Why American Airlines wants to alleviate flight delays

This year, American Airlines is introducing a program that will make flight delays be marginally less painful.

David Zalubowski/AP/File
As the suns sets behind the mountains, a passenger plane comes in for a landing at Denver International Airport in Denver (Feb. 8, 2016).

If you find yourself flying American Airlines this year, and your flight has been delayed for two hours, you just might get a free snack. If your flight is delayed more than three hours, you could get a free sandwich.

American has instituted this "Gateside Amenities" program in an effort to be more customer-friendly, and to ease the vexation that some people experience when flying.

You Won't Have to Leave Your Gate to Get Free Food

Typically when flights are significantly delayed, an airline might provide a meal voucher that forces passengers to find the food court in the airport. Instead, American is testing out the option of handing out free snacks themselves. Gateside Amenities allow passengers to still get a bite to eat, while staying in the area to receive flight updates more easily.

You might be asking, "what's the catch?" Because as we all know, airlines don't give anything away that easily. It turns out these perks only apply when the delays are due to weather or operational issues, and not when your aircraft is delayed on the tarmac.

It's Only in the Testing Phase, But More Airports Will Get it Soon

For now, American is only trying out the program in select locations. They've begun at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, and they plan to expand to Los Angeles International Airport later this month. Assuming it goes well, Gateside Amenities could be seen on all American routes later this year.

This article first appeared at DealNews.

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