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(Bloomberg)   American Airlines cuts meals in first class on flights less than 2 hours and 45 minutes. Or as Jet Blue calls 2 hours and 45 minutes, clearing for takeoff   (bloomberg.com) divider line 78
    More: Asinine  
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615 clicks; posted to Business » on 06 Aug 2014 at 10:31 AM (16 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-08-06 08:33:59 AM  
If you can't go three hours without eating, you might be fat.
 
2014-08-06 09:09:38 AM  
LOOK STRAIGHT INTO TRENDS AND THE FUTURE WITH PREDICTO THE INSIGHTFUL *puts on turban*

In the future, airlines will steal candy from sleeping babies and resell it.
 
2014-08-06 10:20:20 AM  
Having never been on a plane, I don't know... but don't people complain about airplane food like hospital food? So why is this a big deal? Also, who can't go three whole hours without a meal, regardless of quality?
 
2014-08-06 10:21:05 AM  
Subby is funny. Taxiing at JFK takes a very long time.
 
2014-08-06 10:23:43 AM  
Also:
"Flights of 2 hours to 2 hours, 45 minutes will now offer a snack basket with fresh fruit and breakfast breads or sandwiches and packaged snacks. A spokesman, Casey Norton, couldn't immediately say what percentage of American's flights are less than 2 hours 45 minutes."

A sandwich is just part of a snack basket? And not a meal? And we wonder why people think Americans are gluttonous cows.  A snack is one piece of fruit. Maybe some crackers and cheese. A cup of yogurt. Not a freaking grazing basket. Does it come with face straps as well, to avoid the pesky "using ones hands to shovel food into the face"?
 
2014-08-06 10:33:07 AM  
I've flown international flights in other continents that were shorter and was given a full meal. Why are American airline companies dead set against providing decent service?
 
2014-08-06 10:38:28 AM  

serpent_sky: Having never been on a plane, I don't know... but don't people complain about airplane food like hospital food? So why is this a big deal? Also, who can't go three whole hours without a meal, regardless of quality?


Not in first class. That is the poor buggers in coach. It also why it costs 5-10x the price of a ticket.
 
2014-08-06 10:40:15 AM  
On a flight that short, being in first class is a waste of money.  I've sat waiting for a doctor's appointment longer than that.  First class doesn't even start to make sense from a comfort point of view until you're on a flight at least four hours long.
 
2014-08-06 10:41:45 AM  

serpent_sky: Having never been on a plane, I don't know... but don't people complain about airplane food like hospital food? So why is this a big deal? Also, who can't go three whole hours without a meal, regardless of quality?


It's way different in first class. Full menu service and all the alcohol you can drink. I flew first class to Seoul a few years ago and they served a five course meal plus a snack.

Coach is a different story. I've been mostly lucky but some of the "meals" can be terrible. Worst experience was a cheese omelet on the way to London. Immediate diarrhea after eating it. Made for a very long flight.
 
2014-08-06 10:46:21 AM  

limeyfellow: Not in first class. That is the poor buggers in coach. It also why it costs 5-10x the price of a ticket.


So people pay 5-10x the price of a ticket for a couple of hours, so they can have a meal?

I used to take Amtrak and would pay extra for "Business Class" (and get rather strange looks from business people, but hey, I paid for my seat...) because I didn't want to be around kids. That was the sole reason I could justify the price, and it wasn't that steep of an increase... maybe $20-$25 and the train was 6-6.5 hours between CT and VA, so after learning my lesson once that people herd kids like cattle on there, it was worth it.

Then again, I have to assume there were other amenities I didn't notice on Amtrak, and presumably, there are ones on flights (also including no noisy kids). It can't all be about food.
 
2014-08-06 10:47:15 AM  
In theory, I want to be served a meal when I'm stuck in a seat for hours. In reality, airline food. Eh, I'll pack my own.
 
2014-08-06 10:52:59 AM  

serpent_sky: limeyfellow: Not in first class. That is the poor buggers in coach. It also why it costs 5-10x the price of a ticket.

