Food Tester at Cruising Altitude
Flight Attendant: "Welcome to American Airlines. Care to hear our specials of the day?"
Me (playing a passenger): "Why, of course. I have only eaten an Annie's pretzel in the terminal and am ravished."
F.A.: "We have three new sandwiches that will rinse that salty party mix taste right out of your mouth: roasted chicken with havarti on a bratwurst roll (available through Nov. 4), smoked turkey and Swiss on wheat (Nov. 5-11 ), and a turkey croissant with chutney-infused cream cheese and Monterey Jack cheese (Nov. 12-18 )."
Me: "Hmmm, that doesn't sound like the usual processed school cafeteria fare airlines typically serve. I might even get some nutrition on this flight. What's the damage?"
F.A.: "Five bucks. Cheaper than the airport or . . .Cosi!"
Me: "Anything to wash it down with? Maybe a Starbucks doubleshot espresso and cream, FUZE green tea or Vitamin water power-c?"
F.A. "How did you guess?"
Me: "I know my beverage cart. And for dessert?"
F.A.: "CLIF Bar chocolate brownie energy bars. Gives you that extra pep, in case we are stuck on the tarmac for five hours."
Me: "So, not to be suspicious, but why are you being so nice? Why are you feeding us real people food and not dressed-up Dumpster meals?"
F.A. "It is part of a new test pilot (sorry, no pun intended) in which we are trying out new food items in economy class, select routes only."
Me: "So, in a way, my dining decision today could impact fliers of 2008. In the future, we might arrive at a destination sated and in good spirits, not cursing from hunger."
F.A.: "Exactly. Think of it as your public duty."
Me: "Well, put it like that and I will try one. And take one for yourself; charge it to Seat 23B."
Epilogue: AA's food-for-purchase pilot program will end Dec. 23. If you try a sandwich, be vocal about your likes and dislikes--or even express what you'd want to see on the menu. I would love to never have to see or smell a club croissant sandwich again. What would you like to see delivered to your airplane seat tray?
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