For years stand-up comedians subsisted on jokes about bad airline food. But at least in those days you got food. The start of the era of downsized airline meal offerings can be pinpointed in 1987, when American Airlines eliminated olives from its salads. Since then, full meals have all but disappeared on domestic flights (even six-hour transcontinental jaunts), replaced by meager sandwiches and snacks for sale. (Continental, the last major carrier to offer free meals on transcontinental flights, will finally join its competitors and start charging for meals on domestic flights this fall.) Oddly, the exception is still international flights, where an eight-hour trip across the Atlantic still brings you not one but two meals: a full dinner and a (usually unwanted) breakfast four hours later.