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Food Service in Coach (It Would be Nice if They Announced the Menu Before Service)

Food Service in Coach (It Would be Nice if They Announced the Menu Before Service)

Old Apr 25, 13, 4:57 pm
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Food Service in Coach (It Would be Nice if They Announced the Menu Before Service)

I know this is an old topic.

We should have no expectations of good food on a flight and of course on domestic flights we no longer expect a meal service, unless UA chooses to sell you some food.

On international flights however, meals are still served in coach. However what drives me crazy is you get three words from the flight attendants when serving food - "chicken or beef". They typically have no idea what else it is served with (rice, potato). Now I know it's not good food, but they could at least try to provide a service. On my recent flight from Frankfurt, I ordered the "beef", opened it to find it was beef lasagna. Oh well, it did include beef. Would it really be too much of an effort for one flight attendant to actually read what the menu and announce it over the PA system just before the service starts? Is this really too much to ask or another one of those over-entitlements???

Last edited by FlyinHawaiian; Apr 25, 13 at 5:24 pm Reason: vague thread title
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Old Apr 25, 13, 5:04 pm
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Old Apr 25, 13, 5:11 pm
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Originally Posted by feobrien View Post
On international flights however, meals are still served in coach. However what drives me crazy is you get three words from the flight attendants when serving food - "chicken or beef". They typically have no idea what else it is served with (rice, potato). Now I know it's not good food, but they could at least try to provide a service. On my recent flight from Frankfurt, I ordered the "beef", opened it to find it was beef lasagna. Oh well, it did include beef. Would it really be too much of an effort for one flight attendant to actually read what the menu and announce it over the PA system just before the service starts? Is this really too much to ask or another one of those over-entitlements???
This may be hit and miss depending on the crew you get. I have heard a particularly eloquent description of the pre-arrival snack which made the turkey/cheese/mustard sandwich sound almost more delicious than it is!
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Old Apr 25, 13, 5:47 pm
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Originally Posted by feobrien View Post
I know this is an old topic.

We should have no expectations of good food on a flight and of course on domestic flights we no longer expect a meal service, unless UA chooses to sell you some food.

On international flights however, meals are still served in coach. However what drives me crazy is you get three words from the flight attendants when serving food - "chicken or beef". They typically have no idea what else it is served with (rice, potato). Now I know it's not good food, but they could at least try to provide a service. On my recent flight from Frankfurt, I ordered the "beef", opened it to find it was beef lasagna. Oh well, it did include beef. Would it really be too much of an effort for one flight attendant to actually read what the menu and announce it over the PA system just before the service starts? Is this really too much to ask or another one of those over-entitlements???
\

I agree. BTW, 0.2MM from GS for life. I'm so impressed. Here I am .5MM from 1MM.
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Old Apr 25, 13, 9:30 pm
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all they need t say is" White or brown slop?"
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Old Apr 25, 13, 10:13 pm
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Among the reasons for not flying UA or other US carriers on int'l routes in the past few years/decade ...

I vaguely remembered in the good old days, UA actually printed & distributed menu for the different cabin classes to all pax on the flight, or was it placed in the seatback pocket in front ... Wasn't there a vegetarian or fish option too? It's gone, like the disappearing cashew nuts/mixed nuts/peanuts, etc. in the main cabin.

Flew in Y last week on DL mainline on a transcon and surprised, FA actually offered a choice of peanuts, cookies or pretzels along with the comp. beverage services ... wow.
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Old Apr 26, 13, 7:54 am
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Originally Posted by feobrien View Post
On international flights however, meals are still served in coach. However what drives me crazy is you get three words from the flight attendants when serving food - "chicken or beef".
I completely agree. On the rare occasion I have had a flight attendant offer a few more descriptive words and it's almost embarrassing how grateful I am for that.

A low cost suggestion if I might:
Have the purser open one of each type of meal before service and announce the days selections before the carts start rolling. This would probably speed up distribution as well since people could make a decision before hand.

