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Reuters reports that American Airlines has decided to join the list of airlines now selling meals to travelers, now that it has decided to save money by cutting back its in-flight foodservice programs.

For trips originating at John F. Kennedy International in New York, American now will offer its meals at the gate through food kiosks - two breakfasts for $7 each and two other choices for lunch or for dinner for $10 each on flights from New York to Miami and St. Louis.

The test will run through the end of next month, and will be expanded or adjusted depending on consumer reaction.

Ironically, The New York Times reported this week that "rather than carry nothing more than trail mix or sandwiches, (air travelers) are packing elaborate picnics to be consumed at 25,000 feet: coolers and Tupperware containers are filled with fragrant homemade meals, bottles with spring water and juices." There was even one couple that regularly brings a bottle of its favorite wine.

"Travelers, flight attendants and industry analysts say the trend has become more pronounced since the Sept. 11 attacks, which accelerated a business downturn that has caused even full-fare airlines to often provide little more than a snack," the NYT reports.
KC's View:
We find ourselves doing exactly this when taking long flights these days, or when traveling during lunchtime or dinnertime. Sushi often is a great in-flight meal, and we get points when we share with the flight attendants.

We saw a story the other day about how Pret A Manger, the UK-based sandwich chain, has not been as successful as it hoped in NYC…but we think that this chain could blow the doors off the competition if it would just open some stores in airport terminals. They are the perfect in-flight food - tasty, nutritious, and easily portable.

Better yet, maybe the airlines should contract out their foodservice programs to Pret.