American Airlines is challenging Delta by bringing back free meals (AA)

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American Airlines announced Wednesday that it will be bringing back free meals on select flights.

The Dallas-based airline will be offering the meals to main cabin passengers on cross-country flights between San Francisco and New York and between Los Angeles and New York beginning May 1. Meals will vary based on the time of day, and a vegetarian option will also be available.

American's move to bring back free meals comes just a few weeks after Delta announced it was reinstating complimentary meals on its transcontinental flights. And until now, the Atlanta-based airline was the only carrier offering the perk.

However, Delta still has somewhat of an edge on American because it is offering meals on more routes — 12 to be exact — beginning April 24. These routes include the same ones American is offering, as well as flights between Boston and LA, Seattle, and San Francisco.

American airlines mealAmerican Airlines

Free meals were once a common perk available on most major US airlines. However, carriers were forced to pull back on spending to cut costs during the recession.

Now, United is the only major US-based carrier not offering complimentary meals on transcontinental flights.

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