First class. It has a certain cachet to it when flying, doesn’t it? Visions of smiling flight attendants serving interesting curated hot meals to feast on throughout your flight. American Airlines, on the other hand, thinks a box meal of cold packaged items is perfectly acceptable.

It hardly says first class or premium to get food served in a cardboard box. Everything inside the box is then individually packaged in plastic, and you can bet none of this is recycled post flight. I’ve taken issue with the packaging of food items on American Airlines before – it’s not pretty.

The New AA First Class Box Meal

I’ve been served inflight meals in a box before, so it’s not that unusual. The Aer Lingus breakfast in economy class on European flights comes in a box. Low cost carrier Ryanair also serves their “food” in cardboard packaging. All well and good, but neither of these are first class.

You have to wonder what happened at American Airlines to make them think this would be a good idea. It’s not like they have super large first class cabins either, so I can’t see there being much of a time saving from a crew perspective. Perhaps it’s just cheaper to create a box of cold items and hope that people enjoy it.

Food Is A Differentiator

Why do so many people writing about flights mention the food? Because it’s very important and is a differentiator between airlines. I actively avoid airlines based on the food. For example, Swiss served me better business class food on European flights when compared to Lufthansa. One is an airline I actively consider when booking travel, the other is not. I wonder why. It’s the same for me for Aer Lingus and Ryanair.

It’s all about the perception really. You could serve similar food presented on a tray with plates and proper cutlery and it would feel like a more elevated experience. You have to wonder what people will say to all their friends after flying first class on American Airlines and getting a box meal.

Overall Thoughts

When you’re paying potentially hundreds of dollars extra for a ticket, you don’t expect a box meal with plastic cutlery. Proper food on plates is the least the airline can do, and that is really the point of all of this.

What American Airlines is going to serve in first class gives the impression that they don’t give a rats about their customers. “Just chuck ’em a box of crap, they’ll still keep paying for tickets!”. It just doesn’t give the appearance of respect for the extra cash people pony up for the experience and that is very, very sad.

What do you think of the American Airlines domestic first class box meal pictures? Will it make you more or less likely to fly with the oneworld alliance carrier in future? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.

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Featured image by BriYYZ via Wikimedia Commons.
Box images via TheFlyGuy2 on FlyerTalk.