inc. with most of the money spent on the longer American flights.
swag is offline  
Old Sep 21, 01, 8:20 pm
Join Date: Jul 1999
Posts: 462
Fear not, food vendors in the airports will be falling over themselves providing all manner of carry on food.

If Wolfgang's picnic meals at LAX are any indication, they will be a lot better than airplane food.

I'm old enough to remember Continental's buffet lunches in first class. You could create relatively simple sandwiches which I thought were better than the fancy marginally eatable typical first class food on domestic routes -- don't even mention coach food.
VicOsaki is offline  
Old Sep 21, 01, 9:41 pm
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Dallas, Texas USA; AA PLT, AA 1MM+; US Gold; Marriott PLT+
Posts: 80
Instead of spending $150 million to put its name on a basketball arena in Dallas, maybe AA should be spending that money on its flying customers and their service needs, including meals and adequate staffing.

AA seems to have lost touch with whom they serve. Since AA will be flying only at 80% of their current capacity, maybe all the executive staff would like to be paid at 80% as well.

While I share everyone's grief over this recent terrorist tragedy, some of the recent decisions by the AA executive suite certainly look like ways to capitalize on the "current crisis" in order to attempt to overcome "past mistakes." Traffic and revenues were down, and fuel and labor expenses were up prior to September 11. Carty, et. al. appear to be using the recent attack as a cover for some of their over-expansion blunders.

For the time being I will continue flying AA. I am 1M lifetime gold and currently PLT through the end of next year. However if AA continues to reduce its services, I see no reason to pay any pricing differential to fly them.

If meals, CTO's, staff and flights go today, will FF miles disappear tomorrow?? Also, all these changes certainly make me wonder how long More Room Throughout Coach will last??

Someone needs to wake up Don Carty and explain that you do not attract customers by reducing services.
NativeTexan is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread