qqflyboy
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AA's BOB Gets A Makeover, New Free Snack

Thu Jul 07, 2005 6:32 am

I was just reading how US plans to eliminate free pretzels on their flights, following the path of NW recently. AA, on the other hand, is finally replacing the pretzels with tortilla chips. Nothing great, but a welcomed change for those that can't stand any more pretzels.

In other news, AA is about to release BOB 2.0. The company is attempting to keep the product offering fresh by changing the contents of the box every few months. The fresh items were updated and selection increased a few months ago for long flights, and now the snack box served on shorter flights is getting a redo.

The new snack boxes will look a little different, and its ingredients will have changed. Here's what's planned for the new box:

AM: Wheat Thins crackers, Sun Butter (made of sunflower seeds), Knott's Strawberry Preserves, Nabisco Fig Newtons and Newman's Own Raisins.

PM Box: Stone Classic Tortilla Chips, Heinz Salsa, Heinz Cheddar Cheese sauce, O'Brien's Turkey Sausage and Nabisco Lorna Doone Cookies.

The changeover is expected to occur on or around July 15th, but you may see the older box for several weeks while the supply is diminshed. Despite sales above expectations, BOB is still not breaking even. I find that interesting, but I know there have been quite a few adjustments made to the amount of the fresh item provisioned per flight. Those items aren't selling as expected, therefore the company has cut the ratio of those items per flight. However, the snack box is selling better then expected, and provisiong has been increased to meet that demand.

Despite BOB not breaking even yet, AA is still saving over $30 million a year by not offering a traditional tray service.
The views expressed are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect my employer’s views.
 
abirda
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RE: AA's BOB Gets A Makeover, New Free Snack

Thu Jul 07, 2005 6:40 am

As much as I hate to see complimentary meals leave the economy cabin, I have to say that it sounds like AA is doing a really good job implementing BOB meals and snacks. I worried with all the initial talk BOB coming to AA that the strategy would be poorly implemented and be a regrettable blimish on the airline's record.

Is there some long term projection for when BOB should break even? What is keeping it from doing so now if sales are above expectations? Initial fixed costs?
 
tu154
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RE: AA's BOB Gets A Makeover, New Free Snack

Thu Jul 07, 2005 6:43 am

The contents of these boxes sound very much like UAL/TED.
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MAH4546
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RE: AA's BOB Gets A Makeover, New Free Snack

Thu Jul 07, 2005 6:43 am

Quoting QQflyboy (Thread starter):
. AA, on the other hand, is finally replacing the pretzels with tortilla chips. Nothing great, but a welcomed change for those that can't stand any more pretzels.

I was pleasantly surprised about this when I got them on my recent ORD-MIA flight. I hate pretzels, unless they are Auntie Anne's

[Edited 2005-07-06 23:44:15]
a.
 
gift4tbone
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RE: AA's BOB Gets A Makeover, New Free Snack

Thu Jul 07, 2005 6:58 am

So does that mean that AA doesn't give out free torilla chips? Do they only come with the snack box? How much is the snack box? How about free sodapop?

I ask all these questions becuase i will be flying AA in aug for a trip out to PHX. Both trips last ALL DAY. and I'd like to know if i should pack a meal.

-Tony@PVD
Top 3 airports: PVD 23.9%(138 flights), PHL 14.7%(85 flights), PHX 10.2%(59 flights)
 
abirda
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RE: AA's BOB Gets A Makeover, New Free Snack

Thu Jul 07, 2005 7:06 am

Quoting Gift4tbone (Reply 4):
How about free sodapop?

I can't speak for whether any snack food is still given out for free, but there definitely remains a full complimentary non-alcoholic beverage service on all but the shortest, most obscure domestic mainline flights, as well as on most Eagle/Connection flights.
 
gift4tbone
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RE: AA's BOB Gets A Makeover, New Free Snack

Thu Jul 07, 2005 7:08 am

thx for the info.

