How low can United’s meals go?

I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t fancy domestic airline food, so the impact of these changes on me is minimal. Whether I get a sandwich with crap on it or a seemingly inferior coach buy-on-board meal…. well, it makes no difference to me!

That being said, UA is making cut after cut after cut after cut after cut after cut after cut domestically, and I don’t know where it’ll end. Just a few of the changes over the past couple of months:

  •  Massive Premium Service (PS) cutbacks in first and business. Staffing in first goes from two FA’s to one, and as a result service is now done on trays. The business appetizer has been cut and the gourmet meals they now offer are along the lines of hot dogs and cheeseburgers. No more pre-arrival snack for breakfast flights. This service would now more appropriately be called POS.
  • Hawaii catering has gone downhill. No Mai Tai’s and a bunch of other cuts, since 757 galleys are now catered roundtrip from the mainland…. don’t eat the fish on 757’s ex-Hawaii!
  • BusinessOne routes (prime business routes ex-ORD) no longer get hot meals, but now get cold fruit plates for breakfast and cheese plates for lunch and dinner
  • Three cabin domestic flights get buy on board service in business, although that’s nothing new
  • No more sundaes in transcon first
  • Transcon first no longer has hot meals for lunch, because let’s face it, hot meals are just too generous for a six hour flight!

Sadly that’s only the beginning. United, our premium airline…. it’s time to fly (just bring your own food or prepare to dish out $6-9)!

About lucky

Ben Schlappig (aka Lucky) is a travel consultant, blogger, and avid points collector. He travels about 400,000 miles a year, primarily using miles and points to fund his first class experiences. He chronicles his adventures, along with industry news, here at One Mile At A Time.

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Comments

  1. The saddest part is that I have seen the last 4 changes since I first became elite on United about 3 years ago. Flying has become only a means of transportation in the United States.

  2. I started a thread on Flyertalk entitled the Dreaded Fruit and Cheese Plate.

    http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=862445&highlight=dreaded+fruit

    What is scary is the number of people whom seem to think that it is good. Almost every fruit and chesse plate I have been served has spoiled cheese and nasty looking fruit. United should be ashamed of itself to serve this to any first class customers. In fact, the cheese and apples found in the RCC offer a far better dining experience than the garbage served on the plane. United get your act together and stop cutting and debasing your C & F service domestically and internationally. What is the point of PS, if the quality of food served is inferior to that of McDonalds?

    I also created this thread to save United C & F service.

    http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/showthread.php?p=10391747&highlight=#post10391747

  3. Chitownflyer, I agree with you. That being said, I don’t see a huge difference between a fruit and cheese plate and what UA refers to as a “sandwich.” They’re both utterly disgusting, in my opinion.

    At the end of the day this goes back to awful management, and sadly UA has to save themselves, we can’t do it for them. It’ll eventually happen, but I think we can at least try to act as the catalysts. Hopefully within the next week or so I can launch my “idea,” which I think will send a clear message to UA management about how we feel as customers, and hopefully on a larger scale.

  4. Hi Lucky,

    I agree that United’s food and service has become atrocious,and bad sandwiches, disgusting fruit plates, and poor management should be absolutely verboten!

  5. I like the Buy on Board snacks now in domestic. I have been doing SFO->DEN the last few weeks and had the choice of Lays Stax, Twizzlers, a large package of shortbread cookies, and Trail Mix. I thought these were nice selections and at $3 each very reasonable.

  6. Flying Domestic most the time, this such a bummer. To use a CR1 to upgrade to 1st is just a shame now. Hawaii is a true shame, I have flown to the Islands at least 20 times, experienced first on Aloha, Hawaiian, United and American, shame where it has gone since in the past 2 years.

    I remember when the food went to BOB for the 8 hour KOA-ORD flight, customers thought it was a joke, since it changed the week I flew.

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