During the oneworld MegaDO in Dallas I had the opportunity to talk with the food and beverage manager for the American Airlines Admirals Clubs.
Now, American clubs are generally nicer (better furnished, in better condition) than United and US Airways lounges. But they have almost no complimentary snacks. Instead they offer paid food options. And the quality of those options vary widely across clubs — even across different clubs in the same airport.
The D30 club in Miami, for instance, has a kitchen and a room with food display where you can purchase meals and snacks. Everything is nicely plated on dishware rather than pre-arranged in disposable plastic containers. The D15 club does not.
My suggestion to American was, why does it make sense for them to be in the food preparation and storage business? I get that the food options they’re providing are an alternative to free snacks, and if the food is good I’d prefer to pay for it than have mediocre snacks. But too often I’m paying for mediocre when there are perfectly good options in the terminal. Granted, I’ve never gotten pushback from an Admirals Club for bringing food into the lounge (the way I’ve often seen from the folks in a United Club). Why not offer some sort of delivery service arrangement with the food options in the terminal?
Apparently, according to Heels First Travel, my suggestion is exactly what US Airways has done for its lounge at Washington National airport.
The last couple of times I’ve been in the US Airways lounge I’ve seen little signs everywhere announcing that you could order food from the Sam & Harry’s downstairs that would be delivered to you in the lounge. Things like Crab Cakes, sandwiches, and wings.
All right George, can I tell you something? We’re gonna win this thing. We’re gonna get the votes we need and we’re gonna win this thing. And you know what I’m gonna do after that, I mean that very night, I’m gonna go to Sam & Harry’s, I’m gonna order a big steak, and I’m gonna make a list of everybody who tried to F…
Similar, perhaps, to the story about Rahm Emanuel naming one by one each of the enemies of the Clinton campaign, slamming a knife down into a table and declaring “Dead! Dead! Dead!”
The storied steakhouse has an outpost in the airport. Sadly the airport location isn’t what one expects from a DC steakhouse. And when you couple that with an ostensible delivery service to a US Airways club lounge, well, you get a shrink-wrapped plastic chicken sandwich from a refrigerator behind the bar.
I still think my idea is a good one, but it’s all in the execution…