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Guide: AA SPML - Special Meal (vegetarian, gluten intolerant, child, etc.)

Guide: AA SPML - Special Meal (vegetarian, gluten intolerant, child, etc.)

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Old Jun 1, 19, 2:19 pm   -   Wikipost
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Special meals and nut allergies and Special meals and dietary requests

AA currently makes a number of “special meals” available on certain flights; they must be requested at least 24 hours in advance. Please see this page on AA.com for current information.

"Special meals are available on select flights with scheduled, complimentary meal service. Similar to scheduled meal service, they are based on departure time, destination and flight length. Menus vary monthly to ensure fresh and seasonal ingredients." See listing of special meals available from AA below.

How to request your special meal:
  • Make sure your flight has scheduled meal service

  • Determine which specialty meal meets your needs

  • Call to order

    OR
    • Log into your AA account

    • Select on Your Trips

    • Select View/Change on your reservation

    • Go down to Reserve a Meal.

    This option is available at least 24 hours before and up to 30 days in advance of your departure.
  • When you arrive at the airport, advise the gate agent and flight attendants that you ordered a special meal

  • Call Reservations if you booked through American Airlines or contact your travel agent if you booked with an agency.
Contact Reservations (link)

For your interest, airline meal codes for SPML offerings on AA:
  • AVML - Asian Vegetarian Meal
  • BBML - Baby / Infant Food
  • BLML - Bland Meal
  • CHML - Children’s Meal
  • DBML - Diabetic Meal
  • GFML - Gluten-free Meal
  • HNML - Hindu Meal
  • KSML - Kosher (Jewish) Meal
  • LFML – Low Fat Meal
  • LSML – Low Sodium Meal
  • MOML - Muslim (Halal) Meal
  • NLML – Non-Lactose Meal
  • VGML - Vegetarian Meal (non-dairy)
  • VLML – Vegetarian Lacto-ovo Meal
  • VVML – Vegetarian Vegan Meal
Other special meal codes may be viewed at AirlinesMeals.com here.

From British Airways, definitions of these meals:
  • Asian vegetarian - Does not contain fish, shellfish, meat, poultry or eggs. It is a meatless meal and spicy in content.
  • Baby meal - ?
  • Bland - For those with digestive tract and gut disorders. Excludes mustard, pickles, garlic, fried and fatty food.
  • Child meal - Contains a combination of familiar and fun foods.
  • Diabetic - For those who need to manage blood sugar levels. Foods excluded are sugars, syrups, jams, cakes and chocolate, unless specifically for diabetics.
  • Gluten intolerant - Foods excluded are wheat or wheat flour, barley oats and rye, bread, cakes (unless wheat free), pastry, sausages or any flour based products.
  • Hindu - Does not contain beef, beef derivatives, veal or pork, it is not a meatless meal.
  • Kosher Meal - These meals are prepared to comply with Jewish dietary laws.
  • Lacto-ovo vegetarian - Does not contain meat, fish or seafood. May contain dairy products such as milk, butter, cheese and eggs etc.
  • Low fat - High fibre meal with reduced amounts of fat.
  • Low lactose - Excludes cheese, dairy products and their derivatives and lactose or milk products.
  • Low salt - Excludes use of salt, MSG and baking soda/powder, instead herbs and spices are used to flavour the meal.
  • Muslim Meal - Does not contain pork, by-products of pork or foodstuffs containing alcohol. All meats come from ritually slaughtered animals.
  • Vegan vegetarian - Does not contain meat, fish, fowl, eggs, honey, dairy products or derivatives. If vegan is not specified, then a lacto ovo meal will be provided.
Archive of previous posts: ARCHIVE: Ordering SPML / Special Meal - how, what (consolidated)

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Old Apr 29, 15, 2:50 pm
  #1  
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Guide: AA SPML - Special Meal (vegetarian, gluten intolerant, child, etc.)

I've read some absolute horror stories about AA's veg meals in the past, has their been any improvement. Being a long-time resident of Atlanta, I didn't fly them much for a while and now that I am on AA more often, I am wondering about the meal service.

Have the options improved with being able to choose ahead?

Any recent reports on what they are serving?
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Old Apr 29, 15, 4:02 pm
  #2  
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There are several pretty substantial threads on meals, both domestic and international.
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Old Apr 29, 15, 5:51 pm
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aa.com: Special Meals and Nut Allergies

has some basic information.
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Old Apr 29, 15, 6:16 pm
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Originally Posted by bdemaria View Post
There are several pretty substantial threads on meals, both domestic and international.

How did I not see this? I'll take a look. I just used a few basic searches and it didn't occur to me to search within the bigger threads There was a very old thread about the horrible veg meals a few years ago, but didn't see anything recently that said anything specifically about meatless options.

Thanks for the links.
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Old Apr 29, 15, 9:12 pm
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Originally Posted by JDiver View Post
aa.com: Special Meals and Nut Allergies

has some basic information.
About the special meals, yes. (Though is it really accurate? AA used to have a vegan special meal, not even a non-vegan vegetarian meal. But that page makes no mention of vegan, only vegetarian.)

