American Airlines Is Facing New Backlash for Serving This to a Passenger

Airline food often gets a bad rap, but this was especially revolting.

Food is not exactly what airlines are known for. Some of us have taken to calling particularly unappetizing spreads "airplane food" even when we're not flying. But while we may not expect a five-course meal worthy of Michelin stars on flights, we do expect the food to be edible. For one American Airlines passenger, a recent in-flight meal did not qualify, as it ended up packing a bit more "protein" than he bargained for. Read on to find out what this passenger said he found in his food—and why you might want to pack your own meal for your next flight.

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The airline industry is experiencing post-pandemic changes.

crowded american airlines flight
Samuel Ponce / Shutterstock

A pilot shortage and ongoing disruptions have made business complicated for all airlines lately, and American Airlines is no exception. Making matters worse, demand for air travel is increasing at the same time, and everyone is struggling to keep up. To tackle this issue, both American and United Airlines recently announced that they would be replacing certain domestic routes with buses instead of planes.

Meanwhile, those of us who still need to fly are now facing skyrocketing airfare prices, mostly thanks to flight reductions brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, higher fuel costs, limited staff, and travelers with higher budgets, according to The Washington Post.

But if airlines are going to charge more for flights, you would expect them to elevate their service to match that price tag. One American Airlines passenger, however, said his experience was anything but refined.

The traveler had an unwelcome surprise in his salad.

flight attendant serving meal
Aureliy / Shutterstock

If you're flying solo, chances are you won't know the person in the seat next to you. It can be a little awkward to sit next to a stranger, but there are other passengers you definitely don't want to accompany you on your flight—those of the insect variety. On June 2, American Airlines passenger Ricky James experienced just that.

James was flying business class from Frankfurt Airport (FRA) in Germany to Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) in Texas on June 2. Much to his dismay, when he was served his in-flight meal, he identified live bugs in the side salad.

Posting to Twitter, James addressed the airline directly writing, "here is a video I took from my flight today from FRA to DFW. Business class was over $10,000 round trip and this is the quality of service…food with live bugs being served."

His accompanying video footage shows several black bugs moving around in the plastic-wrapped salad. James also expressed his disappointment with the staff's response, adding that they "simply laughed it off and asked if I wanted a different salad."

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American Airlines responded on social media.

someone logging onto twitter app
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American Airlines responded to James on Twitter the same day to address the issue. "Thanks for bringing this to our attention," the carrier wrote. "We'll send this over to the right team to review this further."

James confirmed on June 6 that he had received a call from an American Airlines representative.

In an earlier tweet on June 3, James said he had done additional research and pointed to an "issue that is ongoing with @Gate_Gourmet." According to the Twitter profile for Gate Gourmet, they are "the leading independent provider of airline catering and provisioning service." James did not include additional information or evidence to support the claim in his tweet.

The airline is in communication with its catering provider

flight attendant serving drink on plane
YAKOBCHUK VIACHESLAV / Shutterstock

American Airlines is looking into the issue further, as reported by Fox News Digital, also confirming that they had made contact with James to apologize and obtain additional information.

"We're concerned about this report, as what the customer is describing is not up to our standards," the airline said. "We are investigating this matter and are working directly with our catering provider in Frankfurt." The airline did not identify the catering company by name.

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