Pre-Ordering American Airlines First Class Meals…Just Not for Kids

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When you are booked in a premium cabin on American Airlines, you can go online into your reservation from 30 days until 24 hours before departure and select a meal option. Selecting a meal choice doesn’t 100% guarantee that you will get that choice, but it certainly increases the chances of getting your first choice.

Reserve American Meal Online.jpg

Since we are within 30 days of some American Airlines first class flights I logged in to my reservations to check out the menu choices and select the ones that I thought we would enjoy the most.


On one of our flights the menu selections were pretty straight-forward, and while they may not be diet-friendly choices, either the Grilled Beef Filet or Cheese Lasagna should keep everyone in our traveling crew happy and full enough. This includes even the toddler and seven year old who do eat a wide range of things, but you never know when a picky day may strike.

Reserve American Meal.jpg

However, when I went to select the meal on another one of our American flights coming back from Hawaii the menu selections were a bit more eclectic.

American Airlines Meal Selection.jpg

The Wasabi Potato Crusted Chicken with box choy or the Curried Mixed Vegetables may be some more interesting island-themed choices than your standard cheese lasagna or beef filet, but interesting meals aren’t always a good thing for younger diners.

If neither of the stated options meal your requirements, you can contact American to select a special meal such as a Diabetic, Gluten-free, Kosher, Muslim, or Vegetarian/Vegan meal, but most unfortunately a Kid’s Meal is not one of the special meals offered by American Airlines.

Child's meal

Child’s meal on British Airways

To her credit the American Airlines agent on the phone also giggled at a young kid wanting either of the stated options, and she said there may be other options on-board that aren’t listed online. While I may enjoy some wasabi infused box choy, I know have a good reminder to bring along our own snacks and food for that flight, which I typically try to do anyway. Hello airport Burger King…

While it isn’t new information, I do find it at least a little odd that American Airlines does not have a children’s special meal selection available on longer flights. On the one hand I get that children may not be the target demographic for first class, but on the other hand, a hungry child who doesn’t want wasabi box choy doesn’t really benefit anyone. Some basic chicken fingers or macaroni seem easy enough to cater and can go a long way in keeping the peace.

Do you select your American Airlines meals online 30 days in advance of travel? Have you ever noticed that American does not offer children’s meals?

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  1. YES! We flew First class on AA to HKG and back in Nov with our two kids ages 5 and 4. Love the product, but man some kids meals would’ve gone a long way. We also flew with the kids on AA to Beijing (mistake fare in Business), same thing. Actually think the coach meals would be better for them. They don’t care about the fancy appetizers, having to cut up the food, etc.

    • Travis, it is a really strange decision to me. I mean, they do offer special meals that I would have to guess aren’t utilized any more frequently than a kid’s meal would be used. Very strange.

  2. Why do kids need to eat something different? My mom always encouraged us to try all kinds of food, and I was never a kids meal eater when I was a kid because there was better stuff on the regular menu. Kids all over the world eat curry with no problem. Smaller portion sizes I get, but not special bland food.

    • Kids’ taste buds mature at different rates. While I was an adventurous eater as a kid, my son, now 14, is still rather limited in his diet, though it is expanding slowly. My wife said she didn’t expand her tastes until her 20s. (We are both in our 50s now.)

      I’ve flown LAX-BOS on UA a lot with just me and my son. When we’ve been upgraded, he rarely found any meals palatable. The flight attendants always got him a coach meal or snack box for no charge.

    • Mine do try things, too, but that doesn’t mean they will love everything at ages 1 and 7. I don’t personally like curry on a regular basis and so we don’t have it much and thus my kid really isn’t used to that. Spicy items can be too much for them at times, too. She does love sushi though! When tired and off schedule due to travel the chances of feeling like an adventurous eater on a plane do go down a bit I think.

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