Alaska Arlines is bringing back more food to more flights in first and economy class, becoming the first U.S. carrier to (nearly) bring back pre-pandemic meal service.
Meals Return To More Flights In First Class On Alaska Airlines
Boasting that it now offers “the most comprehensive onboard food and beverage program of any US airline,” Alaska Airlines is bringing back meal service on more flights, including:
- Full tray service in first class on routes longer than 670 miles – including linen, silverware, and Schönwald porcelain
- Hot meals in first class on routes longer than 1,100 miles that depart during traditional meal windows
- Sample menu items include:
- Guajillo Chile-Lime Salad with ancient grains, roasted broccoli and sweet potato with a roasted lemon crema
- Miso Marinated Cod with sesame garlic farro, sauteed yu choy, bell peppers and shitake mushrooms in a sesame-miso butter sauce.
- Fruit and cheese plate
- All flights will include the fruit and cheese plate as an option
- Sample menu items include:
Pre-ordering will be available on all flights between 14 days and one hour before the flight in order to ensure your meal choice is reserved.
Fresh Food In Economy Class Available For Purchase On Alaska Airlines
In addition to restoring meal service to first class, Alaska Airlines becomes the first U.S. carrier to restore fresh food for purchase in economy class. Economy or Premium (extra legroom economy class) passengers can order a freshly prepared wraps or fruit and cheese platter on flights over 1,100 (as well as snack boxes on flight over 670 miles).
Like first class meals, these fresh food items can be pre-ordered between 14 days and one hour before the flight.
Will Other Airlines Follow?
We’ve seen more carriers re-introduce service in the preceding months, but Alaska’s latest move puts the competitive pressure on the U.S. legacy carriers (American, Delta, and United) to step it up.
American Airlines also announced this week it would resume hot meals in first class, but did not announce a start date. United Airlines has already done so in flights over 1,500 miles or on hub-to-hub flights over 800 miles. Meanwhile, Delta has only restored meal service on transcontinental flights with plans to expand first class meal service at a future date.
But where Alaska Airlines really differentiates itself is in economy class, becoming the first U.S. carriers to again market fresh items for purchase behind the curtain. United Airlines announced full complimentary meals in economy class on longer Hawaiian flights, but still has not resumed the sale of sandwiches, salads, and other staples of its “Bistro” program. The same is true for American, JetBlue, and Delta.
My prediction is that this news by Alaska Airlines will prompt more carriers to bring back fresh food in the main cabin.
While this does not mark the full restoration of pre-pandemic meal service (Alaska used to offer hot meals in first class even on its shorter flights prior to the pandemic), this is another concrete step in returning to full service. With impressive upgrades to the menu in first class and economy class, Alaska Airlines becomes the carrier to emulate in terms of onboard catering.
Are you impressed by the Alaska Airlines catering upgrades?