-Tony@PVD
Top 3 airports: PVD 23.9%(138 flights), PHL 14.7%(85 flights), PHX 10.2%(59 flights)
 
abirda
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RE: AA's BOB Gets A Makeover, New Free Snack

Thu Jul 07, 2005 7:15 am

No problem. Perhaps you can consult the "Travel section" on AA.com for prices on BOB food. Tell us what you find out, if anything. I'd be intersted to know.
 
commavia
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RE: AA's BOB Gets A Makeover, New Free Snack

Thu Jul 07, 2005 7:24 am

Quoting MAH4546 (Reply 3):
I was pleasantly surprised about this when I got them on my recent ORD-MIA flight. I hate pretzels, unless they are Auntie Anne's

I, too, was pleasantly surprised on a recent AA flight. The pretzels were fine, but I much prefer the Tostitos.
 
aa777jr
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RE: AA's BOB Gets A Makeover, New Free Snack

Thu Jul 07, 2005 7:31 am

I wish there was more of a selection of the BOB meals at AA, but then again, I usually just grab a cold sandwich at the gate and take it onboard. The AA gate agents always make an announcement that it's okay to bring food onboard...seems that they encourage it sometimes.

Regards.
A liberal is a man who is right most of the time, but he's right too soon.
 
Cessnapimp
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RE: AA's BOB Gets A Makeover, New Free Snack

Thu Jul 07, 2005 7:32 am

Air Canada is supposed to be starting a trial run of Subway sandwiches as part of their On-Board Restaurant service out of Montreal this July.
 
MAH4546
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RE: AA's BOB Gets A Makeover, New Free Snack

Thu Jul 07, 2005 7:34 am

Quoting Gift4tbone (Reply 4):
So does that mean that AA doesn't give out free torilla chips? Do they only come with the snack box? How much is the snack box? How about free sodapop?

AA gives out free tortilla chips on every flight.
a.
 
Ralgha
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RE: AA's BOB Gets A Makeover, New Free Snack

Thu Jul 07, 2005 7:37 am

Do they give out free salsa too? Tortilla chips are nothing without salsa.
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incitatus
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RE: AA's BOB Gets A Makeover, New Free Snack

Thu Jul 07, 2005 7:38 am

I'd be interested in the caloric and fat content of the snack boxes. How about the transfatty acid content? The last snack box I bought had Oreos which I find some of the worst kind of (un)edible snack.  spit 
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gift4tbone
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RE: AA's BOB Gets A Makeover, New Free Snack

Thu Jul 07, 2005 7:42 am

http://www.aa.com/content/travelInfo...t/dining/domesticMealService.jhtml

The snack boxes are only $3. But it shows sandwiches available for purchase, and no info on cost or availability besides time of day for those. the $3 snack box isn't a bad deal. But i wonder if the sandwiches are as good of a deal. Becuase buying food inside the airport terminal can be outrageous.

-Tony@PVD
Top 3 airports: PVD 23.9%(138 flights), PHL 14.7%(85 flights), PHX 10.2%(59 flights)
 
N1120A
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RE: AA's BOB Gets A Makeover, New Free Snack

Thu Jul 07, 2005 7:46 am

Quoting Gift4tbone (Reply 4):
So does that mean that AA doesn't give out free torilla chips?

They do give them out free

Quoting Gift4tbone (Reply 4):
How about free sodapop?

Of course. This is not Ryanair

Quoting Incitatus (Reply 13):
I'd be interested in the caloric and fat content of the snack boxes. How about the transfatty acid content?

Safe so say, these boxes are not good for you. Most American snack food makers are removing transfats from their products ahead of the new labeling laws, and that includes pretty much all Frito Lay chips (including Tostitos).
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jsnww81
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RE: AA's BOB Gets A Makeover, New Free Snack

Thu Jul 07, 2005 8:50 am

I'm glad the Oreos are going away. On my last AA BOB flight, I didn't purchase the snack box simply because it had Oreos in it.

Beside the trans fats, who wants to eat black cookies that are going to pile black gunk in between your teeth? Makes a pretty poor impression when you're flying to a fashion-conscious place like Miami.  Wink

In all seriousness, if American's going to offer BOB instead of a traditional meal, kudos to them for shaking up the selections periodically. Sounds like a semi-decent move.
 
qqflyboy
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RE: AA's BOB Gets A Makeover, New Free Snack

Thu Jul 07, 2005 8:55 am

Ok. I'll try to break down the availability of the various BOB products as simply as possible.

