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United Will Trial Mandatory New Express Dining Service Concept In Business Class

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United Will Trial Mandatory New Express Dining Service Concept In Business Class

Old Mar 30, 19, 8:38 am
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United Will Trial Mandatory New Express Dining Service Concept In Business Class


United will trial express dining service for all Polaris Business Class passengers on late-evening transatlantic departures from Washington Dulles next month...

Starting April 01st, United will offer the appetizer, salad, and main course on a single tray. Ice cream, cheese, and petit fours will be served from the galley rather than by cart. The goal of the trial is to gauge whether passengers will appreciate the expedited service in exchange for a longer rest. No food will actually be cut: the menu items will resemble what they have for the last few years (albeit on the new casserole dishes we saw unveiled earlier this month) [link to external blog].

Trial flights will include late evening departures from Washington Dulles to:
  • Dublin (UA126)
  • Frankfurt (UA932)
  • Lisbon (UA168)
  • London (UA924)
More info on my blog. United told me that emails were going out to passengers on these flights to explain the changes in service. Please post here if you received one.

Personally, I'm fine with this. Last time I flew from IAD-FRA on the late flight I had already eaten in the TK lounge and just wanted to go to sleep. But the noise in the cabin and lights turned up made it impossible (for me).

I'd prefer a fully on-demand service on these late flights, but guess there are not enough FAs for that.
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Old Mar 30, 19, 8:38 am
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United Will Trial New Express Dining Service Concept In Business Class

United Will Trial New Express Dining Service Concept In Business Class

....
Starting April 01st, United will offer the appetizer, salad, and main course on a single tray. Ice cream, cheese, and petit fours will be served from the galley rather than by cart. The goal of the trial is to gauge whether passengers will appreciate the expedited service in exchange for a longer rest. No food will actually be cut: the menu items will resemble what they have for the last few years (albeit on the new casserole dishes we saw unveiled earlier this month).

Trial flights will include late evening departures from Washington Dulles to:
  • Dublin (UA126)
  • Frankfurt (UA932)
  • Lisbon (UA168)
  • London (UA924)
Depending upon customer feedback, United will either make this program permanent and also expand it to Newark or eliminate it.
....

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Mar 30, 19 at 10:06 am Reason: formatting; limit quoting of copyright material
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Old Mar 30, 19, 8:45 am
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I wonder how they’ll do the ice cream, won’t it melt? I’d love to be able to grab a sundae then go straight to sleep.
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Old Mar 30, 19, 8:52 am
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Love the idea but doesn’t it make sense to trial this in a hub where there is already a Polaris Lounge in operation?
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Old Mar 30, 19, 8:55 am
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Personally, I think they should do this on all TATL redeyes to Europe, regardless of departure time, from either IAD or EWR (and possibly ORD, depending on takeoff time).
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Old Mar 30, 19, 9:08 am
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As I recall, United has done this before. There were significant issues with training and implementation, and it didn't last.
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Old Mar 30, 19, 9:09 am
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CO used to have an expedited "late night supper" on BF departures after 10pm to EU and to/from South America. The original CO service had multiple passes with the three-tiered cart, and this supper service dispensed with at least a few of them and combined a few courses. It was still a substantial service but IIRC ended up being about 20 or so minutes quicker from start to finish. This concept proposal sounds a bit skimpier than that, but in line with the existing coursed Polaris meal service (same apps, salad, entree, just served all at once). Each of the trial departures are after 10pm, which makes sense.

I think it's a good idea and would welcome such a change for post-10pm departures from EWR, too. The combo of the PL and an expedited on board service would be a winner for me, as I'm a big fan of a later departure times on the very short EU flights. In the CO days, the Presidents Club spread mostly consisted of cheese and crackers so this would be, overall, a superior short redeye business class experience.
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Old Mar 30, 19, 9:39 am
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LH does this on their late night departures from India (~3:30am). Personally I like it; on the ~9hr flight from Bangalore or Mumbai to Frankfurt I want to get as much sleep as I can. FWIW Bangalore is served by the 3-class 748 and has less than stellar food options in the shared Plaza Premium lounge. Mumbai has much better lounge food options but are not what I would consider comparable to a Polaris lounge.
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Old Mar 30, 19, 10:12 am
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Doesn't UA already offer this? It's been printed on the menus "forever". How is this new?

-RM
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Old Mar 30, 19, 10:17 am
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Originally Posted by RobOnLI View Post
Doesn't UA already offer this? It's been printed on the menus "forever". How is this new?

-RM
because it won’t be optional. Everybody in Polaris would receive express dining.
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Old Mar 30, 19, 10:53 am
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How cheap.

I assume they will take this chance to cut a FA from business?
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Old Mar 30, 19, 11:02 am
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Originally Posted by Ted View Post
How cheap.

I assume they will take this chance to cut a FA from business?
I don’t think this will save any money, and they already cut the extra FA where applicable.
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Old Mar 30, 19, 11:09 am
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Originally Posted by Ted View Post
How cheap.

I assume they will take this chance to cut a FA from business?
Unless there are additional cuts, this just results in the same service being consolidated into two courses (app+salad+main tray, cleared, followed by dessert/fruit/cheese directly from the galley). The second galley FA position on certain aircraft have already been enhanced away, so this would just be, in theory, a lighter workload.
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Old Mar 30, 19, 11:59 am
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Originally Posted by Ted View Post
I assume they will take this chance to cut a FA from business?
No they already did that. This will just make things a bit easier for the overworked crews.

From most passengers' perspective, it probably makes sense.
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Old Mar 30, 19, 12:14 pm
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it'd be better yet if they offered on-demand dining rather than force everyone to eat at one time.
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