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LoveHateUA Sep 20, 01 12:59 pm

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

American and TWA to Stop Serving Meals in the Main Cabin of Most Domestic And Shorter International Flights
Changes Also in First Class on Flights of Two Hours and Under; Transcontinental Flights Are Exempt From All Changes
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).

All flights will continue to offer beverage service, along with a beverage accompaniment.

American said the food service changes will generate significant cost savings in response to the airline's critical financial condition. The changes also will allow the airline to operate more dependably in the face of increased security measures. AA Chairman and CEO Don Carty yesterday declared a state of emergency at American.

``This is an intentionally measured and specific response to our immediate need to reduce costs and to the extraordinary circumstances that now exist within our industry,'' said Mike Gunn, American's executive vice president of marketing and planning. ``We are making changes to our domestic food services where it makes the most sense, while leaving untouched the core service features that are the bedrock of American's service reputation and give our customers the most value.''

For example, Gunn said American will remain the only airline providing more legroom throughout the coach cabin. And American will continue to offer air travelers the convenience of an extensive domestic and international route network; the benefits of its participation in the global oneworld alliance, and the value of AAdvantage®, the industry's largest and most innovative frequent flyer program.

``We remain steadfast in our commitment to provide the public with the best travel experience in the industry,'' Gunn said, ``but we simply cannot ignore the new operating realities that have risen from last week's tragic events.''

Under the meal-service changes, American will no longer serve meals in the main cabin of domestic flights, except those on nonstop transcontinental routes such as New York-Los Angeles, New York-San Francisco, Boston-Los Angeles, Washington Dulles-Los Angeles and Miami-Los Angeles.

In first class, meal service will be discontinued on domestic flights of two hours and under (Chicago-Nashville, for example), but will still be offered on domestic flights longer than two hours (Chicago-San Jose, Chicago- LaGuardia, Chicago-Boston, and Dallas/Fort Worth- Los Angeles, for instance).

American will implement most of these changes by Nov. 1.

phoenixitc Sep 20, 01 1:14 pm

This is a good thing that all airlines should do. It'll save them money and possibly help the food vendors at the airports survive. FT'rs should start eating at the airports and help support those folks.

afang Sep 20, 01 1:35 pm

Glad to see this away...the food is terriable and I am sure it costs the Airlines a bundle of money.

Eat at the airport and get some miles while you are at it!


LewDog Sep 20, 01 1:35 pm

I don't know how I feel about this one. Of course, I'd much rather AA/TW cut down on the foodage rather than lay off people, but does this risk turning even the premium airlines into econo-boxes?

Grabbing a bag lunch at the airport deli before the flight isn't even really viable, since your entire lunch is apt to be searched before you can board the plane.

We let terrorists do this to us? To our hobby? To our business and leisure travel?



Poor LSG SkyChefs, too.


Tango Sep 20, 01 1:58 pm

What is next?. . . no more assigned seats? $1 for a glass of soda? With the FA's having less work to do, will they cut the number of FA's on each flight to the minimum allowed per FAA rules? AA is starting to look more and more like Southwest.

Anyone not flying on a non-stop trans con will either need to bring their own food on board or go hungry. The cabins are going to become more dirty with people's bag lunch left overs stuffed under seats or into seat pockets. Is AA going to hire extra cleaners?

If AA really wanted to save money they should force a 25% pay cut for all management--if that is not enough then ask the pilots to take a 25% pay cut. Anyone who complains should be reminded that at least they still have a job.

MileKing Sep 20, 01 2:04 pm

While I can understand (to some extent) the rational for the decision, I have to agree with LewDog about it turning the "premium airlines into econo-boxes". At this point, what is the difference between AA and Southwest? Not much that I can see, except that Southwest's fares are usually less expensive. If I'm not going to get any type of food domestically, why bother to fly AA? AAdvantage? Southwest has a FF program too, one that for domestic travel appears to be a better value than any of the premium airlines. Time to re-evaluate my airline selections.

YVR Cockroach Sep 20, 01 2:09 pm

<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by phoenixitc:
This is a good thing that all airlines should do. It'll save them money and possibly help the food vendors at the airports survive. FT'rs should start eating at the airports and help support those folks.</font>
I would consider buying food from airport concessionaires if the food prices at some airports weren't so over-inflated. I remember walking away from the Pizza Hut at SEA in 1993 (or 1994) when the price charged for a personal pan pizza was $5.99 excluding taxes. Happily, RNO my home airport then, charged "street" price.

Some of the concessionaires and the airport authorities have to reconsider the royalties/fees charged.

MedEdGuy Sep 20, 01 2:16 pm

On one hand, I find this extremely disappointing and surprising. And, I understand the comments about this making AA more like the Southwests of the world.

On the other hand, however, the fact is that without major cuts, the airlines will not be able to survive. I would certainly rather have a decrease in meal services than a discontinuation of FF programs.

As for changing carriers, I think even the "no-frills" carriers are going to have to cut back--making them even more bare-bones.

LewDog Sep 20, 01 2:37 pm

I think we should have the option to order a meal, at time of ticketing.

Not that the food is so good or anything, but there is something to be said for a hot meal during a 4 hour flight.

But, if you had the option to order per-passenger, it would force them to cater the entire flight ("why is he getting food and not me, I am EXP, I need to eat or I will pass out from hunger") anyhow,

so maybe just ignore this post.

