American Airlines runs out of food

May 9th, 2008, 10:00 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 48
American Airlines runs out of food

Dear Fodorites, We just returned from a trip to Venezuela to attend my mother-in-law's funeral. On the way back we connected to Philadelphia through San Juan. I was seated in seat # 27F by the window. American Airlines advertises that they have food for purchase on this flight. The plane left at about 6 PM from San Juan. 2 hours into the flight, I asked the flight attendant about dinner. He apparently neglected to tell the rest of us in the back of the plane that they ran out of the meals for purchase. This was a 3 hour and 38 minute flight right through dinnertime and we had no time to eat in San Juan as we had to dash to make our plane due to another late arrival by aa. My advice is to plan a longer layover if you are connecting in aa's hubs so you can eat. We had no such luxury and I had no dinner. The flight attendant offered to me for consolation something to drink and a "complimentary chocolate chip cookie." American Airlines knew how many passengers were booked on that plane and yet neglected to stock the plane with food. I find this unacceptable and will try to avoid American in the future. You may want to plan accordingly to avoid this pitfall. I'm glad my wife and child got to eat as they were up in row 14.
howie67 is offline  
May 9th, 2008, 11:50 PM
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Awful! Unfortunately, most domestic airlines in the USA thesedays are more or less in the same boat!
HariS is offline  
May 10th, 2008, 03:04 AM
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No excuse, but I have given up on airlines. I expect to be delayed, packed in like a sardine, and now I bring food on any flight - even if it is just an hour or so. That way if flight is less than torturous, I am pleasantly surprised.

We have 2 flights, each 6 hours with short transfer time between next month, and I am lugging enough food for the 12-hour day since I am not expecting to see any food between Boston and Anchorage.
gail is offline  
May 10th, 2008, 05:49 AM
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This is very common on their flights--especially to Hawaii. They don't want any leftovers. At least no one gets food poisining this way.
wally34949 is offline  
May 10th, 2008, 06:52 AM
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I'm surprised that you're surprised. Every flight I've been on, regardless of airline, has a stock announcement informing passengers that they have a limited number of meals on board and they apologize in advance if they run out of food.
SusanSDG is offline  
May 10th, 2008, 07:21 AM
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that's what I was thinking.

It's especially true on short international flights to central, and northern South America. The planes are stocked with so many boxes on the way out and they don't/can't restock before they turn around as the specific catering is just not there.

Most of the time the number is enough for the R/T but on occasion they run out. OTOH, they actually have to throw away the unsold boxes more times than not, even after all the FAs take 1 or 2 for their own consumption.

It's a fine balancing act and most times than not it works, but just like anything else in our not so perfect world, on occasion it does not work as advertised.
AAFrequentFlyer is offline  
May 10th, 2008, 07:27 AM
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After my first experience w/AAs food for purchase I have always made a point of bringing my own food on AA flights. They didn't run out of food on our flight but the food for purchase was so bad I will never do it again. Sorry you had to learn the hard way as I did.

PS Even on flights where meals are served for free I still bring snacks. I'm not a big eater but I find AAs serving portions to be inadequate, and needless to say, the food in coach is terrible.
P_M is offline  
May 10th, 2008, 10:11 AM
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Regardless of what the airlines does or doesn't offer, I never get on a plane these days without some small stash of food or snacks in my carry-on. Because you just never know. I also plan in slightly longer airport transfers than absolutely necessary so there's time to eat or purchase something at the airports.

Stuck on an airlane hungry is no fun, been there done that!

suze is offline  
May 10th, 2008, 11:55 AM
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AirCanada called me once 5 hours before my flight to suggest that I eat before I board because their food staff had just gone on strike and there may not be enough meals on the plane. I was impressed.

Of course, I always eat something and stuff some granola bars, etc. in my bag because you never know. My first trip to Hawaii, I had fallen asleep and my companion didn't bother to wake me up for the meal - by the time I woke up, they wouldn't give me anything.
toedtoes is offline  
May 10th, 2008, 05:14 PM
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I'm sorry to hear about your family's loss.

I think American has such an odd selection of food for sale. The wraps are quite good and I feel like I've had something nutritious to eat. But then sometimes all they have even at the start of the flight are these enormous cans of potato chips. It's way, way more than one person could ever eat and it sure would never be my idea of a meal.
Jeff_Costa_Rica is offline  
May 18th, 2008, 10:49 AM
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Speaking of bringing some snacks along in your bag or carryon--what are some good choices? Something not likely to create a big mess or be annoying to others nearby?Although, I bet if I brought a bucket of Popeye's fried chicken aboard, I could easily pass that around and make a lot of friends.
missjane is offline  
May 18th, 2008, 11:48 AM
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missjane - Those who don't get your chicken will be your enemy. And you'll be creating quite a number of them, unless you have enough for everybody on the plane.
rkkwan is offline  
May 18th, 2008, 11:54 AM
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Love that comment missjane. On a flight back from Guatemala City a few years back, most of the passengers had their own bucket of chicken. *I* was the one who missed the memo on that one.

I certainly won't forget that the next time around.
freeman0819 is offline  
May 18th, 2008, 12:04 PM
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Why did American (and other airlines) quit selling box lunches/breakfasts, etc. plane-side? Obvious answer would be that they didn't make enough money to warrant the hassle - OR that the food was crap and people knew it -- but I can't believe there isn't a substantial entrepreneurial opportunity here, esp. for people with split-second connections.
May 18th, 2008, 12:59 PM
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 1,171
Once when I was unprepared with any of my own food (I will never make that mistake again), this girl across the aisle from me opens up her bag and pulls out a plastic, squeezie-tube thing that looked like toothpaste. Know what it was? Peanut butter in a squeeze tube! She proceeded to put it on some crackers and had a very dainty snack! Boy, was I jealous! I gotta git me somma dat stuff!! What else works??
missjane is offline  
May 21st, 2008, 11:50 AM
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I always bring some Luna Bars or Cliff Bars or something similar with lots of nuts for protein. (Although, my parents had their bars confiscated on the way into Australia.)

This may sound weird, but I have also often brought California rolls (the brown-rice veggie type with no fake crab from Whole Foods) onto flights. Easy to eat, delicious, low odor, and they will keep for a few hours. I eat all the pickled ginger in hopes that it will help my motion sickness.
BlueSwimmer is offline  
May 21st, 2008, 01:43 PM
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Thanks, I usually do pack a couple of those Luna or other type bars too. Sometimes an apple.
missjane is offline  

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