I love booking special meals on American Airlines. If you have a domestic first class seat at least 24 hours in advance, you can log in to your reservation and choose. I have previously tried the diabetic meal, which weirdly featured several starches. I also tried the Hindu meal, which I suspect was a catering mistake. On my May 14 flight from DFW to Las Vegas I ordered the American Airlines Kosher meal. This was a much better choice. It was clearly religiously appropriate, and the food tasted good. There was also a ton of food, but that was actually the problem. American general serves domestic meals on one tray, and there was so much food here it didn’t all fit. That made the situation a little awkward.
Start with the basics
First, let me start by acknowledging that different people have wildly different experiences on American. I have generally have a pretty good experience. My friend John prefers Southwest, and my buddy Mike feels about them the way that most people feel about their mother-in-law. Some people get as angry as this guy, although be forewarned that YouTube clip has some NSFW language. Still, on balance the way that American Airlines handles special meals is definitely one for the win column.
American does a good job of explaining the choices here. While the American Airlines Kosher Meal is my favorite of the ones I have tried so far, there are several more I still want to see. I also want to re-do that really weird Hindu meal. However, for domestic flights you can log into your reservations 30 days in advance. You have to do it at least 24 hours in advance, which means this won’t work if you get upgraded at the gate. They should have something which appeals to you and meets your needs.
What comes with the American Airlines Kosher Meal?
Meals on American start in a pretty standard way. They will offer you a drink, and in first class alcohol is included for free if you like. They will also offer you a ramekin of nuts and a warm towel. You are free to decline any of these items if you prefer or if you have a nut allergy.
On midcon flights, service tends to be on one tray at one time. That is actually where the problem came in with the Kosher meal– there was more food than could fit on the tray. Some of that was to seal the food so it would meet the requirements of Jewish dietary law, but that didn’t help much when trying to deal with the logistics of how to eat it all.
Once I figured out how to eat it, the meal was quite enjoyable. The main course– the dish you see on top here– was served hot. Pretty much your only choice was to start with it do you could physically get to all of the other food. It was a chicken breast with chickpeas served in a nice sauce. They did need more of the sauce. There was also couscous and green beans. Frankly, this would have been enough if it was all they served.
Wait! There’s More!
I eventually propped the main plate to the side. It helped that my seatmate let me claim a little bit of extra space. Starting from the bottom right, there was a roll with butter, a fish with pickled vegetables, another pickled vegetable dish, and a lemon poundcake. Underneath there was also a coffee sachet, tea bag, and creamer. American Airlines clearly took seriously the requirement to keep everything on this tray separate from other food.
The fish dish was fine, although not my favorite. I like the other pickled vegetable dish, and the dessert was quite good. The roll was… as good as pre-packaged bread can be. I only had a few bites of each thing due to the sheer volume of food. Seriously, if you are going to be hungry the American Airlines Kosher meal is the way to go. There is no religious test you have to pass to order it. I have also enjoyed the Hindu and Muslim meals. As I write this it is Sunday morning and I am getting ready to go to church. I am trying to remember if this is potluck Sunday, because that means fried chicken. The point here is that you can order anything you like regardless of what your faith tradition is or isn’t. I happened to enjoy this meal very much. Regardless of what you choose, if you are in first class on American Airlines you should log in to see what your options are.