Snack box: $3
Fresh item: $5
Both boxes: $8

The AM snack box is offered on flights that depart between 0600 and 0959 on flights with a block time of three hours or longer. (BTW, if a flight is blocked in one direction as 3:09 and the other at 2:55, both flights will feature BOB.)

The PM snack box is offered on flights that depart between 1000 and 1930, with the same flight time requirements.

Snack boxes are provisioned at 30% of passenger load for non-transcon domestic flights, 50% for transcon and Hawaii flights.

The fresh item (sandwiches) are offered on transcon flights (like LAX-JFK) and on flights to/from Hawaii (with the exception of return flighs from LIH/KOA... there's no catering facility in either location).

There has been talk about rolling out the fresh components to other markets within the US, but that is still being evaluated. It's the fresh item that is causing the program to lose money, so far. Those items are not shelf stable and are thrown away at the end of each flight. In the beginning of the program, for example, Hawaii flights were being provisioned at 100%. Demand was so low for the fresh item, provisioning on those flights has been reduced to 25% (west coast to Hawaii, DFW/ORD - Hawaii has 50% provisioning). Transcon flights have been reduced to 25% on fresh items as well.

One other good thing is AA was able to make the change from pretzels to chips with a vendor change. With the new vendor, there will be several snack items AA can rotate. So far, however, no other items have been announced, other than the tortilla chips. Hopefully, this rotation will occur quarterly or every six months at most, and not every five years. No word on the rotation schedule yet, either.

In addition, AA is looking at expanding the hours of when BOB will be offered. A 1930 cutoff seems to be too soon. I'd recommend 2100 at the earliest, maybe even 2200, provided the flight is not a red-eye.
The views expressed are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect my employer’s views.
 
phatfarmlines
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RE: AA's BOB Gets A Makeover, New Free Snack

Thu Jul 07, 2005 9:00 am

So if I'm reading right, you now get complementary tortilla chips in place of the complementary pretzels, and if you choose to buy the afternoon/evening snack box, you get more tortilla chips w/ condiments and other small snacks.
 
NASCARAirforce
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RE: AA's BOB Gets A Makeover, New Free Snack

Thu Jul 07, 2005 10:38 am

When I read about AA and BOB, I was thinking AA was attempting their own version of TED.
 
Alitalia744
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RE: AA's BOB Gets A Makeover, New Free Snack

Thu Jul 07, 2005 10:56 am

Not sure what the hype is over the "Snackbox." Delta has implemented one as well and it's free. Granted, you don't get the "beef sausage" in the Delta one but whatever.

Hopefully it works for AA.
Some see lines, others see between the lines.
 
CXYYZ
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RE: AA's BOB Gets A Makeover, New Free Snack

Thu Jul 07, 2005 11:11 am

Quoting Cessnapimp (Reply 10):
Air Canada is supposed to be starting a trial run of Subway sandwiches as part of their On-Board Restaurant service out of Montreal this July.

I think AC is definitely setting the example in this area that AA, UA, etc could follow. The selection of food on board for sale is unmatched, and the longhaul routes still include free food. A model like that I'm willing to live with.

I'm wondering. I seem to remember hearing that AC's BOB was profitable. Is that true?
 
1MillionFlyer
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RE: AA's BOB Gets A Makeover, New Free Snack

Thu Jul 07, 2005 11:12 am

Delta is copying Southwest's snack box. When Southwest realized they were being copied they updated the snack box.
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ckfred
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RE: AA's BOB Gets A Makeover, New Free Snack

Thu Jul 07, 2005 1:03 pm

Here's my main problem with the snack boxes. Mainline only serves them on flights over 3 hours. Meanwhile, they are available on all Eagle flights. My wife just flew ORD-ATL for business. Going down was the free pretzels on mainline, but coming back on Eagle, they had the snackboxes for sale.

It seems to me that 1 of 3 things should happen. A) put snackboxes on all mainline flights, B) pull snackboxes off Eagle flights that are less than 3 hours, or C) offer snackboxes on mainline flights on routes that also have Eagle flights.

