American Airlines Hopes Online Meal Reservations Will Make Travelers Forget All Those Other Problems

Loosey-goosey seats? Flight cancellations and labor contract disputes? Maybe customers will forget all those problems riddling American Airlines now that some first- and business-class passengers can make sure they reserve their desired in-flight meal in advance. At least, we’re guessing that’s what the airline is hoping as it struggles to reassure customers during its recent tribulations.

Premium class customers will be able to pre-order their meals under a new program announced today. The new perk is available for passengers flying between Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport and New York’s LaGuardia Airport and between John F. Kennedy International Airport and Los Angeles International, reports the Dallas News.

Starting Nov. 15, the program will also be available on all flights between JFK and San Francisco International Airport, as well as flights between Dallas and Los Angeles, Chicago O’Hare and Los Angeles; and between Chicago and LaGuardia.

The company hopes to roll out the program to all domestic flights by the beginning of 2013 and international flights soon after that. As for whether it’ll soothe angry customers in the wake of all the problems plaguing the airline recently, well, that remains to be seen.

Speaking of pesky problems, American told its employees that it’ll be double-locking seats on 49 of its 767s, just to avoid any more incidents of seats coming loose while in midair, reports USA Today.

The memo reads in part:

After inspecting our entire aircraft fleet, we have determined that 49 of our 767s have the same primary locking device that was found on 48 of our 757s. There have been no in-flight incidents impacting customers with the seat-locking mechanisms on these 767s. This added layer of safety involves the same aviation-strength locking device that American installed on some of our 757s.

The FAA has approved our plan, and the installation work is expected to be finished around Oct. 21. We will not need to cancel any flights to accomplish the installation.

Good call on not having to cancel any more flights to get that done, American. We’re not sure your customers would stand for that.

American Airlines launches meal reservation program [Dallas News]
Full text: American Airlines’ memo on proactive 767 seat measures [USA Today]