So people pay 5-10x the price of a ticket for a couple of hours, so they can have a meal?

I used to take Amtrak and would pay extra for "Business Class" (and get rather strange looks from business people, but hey, I paid for my seat...) because I didn't want to be around kids. That was the sole reason I could justify the price, and it wasn't that steep of an increase... maybe $20-$25 and the train was 6-6.5 hours between CT and VA, so after learning my lesson once that people herd kids like cattle on there, it was worth it.

Then again, I have to assume there were other amenities I didn't notice on Amtrak, and presumably, there are ones on flights (also including no noisy kids). It can't all be about food.


It's not 5-10x the cost unless you're talking about true first class (in a three class system) internationally. Domestic first class (which pales in comparison) is usually about 2x-3x the price. For that you get a meal and drinks, but you also get free bags, allowance for overweight bags at no charge, fast checkin/bag drop, faster security, and above all else, big soft seats with tons of leg room and better service.

People don't fly first class because it's economical to do so. It's because it's far less miserable than being stuck in coach. Also, keep in mind that most first class passengers don't pay for a first class ticket but get upgraded based on elite status. I regularly fly first (domestically), but I have never bought a first class ticket -- I just have elite status from flying cross-coutnry ~once monthly for work.
 
2014-08-06 10:56:23 AM  

serpent_sky: limeyfellow: Not in first class. That is the poor buggers in coach. It also why it costs 5-10x the price of a ticket.

So people pay 5-10x the price of a ticket for a couple of hours, so they can have a meal?

I used to take Amtrak and would pay extra for "Business Class" (and get rather strange looks from business people, but hey, I paid for my seat...) because I didn't want to be around kids. That was the sole reason I could justify the price, and it wasn't that steep of an increase... maybe $20-$25 and the train was 6-6.5 hours between CT and VA, so after learning my lesson once that people herd kids like cattle on there, it was worth it.

Then again, I have to assume there were other amenities I didn't notice on Amtrak, and presumably, there are ones on flights (also including no noisy kids). It can't all be about food.


Not necessarily but its a great perk.  Being able to sleep in your seat, not have your knees touch the seat in front of you and being able to actually type on a notebook without hitting the person next o you is the big reasons.  Also, it's a status thing.  Don't you want to fly your family of 8 first class somewhere exotic so when you get home you can brag to your country club pals that you're the greatest person ever?

Lastly, if you are obsessed with bringing tons of luggage it can be cheaper to get a first class ticket than it is to pay for economy class plus 3 bags.
 
2014-08-06 11:04:10 AM  

serpent_sky: Also:
"Flights of 2 hours to 2 hours, 45 minutes will now offer a snack basket with fresh fruit and breakfast breads or sandwiches and packaged snacks. A spokesman, Casey Norton, couldn't immediately say what percentage of American's flights are less than 2 hours 45 minutes."

A sandwich is just part of a snack basket? And not a meal? And we wonder why people think Americans are gluttonous cows.  A snack is one piece of fruit. Maybe some crackers and cheese. A cup of yogurt. Not a freaking grazing basket. Does it come with face straps as well, to avoid the pesky "using ones hands to shovel food into the face"?


It's not a basket that every passenger gets. It's one basket that gets passed around. It includes items like those mentioned above. You can certainly make a meal out of it with a sandwich (they're small), a piece of fruit, and a pack of crackers, but that's not really the intent. The meals they're discontinuing would feature a a couple different hot food items, a drink, dessert, and be served on a plate with silverware. There's a very distinct difference.

No, you don't NEED a meal on a 2:30 flight, but if you take a 7:30AM flight that gets in around 10AM it's nice to have a full breakfast with oatmeal, fresh fruit, english muffin, and juice instead of just a basket to pick through.
 
2014-08-06 11:12:31 AM  

dukeblue219: It's not a basket that every passenger gets. It's one basket that gets passed around. It includes items like those mentioned above. You can certainly make a meal out of it with a sandwich (they're small), a piece of fruit, and a pack of crackers, but that's not really the intent. The meals they're discontinuing would feature a a couple different hot food items, a drink, dessert, and be served on a plate with silverware. There's a very distinct difference.


