United Will Sell Uno’s Deep Dish Pizza In Economy… Yay?

While food in domestic first class has largely been getting worse, overall I think the buy on board options available in economy have gotten pretty good. In many ways I prefer a fresh sandwich or wrap in economy to the horrible stuff often served in domestic first class.

While fresh options are nice, airlines have also been getting into offering branded options, and TravelSkills reveals the latest such initiative from United.

Starting in July, United will be selling Uno’s deep dish pizza in economy on flights within the United States. Apparently the only flavor available will be spinach and garlic, and it will retail for $9.99. United will also sell a pizza and beer combo for $13.99, which will include a pizza and a Miller Lite (the beer alone would usually cost $6.99). According to a United spokesperson, “it’ll be prepared and served in our skillet dish to help the cheese brown and keep the crust crispy,” whatever that means.

My assumption would be that this will be served on flights with the Bistro on Board service, which include flights of over 3.5 hours departing between 9:45AM and 8PM.

I’m not sure how to feel about this. On one hand, I love deep dish pizza… who doesn’t? On the other hand, is serving cheap, reheated garlic pizza in a confined metal tube where everyone has limited space really the best idea?

I’m almost certain this will sell really well. When the smell of pizza permeates the cabin, everyone will want one. Heck, I’m sure they’ll run out on most flights and have some unhappy people who couldn’t get one.

But at the same time, I can’t help but feel like any super smelly food on a plane isn’t a great idea. But I suppose who am I to judge, if it actually sells well.

For anyone excited about this, I wouldn’t get your hopes up too high in terms of the quality of the pizza. American used to serve Uno’s pizza as a pre-arrival snack in international business class, and it was nothing like on the ground. It basically tasted like some nearly stale bread with tomato sauce and cheese. My guess is that United’s pizza will be similar, given the constraints with how they prepare these.

What do you make of United serving deep dish pizza in economy — love it or hate it?

Comments

  1. For the longest time, AA would have similar pizzas on their flights CDG – MIA ….. AA 63. After 9 hours on a plane, in the afternoon, those pizzas were amazingly tasty.

  2. Do they have ovens in aft galleys of narrowbody aircrafts? Wonder how they will reheat the pizzas.

  3. Back in “the day” (pre 9-11) Easy Jet used to sell a basic hot dog on board their flights. The flight kitchen at STN had an entire cooler for nothing but hot dogs – they sold that many of them.

    When BOB (buy on board) was in its infancy – we trailed a hamburger in Y for sale – sold out on every flight. Can’t remember all the airlines that sold it – but it was a huge hit.

    Folks like food they know and understand. And hot food in Y is a novelty – so it will sell very well.

    Personally I just wish they’d board fruit & cheese plates on every flight – always a top seller.

  4. I’d rather buy that pizza at the Uno concession in the terminal and eat it before boarding. I do however see your point about decent buy on board products – I buy the fresh chicken wrap along with hummus with veggie sticks on Air Canada when flying across the continent and it’s always pretty good.

  5. Since this is United we’re talking about here, the pizza will suck so customers who buy it will hate it. Despite that, the pizzas will always run out, leaving some customers dissatisfied and angry. Someone will grumble to a FA, who will promptly claim that the customer is a security threat. The plane will make an unscheduled landing, and the poor guy will be dragged from the plane by the local police. Then, after it all goes viral on social media, the CEO will apologize after 2 weeks of complimenting the flight crew on their excellent handling of the threat. For the next 6 months, stories will continue to emerge about United FAs performing kung fu maneuvers on unhappy senior citizen passengers, United ground staff punching out weelchair-bound children with cerebral palsy, United check-in agents screaming at uniformed military personnel for having 1 pound of extra weight in their bags, and United baggage handlers dropping Yo-yo Ma’s cello and then running over it with a truck twice and then leaving it in the rain for 24 hours before someone notices it and picks it up and tosses it in the trash.