The whole situation just stinks, in my book.

Scooterino Sep 20, 01 3:22 pm

I think this could really suck. Personally, I do alot of flying from the west coast on AA to the Caribbean. They do not offer any non-stops on any of the routes I fly (for ex.: PDX-DFW-MIA-PLS) and I usually have to change planes at least once. While each flight segment may only be 2-3 hours (or less), I am essentially a prisoner to the planes for the better part of a day (and night, usually), with little to no time in between flights to go out and get myself something to eat. Does this mean now that I will have to lengthen the time I spend in the air simply so I will have enough time to eat on the ground between flights? Boy, they are going to make flying so inconvenient that I may have to really reconsider whether it's worth it or not.

Now I LOVE traveling to the Caribbean, don't get me wrong, and I typically do so 2-3 times per year in addition to my other travels. I always fly either AA or TWA, depending on my destination. If they take away meal service on my routes, I will have to basically take 2 days to reach my destination, possibly necessitating an overnight somewhere in between, simply so I can eat (this would be necessary because of the times of day AA runs their flights and connections on the routes I fly). Add to that the fact that I can no longer even take a pair of nail clippers with me, nor a corkscrew, and the extra delays for security checks (and I am NOT saying that the security precautions aren't necessary, I just have to take all this into consideration) and I am looking at a MAJOR hassle just to take a week in the Caribbean. My family will now have to consider drastically cutting back on the number of trips we take each year, which will cost the airlines money too. I'm sure I am not alone here when I say that.

At what point do the airlines balance saving $$ now versus lost future revenue due to passenger inconvenience? I normally do fly first class on these routes, so possibly food would not be an issue for me, I would really have to look into that further, but the bigger picture here is how many other people will all this become an issue for and how will all these changes affect their leisure travel plans? I think some of you have a valid point that AA may lose alot of coach passenger revenue to the "no frills" airlines if they take away the "frills" that made them worth the price difference. The no frills may even see the potential passenger gain and begin flying many more routes to capitalize on that.

I sincerely hope that AA takes these issues into consideration before making any hasty decisions that may cost them big $$ down the line.......

jimg20 Sep 20, 01 3:25 pm

The food wasn't that good to begin with. These people are having a hard time running an airline. What makes you think they can run a restaurant?

ElmhurstNick Sep 20, 01 3:32 pm

The distrubing thing is the precedent. Next, are "deluxe dinner" flights like LAX-ORD being downgraded to "dinner" and "dinner" to "snack"?

Out of Chicago, the only mainline flights I can think of that are less than 2 hours in both directions and that might have a meal service are SYR, PHL, BWI, IAD, RDU, and ATL. So for me, this is just another reason to save my upgrade credits unless the flight is full. I can't say I'm too upset, but that's because I rarely connect and I like the Mexican place at the new ORD food court.

More snack mix for everybody!!

yyz-den Sep 20, 01 3:58 pm

When I rent a car, AVIS does not give me a 'Bistro Bag', when I go to a restaurant they do not give me an airplane ride, when I go to an hotel, they do not offer me a free dinner, (OK, breakfast - Hilton Rules, etc...).

Why, then, should an airline feed me (are AVIS a 'bare-bones' car rental company 'cos they don't feed me or give me peanuts with every rental??).

While I'm on the rant, the airlines should also stop the free and limitless alcohol - not because of air-rage but as a safety concern - sober passengers will probably remember that smoke is lighter than air, and that crawling is preferable to 'strutting'.

A final note - air-rage has been blamed on alcohol and passenger frustration with the airlines -- in reality air-rage has increased dramatically since the Smoking Ban - could it be related to nicotine withdrawal??

I am both a smoker and a drinker in case any one was going to spank me as an abolishonist.

I'd give my right arm to be ambidextrous

GregL Sep 20, 01 4:08 pm

<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by yyz-den:
When I rent a car, AVIS does not give me a 'Bistro Bag', when I go to a restaurant they do not give me an airplane ride, when I go to an hotel, they do not offer me a free dinner, (OK, breakfast - Hilton Rules, etc...).
The difference is that when you rent a car, you control when you choose to eat. You can't ask the captain to put it down in Wichita for an hour so you can go to Denny's.

I am becoming VERY disappointed in the airlines' attempts to regain business after the terrorist attacks. The opinion I am developing is that the airlines are doing what they can to plead financial ruin without attempting to lure travellers back to the sky.

By now, I would have expected some type of fare sales, waiving of advance purchase restrictions or frequent flyer bonuses to reattract passengers. On three routes I follow out of St Louis (SEA, BDL, NYC), fares have remained unchanged (NYC) or climbed significantly (&gt; 100% increase to SEA, 40% increase to BDL) in the past few days as existing sales expired.

The thought that airlines are trying to cook their books by not attempting to bring passengers back so that they can ask the Federal Government for a larger bailout is repulsive.


LewDog Sep 20, 01 4:09 pm

<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">
A final note - air-rage has been blamed on alcohol and passenger frustration with the airlines
You think air rage is bad now? Wait until someone's been traveling all day, been delayed six times, had their unmentionables inspected by security, told there is only Diet Coke left (no sugar) and then told that only those "holding a first class ticket" get to eat??

Look out...

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