Even among widespread protests about staffing and service cuts from cabin crew and staff throughout United Airlines’ entire network, more changes are coming to the flights; this next change to the way beverage service is handled will affect all domestic United flights that are less than an hour long.
Starting January 1, there will be yet another change to the way United Airlines runs its flights that may or may not have flight attendants taking to the streets to protest once more. Now, on flights less than an hour, the economy cabin will not be able to choose their own drinks. Instead, flight attendants will pre-pick what they pour and bring filled drinks around on a pick-up tray, allowing passengers to grab their own drinks. Unfortunately for passengers, this means less choice in what they get to drink—although morning travelers will likely still be offered coffee.
The announcement was reported on Twitter by Brian Sumers, an editor at Skift, and according to the airline’s text, it seems the change was requested by flight attendants:
“Beginning January 1, on flights with a scheduled flight time of under :59 minutes, we will begin offering select pre-poured beverages from a pick-up pan instead of a cart in the aisle. We are listening and heard your feedback that the service can be hard to complete on these really short flights. In addition, this change will allow for more time to engage with our customers. The pick-up pan should include an assortment of beverages based on customer demand and time of day. For example on early morning flights many customers like to enjoy our Illy coffee so please include coffee in your beverage choices on early morning departures.”