I'm sure it would be too much to ask for something like Virgin Atlantic's meal ordering system or even just loading a menu on the entertainment screen. No need to waste paper, worry about distribution, etc. Oh yeah but that would require AVOD....Sorry.
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Old Apr 26, 13, 8:23 am
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Absolutely agree with the above. I can think of no good or even plausible explanation for why they don't announce what the choice is beforehand, other than total disdain for the passengers by the FAs.

Incidentally, I do think that the Y food has improved a little in the last year - I've had a couple of quite tasty main courses recently.
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Old Apr 26, 13, 9:27 am
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The crew didn't even really know what the Y meals were on 838 the other day; when the guy across the aisle from me asked what was in the "chicken" and "beef" the FAs were asking about, she said, "I dunno; it's beef and probably some kind of vegetables or something." (The beef was served with some rice noodles, which weren't that bad for a Y meal, though a very-undersized portion IMHO.)

Also, they really need to have a few extra vegetarian-friendly or similar meals available in Y on longhauls. On UA 838 the other day, just in the few seats around me, two pax's special request meals hadn't been loaded, and they were left eating the salad from the chicken meal, and a dinner roll. FAs said, "We already distributed the special orders we saw on the manifest; you have to confirm them 24 hours out." At least the FAs did bring the C dessert cheese plate to a few of the pax who'd lost out on their meals to give them something.

Why is it that UA seems to lose special meal requests so regularly? I've had three lost this year myself, two of which were indeed reconfirmed at T-24. If they didn't insist on having beef vs. chicken (how about also having a cheese pasta?), they'd be able to accommodate far more pax in the lost-request cases.
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Old Apr 26, 13, 9:35 am
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They should do it like Air France or Singapore Airlines, who give out small cards that state the food and beverage offerings. Can't cost more than a few cents and is definitely a nice touch.
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Old Apr 26, 13, 10:38 am
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I think an even better reason to announce the choices is this: language barrier. Too often there are passengers who don't understand English, yet are yelled at by F/As, "BEEF OR CHICKEN!!!!!!" and are completely flabbergasted. IMHO, it should be protocol to announce the meal choices in English and the language(s) of the origin/destination, since they do that for every other announcement anyway. And if they're announcing the meal choices, it's not that difficult to add a brief description.
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Old Apr 26, 13, 10:44 am
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I'll admit that the food in TPAC and TATL coach has improved SIGNIFICANTLY since COdbaUA took over the helm.

One of my favourite experiences/interactions with pmUA was in SFO in 2011 aboard UA869 in SFO. While sitting at the gate (right after their boarded the 1K's, a service director came aboard and asked our opinions of the TPAC service (since she assumed 1K's frequently flew TPAC). Every single one of us (at least two dozen) in the E+ section said that the food in Y was the worst amongst all TPAC carriers. The SD was very surprised and told us that she didn't expect that response from us.
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Old Apr 26, 13, 11:50 am
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I think they do announce the menu in International. Last time I was flying J, and when the FA served us nuts, I heard they are announcing the meal option in Y.(I was seated in the last row of J so I could hear the announcement)The announcement was like" we have beef served with fried rice and vegetable as option 1 and chicken served with vegetable and potato as option 2, and we do apologize if your preferred choice is not available"
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Old Apr 26, 13, 11:51 am
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Originally Posted by ben237829624 View Post
I think they do announce the menu in International. Last time I was flying J, and when the FA served us nuts, I heard they are announcing the meal option in Y.(I was seated in the last row of J so I could hear the announcement)
I've had the same experience.

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Old Apr 26, 13, 11:55 am
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It may be they don't announce it because if they announce "we have chicken with rice or beef with noodles" and then they get to the back of the plane and all they have left is the chicken, then they get to hear numerous "but you said you had beef" complaints. Not an excuse, just FAs trying to save themselves complaints.
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