Breaking News: The Tilapia Taco is No More

Tilapia Tocaos with Vegetable Rice

I waited until after the markets closed before posting this news, but the much maligned Tilapia Taco is no more.

Introduced late last year when American refreshed their domestic First Class menu, the Tilapia Taco dinner has been the subject of some controversy.

Some people have liked it and others have hated it. I can’t think of any other menu item that’s been so criticized. One person I know described it as horrible.

But not everyone has been so harsh. Mike Reed tried it and had this to say:

I found the new lunch offering presented today to be one of the tastiest airline meals I’ve ever had. The tortilla kept the fish, tucked neatly inside, appropriately moist and the cheese used (Manchego?) had a good flavor (it’s notoriously difficult to mix fish and cheese). The meal was filling and the salad matching the style of the entree so closely was a pleasant accoutrement

Though one of his readers had offered this quote from Airplane in the comments:

“The life of everyone on board depends upon just one thing: finding someone back there who can not only fly this plane, but who didn’t have fish for dinner.”

I’ve talked to a few other people that have had the Tilapia Taco and opinions have been divided. Some are just grossed out by the idea of fish on a plane, others have declared it “tasty”.

I finally had a chance to try it back in January. The verdict: I’ve never had tilapia before, so I’m not expert, but the taste was mostly that of cheese wrapped in a tortilla.  It wasn’t bad, but it didn’t taste ‘fishy’, it was more like a cheese taco.   DestinationDavid called tilapia the “tofu of the sea”, so maybe that’s the way it’s supposed to taste.

Anyway, I heard a rumor that American received a lot of negative feedback about the Tilapia Taco and that it wasn’t a popular item.  It’s been confirmed by another source at AA that it’s going away.  So Tilapia Taco haters can rejoice!

I also found out that the Indian Butter Chicken with Rice is being discontinued, which I think is disappointing news (small scale of course).  It wasn’t my favorite, but I liked it and thought it was kind of creative.  I hope that American doesn’t decide that they got too creative for their customers and go back to BBQ chicken salad and beef fajitas.

Those were the only two items that my source mentioned coming off the menu.  They did say that the Chicken Pot Pie wraps were popular and that American had received positive feedback about the new salads.

I’ve had a chance to try each of their new menu items. My favorites are the Salad and Cold Udon Noodle with Beef, and the Chicken, Roasted Beets, and Pears Salad. The Moroccan Chicken with Rice is also very good.

Something else that’s new is that for the last few months, at least since November, I’ve been offered a choice between two kinds of baked on board cookies: usually a chocolate chip or white chocolate chip cookie, and a spice or raisin cookie. I’ve even been on a few flights where they’ve offered seconds.

I’m not sure that Robert Crandall would approve, but I’m liking the extra cookies!


  1. Never say never!
    Fish on a plane can be done, I did not get an ordered veggie meal on LH C class. I settled for a fish meal without asking what it was. It was really good and it turned out to have been herring, cooked or baked.
    Really, really good.

    • @ Charles – Fish on plane? I would never underestimate the ability of the Germans to pull it off!

      @ The Weekly Flyer – Panicked selling from the guys that went long on tilapia? 😉

      @ David – Thanks for the info. I used to have cichlids when I was a kid, so tilapia just joined goldfish on list of fish that I don’t eat.

      @ MWT – It’s not less serious than some of the other stuff that makes it to TV! 😀

      Bill N DC – Lucky you!! I got the 2 cookies on a flight to LAX last week. Judy (she usually flies the LAX-DFW-EGE route) gets my vote for best flight attendant ever! 🙂

  2. Tilapia is carp. Carp raised on a farm and not from the sea. It’s generally fed dirt cheap GMO modified corn. This is why you can find filets for $2.99 at your local Wal Mart. It’s absolute garbage food.

  3. I’ve had tilapia before and hated it. I’m really not a fish or seafood fan! I’d rather eat my veggies than eat meat anyday of the week.

  4. @Mike G.: Tilapia belong to an entirely different family of fish than carp. Carp are cyprinids, while tilapia are cichlids.

  5. Today AA1449DCA MIA. Chicken Curry Wrap was tasty. Other choice was salmon salad. 2 cookies offer chocolate or Macadamia And seconds offered. Had one of each. No hole in napkin yet

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