American Airlines Serving Pretzels From Before The Pandemic

Gastroenterologist Shida Haghighat flew American Airlines and was surprised to see the snack she was served had expired. In fact, it’s dated from before the start of the pandemic.

Was so excited to indulge in my free pretzel snack aboard @AmericanAir but was aghast by how stale they tasted.

Flipped over the package and the expiration date reads 2020.

Can’t help but to wonder if the aviation kerosene was also expired 🤔 pic.twitter.com/NhKSlunULF

— Shida Haghighat, MD, MPH (@DoctorShida) December 7, 2022

While the pretzels may taste stale, you’re in coach, in some sense maybe that’s to be expected! And another doctor makes the point that the age of the ingredients aren’t exactly going to be bad for you as such.

Riboflavin and canola oil doesn’t expire

— Brian Frank, MD (@DrBrianAFrank) December 7, 2022

I’ve written about American Airlines serving 16 month old curry vegetables. American told me at the time that while that was within industry norms, they were working with catering vendors to provide meals that were made within 40-60 days. Nigella Lawson says not to freeze curries more than three months.

Before the pandemic the U.S. industry standard for meals aging was that United would serve meals up to 6 months, Delta 12 months, and American 18 months.

Fifteen years ago United was known to sell expired coach buy on board snacks, and – while I still believe it was a labeling error – easyJet served a cheese sandwich that expired 10 years earlier.

I reached out to American Airlines for comment on whether they have policies around the expiration dates of snacks, and whether this was an American Airlines sourcing or outsourced catering company issue, and I’ll update if they respond.

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