Okay, that part was not clear in the article. It sounded like everyone was getting a basket of these things. Though I still don't understand why someone can't go a few hours without a full hot meal - how many hot meals does the average person eat in a day, anyway? Three hours is not that much time. I'd be far more concerned if say, water, wasn't available for three hours. That would drive me crazy, but I am one of those people you never see without her water bottle.
 
2014-08-06 11:13:14 AM  
Very clever, American Airlines. With their two major hubs being centrally located in the US, I bet that extra 45 minutes made all the difference. I'd wager very few segments between hubs are longer than 2 hours and 45 minutes. Only coast to coast trips will hit this.
 
2014-08-06 11:17:16 AM  

EvilEgg: If you can't go three hours without eating, you might be fat.


Eh, I have a reasonable body fat %age (17%) but going 3 hours without a healthy meal is a little challenging.

That being said, I've been able to bring food in tupperware through the airport before. Is this no longer an option?
 
2014-08-06 11:22:25 AM  

Fonaibung: Eh, I have a reasonable body fat %age (17%) but going 3 hours without a healthy meal is a little challenging.


You seriously eat a meal every three hours? How do you get anything done?
 
2014-08-06 11:32:09 AM  

serpent_sky: Fonaibung: Eh, I have a reasonable body fat %age (17%) but going 3 hours without a healthy meal is a little challenging.

You seriously eat a meal every three hours? How do you get anything done?


To be fair, if you add another 1-2 hours for the travel to/from the airport on either side, you get into the range of ~5 hours, which really is a long time to go without a meal.
 
2014-08-06 11:33:49 AM  

mrmaster: serpent_sky: limeyfellow: Not in first class. That is the poor buggers in coach. It also why it costs 5-10x the price of a ticket.

So people pay 5-10x the price of a ticket for a couple of hours, so they can have a meal?

I used to take Amtrak and would pay extra for "Business Class" (and get rather strange looks from business people, but hey, I paid for my seat...) because I didn't want to be around kids. That was the sole reason I could justify the price, and it wasn't that steep of an increase... maybe $20-$25 and the train was 6-6.5 hours between CT and VA, so after learning my lesson once that people herd kids like cattle on there, it was worth it.

Then again, I have to assume there were other amenities I didn't notice on Amtrak, and presumably, there are ones on flights (also including no noisy kids). It can't all be about food.

Not necessarily but its a great perk.  Being able to sleep in your seat, not have your knees touch the seat in front of you and being able to actually type on a notebook without hitting the person next o you is the big reasons.  Also, it's a status thing.  Don't you want to fly your family of 8 first class somewhere exotic so when you get home you can brag to your country club pals that you're the greatest person ever?

Lastly, if you are obsessed with bringing tons of luggage it can be cheaper to get a first class ticket than it is to pay for economy class plus 3 bags.


Plus, in business class the seats are large enough for you to work or get some quality sleep in, or both if it's a long flight.  That's why our firm tends to pay for business-class tickets for when we travel, because it's worth it if we can walk right off the plane and get started, rather than having to spend the first day on-site in an Ambien hangover fog.
 
2014-08-06 11:34:54 AM  

Naritai: serpent_sky: Fonaibung: Eh, I have a reasonable body fat %age (17%) but going 3 hours without a healthy meal is a little challenging.

You seriously eat a meal every three hours? How do you get anything done?

To be fair, if you add another 1-2 hours for the travel to/from the airport on either side, you get into the range of ~5 hours, which really is a long time to go without a meal.


since when? I eat lunch around noon, and supper sometime between 6:30 and 8:30. How is 5 hours long?
 
2014-08-06 11:38:36 AM  
The meals suck, but they give you something to do to break the monotony for the flight.
 
