Reserve Your Entrée Before You Fly on American Airlines? No.

After a stressful couple days of standby travel on United, it was time for my girlfriend and me to fly to Los Angeles. I opted for a confirmed ticket on American Airlines and secured an upgrade to first class for us. On this transcon Washington Dulles - Los Angeles trip, AA's Reserve Your Entrée Before You Fly program was offered. But did it work out? 

First, a bit about the program--

Select Your Entrée in Advance

We are improving your First and Business Class experience by offering you the opportunity to reserve your entrée before you fly.* Our menus are inspired by a team of internationally acclaimed chefs and with this new feature, you can review and select menu options prior to boarding!

If you have a select flight that is departing in the next 30 days, we invite you to begin your entrée reservation by accessing My Reservations to review menu options. Then, simply complete your selections at least 24 hours prior to departure to help ensure that your desired selection is available.

Information About Entrée Reservations

  • Entrée reservations are available on AA marketed and operated jet service flights departing from:
      • New York LaGuardia (LGA)**
      • Portland, OR (PDX)**
      • San Jose, CA (SJC)**
      • Seattle (SEA)**
      • Washington Dulles (IAD)**
      • Washington Reagan (DCA)**
  • Additionally, entrée reservations are currently available on AA marketed and operated jet service flights between the following cities:

    Chicago (ORD) and:
    • — Los Angeles (LAX)*
    • — New York LaGuardia (LGA)*

    Dallas/Fort Worth (DFGW) and:
    • — Los Angeles (LAX)*
    • — New York LaGuardia (LGA)

    Los Angeles (LAX) and:
    • — Boston (BOS)*
    • — Ft. Lauderdale (FLL)*
    • — Miami (MIA)*
    • — New York Kennedy (JFK)
    • — Newark (EWR)*
    • — Orlando (MCO)*
    • — Washington Dulles (IAD)
    • — Washington Reagan (DCA)*

    New York Kennedy (JFK) and:
    • — San Diego (SAN)*
    • — San Francisco (SFO)*
    • — Seattle (SEA)*

    Miami (MIA) and:
    • — San Francisco (SFO)*
    • — Seattle (SEA)*
  • Entrée reservations may begin 30 days prior to travel and must be completed at least 24 hours before departure
  • If your original itinerary changes, please reselect your entrée preference
  • We will do our best to accommodate your request, but there may be instances that prevent us from fulfilling your selection
I was keen to take advantage of this service because my friend is a vegetarian, so I logged onto, pulled up my reservation, and found this--

In theory, this is great--very easy to use, accurate (those were indeed the two meal choices), and time-efficient (much quicker than calling the Executive Platinum desk).

But my girlfriend's special meal was not loaded! There was no record of it at all on the manifest and though the purser was very apologetic, my friend only had a small side salad, bread, and fruit--not so nice for a six hour flight.

So my first experience with AAs meal reservation service was a disappointment. I trust they will work out the cracks in the program such that special meals, in particular, will not be missed on future flights.

Have any of you taken "AAdvantage" of this program? What was your success?


UA-NYC January 22, 2013 at 07:19 am

I'm 3/3 doing it, but it was always between AA hubs. Still working out the kinks (one FA wasn't aware of my order), but at least they're trying to elevate the F experience (vs. what UA is doing)

I have yet to experience this problem with American Airlines, however more than once on both Delta and United my vegetarian meal has failed to be loaded. I find if I request it 72 hours or more in advance I have better luck than the cut off of 24 hours.

PK January 22, 2013 at 03:13 pm

So she's your girlfriend now? Congratulations! One of those German vegetarians, eh? I guess it's becoming more popular there now.

Seriously though: My wife and I fly with Austrian and they have a unique special meal my wife loves: seafood. I see the option available also on Asian carriers but it's rare for American or general European airlines. Interesting thing though: if I tried to reserve kosher meal (which my wife also likes in the hopes of scoring some more seafood) it's set up that way for the whole flight including legs where the seafood meal is offered. So she has to go to the check-in desk for every segment.

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