Vegan Travel

Does American Airlines Have a Vegan Meal?

Updated January 9, 2024

Travel is one of life’s greatest pleasures but presents unique challenges for folks with dietary restrictions. Choosing carriers with care matters, as you don’t have control over what airlines serve — and who wants to go hungry on a transatlantic flight? What options does American Airlines offer for vegans?

Fortunately, this airline goes above and beyond to delight its passengers and ensure they have a pleasant dining experience. It’s employed a fleet of world-class chefs to design a menu sure to satisfy various palates. Does American Airlines have a vegan meal? Yes — and you might be pleasantly surprised by their range of choices.

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What Are the Usual Vegan Meal Choices on an American Flight?

American Airlines serves various meals on select flights, including the following international destinations:

  • Asia
  • Australia
  • Europe
  • New Zealand
  • Several South American cities

Don’t be surprised if you book domestic travel and don’t see a long list of options. You’ll need to check the amenities on your specific flight to determine what — if any — meals they offer. Many shorter flights have drinks and snacks only.

Passengers can choose from 15 dietician-approved special meals on such flights, including several options for those who don’t eat meat:

  • Vegetarian/vegan meal: Does not contain meat, fish, eggs, animal products or derivatives.
  • Asian vegetarian: These are spicy vegetarian meals that limit dairy.
  • Lacto-ovo vegetarian: These vegetarian meals may contain egg and dairy products.
  • Vegetarian Jain meal: Available only on flights to India, these meals contain fresh fruits and vegetables grown above the ground, and do not contain root vegetables, animal products or byproducts.

Use caution when booking through third-party sites, as you need to alert the airline of your dietary preferences at least 24 hours before your scheduled departure. Airplane galleys have limited space and carriers only provide as many special meals as necessary to meet the needs of those on board.

vegan meal option in first class on american airlines
Credit: Lattes and Runways

Is There a Certain Vegan Code American Uses for Vegan and Vegetarian Meals?

Yes. If you prefer to go directly through a travel agent or airline representative, the magic initials for a vegan meal are VGML or VVML. These codes indicate dishes free of animal products and derivatives. You can also use VJML for a “vegetarian Jain meal,” although these may not be available on all flights.

Does American Offer Vegan Snacks?

Nearly all American Airlines flights over 250 miles offer complimentary in-flight non-alcoholic beverages and snacks. You can choose from various soft drinks, juices, water and teas. Free snack choices consist of the following:

  • Biscoff cookies: Vegan-friendly with no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives.
  • Mini-pretzels: Also vegan-friendly.

Additionally, American Airlines has numerous snacks available for purchase, a couple are vegan-friendly, including:

  • Select Harvest Sea Salt Roasted Almonds: Vegan.
  • Pringles Original: Suitable for vegans as this flavor contains no milk products.

Do I Have to Pre-Order the Vegan Meal?

Yes — as previously mentioned, you must order your vegan meal at least 24 hours before your American Airlines flight. You can pre-order it up to 30 days in advance, so do so early for the peace of mind that you will have the dining experience you desire.

More Vegan Airline Meals

Curious about vegan options on other airlines?

Air France
British Airways
United Airlines
Delta Airlines
Air Canada

Can I Bring My Own Food on an American Flight?

American Airlines welcomes you to bring your own non-alcoholic beverages and snacks on board.

It’s also considerate to keep your fellow travelers in mind when carrying snacks on a plane. You don’t have to bring enough to share, but you should remain conscientious that strong odors can make people nauseous. Getting ill on a plane can make things uncomfortable for everybody, not just the sick individual.

American Airlines Vegan Meals

Now that you know what you must do to pre-order a vegan meal on American Airlines. Where should you dine when you reach your destination? Check out these articles to learn more:

22 Vegan Fast Food Options in 2023: Where to Go When You’re Traveling
25 Vegan Snacks for Your Next Camping, Plane or Road Trip
Vegan Adventures in Morocco: Plant-Powered Guide to Eats and Tips
9 Spots for Vegan Food in Munising and Marquette
22 Vegan Food Tours: A Delicious Way to Explore the World

About Author

Beth Rush is the travel and food editor at Body+Mind. She has 5+ years of writing about how to travel and eat well with celiac disease, nutritional deficiencies, and/or hormonal disorders. You can find Beth on Twitter @bodymindmag. Subscribe to Body+Mind for more posts by Beth Rush!