American Airlines will provide meals at no extra cost for all main cabin seats on two transcontinental routes, beginning May 1. The move, announced March 14, follows Delta Air Line’s recent decision to include main cabin meals on 12 transcontinental routes. Delta’s main cabin meal service began March 1. The changes by both airlines are reversing a longstanding trend of US airlines not including meal service with economy-class tickets on domestic flights.

American’s main cabin meal service will be available on its Airbus A321T transcontinental service between New York-Los Angeles and New York-San Francisco.

“Depending on the time of day, customers will be offered a continental breakfast or a boxed meal with a sandwich wrap, kettle chips and dessert. The menu also includes a vegetarian option and a fruit and cheese plate,” American said in a statement.

American’s described its A321T service as “a true international first class experience on a transcontinental route, with fully lie-flat seats in both first and business class.”

“Some of our best customers fly our trans-continental routes and we want to give them a top-notch onboard experience,” American VP-global marketing Fernand Fernandez said. “Providing complimentary meals in the main cabin is yet another step we’re taking to enhance our service in this competitive market.”

Mark Nensel mark.nensel@penton.com