Although we all strive to sit up front whenever possible, there comes a time when we must sit in the main cabin. To ease the pain, American Airlines, for the last few years, has offered a very generous policy when it comes to buy-on-board food and drinks for passengers holding Executive Platinum or Concierge Key status.
AAdvantage® Executive Platinum and ConciergeKeySM members can enjoy a complimentary* beverage from our standard alcoholic selections as well as one of our snacks, where available, when flying in the Main Cabin on board American Airlines or American Eagle®. The snack on American includes any food item on our menu.
With the integration between American and US Airways the last several months, the policy was updated to allow for its use on US Airways flights, although it was much different in terms of what it would allow for the food item.
The snack on US Airways includes any item from our à la carte menu.
Available à la carte items included Chex Mix, Fruit & Nut Mix, Hummus & Pita Chips, M&M's and Pringles. Not very appetizing for passengers used to receiving fresh food on American Airlines flights.
The difference between the two policies often confused passengers, especially now that legacy US Airways (LUS) flights announce themselves as American Airlines flight 123, etc.. To make it worse, the latest version of the American Way magazine and MarketPlace menu in the seatback pocket removed all information regarding the onboard benefit, so many were left to wonder if American was planning to eliminate the benefit.
MarketPlace Menu - (photo courtesy: heels first travel)
Despite efforts to contact American for clarification on the policy, they responded differently each time, adding to the confusion. However, it would seem that as of October 17th, the current AA policy will be the one retained for all flights going forward. Per flight62, the following message was sent to all US Airways flight attendants.
Beginning October 17, Executive Platinum and Concierge Key customers (EP/KEY) traveling in the Main Cabin on former LUS metal may select any complimentary food item from the MarketPlace menu, including snack boxes and fresh food offerings on applicable flights.
The recognition benefit will then be fully aligned on both carriers to include: À la carte snacks, snack boxes, fresh meals, beer, spirits and non-premium wine.
Enhancements will be introduced to the MyFlight application on your tablet in early November which will allow you to identify customer frequent flier status. Until then, reference final paperwork per current procedures. It is important that you continue to use the “EP/KEY” complimentary reason code to record these transactions. This step ensures we provision adequate inventory to support the program.
Thank you for recognizing our most valued customers for their loyalty to American through this expanded benefit.
Though I broke my three-year streak of 100% upgrades on American Airlines flights, I sure appreciated the ability to choose a free sandwich on a recent flight from Los Angeles to Dallas. The flight attendant came around before we departed to welcome me on-board and take my order. Once we got into the air, I, and the other Executive Platinum passengers around me, all received our food and drinks before the rest of the cabin had been serviced.
Complimentary Reuben Sandwich on American Airlines
Benefits like this are one of the many reasons why I think AAdvantage is the best program to hold elite status in.