Random Historical AA question that is bugging me. [Bistro Bag]

    Hide Wikipost
Old Dec 12, 14, 1:46 pm   -   Wikipost
Please read: This is a community-maintained wiki post containing the most important information from this thread. You may edit the Wiki once you have been on FT for 90 days and have made 90 posts.
 
Last edit by: JDiver
Wiki Link
Signed in members with 90 days / 90 posts can edit; wiki contents may be printed by using the (lower right wiki corner)

The "Bistro Bag" came into being in 1996, and persisted through 2005. This was in essence a sack lunch (pack lunch) with a sandwich, dressing and snacks Economy passengers could take from a wheeled insulated cart as they boarded.

See post #4 for a photograph.

Threads discussing the "Bistro Bag" can be found by using advanced search, search titles only, results as threads, keyword bistro.

Print Wikipost

 
Old Dec 11, 14, 4:15 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
2020 FlyerTalk Awards
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
Programs: Delta, United
Posts: 622
Random Historical AA question that is bugging me. [Bistro Bag]

Hello all!

I have this historical AA question that is bugging the crap out of me. And I'm trying to figure out if it was AA related at all

I remember many years ago boarding at ORD for either an mainline (ORD-BOS) or Eagle (ORD-EVV) flight. It had to be before 2003. Anyway, I remember a cooler (like the one that holds ice cream at a convenience store), that held different cardboard boxes, each with a cold meal. I remember having a pb+j or something a kid would like that flight.

Did something like this exist for AA at one point? Or perhaps it is a different airline? Thanks in advance! :-:
thetravelingRedhead is offline  
Old Dec 11, 14, 4:22 pm
  #2  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: LAX
Programs: AA-PLT 1.75MM, Hyatt-Discoverist, Starriott-Gold, Super 8--Formica
Posts: 17,340
Back in the days when there was food in coach, AA, for many flights, handed out "Bistro Bags" which usually contained a sandwich (I don't recall what else was in there).
Trustguy is offline  
Old Dec 11, 14, 5:12 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Programs: AA Plat
Posts: 3,752
Yes, your recollection is AA related. The bistro bags were kept in something that looked like a cooler near the entrance (I don't recall if it was actually cold). It was a transitional phase between food service and no food service.
SeeBuyFly is offline  
Old Dec 11, 14, 5:19 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: LAX
Programs: AA EXP 2MM
Posts: 2,080
Here's a pic from airlinemeals.net:
Ready2Go is offline  
Old Dec 11, 14, 5:19 pm
  #5  
Moderator: American AAdvantage, TAP, Mexico, Technical Support and Feedback, and The Suggestion Box
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: NorCal - SMF area
Programs: AA LT Plat; HH LT Diamond, Maître-plongeur des Muccis
Posts: 61,976
The failed, serve yourself upon boarding Beastly - er, no "Bistro Bag". Reach in and grab your packed / paper sack lunch. It lives on in history and in ignominy. And on FlyerTalk, where using "bistro" as the keyword search will bring up a number of obsolete threads.

Last edited by JDiver; Dec 11, 14 at 7:01 pm Reason: Fix darned auto Fill!
JDiver is offline  
Old Dec 11, 14, 5:26 pm
  #6  
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: OAK/SFO/SJC
Programs: AA Plat 2MM+, HHonors, Amtrak GuestRewards
Posts: 1,158
The nice thing the bistro bag accomplished for AA was that it was food, but was super-unappetizing, so there was little incentive for passengers to take more than one.
Hayden is offline  
Old Dec 11, 14, 5:35 pm
  #7  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Mar 1999
Posts: 12,097
In that period, AA Y rapidly declined from free hot food -> free (cold) bistro bag -> no food -> cold food for sale.
hillrider is offline  
Old Dec 11, 14, 5:42 pm
  #8  
Moderator: American AAdvantage, TAP, Mexico, Technical Support and Feedback, and The Suggestion Box
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: NorCal - SMF area
Programs: AA LT Plat; HH LT Diamond, Maître-plongeur des Muccis
Posts: 61,976
Originally Posted by hillrider View Post
In that period, AA Y rapidly declined from free hot food -> free (cold) bistro bag -> no food -> cold food for sale.
At one point at least, Bistro Bags ceased to be available on flights under four hours, according to one thread.

