Daily Insights

The Augmented Airline Experience

By: Mackenzie Baker | Nov 25, 2019

American Airlines’ first-class food offerings are about to get a lot more scrumptious. 

The Dallas-based airline recently partnered with the James Beard Foundation to revamp its first-class lounge and flight menus. Former Top Chef contestant and James Beard Award winner Sarah Grueneberg is leading the alliance, adding menu items including mushroom Bolognese, artichoke ravioli, and chocolate budino. The Italian-centric menu will be available on flagship flights to Europe and South America for first and business class passengers beginning December 11th, with passengers being allowed to pre-order their dishes up to thirty days in advance. Consumers’ food preferences have been rapidly evolving—according to a Gartner L2 report—and the airline augmenting its menus to fit customer’s appetites could help it retain flyers. 

American Airlines is the first airline company to partner with the James Beard Foundation and comes at a time when air travel in the United States has gotten progressively less glamorous. Bringing back elegant dining to better the flying experience is a move that could help passengers enjoy their time with the airline and want to fly again. 

When airlines first came around, passengers could enjoy full-course meals and lots of legroom on their flights. While the industry has remarkably changed in the decades since, American Airlines is hoping its award-winning, first-class meals will evoke some of that experience for today’s travelers.