Beyond the obvious consumer impact, this decision is a little disappointing given that U.S. Air had just altered its own policy in April for the better, changing its full meal service policy from flights over 3 and a half hours to include flights over 2 hours and 45 minutes. That was a reason to celebrate and a step forward, but the company as a whole gains back those 45 minutes with AA's decision to increase its requirements.
For what it's worth, the release also said that "some" popular flights that are in the air for less than 2 hours and 45 minutes, such as Chicago to New York, will be exempt from the policy. How that promise will play out in reality remains to be seen. Be sure to take a close look at your flight time and ask the airline what you can expect in terms of service before upgrading to a first or business class ticket.