I just completed my 8th segment in 3 weeks on American Airlines thanks to my AAdvantage in Atlanta experiment. A few days ago I noted my near miraculous first class upgrade percentage as an AAdvantage Gold member. I’ve noted something else miraculous in those 8 segments – I’ve been offered a full pre-departure beverage service when seated in first class almost every time.


You might ask what’s so special about that? Those of us who fly Delta routinely will know what I’m talking about. You notice when there is not a PDB service in the first class cabin because they are almost always so consistent at providing it. My memory of American is that you noticed the PDB service in first class when it was actually provided. It really didn’t hit me until I was on my last leg home this weekend, but I had been offered a full pre-departure beverage service on 6 of the 8 legs I’d flown most recently, and a juice/water choice on a 7th. There was only one segment where nothing was offered until after takeoff. (Image – Inflight Beverage Service)

For sure, there are other more important things to judge an airline by, but PDBs are one of those little things that tend to set the tone for a flight. This weekend I’ll have an opportunity to assess whether or not the infamous “beef” dish has evolved when I’m flying two full meal flights. Have you noticed an improvement in PDB consistency in American domestic first class?

-MJ, May 12, 2015