As much as I like tortilla chips, the little bag that they are serving just isn't enough. I would rather have the little bag of pretzels.
 
qqflyboy
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RE: AA's BOB Gets A Makeover, New Free Snack

Thu Jul 07, 2005 1:18 pm

I just read a press release that states BOB snackboxes will be available on more flights as AA has expanded their service window from 0600-1930 to 0500-2100. I had mentioned the possibility of this happening in an earlier post, but I hadn't expected the company to make an announcement today. There it is.
The views expressed are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect my employer’s views.
 
Xkorpyoh
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RE: AA's BOB Gets A Makeover, New Free Snack

Thu Jul 07, 2005 1:37 pm

Quoting QQflyboy (Thread starter):

AM: Wheat Thins crackers, Sun Butter (made of sunflower seeds), Knott's Strawberry Preserves, Nabisco Fig Newtons and Newman's Own Raisins.

PM Box: Stone Classic Tortilla Chips, Heinz Salsa, Heinz Cheddar Cheese sauce, O'Brien's Turkey Sausage and Nabisco Lorna Doone Cookies.

..just more junk food...

"Barbara J. Moore, president of Shape Up America, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit educational organization on obesity and weight management: "They're giving you a meal's worth of calories and providing you with no nutritional value," said Moore, who holds a doctorate in nutrition. "It's appalling."

http://www.latimes.com/travel/la-tr-ntb1may01,1,7670980.story
 
COERJ145
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RE: AA's BOB Gets A Makeover, New Free Snack

Thu Jul 07, 2005 1:49 pm

Any possibility i'd get the new snack boxes? I fly AA on July 22nd from BOS to DFW, and then on to TUS (both AM flights). I return on July 30th to DFW, then an evening flight back to BOS.
 
Xkorpyoh
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RE: AA's BOB Gets A Makeover, New Free Snack

Thu Jul 07, 2005 1:52 pm

look for the schedules at AA.com. it should say it there. But you are better off buying real food at DFW during your connection.
 
AA767400
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RE: AA's BOB Gets A Makeover, New Free Snack

Thu Jul 07, 2005 1:53 pm

Quoting Xkorpyoh (Reply 25):
..just more junk food...

Welcome to America. Most Americans, and I do mean most don't want a "healthy meal/snack".
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jcs17
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RE: AA's BOB Gets A Makeover, New Free Snack

Fri Jul 08, 2005 4:04 am

Quoting QQflyboy (Thread starter):
Despite sales above expectations, BOB is still not breaking even. I find that interesting, but I know there have been quite a few adjustments made to the amount of the fresh item provisioned per flight.

I'm not surprised at all. If you tell frequent flyers that they have to pay for processed food in a box, if they have the time, they'll make sure to grab something at the airport before they board. God knows, I'd never throw $3 down for that junk when I could eat a Whopper at the airport that was made "fresh" and probably has the same nutritional value.
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ckfred
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RE: AA's BOB Gets A Makeover, New Free Snack

Fri Jul 08, 2005 12:29 pm

Here's something else that bugs me. If you look at AA.Com, you notice that AA sells snacks and meals at DFW and SJU. Why don't they have a program like that at ORD?

In Terminal 3, it's hard to find deli sandwiches to take on a plane. There are a lot of places to eat, if you want to eat before departure, but the choices for taking cold food on board are more limited.
 
irev210
Posts: 36
Joined: Fri Jun 03, 2005 2:49 am

RE: AA's BOB Gets A Makeover, New Free Snack

Fri Jul 08, 2005 3:18 pm

Getting tostitos is a welcomed change.

The BOB snack boxes are definitely not to my taste, I'd much prefer another choice.

Like carrots and Humus and Cucumbers and ranch along with maybe some fresh fruit and some potato chips.

I am the minority that likes that crap.
 
Xkorpyoh
Posts: 727
Joined: Fri Oct 29, 2004 12:55 am

RE: AA's BOB Gets A Makeover, New Free Snack

Fri Jul 08, 2005 9:38 pm

Quoting Irev210 (Reply 31):
The BOB snack boxes are definitely not to my taste, I'd much prefer another choice.

agree with you.. this is a better program.
https://www.songdeli.com/Default.aspx
https://www.songdeli.com/SelectItems.aspx

[Edited 2005-07-08 14:39:24]

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