But it doesn't explain to what degree you can count on one of the regular J longhaul meals itself being vegetarian (not vegan). For that, you have to consult other FTers (such as by reading the existing threads already linked here).

Last edited by sdsearch; Apr 29, 15 at 9:21 pm
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Old Dec 2, 15, 11:31 am
  #6  
 
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Do I need to pre-order a vegetarian meal or are they normally catered?

I'm taking my first flights with AA this month: LHR-ORD in business, and ORD-MCI in First.

As a regular vegetarian (no meat, no seafood, yes to dairy and everything else) do I need to order a 'special meal' or is this catered for already? I tried asking AA on Facebook but I didn't get a reply.

It's a bit hit and miss as some airlines require a meal request, and others give me a vegan meal, which means I miss out on chocolate and get given fruit instead, and I would've been better off saying nothing.

Also, is there a meal service in AA domestic first?
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Old Dec 2, 15, 11:38 am
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Wirelessly posted (BlackBerry: BlackBerry8530/5.0.0.1030 Profile/MIDP-2.1 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 VendorID/417)

If you want a vegetarian meal, you must order it in advance.

Some domestic flights serve meals in F, but ORD-MCI might be too short to qualify for meal service.
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Old Dec 2, 15, 11:39 am
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Vegetarianism

AA usually as a pasta selection that is veggie
I ordered a veggie meal once it was worst then the pasta
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Old Dec 2, 15, 11:41 am
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Originally Posted by guv1976 View Post
If you want a vegetarian meal, you must order it in advance.
The LHR-ORD flight will almost certainly have a vegetarian, non-vegan option on the regular menu (and it's fairly likely that the domestic leg will, as well). By calling AA, you can find out what the options are and pre-order.
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Old Dec 2, 15, 11:41 am
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Call in and ask what the meal selections will be on your LHR-ORD flight and see if any of the options work for you. If they do, preorder that. If they don't, then order a vegetarian special meal (which yes unfortunately will probably also be a vegan meal, and a bland meal, etc as AA seems to try and make their special meals fit as many special meal categories as possible).
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Old Dec 2, 15, 11:47 am
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Also vegetarian. I've found that in international J, regardless of catering station (LAX, GRU, DFW, JFK, ZRH, ICN, etc), the "vegetarian meal" is always much worse than the regular old pasta-option-that-happens-to-be-vegetarian; so for international, I'd just preorder the pasta option. Domestically you don't really have an option for a special meal but I've never not had a vegetarian pasta option available on my flight.
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Old Dec 2, 15, 12:30 pm
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You could see if they offer an Indian (or other ethnic) vegetarian meal which is usually tastier than the pasta or vegan option.
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Old Dec 2, 15, 1:21 pm
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In my experience chocolate is usually diluted with milk according to the ingredient list. At home I purchase chocolate without the dairy.
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Old Dec 2, 15, 1:24 pm
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Originally Posted by Skatering View Post
As a regular vegetarian (no meat, no seafood, yes to dairy and everything else) do I need to order a 'special meal' or is this catered for already? I tried asking AA on Facebook but I didn't get a reply.

It's a bit hit and miss as some airlines require a meal request, and others give me a vegan meal, which means I miss out on chocolate and get given fruit instead, and I would've been better off saying nothing.
Originally Posted by Orion View Post
In my experience chocolate is usually diluted with milk according to the ingredient list. At home I purchase chocolate without the dairy.
The OP says he/she eats dairy. And "milk chocolate" gets its name from the fact that milk is added.
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Old Dec 2, 15, 1:34 pm
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Originally Posted by taxicabnumber View Post
Also vegetarian. I've found that in international J, regardless of catering station (LAX, GRU, DFW, JFK, ZRH, ICN, etc), the "vegetarian meal" is always much worse than the regular old pasta-option-that-happens-to-be-vegetarian; so for international, I'd just preorder the pasta option. Domestically you don't really have an option for a special meal but I've never not had a vegetarian pasta option available on my flight.
Agreed - the vegetarian meals in Y can be dreadful. Wife and I flew DFW-GRU-DFW earlier this year and the veg meal ex-DFW was actually decent - labeled "pepper bean stew" or something similar - really it was a watered down version of channa masala - not great but still edible. Ex-GRU the veg meal was totally unrecognizable and hardly fit for human consumption. Thankfully the sympathetic FAs let us have the pasta entree.

I don't believe AA allows ethnic meal requests. Under Hindu/Indian meal on their website - it simply says "may we suggest our vegetarian meal" - or at least it used to say that. I'm too lazy to check it at the moment.

As much as we all hate the new AA for a million reasons, it is nice that they consistently have one veg option on most of their flights though. That does make it a lot easier. Even as an omnivore I don't like to eat meat with every meal, so I definitely appreciate that most AA flights have a veg option.
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