Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > Airlines and Mileage Programs > United Airlines | MileagePlus
Reload this Page >

United Domestic First Meal Service Reduction

United Domestic First Meal Service Reduction

Old Jan 2, 2018, 12:48 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: DEN
Programs: UA 1K, Delta Silver
Posts: 23
United Domestic First Meal Service Reduction

I booked a flight a few weeks back, and after reviewing it recently two of my 2.5 hour domestic flights were reduced from Lunch to Snack. I'm not terribly concerned on my specific itinerary because I'll have plenty of time to grab food on other flights or at airports, however I was wondering if this was common for meal services to be cut on flights with no major schedule changes. I sometimes book business flights with meals specifically so I can land and head directly somewhere without stopping for a mediocre United Club lunch, or grabbing something on the way.

Linked are screenshots of my confirmation and today's schedule. Specifically, I'm looking at Feb 2 UA 533 (DEN-ORD) and Feb 14 UA 2175 / UA 504 (IAH-DEN). (Inline Images really blew up the post, so I went 3rd party)

Booking Confirmation
https://imgur.com/fyCxf7A

Today's Summary
https://imgur.com/AL8nSDt

Is this common? Is there a good set of evolving rules on which flights have meal service?
embe is offline  
Old Jan 2, 2018, 12:51 pm
  #2  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 11,269
Originally Posted by embe
I booked a flight a few weeks back, and after reviewing it recently two of my 2.5 hour domestic flights were reduced from Lunch to Snack. I'm not terribly concerned on my specific itinerary because I'll have plenty of time to grab food on other flights or at airports, however I was wondering if this was common for meal services to be cut on flights with no major schedule changes. I sometimes book business flights with meals specifically so I can land and head directly somewhere without stopping for a mediocre United Club lunch, or grabbing something on the way.

Linked are screenshots of my confirmation and today's schedule. Specifically, I'm looking at Feb 2 UA 533 (DEN-ORD) and Feb 14 UA 2175 / UA 504 (IAH-DEN). (Inline Images really blew up the post, so I went 3rd party)

Booking Confirmation

https://imgur.com/fyCxf7A

Today's Summary
https://imgur.com/AL8nSDt

Is this common? Is there a good set of evolving rules on which flights have meal service?
Yes, it is common; no, there is not a good set of rules. There is a set of evolving rules, though.

There are a few discussion on FT, such as the following:
The First Class Refreshments Basket but no "meal" for 2 hour flight?
https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/28765226-post724.html
fumje is offline  
Old Jan 2, 2018, 12:56 pm
  #3  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: ORD
Programs: UA 1K
Posts: 16,899
Originally Posted by fumje
Yes, it is common; no, there is not a good set of rules. There is a set of evolving rules, though.

There are a few discussion on FT, such as the following:
The First Class Refreshments Basket but no "meal" for 2 hour flight?
https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/28765226-post724.html
Or, it may just be another UA webpage inconsistency, or maybe they're finally admitting that the DEN kitchen in down for the count (although one would hope that by February...)
milepig is offline  
Old Jan 2, 2018, 2:10 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: TX
Programs: UA 1K
Posts: 702
I am not sure with what frequency UA updates this page but your latest flight meal descriptions all seem to be consistent with the link below. It is a very complicated (and specific) roadmap of meal service options!

https://www.united.com/web/en-US/con...st/dining.aspx

Additionally I have sometimes noticed a discrepancy between the meal description during the various phases of flight viewing: search, booking, confirmation and subsequent reservation details; though actual service has been consistent with link above other than IRROPS.
txaggiemiles is offline  
Old Jan 2, 2018, 3:45 pm
  #5  
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: PWM
Programs: AA Plat
Posts: 1,324
Originally Posted by txaggiemiles
I am not sure with what frequency UA updates this page but your latest flight meal descriptions all seem to be consistent with the link below. It is a very complicated (and specific) roadmap of meal service options!

https://www.united.com/web/en-US/con...st/dining.aspx

Additionally I have sometimes noticed a discrepancy between the meal description during the various phases of flight viewing: search, booking, confirmation and subsequent reservation details; though actual service has been consistent with link above other than IRROPS.
+1 Remember when the website used to say Meal: 2?

With that being said, UA uses their secret standard flight times for each city pair (not the actual block time) so you can't always rely on that chart if you're on the cusp.
txaggiemiles likes this.
sexykitten7 is offline  
Old Jan 2, 2018, 4:23 pm
  #6  
cur
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Programs: fwp blood diamond, dykwia uranium
Posts: 7,251
in event of discrepancy, website should be what you're going off: https://www.united.com/web/en-US/con...st/dining.aspx

it has been 100% accurate in my past few years of flying. i don't even look at the descriptors on the booking ("meal" "snack" "dinner" etc). it's never accurate.

so you will get:
den-ord: snack, typically fruit plate (pending den catering issues), most likely the burger and frozen pizza, maybe the fruit plate if their kitchen is back up. write in and complain about denver catering, i got an etc for it.
ord-ewr: refreshments- drinks and a pack of nuts

ewr-iah: full breakfast service
iah-den: snacks or something.

at least you get the polaris lounge in ord. everyone here complains about it but i like it.
cur is offline  
Old Jan 2, 2018, 7:01 pm
  #7  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: SFO/SJC
Programs: UA Silver, Marriott Gold, Hilton Gold
Posts: 14,816
Originally Posted by sexykitten7
+1 Remember when the website used to say Meal: 2?