2014-08-06 11:45:35 AM  
serpent_sky:
Okay, that part was not clear in the article. It sounded like everyone was getting a basket of these things. Though I still don't understand why someone can't go a few hours without a full hot meal - how many hot meals does the average person eat in a day, anyway? Three hours is not that much time. I'd be far more concerned if say, water, wasn't available for three hours. That would drive me crazy, but I am one of those people you never see without her water bottle.

Well, again, the article is about first class only. It's a perk. I don't think many people are going to complain that they're starving as a result, but it's still a downgrade in service. In the past you could certainly decline the meal if you didn't want to eat, but now you don't have the option. For a 2:30 flight around a meal time, when you consider airport time on either end, it could at the minimum be inconvenient to not have full meal option on many flights.
 
2014-08-06 11:45:56 AM  
I piss off my fellow coach cattle with the enticing aroma of a Subway sub with onions halfway through a long flight.
 
2014-08-06 11:50:06 AM  

Naritai: serpent_sky: Fonaibung: Eh, I have a reasonable body fat %age (17%) but going 3 hours without a healthy meal is a little challenging.

You seriously eat a meal every three hours? How do you get anything done?

To be fair, if you add another 1-2 hours for the travel to/from the airport on either side, you get into the range of ~5 hours, which really is a long time to go without a meal.


No, not really.
 
2014-08-06 11:52:43 AM  

tillerman35: On a flight that short, being in first class is a waste of money.  I've sat waiting for a doctor's appointment longer than that.  First class doesn't even start to make sense from a comfort point of view until you're on a flight at least four hours long.


How tall are you?
 
2014-08-06 11:56:31 AM  

BalugaJoe: Subby is funny. Taxiing at JFK takes a very long time.


Yep.  It's not a JetBlue problem, it's a JFK problem.  Year to year I bounce around between a bunch of airlines to get to my business destinations, but JetBlue is always my go to.  More leg room, on time departures and arrivals, free bag, etc.  I'd rather fly connecting flights with JetBlue than have to take a direct flight with US Airways, American, or United.
 
2014-08-06 11:58:46 AM  

serpent_sky: Having never been on a plane, I don't know... but don't people complain about airplane food like hospital food? So why is this a big deal? Also, who can't go three whole hours without a meal, regardless of quality?


Last time I was on a plane (about a year ago) they were fairly decent - kind of upper end microwave meal basically. Nothing special, but not really bad (actually eating it with the constricted space you have is probably the main issue I had). Although this was on a long haul international flight (BA out, Emirates back), so maybe not comparable to the sort of journeys/operators in the article.
 
2014-08-06 12:02:42 PM  
Meals and Steward service was only instituted to calm down passengers and keep them from realizing how near to a fiery death they were.
 
2014-08-06 12:04:50 PM  

montreal_medic: since when? I eat lunch around noon, and supper sometime between 6:30 and 8:30. How is 5 hours long?


That's what I am thinking... breakfast around 6am... lunch 1:30ish, dinner, 8ish, unless we have something going on and it ends up being later. Though both of us sleep far less than we should/need to, and he leaves for work at 5:30am, which accounts for my crazy schedule despite being currently unemployed.
 
kab
2014-08-06 12:06:02 PM  
So you're lowering prices accordingly, right?
 
2014-08-06 12:06:18 PM  
Chow down, lard ass!!

a.abcnews.com
 
2014-08-06 12:11:29 PM  

dukeblue219: For a 2:30 flight around a meal time, when you consider airport time on either end, it could at the minimum be inconvenient to not have full meal option on many flights.


Some of you have really regimented schedules.  I'd just bring a fiber bar or something, in case I got incredibly hungry for some reason, and be fine waiting until I got wherever I was going to have a hot meal. Presumably, the food would be better at some manner of restaurant than reheated food from an airplane, anyway.

Give this some time, though, and some airline will get some "major chef"on board to design meals and do advertising and start offering "gourmet" meals - much like that Taco Bell bowl of... Taco Bell stuff... supposedly designed by a known chef.
 
