What food is served on American, Delta, Southwest and United flights?

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  • Most domestic economy passengers do not receive a full meal in the price of their ticket.
  • Many flights, especially long-haul flights to international destinations, include meal service even in economy.
  • Even on flights that don’t include food in the ticket price, many offer more filling options than the free bag of nuts or bisque you might get.

Travelers often assume they won’t be fed when flying. While it is true that most domestic economy passengers do not receive a full meal in the price of their ticket, it is incorrect to say that meals are not served on flights.

Many flights, especially long-haul flights to international destinations, include meal service even in economy. And even on flights that don’t include food in the ticket price, many offer more filling options than the free Pie Nuts or Biscoff packet you buy. Frequent flyer status entitles you to many frequent flyer perks like free premium beverages on most carriers.

What the four major US airlines offer for in-flight meals and snacks.

American Airlines

Free Main room and Main Cabin Extra on all flights over 250 miles

  • Tea, Coffee, Water, Coca Cola soft drinks
  • Biscoff Cookies and Pretzels

To buy economy on domestic flights

  • Premium snacks
  • Beer, wine and spirits

Free in economy on flights to Asia, Australia, New Zealand, Europe, the Middle East, select South American cities between the US and Hawaii and select departures on the following routes: JFK-LAX, JFK-SFO, JFK-SNA, BOS-LAX and MIA-LAX:

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  • All complimentary drinks and snacks are available on short flights
  • Airplane food
  • Beer, wine and spirits

All passengers on domestic First Class, Premium Economy, Business Class on short-haul international flights, and Flagship Business and Flagship First tickets have access to all the complimentary refreshments listed previously. Premium food Menus vary by region and route, with specially selected beer, wine and spirits.

Delta Air Lines

Free in the main cabin on all flights over 250 miles

  • Tea, Coffee, Water, Coca Cola soft drinks
  • A selection of snacks

To buy economy on domestic flights

  • Snack boxes
  • Beer, wine and spirits

Comfort+, Domestic First Class, Premium Select and Delta One fares always include beer, wine and spirits. Complimentary hot meals are available on select domestic first class and all domestic Delta One flights.

On long-haul international flights, food and beverages including beer, wine and spirits are included. Each room class.

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Southwest Airlines

Southwest There is only economy class, so all its flights include:

  • Tea, Coffee, Water, Coca Cola soft drinks
  • A selection of snacks

Beer, wine and spirits are available for purchase, although elite Rapid Rewards members can receive complimentary beverage coupons.

United Airlines

In economyComplimentary snacks, water, tea, coffee and soft drinks and beer, wine and spirits can be purchased on all flights over 300 miles.

Premium snack boxes are available for purchase in economy on flights over 500 miles, and hot meals are available for purchase in economy on domestic flights over 1,190 miles.

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Economy fares include meals, snacks, beer, wine, water, soft drinks, coffee and tea on flights to select destinations in Asia, Europe, the Middle East, the South Pacific and Latin America. Spirits are also available for purchase.

Domestically Business and First Class:

  • Complimentary alcoholic beverages are available upon request on flights over 300 miles
  • Free refreshments are also available on flights between 300 and 900 miles
  • On flights over 900 miles, hot meals are served
  • On flights over 1,190 miles, a pre-arrival snack is provided in addition to the main meal.

On that day Polaris International business class flights, premium hot meals and beer, wine and spirits are included in the price.

Zach Victor is a travel reporter for USA TODAY in New York. You can reach him at [email protected].

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