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International Business - Can I Delay My Onboard Meal?

International Business - Can I Delay My Onboard Meal?

Old Sep 28, 19, 5:19 pm
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International Business - Can I Delay My Onboard Meal?

Will AA allow me to dine later than the rest of the cabin on an international business flight? Or is it at the discretion of the cabin crew?

On my last trip from LHR-LAX, I took the excellent advice from teemuflyer and stopped by the London CX lounge before boarding. This is my first time trying Cathay Pacific's noodle bar and buffet, and I was absolutely impressed with everything from the dan dan mien (sesame sauce noodles), the fresh-steamed basket of dim sum, and even the buffet curry. All of it was definitely better food than they ever serve on board AA Flagship Business, so I decided to go ahead and sample it all. By the time I boarded, I was pretty stuffed and in no mood for another meal, so I told the crew I'd skip it. When I woke up from a nap, I went to the galley and they brought out the cold sandwiches and wraps for me. I kind of regretted declining my hot entree at the beginning of the service, but it would've been too early.

I know the FAs try to get everyone's food served shortly after takeoff. If you ask, are they inclined to serve the main meal a little bit later into the flight? I'd understand if that's logistically challenging.
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Old Sep 28, 19, 5:25 pm
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The menu has ( or used to have ) the dine upon request option where you can choose a main course and then all of entrée, main course and dessert are delivered at a time that you request

Last edited by Dave Noble; Sep 28, 19 at 5:30 pm Reason: at
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Old Sep 28, 19, 6:28 pm
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Originally Posted by Dave Noble View Post
The menu has ( or used to have ) the dine upon request option where you can choose a main course and then all of entrée, main course and dessert are delivered at a time that you request
Ah, you know what... this is what threw me off. I think you're right that it used to be called "Dine On Request" but it's now just called "Express Meal" which is probably why I didn't think to even ask.

The description of "Express Meal" is "For more time to work, relax, or sleep, request this single-course meal, served with a seasonal salad, your choice of entree, and fruit and cheese or sweet dessert."
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Old Sep 28, 19, 6:37 pm
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in theory, you can do this.

In practice, it depends on the F/A's.
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Old Sep 28, 19, 8:19 pm
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Originally Posted by Dave Noble View Post
The menu has ( or used to have ) the dine upon request option where you can choose a main course and then all of entrée, main course and dessert are delivered at a time that you request
The option is still there, but the current wording doesn’t seem to imply it is ‘dine on demand’, rather that they will serve an express meal at the same time everyone else starts getting theirs.
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Old Sep 28, 19, 9:20 pm
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In the past I routinely on DFW-HKG ask them to hold my meal until later and generally the FAs are cooperative. Some FAs are more pleasant about this but haven't had any pushback.

Last edited by RDUflyer2; Sep 28, 19 at 9:21 pm Reason: correct typos
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Old Sep 28, 19, 10:43 pm
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Originally Posted by RDUflyer2 View Post
In the past I routinely on DFW-HKG ask them to hold my meal until later and generally the FAs are cooperative. Some FAs are more pleasant about this but haven't had any pushback.
I'm quite surprised to hear this. DoD on AA? I would have expected more of an "Oliver Twist has asked to eat later!" reaction. I haven't flown AA in J very often; but the few times I did, I never dared to ask.
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Old Sep 29, 19, 12:28 am
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Originally Posted by bryanb View Post
Ah, you know what... this is what threw me off. I think you're right that it used to be called "Dine On Request" but it's now just called "Express Meal" which is probably why I didn't think to even ask.

The description of "Express Meal" is "For more time to work, relax, or sleep, request this single-course meal, served with a seasonal salad, your choice of entree, and fruit and cheese or sweet dessert."
Getting a single course meal doesn't sound to be the equivalent to dining when you want (on request)
Is it?
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Old Sep 29, 19, 4:34 am
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Originally Posted by LHR/MEL/Europe FF View Post
The option is still there, but the current wording doesn’t seem to imply it is ‘dine on demand’, rather that they will serve an express meal at the same time everyone else starts getting theirs.
We have a winner! ^
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Old Sep 29, 19, 5:45 am
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I take LHR-LAX on AA109 in J 3-4 times a year and, like you, generally don't want to eat right after takeoff. (My reasons for doing this are a bit different to yours, though -- I typically stay up all night the night before and sleep for the first 8-9 hours of the flight; this means I've slept during the California nighttime. Really helps me with jetlag).

I always ask whether I can have the main meal at the same time as others ordinarily get the second meal; I've got about a 50/50 success rate. Definitely doesn't hurt to ask, though!
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Old Sep 29, 19, 8:37 am
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Originally Posted by bryanb View Post
Will AA allow me to dine later than the rest of the cabin on an international business flight? Or is it at the discretion of the cabin crew?

This is my first time trying Cathay Pacific's noodle bar and buffet, and I was absolutely impressed with everything from the dan dan mien (sesame sauce noodles), the fresh-steamed basket of dim sum, and even the buffet curry. All of it was definitely better food than they ever serve on board AA Flagship Business, so I decided to go ahead and sample it all.
I fly LHR-LAX in F or J 8-10 times per year. ALWAYS go to the CX lounge. The Dan Dan are excellent, as are the Wonton. Just often need to order two they are so good!

That said, I end up skipping the starters (esp the nuts which can be sneaky filling!) and just taking the salad and main course. I've only done 'Express Meal' on shorter, E Coast flights where I want to eat then sleep right away, and this is great as you can be done before they've gotten past the table settings for other passengers. I haven't tried delaying the meal as asked though.

Also - to be filed in the 'least substantive things you can complain about' thread, the old 'Dine Upon Request' trademark irked me like you wouldn't believe every time I saw it.
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Old Sep 29, 19, 9:11 am
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Originally Posted by LHR/MEL/Europe FF View Post
The option is still there, but the current wording doesn’t seem to imply it is ‘dine on demand’, rather that they will serve an express meal at the same time everyone else starts getting theirs.
Exactly. AA flight attendants want nothing more to get that food out as quick as possible so they can resume their lackadaisical rendition of "service" and get back to the galley where they can disappear from the passengers. I've gotten the "express option" before and just like stated above everything is coming out together but when the the others eat. This isn't Qatar
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Old Sep 29, 19, 9:11 am
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Surely it depends on what exactly the OP said to / asked the cabin crew when they asked if they wanted dinner?

If OP said (as they posted) 'skip it' then why would the CC keep a meal aside etc.

If OP said something like 'can I / would it be possible eat in a couple of hours please' that would have got a different response. It might have been 'no' but at least the OP would have known!
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Old Sep 29, 19, 9:54 am
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I’ve done this a couple times, both on HKG flights. I find generally that if you’re pleasant about it, and just ask if it might be possible to set a meal aside for later, they’re fine with it, as long as not EVERYONE is asking for the same thing.

It also helps to be on a longer flight. I’ve never asked on a MIA-GRU flight or JFK-LHR, for example. Although I have had a flight attendant in J on LHR-JFK offer proactively to hold my meal for later when I told her I was full and wouldn’t be eating.
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Old Sep 29, 19, 10:03 am
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I know other OW airlines will do this
even BA has held meals for me ,however I have learnt to get on the plane not being hungry
flying out of LHR I much prefer to pick up a sandwich and crisps before getting on the plane
it’s better than anything I will get on the plane
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