With that being said, UA uses their secret standard flight times for each city pair (not the actual block time) so you can't always rely on that chart if you're on the cusp.
I don't think people will ever believe me, but I'm pretty sure the actual threshold is mileage, with the times being an approximation to those, since times is what most people are more familiar with. I think in one of the refreshed meal threads actually introduced them as mileage vs. the flight times - can't remember if it was when UAX started doing cold meals as opposed to snack boxes, or when UA refreshed the meals a few years ago.
emcampbe is offline  
Old Jan 2, 2018, 7:24 pm
  #8  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: San Francisco/Tel Aviv/YYZ
Programs: CO 1K-MM
Posts: 10,755
Nothing United (nor any airline in North America ) serves in any cabin as a "meal" within North America is better than you can get for $15 in the airport.

Save your appetite for TLV, its one of the best food cities in the world
gene2632 and bootstrapper like this.
entropy is offline  
Old Jan 2, 2018, 8:52 pm
  #9  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: PHX
Programs: AS 75K; UA 1MM; Hyatt Globalist; Marriott Ti, LTP; Hilton Diamond (Aspire)
Posts: 55,998
Originally Posted by txaggiemiles
I am not sure with what frequency UA updates this page but your latest flight meal descriptions all seem to be consistent with the link below. It is a very complicated (and specific) roadmap of meal service options!
I do think they just changed it yet again. It is more complicated now than I ever remember; so much so that for any flight under 4 hours, they can basically say "sorry, refreshments."
Kacee is online now  
Old Jan 2, 2018, 8:56 pm
  #10  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Hilton Contributor BadgeMarriott Contributor Badge
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: TOA
Programs: HH Diamond, Marriott LTPP/Platinum Premier, Hyatt Lame-ist, UA !K
Posts: 20,061
Maybe this is simply using the DEN First/Business catering model and applying to all domestic routes...(SVP of bean counting: "Look how much money we've saved by not having to order fresh food and not having to pay Chelsea Food Services...")

David

Last edited by DELee; Jan 2, 2018 at 10:40 pm
DELee is offline  
Old Jan 2, 2018, 10:15 pm
  #11  
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 50
The last times I've flown United first class in/out of EUG, the "snack" was a bag of pretzels--the same that they give for free in Economy. But you can have an alcoholic drink, so I guess that's something?
bootstrapper is offline  
Old Jan 2, 2018, 10:32 pm
  #12  
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Programs: Hertz PC
Posts: 657
Got a nice surprise couple months on a flight ORD-OMA. (1 hr flight) Plane was catered wrong.

Flight Attendant before doing safey announcement said "I got good news and bad news. Good news is there is no snack basket on the plane. Bad news is I'm going have to prep these full meals" We had choice of asian salad or fruit & cheese plate.

I'm surprised the flight attendant didn't pull the "our contract says" we are not allowed to serve meals.on this flight.
bhunt is offline  
Old Jan 2, 2018, 10:39 pm
  #13  
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: TX
Programs: UA 1K
Posts: 702
Originally Posted by Kacee
I do think they just changed it yet again. It is more complicated now than I ever remember; so much so that for any flight under 4 hours, they can basically say "sorry, refreshments."
that was my impression as well
txaggiemiles is offline  
Old Jan 2, 2018, 10:59 pm
  #14  
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Denver, CO
Programs: UA 1K 24 years/2MM, Honors LT Diamond, AVIS & Hertz Prez Club
Posts: 4,733
Many changes went into effect in November and December. In December DEN-SFO became "snack" for breakfast and lunch, with full dinner still served both ways, but dinner is now a cold salad with protein or a hot entree. Before dinner was two hot entree choices. So basically, they made dinner what they used to serve for lunch.

DEN-ORD and DEN-IAH (and vice versa) are exception markets where meals, including snack trays are served rather than snack basket which for flights of that stage length no longer qualify for meals. DEN-LAX also is an exception market. Why DEN-SFO isn't is unclear to me. Last time I flew VX in that market a full meal was served but maybe AS has cut that? It's a business heavy market and lots of paid J up front, so the cuts don't make a lot of sense.
SFO 1K is offline  
Old Jan 2, 2018, 11:18 pm
  #15  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: MSP
Programs: DL PM, UA Gold, WN, Global Entry; +others wherever miles/points are found
Posts: 14,150
Originally Posted by Kacee
I do think they just changed it yet again. It is more complicated now than I ever remember; so much so that for any flight under 4 hours, they can basically say "sorry, refreshments."
Do I read that they're cutting the snack basket on sub-60m flights and just doing pretzels instead? Sheesh, that's really penny-pinching

Originally Posted by SFO 1K
Many changes went into effect in November and December. In December DEN-SFO became "snack" for breakfast and lunch, with full dinner still served both ways, but dinner is now a cold salad with protein or a hot entree. Before dinner was two hot entree choices. So basically, they made dinner what they used to serve for lunch.

DEN-ORD and DEN-IAH (and vice versa) are exception markets where meals, including snack trays are served rather than snack basket which for flights of that stage length no longer qualify for meals. DEN-LAX also is an exception market. Why DEN-SFO isn't is unclear to me. Last time I flew VX in that market a full meal was served but maybe AS has cut that? It's a business heavy market and lots of paid J up front, so the cuts don't make a lot of sense.
I don't think DEN-LAX is treated any better than DEN-SFO but I could be wrong. My last DEN-LAX was 2pm and got only Refreshments. I felt ridiculous having to carry on a sandwich in F, but it was the fastest way to get from MSP to LAX (they cut the nonstop).
findark is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service -

This site is owned, operated, and maintained by MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Designated trademarks are the property of their respective owners.