BYO bags were always better. I do not miss the Bistro Bag!

Last edited by JDiver; Dec 12, 14 at 10:47 pm
JDiver is offline  
Old Dec 11, 14, 5:43 pm
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Laguna Niguel, CA
Programs: AA PLT, 1.8mm
Posts: 6,985
Originally Posted by Hayden View Post
The nice thing the bistro bag accomplished for AA was that it was food, but was super-unappetizing, so there was little incentive for passengers to take more than one.
I recall that the "entree" was frequently a cold chicken sandwich with a "Perdue" sticker prominently displayed advertising Perdue chicken. To this day, I have yet to buy anything Perdue when it is an option. #MarketingBackfire
cynicAAl is offline  
Old Dec 11, 14, 8:18 pm
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: ORD
Posts: 323
This brings back so many memories! I was just a child traveling with my parents back then. You'd have your boarding pass scanned (or the perforated edged separated) and you'd grab one of these before you board the plane. I loved the loaves and quiches brownies, though these are occasionally offered on long haul Y meals today.


Originally Posted by thetravelingRedhead View Post
Hello all!
I remember many years ago boarding at ORD for either an mainline (ORD-BOS) or Eagle (ORD-EVV) flight. It had to be before 2003. Anyway, I remember a cooler (like the one that holds ice cream at a convenience store), that held different cardboard boxes, each with a cold meal. I remember having a pb+j or something a kid would like that flight.
incognitoMD is offline  
Old Dec 11, 14, 8:39 pm
  #11  
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Programs: American AAdvantage
Posts: 986
On these flights, I would special order the low-fat/low-cholesterol meal which was always better than the Bistro Bag.
Sant is offline  
Old Dec 11, 14, 8:46 pm
  #12  
Original Poster
2020 FlyerTalk Awards
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
Programs: Delta, United
Posts: 622
Originally Posted by incognitoMD View Post
This brings back so many memories! I was just a child traveling with my parents back then. You'd have your boarding pass scanned (or the perforated edged separated) and you'd grab one of these before you board the plane. I loved the loaves and quiches brownies, though these are occasionally offered on long haul Y meals today.
Let me pull out my pictures and show you me ramp boarding a SAAB 340

I must have been barely 9 or 10 when I remember this! i was a picky eater so my parents had to look for a kids one

The best thing that stands out to me are the old green passes... like these...



(yes that is me too )
thetravelingRedhead is offline  
Old Dec 11, 14, 9:26 pm
  #13  
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: DCA
Posts: 6,716
Did those double as airsickness bags? I wonder how many of them got re-filled?
arlflyer is online now  
Old Dec 12, 14, 12:52 am
  #14  
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: MKE
Programs: American AAdvantage; Carlson Goldpoints.
Posts: 180
I remember more than one flight where, before you boarded, the GA made an announcement in the gate area inviting you to "take as many bistro bags as you wish" !!

Then, they loaded plenty spare ones on the flight and the FA's would offer more if you wanted any more than you carried on yourself.

Obviously, they knew that not many folks were actually going to pick them up from the cooler and someone was making at least a bit of an attempt to get them taken so that they wouldn't go to waste.

In the interest of full disclosure: I confess that I didn't seem to think they were quite as bad as many other folks did!!
negs is offline  
Old Dec 12, 14, 4:34 am
  #15  
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: ASE
Programs: AA EXP, UA Silver, Hertz 5*, National Executive, Hyatt DSC, HHonors/SPG/Marriott Gold, IHG PLT
Posts: 2,692
Awful, especially when UA was serving full, hot meals with metal cutlery in Y on comparable routes at the time. Not to mention the Mad Dogs with the lack of IFE, which was even uncompetitive with UA, too. How I loathed flying AA back then. Now, I loathe UA and am an AA flyer...oh, how times have changed!
UAPremierGuy is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: