American Airlines Testing "For Sale Food Options"

In an attempt to turn their planes into flying concession stands, American Airlines will be testing several new “for sale food options” this holiday travel season (on select flights only.)

Yes, you too may have the privilege of paying $3 for the following snacks:

Week One:
Nov. 5 through Nov. 11 – 6.5 oz. Starbucks doubleshot Espresso & Cream

Week Two:
Nov. 12 through Nov. 18 – 16.9 oz. FUZE(R) Green Tea

Week Three:
Nov 19 through Nov. 25 – 20 oz. vitaminwater power-c and 2.4 oz. CLIF Bar Chocolate Brownie Energy Bars.

No offense, but according to internet grocer FreshDirect, we can have a Chocolate Brownie Energy CLIF Bar thing delivered to our house right now for $1.50. Just saying.

American Airlines is also testing a $10 fruit and cheese plate from Dec. 3 – Dec. 8. That had better be some psychotically good cheese for $10. Like, amazing restaurant-type cheese. We’d better be on our death bed talking about the time we had cheese on a flight to San Francisco. (Yes, perhaps we are cheap, but if we’re going to pay $10 for cheese it won’t be because we were extorted on an airplane.)

American Airlines to Test New Food For Sale Options (Press Release) [CNNMoney]


Edit Your Comment

  1. PatrickIs2Smart says:

    CLIF bar @ Trader Joe’s ~ $0.99 … and they have pretty much all of the flavors!! They’re so tasty…

  2. timmus says:

    Well, I support anything that gives me some options besides peanuts and pretzels. However I urge the airlines to NOT make prices so high that I feel embarrassed to shell out the money in front of my seatmates.

    Maybe Skymall ought to set up some vending machines on the plane. I can get a $50 New York Cheesecake and put it on my credit card.

  3. pmr12002 says:

    Hey, all I gotta say is if you don’t like the prices don’t buy the stuff. That’s the way the free market works guys.

  4. tadowguy says:

    If their service is any basis for how the food will taste I’d rather lick the seats.

  5. Zanpakuto says:

    I’ve had some bad espressos and I can only imagine how much worse they could be if made on an airline. The things they do to food are bad enough, but espresso? For 3 dollars no less!

    2 years ago I started bringing my own good on long flights, and stopped getting their horrible meals, even on long international flights of 12 hours or more. I’d rather take on a good 12″ grinder from Togos or Subway, makes a decent 2 meals, plus the juice provided on the flight.

  6. goodkitty says:

    @pmr12002: But what does a “free” market do when all the players conspire (even if just to keep step with the competition) to charge these excesses (because you know the next step is charging for ALL food/liquids) and you can’t just “go to the other airline”? Is that a free market or just a fact of life? There are so many people flying yet nobody can make a profit… that’s just strange.

    Airlines, like credit cards and telco companies are always under scrutiny because they don’t just have the ability to screw everyone at a moment’s notice… they regularly seem to do so.

  7. Chongo says:

    $3.00 for a starbucks doubleshot actually isn’t that bad. In chicago, at most Walgreens its about $2.29 plus tax.

  8. Mr. Cynical says:

    I was on an AA flight a few weeks ago and I would have been down for some additional options. Right now it’s like 3 bucks for a 3 Musketeers Bar or trail mix. Or 5 dollars for a pretty bad looking sandwich thing.

    AA is my LEAST favorite airline in the food department.

  9. magic8ball says:

    @goodkitty: When the TSA banned liquids for security reasons, I think we all knew it was just a matter of time before airlines started charging for anything liquid on the flight. I just don’t think the term “free market” really applies here.

  10. CurbRunner says:

    Any reason why this isn’t just a prelude to inflight pay toilets?

  11. nXt says:

    This is going to be worse then MOVIE THEATRE PRICES!!!!!!

  12. TVarmy says:

    @Zanpakuto: It’s not being made fresh. It’s a canned drink from Starbucks. It’s espresso and a cream version of that Parmalait type of milk along with some sugar, served cold. It’s okay, but nothing to write home about. Not really that great compared with a well made espresso.

  13. FLConsumer says:

    Screw that crap… I’ll just fly JetBlue and have free, unlimited snacks & drinks

  14. Jon Parker says:

    @pmr12002: Wow, I never thought of it quite that way before. I guess I should just pay it and shut up.


  15. Hobo-NC says:

    “Waah. The world owes me things!” Eff you people, already. You bought a PLANE TICKET, not a dinner at Chez Paul. I swear, this entire community is just commie whiners.

  16. ReccaSquirrel says:

    My wife works at at a store that sells these. They cost $0.60 to buy from the manufacturer.

  17. cashmerewhore says:

    Skybus already does this. And in doing so, I have the chance to buy a non-stop ticket for $10. I have no complaints with this.

  18. JessiesMind says:

    I could care less what the snacks on a plane could be. However, I do care that some parents will think buying their little darlings an espresso or energy bar is a great way to placate them. That’s gonna be a fun trip.

    (For what it’s worth, my kids think a stick of gum and an ice cube is an awesome treat. I do suspect the male-child is starting to catch on but he’s smart enough to still play along.)