    So, no thanks, I’ll pass on the pizza.

  6. @Benjamin J Travel: Amen, couldn’t agree more. Hot dogs and hamburgers heat pretty well on a plane. A pizza, not so much. Frankly, I’m surprised Uno would lend their good name to such an endeavor; there’s way too much brand risk at stake, and they’re really powerless to affect how the final product is consistently delivered to the customer. You can guarantee it will be smelly and stale. Beyond that, not so much.

  7. Why not stick with just regular cheese and tomato, not sure why they will just serve Garlic & Spinach…

    Also Pizza is pretty nasty on most airplanes, Chewy and dry !!! Uggg

  8. Lou Malnatis “The Lou” or bust. All other big-brand deep dish is not worth the calories.

  9. @Gregg uno’s good name? Who is holding Uno’s name in high regards i’ve never heard of anyone see it anything better than very average but consistent pizza

  10. This is a double edged sword for sure…But no different then Garlic Bread [ how many airlines serve that in C or F and we gobble it down…Hummus, that’s not doing ANYONE any favors onboard…It does seem like an easy fix for this would be to simply offer a basic cheese pizza instead, but then I’m sure the lactose intolerant psgr’s would start to chime in…The bottom line for me is, more offerings in Y is ONLY a good thing at this point…Do I usually bring on my own food [even in Domestic F] yes, but on the off chance of a tight connection or long line at the outlet I might prefer, the more options onboard, the better…

    And as someone eluded to above, the UA haters will have a field day w/ this…Meanwhile if it had been offered on AS/VX it would be being hailed as revolutionary and customer service driven…

  11. As @Kevin mimics his own disgust for the post……….nice passive aggressive attempt. Weak to say the least. None of us care for your sour opinions.

  12. In general: that pic of the pizza looks like it has zero cheese! They will be skimpy on the cheese, let’s face it.

    @snic: I loved your creativity stringing all those scenarios together….gave me a good chuckle, especially Yo Yo Ma’s cello! Hysterical! ROTFLMAO

  13. Actually AA served it in all cabins, including F & Y. Only F & J had another option like a hot sandwich or entree sized salad.

    And Uno’s is actually NOT based in Chicago, it’s based in Boston.

  14. Sounds disgusting because while the Uno pizza isn’t bad in reality when you are eating in the restaurant, on the plane the quality will not be very good and I think this will in the long term lower their brand quality. Another issue is the price which I think will be relatively expensive. Furthermore, it will more than likely smell up the whole economy cabin. ewwww….

  15. Honestly it isnt that hard to provide GOOD quality food for a short flight. I am a HUGE fan of Trader Joes’ wraps. Their buffalo chicken wrap is supposed to be heated in the microwave, and it melts in your mouth. All of their other wraps are also delicious, and healthy-ish. Why cant airlines just do something like that, instead of reheated PIZZA?

  16. Allergic to garlic, so I guess I will be crossing United off the list when searching for flights. I used to love garlic but making a whole plane smell of it, why is that a good idea there are plenty of other combinations that would be far less stinky!

  17. I remember being served pizza on a transatlantic flight with United a few years ago. Granted it wasn’t garlic (sounds delicious to me but margherita seems like a better option), but it didn’t really make the cabin smelly.

    I’m not sure what confused you about “it’ll be prepared and served in our skillet dish to help the cheese brown and keep the crust crispy” either. It’s pretty self-explanatory???

  18. Around 1998, American Airlines was serving these personal pizzas for dinner on flights from ORD to NYC (at the very least to NYC – I remember the pizzas, but I was 7 at the time so it’s fuzzy). Even heated up on an MD-88, they were pretty darned good!

  19. Is the Uno brand related to the Numero Uno chain which has a number of locations in the Los Angeles area? I see only one location in California in the Uno website (in Modesto). But the crust looks like Numero Uno, which is one of my favorite chain pizzas.

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