My Meal of the Week feature examines an airline meal from my travels over the years. This may be a meal from earlier in the week or it may be a meal served over a decade ago.
What is breakfast like on American Airlines versus United Airlines on a mid-con breakfast flight?
I recently flew from Chicago to Los Angeles on American Airlines and back on United Airlines. But so we can do a head-to-head comparison, I thought I would compare breakfast on both carriers.
United has re-introduced hot food on breakfast flights more than 1,500 miles or on hub-to-hub flights more than 800 miles. Meanwhile, American Airlines offers cold sandwiches on flights of similar length.
Flight #1: American Airlines LAX-ORD
American Airlines has recently brought back first class meal service to more routes over 900 miles. Hot meals will return at an unspecified point, but a hearty cold breakfast was served.
Shortly after takeoff, a flight attendant took orders from front-to-back, offering a croissant sandwich with either turkey and cheese or chicken salad. Chicken salad on a plane is simply revolting to me.
The croissant was no French croissant, that’s for sure. Calling it stale would be unfair, but it was not flaky or buttery…it just tasked like white bread. That said, I ate the sandwich and found it edible. If American Airlines would just pop these croissant sandwiches in the oven, though, they’d be 10x better.
I skipped the cheese…more cheese after all the cheese inside the sandwich? No thanks.
The fresh fruit (grapes, blueberries, strawberries) was ripe and I also liked the nut and fruit bar.
Flight #2: United Airlines IAH-ORD
A flight attendant offered a choice between:
- Egg scramble with plant-based chorizo, jack cheese, butternut squash, black beans
- Belgium waffle with bourbon bananas foster sauce and berry compote
I ordered the egg scramble and found the portion size substantial and the mix of chorizo, black beans, eggs, peppers, and potatoes very tasty. It was served with fresh fruit and lemon cookies.
I noticed many in the cabin skipped breakfast, so I asked the flight attendant if there were any waffles left. She nodded, admitted she had already had two, and noted there were three left…and offered me all of them if I was hungry enough!
The waffle sauce is far better than traditional syrup and I enjoyed both.
Right now, United offers the better breakfast, though I think American Airlines would rank nearly as high If it just offered a flaky, warm croissant without meat or cheese on it. Whatever your preference, it is nice to see meal service returning to U.S. carriers.