  19. charlah says:

    It’s important to note that the “for sale” foods have replaced even peanuts or pretzels on most flights. And then they try to spin it like they are doing us a favor. But I’m sure they’ll pass the savings onto their customers, right?

  20. suburbancowboy says:

    Is it that difficult to bring your own food on the plane? Especially if it is a Clif bar that you really want?

  21. balthisar says:

    @magic8ball: Only banned if you don’t buy them inside the secured area. You can you Starbucks behind security and bring it on the plane.

    What I’d like to see AA do is not offer different snacks based on flight length. My last flight had me arrive just barely in time to not miss my connection, and so there was no time to grab a bite in Dallas. But since the flight from Dallas to Detroit was so short, all they offered were their $3 snacks, not anything more substantial. I’d’ve been thrilled to pay $5 or $7 for one of their sandwhiches at that point. As it is, I opted to buy nothing and wait until I could go to Buffalo Wild Wings in Mt. Clemens.

  22. FatLynn says:

    AA has been offering food for sale on its flights for years. So now we are complaining that they are offering MORE options?

    BTW, you can now buy beverages once you get past security and bring them on the plane. So do that, and stop whining.

  23. calpchen says:

    I wonder if bringing our own MREs would be allowed on transcontinental flights. They’re not the most delicious meals in the world, but at least it’s a hot meal.

  24. Consumerist Moderator - ACAMBRAS says:


    If you’re unhappy with Consumerist’s posts, perhaps you could start your own blog. I have an idea for a title:

    Let us know how that works out for you.

  25. manok says:

    bring your own snacks. I usually go to McDonalds and buy a bunch of cheeseburgers to bring on board. Can sell them to passangers as well to make some cash. Two bucks for a cheeseburger.

  26. yasth says:

    @calpchen: You can’t fly with MRE heaters. Period end of story. It was illegal even before 9/11

  27. goller321 says:

    Even if you do buy items inside the security area, you’re still getting gouged for said items. If they require people to use a specific service, then they should also put limits on price mark-ups. It isn’t a “free market” if you are completely limited in your choices…

  28. bunnymen says:

    What’s the big deal? Movie theaters have been making money this way for decades!

  29. bunnymen says:

    (btw, I’m half-kidding, and haven’t been on an airplane in nearly seven years due to the increasing frustrations associated with flying).

  30. Geekybiker says:

    @bunnymen: You can realistically sit through a movie without eating. Alot of plane trips are long enough that even if you ate just before going through the gate you’ll be very hungry before you land. I’ve been on 20+ hour plane trips and that not including delays and time on the ground.

  31. bbbici says:


    Yes, however, as a passenger you are captive for long periods of time often over usual mealtimes, ridiculous security prevents you from bringing your own substantial foods onboard, and airport snack stands and quick service restaurants are overpriced and sometimes do not offer healthy options.

    Also, crappy airline/airport service means you sometimes don’t have time to grab food between connections, and might be stuck on a delayed plane for hours.

  32. flowergirl says:

    How hard is it really to spend, say, an hour before leaving to pack yourself a tasty home made meal to bring on the plane? I’ve been doing this for years. It’s great, they bring out the $10 wilted lettuce sandwiches for everyone else and I bring out my delicious pasta salad and home made cookies…. the only bummer is that I have to bring plastic forks, I can’t bring my travel chopsticks on the plane. But then, I am picky about what I put into my body and rarely eat out or eat takeout much less airport food.

  33. tekmiester says:

    American Airlines has gone way too far with this. It’s one thing to not offer any kind of snack on a short flight, but they are doing it on long flights too. I flew from Dallas to Honolulu (which is over 6 hours) and was offered NO MEAL SERVICE. I could buy a $3 cookie, or $5 small chicken salad, but that was it. How can they fly you for that long and not offer food?

  34. spookyjon says:

    It’s not too much trouble to just bring a granola bar or something onboard, but all I’d really want is the ability to bring my own drink in (not a $5 Diet Coke from inside the security zone) without being thrown in Guantanamo Bay.

  35. synergy says:

    Caveat: I fly once every two or three years.

    Why can’t you just pack a couple of granola bars or a sandwich in your carry-on bag? Is this now prohibited? It’s what I always have done.

  36. UpsetPanda says:

    @tekmiester: I’ve flown with Lufthansa a few times, and for long flights (9+ hours). I’ve always gotten good service and decent food that was actually hot, plus they actually gave you what you asked for! Imagine that. I ask for pasta, I got pasta. And it was a balanced meal, as well. A little cheese, some bread, a little pad of butter, and tea or coffee afterwards. Great service, well worth the extra money. AA? Not so much.

  37. mrearly2 says:

    Just BYOF, people. That’s what folks did when traveling, in the olden days. That way, you don’t even have to think about what kinda crap you may be forced to buy on the plane.

  38. JeTDoG says:

    for $10, it needs to be a pound of the finest Stilton, accompanied by a glass of tawny port and served to me by a flight attendant who could pass for Eva Longoria’s little sister… we’re talking 200% markup on prepackaged items, i.e., pure profit! damn, I’m in the wrong business…

  39. calpchen says:

    @yasth: So it looks like you can fly with MREs (according to the TSA).