American Airlines Vegan Meal on International Flights (Review + Photos)

Does American Airlines provide vegan meals? Yes, they do!

Their partner airlines for the international flights I took was British Airways, which provided the American Airlines vegan meals.

I took two international flights with American Airlines (or British Airways), from San Francisco to London, then Rome to Las Vegas, with a layover in Philadelphia.

While I’m always thankful there’s special in-flight meals on international flights, British Airways vegan meal was not my favorite.

Like most airlines though, the quality of the food will depend on where you fly from as they provide the meals.

Keep reading to see my American Airlines vegan meals / British Airways vegan meal during my last international flights.

Flying with any of these other airlines?

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Does American Airlines Provide Free Meals?

Yes, on the long-haul international flights, American Airlines (partner British Airways vegan meal) provides complimentary hot meals, though not on the layover flights within the US.

My flight from San Francisco to Europe was about 9-10 hours and I was provided two meals.

What Are the American Airlines Vegan Meal Options?

American Airlines has more than one vegan meal option for international flights.

To see which ones are available, go to their special meals page:

From the special meals, these are the vegan options:

  • Vegetarian / Vegan: Does not contain meat, fish, fowl, eggs, dairy products or derivatives
  • Vegetarian Jain Meal: Vegetarian meal with fresh fruit and vegetables that grow above the ground and does not contain onion, garlic, other root vegetables or animal products and by-products.

Note these special meal options are vegetarian, not vegan:

  • Lacto-ovo vegetarian Vegetarian meal that may include eggs and dairy products
  • Asian vegetarian Spicy vegetarian meals with limited use of dairy products

To be safe, I usually get the VGML code meal.

If you are flying with their partner British Airways:

To see which ones are available, go to the special meals page on British Airways.

From the special meals, these are the vegan options:

  • Vegan Vegetarian: This is a strictly vegetarian meal that is completely free of animal products, including honey, eggs, and dairy products.
  • Asian Vegetarian: This is a vegetarian meal flavoured with spices from the Indian sub-continent, It can be mildly spiced.
  • Jain: This is an Indian vegetarian meal prepared in accordance to Jain principles. Jain meals are made using appropriate vegetables and grains.

British Airways Vegan Meal Review

San Francisco to London, 2022

I chose the Vegan Vegetarian Meal (VGML) and here’s what I got:

A bed of vegetables, side salad, rice cake with vegan butter, and custard dessert. The main dish wasn’t that filling. I don’t think I ate the dessert just to be safe.

I can’t remember if I got a 2nd meal or snack. It must have not been memorable. 😅

American Airlines vegan meal. A bed of vegetables, side salad, rice cake with vegan butter, and custard dessert.

I’m thankful I was able to eat since I did not bring food with me, but compared to other international flights, American Airlines vegan meals (with partner British Airways) were not that great. I’ve also seen similar reviews online.

Rome to Philadelphia, 2022

I chose the Vegan Vegetarian Meal (VGML) and here’s what I got:

This was a better meal than the first flight. The main vegan meal was lentil and vegetables with rice, side salad, fruit, rice cracker and vegan margarine.

British Airways vegan meal - lentil and vegetables with rice, side salad, fruit, rice cracker and vegan margarine.

British Airways Vegan Meal for Breakfast :

This was probably my least favorite vegan meal I’ve ever gotten on a flight. It was microwaved sliced eggplant on bread.

If it had some kind of dressing or spice, or had additional eggplant or vegetables it would’ve been more edible (I probably still ate it to not waste it 😅).

British Airways American Airlines Vegan Meal eggplant sandwich

How to Request a Vegan Meal

I was not able to book my vegan meal when I was purchasing my ticket with American Airlines.

I was directed to request a meal with British Airways.

To request a special meal, find your booking and makes changes on the British Airways website for both flights:

www.britishairways.com/travel/managebooking/public/en_us

You’ll receive a confirmation email like this, which doesn’t indicate the specific meal, but you can go back into your booking to confirm:

Screenshot of British Airways Special Vegan Meal Request Confirmation

When Can You Request a British Airways / American Airlines Vegan Meal?

You can request your vegan meal up to 24 hours before your flight.

From their website:

“You can request all other types of special meals at least 24 hours before your flight departs.”

When Do You Get Served Your Vegan Meal?

Special meals generally get served first, and early. Sometimes you’ve finished your food before others are even served! (I personally wait until my row gets served before I start eating, just a cultural thing. Unless I’m really hungry.)

So I always breathe a sigh of relief when a flight attendant either comes up to me at the beginning of the flight confirming my seat and vegan meal, or when they come up to my row with my vegan meal early. Phew!

That being said, don’t change your seat since the special meal is assigned to your seat number.

If there are lots of seats and you want to move, make sure to tell them first that you’re moving and if it’s possible to serve your vegan meal at your new seat.

Meals are generally served an hour or two after landing and before arrival.

American Airlines Vegan Meals Are Just Okay!

While I’ve had better vegan airline meals such as Singapore Airlines and even United Airlines, I’m glad I had meals since I don’t really like packing my own. Though I try to bring light snacks just in case.

If I could choose another airline next time though, I’ll probably book elsewhere just to go for better vegan meals options.

Though, you never know, the food might get better!

🏨 Tip: Look up vegan-related activities on Viator

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