United Airlines Bids Farewell to…Garlic Bread? Ketchup? And Sprite Zero?!?

The “grapes of wrath” apparently continues on United Airlines — this time, having to do with garlic bread on flights between the United States and Asia…

…and to many FlyerTalk members, the removal of garlic bread from those flights simply stinks.

Garlic bread was served on an airplane operating as United Airlines flight 888 from Beijing to San Francisco on Monday, January 6, 2014. Photograph by FlyerTalk member STS-134. Click on the photograph for additional photographs of meals served on flights operated by United Airlines as posted by STS-134 and other FlyerTalk members.

As part of a reported announcement posted by FlyerTalk member goalie, United Airlines — which has been struggling financially as of late and is seeking ways to improve its bottom line — will also supposedly implement the following modifications within the next two years in addition to the removal of garlic bread from aircraft operating on flights between the United States and Asia:

This Boeing 737-800 aircraft — to be subject to the modifications highlighted below in this article — operated by United Airlines taxis towards a gate in Cancún to pick up awaiting passengers for its next flight. Photograph by FlyerTalk member dttravels. Click on the photograph for a trip report written by dttravels.

Modified Boeing 737-800 Aircraft

  • Capacity: 16 seats in the premium class cabin and 150 seats in the economy class cabin
  • Slim-line seats to be installed — replacing existing seats
  • Aft lavatories will be replaced with new space saving lavatories
  • Relocating minimal emergency equipment
  • Identical interior layouts fleet wide, including three double jumpseats

 

Modified Boeing 737-900 Aircraft

  • Capacity: 20 seats in the premium class cabin and 159 seats in the economy class cabin
  • Slim-line seats to be installed — replacing existing seats
  • Mid-lavatory replaced with new space saving lavatory
  • Relocating minimal emergency equipment

 

Other changes of note

  • A cold pre-arrival sandwich will replace the United Economy hot sandwich on S-CO flights from Washington Dulles International Airport to Europe on flights with afternoon arrivals
  • Removing pre-arrival bulk ketchup in the BusinessFirst cabin on flights operated by United Airlines from the United States to Europe
  • Dasani lime-flavored sparkling water will replace Sprite Zero as a soft drink option; and although the effective date is as of July 1, 2014, Sprite Zero will still be available until remaining inventories are depleted — and catering locations which cannot obtain Dasani lime-flavored sparkling water will re-stock bar carts with a Sprite product
  • Tote and bag stowage for flight attendants behind the last row of United Economy seats will move to the last overhead bin aircraft left
  • Garlic bread will removed from premium cabins on flights from the United States to Asia, which aligns with the previous removal of garlic bread on flights from Asia to the United States — but a selection of breads will continue to be offered
  • The Choice Menu will now be offered in the economy class cabin on all flights operated by United Airlines between Honolulu and Guam, which aligns the market with North America — supposedly allowing for improved high quality products to be offered which would not be economically feasible on a complimentary basis

 

I suppose that if you want ketchup, you might consider pilfering a packet or two from a vendor at the airport before you embark on your flight — not that I would condone such pilfering…

…but then again, I cannot recall the last time I used ketchup aboard an airplane during a flight — especially when seated in the premium class cabin. Perhaps it was on my hamburger during this particular flight on Delta Air Lines? I do not recall, as that hamburger was quite tasty.

Could the replacement of Sprite Zero — which includes flavoring from limes as well as lemons — with Dasani lime-flavored sparkling water have anything to do with the shortage of limes from earlier this year? “If I want lime flavored fizzy water, I’ll ask for a can of seltzer and some actual lime”, criticized FlyerTalk member Critic while adding the disclaimer “where available.”

There are too many discussions to list in this article where FlyerTalk members mock the recent policy changes and modifications implemented by United Airlines since it merged with Continental Airlines in order to save up to $2 billion by the year 2017 in an initiative known as Project Quality. Which ones do you believe seem ridiculous to you, if any?

Come to think of it, perhaps United Airlines should reconsider the removal of garlic bread from its flights. If a person sitting next to the window wanted to have more control over whether or not the window shade should be opened or closed, he or she should first consume said garlic bread and then exhale.

One whiff of garlic bread breath should be enough to deter the interloper…

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