2014-08-06 12:13:27 PM  
First-class meals actually tend to be pretty decent if a bit frou-frou.  I mean, for comparison: in coach, you get a pack of peanuts or some crappy cookies; in first class, you get a little cup of almonds and cashews that has likely been warmed up for you.  Meals I've had in first class include shrimp, various kinds of fish (macadamia-nut crusted), stuffed chicken, even chocolate mousse.  Are they perfect?  No, but they're better than Denny's quality (and probably about equivalent to a decent restaurant).
 
2014-08-06 12:26:01 PM  

obenchainr: First-class meals actually tend to be pretty decent if a bit frou-frou.


Frankly I think they're remarkable, when you consider that airline logistics dictate that they were made about 18 hours before you eat them.

The frou-frou part is one of the major selling points; first-class passengers don't buy tickets based on price because either they're not the ones paying or they're rich enough that they don't care, so the airlines compete on comfort and service instead.  Part of that is providing fancy in-flight meals.  For instance, the chefs that Air France hired to design their first-class menus have something like three dozen Michelin stars among them (though be fair, 28 of those belong to Joël Robuchon), and they're quite proud to advertise that fact.
 
2014-08-06 12:59:44 PM  

serpent_sky: Fonaibung: Eh, I have a reasonable body fat %age (17%) but going 3 hours without a healthy meal is a little challenging.

You seriously eat a meal every three hours? How do you get anything done?


I cook in bulk and it takes 10 minutes to eat. We're not talking five-course gourmet meals, just about 10 oz of meat and a cup of rice and small salad. I have a desk job, so no issue typically, but travel is a little challenging.
 
2014-08-06 01:07:33 PM  
Hey, is this a thread where people who don't do something comment like they know about said thing?

Guys, most first class tickets aren't purchased, they are awards. Also depending on what time of day, yeah, having a meal over a 3 hour flight can be an amazing convenience. Let's see. Leave client office at 4, get to airport at 4:30 or 5. Check in, board plane, now it's 5:30, take off 6pm, land at 9pm, deplane, get home at 10 or 10:30.

So you either don't have dinner at all, or you grab some shiatty cold and soggy airport sandwich. Definitely not about being a fatty.
 
2014-08-06 01:16:22 PM  

nocturnal001: Hey, is this a thread where people who don't do something comment like they know about said thing?

Guys, most first class tickets aren't purchased, they are awards. Also depending on what time of day, yeah, having a meal over a 3 hour flight can be an amazing convenience. Let's see. Leave client office at 4, get to airport at 4:30 or 5. Check in, board plane, now it's 5:30, take off 6pm, land at 9pm, deplane, get home at 10 or 10:30.

So you either don't have dinner at all, or you grab some shiatty cold and soggy airport sandwich. Definitely not about being a fatty.


Thanks: was coming here to say the same thing. On certain flights and situations that in-flight meal can be a big help.
 
2014-08-06 01:41:35 PM  
We just flew American on 2 trans-continental flights. No meals served, but expensive sandwiches for sale.
 
2014-08-06 01:45:47 PM  
The airline that had the imagination to fund the development of the DC-3 in 1936 (one of the most iconic airplanes ever)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Airlines

has been reduced by middle level management to a cost effective catering non-service

/just when I trained my mule to work without eating, he upped and died on me
//A+ from the Harvard School of Business
 
2014-08-06 01:52:34 PM  

Nadie_AZ: I've flown international flights in other continents that were shorter and was given a full meal. Why are American airline companies dead set against providing decent service?


True, I flew from Moscow to Vienna with a layover in Istanbul on Turkish Airlines. That made each flight less than 3 hours.Despite this, I was served a full lunch on both flights. It is the first time I have ever arrived at my destination absolutely full. It was awesome.
 
2014-08-06 01:57:04 PM  
I'd sure like to see if American Airlines will try to speed up every flight so that it lands in 2 hours
44 minutes....cheapskates.
 
2014-08-06 01:57:51 PM  

nocturnal001: Hey, is this a thread where people who don't do something comment like they know about said thing?

