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American Is Finally Bringing Back This In-Flight Service, Starting Now

You might be able to take advantage of the revived offering on your next flight.

Some travelers see flying as an exciting experience that allows them to explore the world and connect with loved ones. Others see it as a special kind of hassle that can be as uncomfortable as it is unpredictable. In either case, the COVID-19 pandemic has made it difficult to know what to expect whenever taking to the skies as safety mandates and cost-cutting measures took precedence over some familiar comforts. But after more than two years, major airlines are beginning to get their footing back and restoring certain perks that passengers can look forward to once again. Read on to see which popular in-flight service American is finally bringing back for passengers.

RELATED: Delta Is Cutting Flights to These 5 Cities, Starting Sept. 5.

American Airlines is bringing back its in-flight espresso drink service.

woman holding coffee cup on plane

Even though they've been greatly affected by pandemic-related changes, food and beverage service on planes is finally beginning to return to normal one step at a time. In the most recent example, American Airlines has reintroduced in-flight espresso service for passengers for the first time since dropping the offering in the spring of last year, travel blog View From the Wing reports.

The freshly made drinks are available to passengers in premium cabins on certain flights.

woman drinking on plane

The restored service now means that passengers flying in premium cabins will have the option to order espresso-based drinks while in the sky, including cappuccinos and lattes. Specifically, machines capable of making the beverages are installed on Airbus A321T, Boeing 777-300ER, and Boeing 787 planes in American's fleet.

Some experts argued that the return of the passenger perk was a small but appreciated step towards normalcy. "Obviously, they weren't the best espresso or cappuccino beverages, but they were significantly better than airplane coffee," Ben Schlappig, founder of travel news outlet One Mile at a Time, wrote in a post noting the service change.

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The perk was removed as a cost-cutting measure, not a COVID-related precaution.

Stewardess carrying food trolley in corridor of airplane jet. Interior of modern plane. European woman wear uniform, latex gloves and medical mask. Civil aviation. Air travel concept

From reduced beverage service sweeps to an outright ban on alcohol sales, the pandemic has brought its fair share of COVID-precaution-related changes to in-flight service. But unlike other recent adjustments, the decision by American to drop in-flight espresso roughly a year ago was a money-saving measure taken by the airline.

When announcing the change last year, the carrier said it had removed espresso-based drinks from the premium cabin menu "to help conserve fuel and prevent confusion about what services are currently offered," according to travel news outlet Live and Let Fly. But while the airline stopped the made-to-order beverage service, only "frothing wands, cups, saucers, [and] brewing pods" were taken off aircraft and not the machines themselves. "Clearly, this was not about consumer confusion or fuel, but simply about trying to trim costs," the blog argues.

Other airlines have recently brought back in-flight food and beverage services.


American's decision to revive in-flight espresso drinks is just one of the recent re-additions of in-flight food and beverage perks announced as the airline industry slowly normalizes. Last month, competing carrier Delta revived hot meal service for first-class passengers for its premium cabins on select flights that are 900 miles or greater. The revamped menu now includes new entree options such as ginger beer-braised osso bucco, wild mushroom ravioli, chicken cacciatore, and French bread pizza, as well as an enhanced dessert selection that ranges from ricotta cheesecake to frozen Greek yogurt with cherry syrup to a strawberry rhubarb and pretzel tart.

Delta also revived full three-course meal service on long-haul transoceanic international flights for its Delta One business class passengers as of March 15. Previously, the carrier reduced service to a single course meal to cut down on interaction between crew and passengers during the pandemic. Flyers in the premium cabin can also expect a wider selection of drinks and snacks served before takeoff, as well as a post-meal treat.

"Customers can also enjoy more options for their pre-departure beverages, like mimosas, and snack on new cocktail bites before meal service," Allison Ausband, Executive Vice President and Chief Customer Experience Officer for Delta, said in a statement on March 4. "And my personal favorite: customers can again indulge with more dessert options, choosing between one of our decadent plated desserts or an ice cream sundae with an array of topping options."

RELATED: United Is Finally Bringing Back This Service for Travelers, as of April 14.

Zachary Mack
Zach is a freelance writer specializing in beer, wine, food, spirits, and travel. He is based in Manhattan. Read more
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