Free snacks are back for United Economy

Old Dec 9, 15, 12:50 pm
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Wow - it looks like it has finally gotten through to UA management that people actually notice quality of product as well as price. Not a big deal in itself but we are beginning to see some signs that UA wants to actually compete for business instead of just cost cutting their way to "glory". Hope this trend continues toward some changes at the top end of the product as well.
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Old Dec 9, 15, 1:12 pm
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Originally Posted by warreng24
So what are they taking away to pay for these snacks?
It isn't what they're taking away; it's what they aren't paying back. Their fuel prices have gone through the floor, but fares haven't followed. Your stroopwafel is being paid for by about 5% of the price savings they've realized on a single gallon of Avgas.
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Old Dec 9, 15, 1:37 pm
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Originally Posted by Billiken
I'm pleased and I too like stoopwafels.
Wall Street will be mad. You will be eaten their stroopwafel
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Old Dec 9, 15, 1:38 pm
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Originally Posted by uastarflyer
This is a more substantial offering than 10 peanuts or 13.5 tiny pretzels.
For flights departing prior to 9:45am it is, but what is being offered after 9:45am.

"Flights departing after 9:45 a.m. will offer packaged savory snacks, such as an Asian-style snack mix of rice crackers, sesame sticks and wasabi peas or a zesty-ranch mix of mini pretzel sticks, Cajun corn sticks and ranch soy nuts."
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Old Dec 9, 15, 1:47 pm
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Being United the airline we all love, I am wondering what is being taken away for this freebie. Given what happened with the international economy service (the mid flight snack being taken away and replaced with BOB) you wonder in what other area they will cut to give this snack.
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Old Dec 9, 15, 1:48 pm
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Yeah, interesting how the reaction of the forum (which I share) is universally positive about the coffee and stoopwafels. And very, very quiet about the savory snack offerings. As mentioned in one of the previous posts, I'd prefer the stoopwafel anytime, not just prior to 9:45.
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Old Dec 9, 15, 2:00 pm
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Nice little addition! Years ago I switched from US to UA even based out of Philly because it just left like a more 'premium' flying experience. Looks like the new management wants to compete more in that area.
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Old Dec 9, 15, 2:22 pm
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This is great, great news.
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Old Dec 9, 15, 2:30 pm
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With luck we're slowly inching back to the service of 10 years ago. I would personally prefer a bag of plain pretzels, but anything is better than nothing. Or the cheese and cracker packages from international flights.

The E product on international flights has improved quite a bit over the last year. Little bottles of water, cups of ice cream, the cheese and crackers, the now free beer and wine (boxed, but free). I personally think that all of this small stuff does add up for frequent flyers, with far more goodwill value than the small amount of money it costs per passenger. I doubt if hot meals in coach for domestic flights will ever come back, but maybe the small bags like American, TWA and other airlines used to have for flights.
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Old Dec 9, 15, 2:32 pm
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Originally Posted by channa
Thanks, this is great news.

And since this is coming straight from UA, I hope we can finally put to bed the notion that people buy strictly on price on a per transaction basis. If that were the case, UA would not be doing things like buying Illy coffee and reintroducing snacks.

I think the stroopwafel is actually brilliant. They're tasty, and the vast majority of Americans have likely never had one. It will make an association between that and UA, making the flight memorable for a few cents of spend on UA's part.

Kind of like how people associate B6 with blue chips.
+1 Its amazing how Jeff getting canned caused United to U-turn away so dramatically from the Hunter Keay view that service quality does not matter, its all network and price.

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Dec 9, 15 at 9:54 pm Reason: Stay on the issue, not the posters
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Old Dec 9, 15, 2:48 pm
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Originally Posted by warreng24
So what are they taking away to pay for these snacks?
I will second that I'm not a fan of the odd savory snacks. Most of your economy flyers are going to want something more... familiar. Although maybe that's intentional... they'll still pay $4 for a can of Pringles.

Last edited by goalie; Dec 9, 15 at 6:37 pm Reason: off topic comment removed
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Old Dec 9, 15, 3:01 pm
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I hear the echoes of Gordon Bethune, who famously turned around CO on the theory that you can make a pizza so cheap that nobody would eat it.

So I guess now we're all getting some extra pepperoni.

Or at least a slice or two.

It has felt that USA airline cheapness bottomed about a year or two ago and now there's a concerted effort to make it somewhat better. Heck, when WN offers better service than a full-service USA airline, it's probably time to improve the product.

No doubt the billions that the USA airlines are currently making is playing a part in this move to better service.

I do wonder if making the product un-sucky is good for business. I honestly don't know. I sure hope so. The world is a better place when everything doesn't suck.
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Old Dec 9, 15, 3:08 pm
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Thumbs up

Originally Posted by HelloItsMe
Having flown recently on a number of domestic flights on a number of carriers in Y in India and China, this is rather underwhelming.
Many many airlines in those countries, not to mention across the world (and outside the US) have been doing this for decades.
But hey, wow, how totally exciting. A snack in Y. How daring.
Yes, on the one hand this is bringing UA a bit closer to what should be standard.

On the other hand, given how many departures in the other direction recently it's good to see UA bringing back small things that are a benefit to passengers.
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Old Dec 9, 15, 3:28 pm
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Originally Posted by pdx1M
Wow - it looks like it has finally gotten through to UA management that people actually notice quality of product as well as price.
In fairness, it's not clear that UA management didn't know this before. It's very likely many of the same people still there, just that they were too intimidated to share their ideas, or they were shot down or otherwise suppressed.

Only once they removed the toxic leader did people feel that they could speak more freely or suggest things.
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Old Dec 9, 15, 3:34 pm
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Well, corporate minions often suck up to the leader. So when the leader is beating the "Cut cut cut" drum, guess what the minions do?

When the new CEO says we need to deliver better quality to our customers, you'd have to be a very foolish minion not to come up with some improvements.
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