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TPA-IAH-SMF, all in F, zero meal service?

TPA-IAH-SMF, all in F, zero meal service?

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Old Apr 1, 19, 11:19 am
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TPA-IAH-SMF, all in F, zero meal service?

A friend flew TPA-IAH in F, a 2 hour 28 minute flight, departing at 7:10, and according to United's "in flight dining" chart, there should have been a "A full meal service with two entree choices".

Instead it was a snack basket.

The same plane took him (in F still) from IAH-SMF , a 4 hour 14 minute flight, departed later, so I guess the in flight dining chart description of a "snack basket" was accurate.

So, first point, is it worth complaining on the first segment, and second point , that's trans continental 7 total hours of flying with an hour on the ground in Houston, in F, and nothing but a snack to eat.

How is this good business sense?
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Old Apr 1, 19, 11:52 am
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Seems like a catering error. On checking UA's site, the 6.40 pm flight (UA 2280) lists meal as Dinner. The 4:35 pm flight (UA 1821) also lists dinner. The 9.45 am flight (UA 1781) lists meal as Breakfast. Was it not one of these flights? If yes and he did not have any meal service, he should write in to UA and he will get a voucher/ miles for his troubles.
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Old Apr 1, 19, 11:56 am
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TPA-IAH does not serve meals - it's coded as a "light snack and beverages," all frequencies. IAH-SMF, if departing after 7:59 PM, is snack basket as well.
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Old Apr 1, 19, 11:58 am
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Originally Posted by rch4u View Post
TPA-IAH does not serve meals - it's coded as a "light snack and beverages," all frequencies. IAH-SMF, if departing after 7:59 PM, is snack basket as well.
UA's site doesnt seem to have any post 7.59pm flights to SMF. I think his friend was on the 9:45 am flight as the time matches up.
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Old Apr 1, 19, 12:12 pm
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Originally Posted by caseminole View Post
A friend flew TPA-IAH in F, a 2 hour 28 minute flight, departing at 7:10, and according to United's "in flight dining" chart, there should have been a "A full meal service with two entree choices".

Instead it was a snack basket.
The times in United's " in flight dining" chart are inflight times, not block times. This should be made clearer on the UA website.
So TPA-IAH is under 2:20 flight time and never has meals (confirmed from personal experience)



Originally Posted by caseminole View Post
How is this hat's trans continental 7 total hours of flying with an hour on the ground in Houston, in F, and nothing but a snack to eat.
good business sense?
It would be hard to set meals based on multi-segment travel time and would be passenger dependent
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Last edited by WineCountryUA; Apr 1, 19 at 2:36 pm Reason: phrasing
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Old Apr 1, 19, 12:14 pm
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Originally Posted by caseminole View Post
A friend flew TPA-IAH in F, a 2 hour 28 minute flight, departing at 7:10, and according to United's "in flight dining" chart, there should have been a "A full meal service with two entree choices"...
Flight duration, not scheduled (block) time. 2:19 is the breakover. Yeah, it's confusing because everyone figures departure to arrival time is the applicable timespan. Wheels up to wheels down is duration.

And yes, although UA does mention "duration" on the meal page, they really need to explain what they mean "duration" to be. Most of us would have just assumed scheduled or block time equals "duration" w/o any further info.

That being said, the info specific to TPA-IAH does not say "Breakfast".

Last edited by IAH-OIL-TRASH; Apr 1, 19 at 12:25 pm
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Old Apr 1, 19, 12:39 pm
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Good example of how you can fly East Coast to West Coast and not have a meal service in F. I had to be careful of flight options when I check RIC-LAX, some options are also all UAX regional flight.
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Old Apr 1, 19, 12:40 pm
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
The times in United's " in flight dining" chart are inflight times, not block times. This is be made clearer on the UA website.
So TPA-IAH is under 2:20 flight time and never has meals (confirmed from personal experience)



It would be hard to set meals based on multi-segment travel time and would be passenger dependent
I understand the sentiment, but my friend DID expect a meal on the TPA-IAH segment based on the scheduled departure time (7:19 PM) and the fact that its a 2 1/2 hour gate to gate travel time.

I understand why he says this is misleading; I have been flying Co/UAL for 30+ years and its misleading to me!

As far as the connecting flight goes, it just seems odd to me that a 4 1/2 hour flight in F departing at 9:45 doesnt even provide a hot sandwich.
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Old Apr 1, 19, 1:47 pm
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Your addition of PM to the time changes everything. I was under the impression that these were morning flights and hence my response about meal times. At a 945 pm flight, I think the priority of most passengers is to sleep. The late-night LAX-IAD/ SFO-IAD don't get anything other than a snack basket either.
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Old Apr 1, 19, 2:14 pm
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Originally Posted by IADFlyer123 View Post
UA's site doesnt seem to have any post 7.59pm flights to SMF. I think his friend was on the 9:45 am flight as the time matches up.
There was a 9:45 PM departure on Saturday, March 30.
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Old Apr 1, 19, 2:15 pm
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Originally Posted by IADFlyer123 View Post
Your addition of PM to the time changes everything. I was under the impression that these were morning flights and hence my response about meal times. At a 945 pm flight, I think the priority of most passengers is to sleep. The late-night LAX-IAD/ SFO-IAD don't get anything other than a snack basket either.
Wrong. Transcontinental redeyes receive a warm sandwich or calzone as a snack right after departure, with a muffin or scone before landing.
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Old Apr 1, 19, 2:46 pm
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Originally Posted by rch4u View Post
Wrong. Transcontinental redeyes receive a warm sandwich or calzone as a snack right after departure, with a muffin or scone before landing.
Are you sure about that to IAD? SFO/LAX-IAD are not Transcontinental Premium (aka p.s.) routes.(ie SFO/LAX-EWR and SFO-BOS)
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Old Apr 1, 19, 2:46 pm
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I frequent this city pair TPA-IAH and as someone else stated meals are never served on this flight, I think UA purposely does it 10 mins short to save on cost. I believe AA also does this TPA-DFW as well, cutting it just under. Its a shame they game the customer so much, plenty of time for meal service on these flights.
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Old Apr 1, 19, 2:52 pm
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Originally Posted by caseminole View Post
I understand the sentiment, but my friend DID expect a meal on the TPA-IAH segment based on the scheduled departure time (7:19 PM) and the fact that its a 2 1/2 hour gate to gate travel time...
When the ticket was booked, nowhere did it say "Breakfast". You can check it out for yourself what is promised (snack or refreshment) by going through the process to book TPA-IAH. Your friend may have expected breakfast, but none was promised.
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Old Apr 1, 19, 4:07 pm
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
The times in United's " in flight dining" chart are inflight times, not block times.
Originally Posted by IAH-OIL-TRASH View Post
Flight duration, not scheduled (block) time. 2:19 is the breakover.
I'm not really sure these statements are any more or less true than United's. The catering choice is by route (so block time moving a minute or two has no effect) and chosen somewhat arbitrarily in a way that maximizes profits and roughly corresponds to stage length.

Originally Posted by IAH-OIL-TRASH View Post
Are you sure about that to IAD? SFO/LAX-IAD are not Transcontinental Premium (aka p.s.) routes.(ie SFO/LAX-EWR and SFO-BOS)
Currently show as Snack for me. They have gone back and forth between Snack and Refreshments over the years, which would strongly impact my opinion of the 8:01pm IAD-SFO.
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