American Airlines Has A Strange Definition Of “Asian”

As a Dallas-based airline, it shouldn’t come as any surprise that American Airlines doesn’t know what a bagel is. There’s really strong Asian food in Houston (especially Vietnamese) but not as much in the Dallas Metroplex. So perhaps it’s not surprising that the folks working on American’s food and beverage team aren’t familiar with Asian cuisine, either.

Faced with choices like turkey sandwiches for dinner, and cold items only on my Charlotte – Austin flights at breakfast, I’ve been ordering special meals. Those are usually hot meals, when everyone else is getting cold. But not always, and they vary in quality quite a bit.

For a recent Austin – Charlotte flight I ordered the Asian Vegetarian meal. Here’s how American Airlines describes the concept,

Spicy vegetarian meals with limited use of dairy products

Here’s what I was served:

They don’t promise much in terms of specifics, but there are two concepts that the meal is supposed to meet:

  • Asian
  • Spicy
  • This one was neither. In fact it was the exact same meal available to the rest of passengers in coach, with the addition of a fig bar. Just like on the streets of Hanoi!

    We’ve all heard about supply chain issues. Indeed, much of American’s catering out of Austin this year has actually come from Houston. I can understand not being able to get your preferred items all the time – maybe you’ve got to substitute mapo tofu with a nice madras curry!

    That’s not what happened. Instead I fear that the F&B team just hasn’t been to enough good 3.5 star Chinese restaurants.

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