American Airlines grey and white bedding along with a pair of grey slippers is set out for display on a white background. soft product on display

American’s soft product push feels premium, if at times complicated


In addition to its new seats and the Flagship Suite Preferred seat front-row-business-plus product on its widebody aircraft, American Airlines is making a set of wideranging changes to its soft product, including new meals, bedding, and amenity kits.

New meals bring fresh appeal, especially in domestic first

As the dining element of its soft product upgrades, American is adding new meals for international and domestic premium cabins. For international business class, the example meals given are largely protein-carb-greens in style, and on the outbound from the US include:

  • Pan roasted chicken with pepperonata sauce, mashed potato with chives and broccolini.
  • Macadamia crusted sea bass with lemon herb butter sauce, orzo salad haricot vert and red bell pepper.
  • Tortellini in sauteed spinach with blushed tomato sauce and grilled zucchini and mushroom medley.
3 meals are set out on display on a blue geometric background.

Outbound business entrees are protein-carb-greens focused. Image: American Airlines

US domestic first, meanwhile, gains new hot and cold meals. The hot meals all carry a kind of red-and-white theme, and are more hearty-carbs-with-red-sauce focussed:

  • Vegetable enchilada with red rice and green chili sauce, garnished with crumbled cotija cheese.
  • Cheese sacchetti with garlic cream sauce and marinara sauce, topped with a chopped parsley garnish.
  • Penne pasta with plant-based meat ragu and ricotta, garnished with chopped parsley.
  • Stuffed pepper, green rice and cilantro crema, garnished with crumbled cotija cheese.
Various rice and pasta dishes are on display

Domestic first hot food is carb-heavy and red-and-white, perhaps not the smartest move when it comes to spills onto travelling clothes… Image: American Airlines

Perhaps the most visually attractive and varied of the lot are the new set of chilled entrees for domestic first, which are all plant-focussed, vegetarian friendly and offer an impressive assortment of different kinds, colours, and textures of vegetables (and indeed fruits):

  • The Mediterranean bowl with garlic aioli dressing, couscous spiced with potatoes, almonds, baby arugula, shaved red cabbage, roasted red pepper hummus, tomato & cucumber salad and roasted spiced cauliflower.
  • The bistro grain bowl with red long grain rice, crumbled blue cheese, fresh cucumber, Roma tomato, red onion, green scallion, hard-boiled egg, sorghum and Frisée and Mesclun salad mix.
  • The pesto pasta salad with baby arugula, pesto salad, red and yellow blistered cherry tomatoes, red pepper, sliced mozzarella, and a nut-free basil pesto sauce.
  • The edamame and mandarin orange slaw salad with baby spinach, wonton strips, roasted cashews, green scallion and red miso vinaigrette
A cobb salad and other dishes are set out on display

The domestic first chilled bowls feel modern and look appealing. Image: American Airlines

New bedding brings consistency, if complexity

American is also rolling out an entirely new set of bedding from aviation textile specialists John Horsfall, including the manufacturer’s recycled Re-Thread products. This is for Flagship-branded widebody and narrowbody flights, and key features include pyjamas for more passengers, a reusable zipped bag to corral the “Mount Bedding” issue on boarding (that will apparently save 25 tons of plastic waste a year), and a new cool-touch dual-sided pillow.

“In American’s research with customers,” the airline says, “travelers shared that 75% prefer dual-sided pillows, with different materials on each side of the pillow. Based on this feedback, customers traveling across Flagship® First Class or Flagship® Business Class will enjoy a dual-sided pillow with cool touch fabric on one side, and traditional fabric on the other.”

A set of reusable fabric zip bags sit in a pile.

Instead of single-use plastics, American is introducing reusable zip bags for bedding. Image: American Airlines

Precisely which passengers get what is complicated enough to require a colour-coded chart (pdf), but by and large the more premium your seat the more premium your bedding. 

Two notable items stand out. First, the Flagship First bedding set is also offered to the new Flagship Suite Preferred seat in the front row of business class, and second is that the same blue-and-grey throw blanket from longhaul premium economy is reused for Transcontinental Flagship First Class. 

American Airlines' soft product bedding set is on display. The pillow and blanket are white with a thin red trim. A blue blanket sits atop them.

This blue blanket appears in international premium economy as well as in this set for domestic first. Image: American Airlines

When it comes to the premium economy blanket, cross-catering cabins like this is rarely a smart premium move: who wants to pay first class fares and get premium economy products? 

American Airlines' soft product bedding set is on display. The pillow and blanket are white with a thin red trim.

This does feel a little skimpy for international business within the market. Image: American Airlines

By and large, though, the new set of bedding looks very serviceable.

New amenity kits rotate bags, branded add-ins to increase novelty

American is throwing consistency to the wind and going full surprise-and-delight on amenity kits and contents, a smart move when it comes to procurement and provisioning since a shortage of partner brand X lip balm (say) has less of an impact.


There’s a complex chart here too (pdf), but the general idea is that American is building a staple amenity set — toothbrush, eye mask, and earplugs — to be supplemented by increasing individual add-ins like lip balm, face mist, and a refreshing towelette as cabin premium level increases.

New seasonal, specialty and commemorative kits will also be rotated in and out.

The launch kit comes from Thirteen Lune with Joanna Vargas cosmetic add-ins, and it’s notable that, here too, the Flagship First kit is also to be handed out in the front-row-business-plus Flagship Suite Preferred seat.

The contents of the American Airlines amenity kit is set out on display. Items include hand cream, a sleep mask, and other basic toiletries.

Flagship First and Flagship Suite Preferred passengers get the best kit and the most amenities. Image: American Airlines

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Featured image credited to American Airlines