Guys, most first class tickets aren't purchased, they are awards. Also depending on what time of day, yeah, having a meal over a 3 hour flight can be an amazing convenience. Let's see. Leave client office at 4, get to airport at 4:30 or 5. Check in, board plane, now it's 5:30, take off 6pm, land at 9pm, deplane, get home at 10 or 10:30.

So you either don't have dinner at all, or you grab some shiatty cold and soggy airport sandwich. Definitely not about being a fatty.


Also, in my personal experience, those first class seats on international flights are filled up with the standby non-revenue passengers. If you know someone in the airline industry, the risk of not getting on the flight is sometimes easily outweighed by the ultra cheap ticket that will more than likely be first class. I did Moscow-JFK-Raleigh for 280 bucks this way.
 
2014-08-06 01:59:13 PM  

obenchainr: First-class meals actually tend to be pretty decent if a bit frou-frou.  I mean, for comparison: in coach, you get a pack of peanuts or some crappy cookies; in first class, you get a little cup of almonds and cashews that has likely been warmed up for you.  Meals I've had in first class include shrimp, various kinds of fish (macadamia-nut crusted), stuffed chicken, even chocolate mousse.  Are they perfect?  No, but they're better than Denny's quality (and probably about equivalent to a decent restaurant).


Speaking of nuts...why in the world does every freaking meal have to have nuts in it!  It's maddening in this day and age of nut allergies that every damn meal has to have nuts! (allergic to almonds and wife to all nuts including tree nuts)

Before I get off my soap box I would also like to know why the JFK taxing feels longer than larger airports such as ORD or ATL?
 
2014-08-06 02:07:53 PM  

mjohnson71: tillerman35: On a flight that short, being in first class is a waste of money.  I've sat waiting for a doctor's appointment longer than that.  First class doesn't even start to make sense from a comfort point of view until you're on a flight at least four hours long.

How tall are you?


6'4" here, I once got a pity free upgrade by the flight attendant by standing up in front of her. It was a 10 hour flight and my ticketed seat was dead center of the center row, so my legs might have fallen off otherwise.
 
2014-08-06 02:17:25 PM  

serpent_sky: who can't go three whole hours without a meal, regardless of quality?


women at a movie theater.
 
2014-08-06 02:20:32 PM  

serpent_sky: Fonaibung: Eh, I have a reasonable body fat %age (17%) but going 3 hours without a healthy meal is a little challenging.

You seriously eat a meal every three hours? How do you get anything done?


It's hard to work a job and eat as much as I need to. I prefer to work from home so I can eat all day. I may sound fat, but I'm anything but.
 
2014-08-06 02:33:55 PM  

dukeblue219: big soft seats with tons of leg room


First class averages 1.5x the coach seating area. Which is a significant increase, but not in-scale with the price differential.
 
2014-08-06 02:46:07 PM  

profplump: dukeblue219: big soft seats with tons of leg room

First class averages 1.5x the coach seating area. Which is a significant increase, but not in-scale with the price differential.


It's not a matter of price per square inch. It's a matter of (especially for taller or heavier people) a miserable flight in coach or a tolerable flight in first. And, of course, the fact that most people don't pay to sit in first anyway.
 
2014-08-06 02:53:30 PM  
This is interesting because I fly Alaskan once a month or so along the same route each time and I'm wondering if they instituted the same policy.  The flight I always take is around 2 hours and 45 minutes and up until my last flight, they always served a meal.  The last time (both ways) all they served was their nasty cookies.  I was a little confused by it since I fly this route all the time, but shrugged it off.  Now mind you, I don't need a meal for a 3 hour flight, however, there are times when it is much more convenient to wait and eat on the plane than to eat before or after since I'm usually coming from somewhere and going somewhere else and don't think eating in the airport is much better.  However, regardless of that, it's the principle of them removing a service that they previously provided while not lowering their prices in the process.  Less service for the same money is always a shiatty business practice, but this is an airline, so it's to be expected I guess.
 
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