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Ua1943 iah -> sna 6.21.19 -- Only one fresh choice item per customer?

Ua1943 iah -> sna 6.21.19 -- Only one fresh choice item per customer?

Old Jun 21, 19, 10:56 pm
  #1  
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Ua1943 iah -> sna 6.21.19 -- Only one fresh choice item per customer?

Flew to SNA from IAH this afternoon and pardon my hunger pains of not eating all day, I asked to purchase the Chicken Tacos and Cheese Tray. FA said i could only purchase one item. Not wanting to argue or have security pull me off after landing, I let it go. I looked in the UA mag and anywhere else, cant find anything regarding limitations. Is this a thing? Just was super hungry and nothing else appealed. FA returned 15 mins later, said she confused me with someone else, but asked if I wanted to purchase another item. I just declined and let it go. But still....did she just lie?
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Old Jun 22, 19, 3:01 am
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Originally Posted by Leemo View Post
Flew to SNA from IAH this afternoon and pardon my hunger pains of not eating all day, I asked to purchase the Chicken Tacos and Cheese Tray. FA said i could only purchase one item. Not wanting to argue or have security pull me off after landing, I let it go. ...
A bit melodramatic?

UA is known to run out of items so the FA was probably trying to make sure as many had a chance to get one item first

Originally Posted by Leemo View Post
FA returned 15 mins later, said she confused me with someone else, but asked if I wanted to purchase another item. I just declined and let it go. ...
At that point all those that had wanted to purchase had and there was no reason you could have not gotten something additional -- not clear why you did not.
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Old Jun 22, 19, 7:21 am
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
A bit melodramatic?
UA is known to run out of items so the FA was probably trying to make sure as many had a chance to get one item first
I get it as to why UA runs out of items they aren't charging for, but what's the excuse for running out of items they are charging for?
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Old Jun 22, 19, 7:31 am
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Originally Posted by halls120 View Post
I get it as to why UA runs out of items they aren't charging for, but what's the excuse for running out of items they are charging for?
Unsold perishable items go to waste so it makes sense to estimate expected sales/consumption and cater the flight accordingly.
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Old Jun 22, 19, 7:36 am
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Originally Posted by TechnoTourist View Post
Unsold perishable items go to waste so it makes sense to estimate expected sales/consumption and cater the flight accordingly.
In all the years since UA started selling fresh items in the back cabin, I never once saw FAs make it to the rear of the cabin without disappointing customers who wanted the decent fresh items. In those rare instances where I was sitting in E-, they were always sold out when they got to me.
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Old Jun 22, 19, 7:46 am
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Originally Posted by halls120 View Post
In all the years since UA started selling fresh items in the back cabin, I never once saw FAs make it to the rear of the cabin without disappointing customers who wanted the decent fresh items. In those rare instances where I was sitting in E-, they were always sold out when they got to me.
That implies it's better for the bottom line to have zero waste than to miss out on some potential sales.
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Old Jun 22, 19, 8:02 am
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Originally Posted by TechnoTourist View Post
That implies it's better for the bottom line to have zero waste than to miss out on some potential sales.
Trust me- they've got a bunch of people with fancy degrees modeling these decisions on the computer using a branch of mathematics called Operations Research. Any business that sells perishables has to weigh lost profits when they run short vs. the cost of waste when products aren't sold.

It does explain why I was disappointed on a flight out of SJC a couple of months ago- not UA, but the lines to purchase food in SJC were crazy long (no "grab and go" places, only those where you had to wait while they assembled your order) and I got onto the flight hoping to buy on board. All they had was the processed crap.

Fortunately, I travel with a large supply of protein bars.
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Old Jun 22, 19, 8:54 am
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Originally Posted by halls120 View Post
In all the years since UA started selling fresh items in the back cabin, I never once saw FAs make it to the rear of the cabin without disappointing customers who wanted the decent fresh items. In those rare instances where I was sitting in E-, they were always sold out when they got to me.
Agree. I've experienced getting last cheeseburger in 3rd row of E+ and overhearing that chicken sandwich was gone a couple of more rows back. United seems to want to avoid wastage rather satisfying everyone.
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Old Jun 22, 19, 9:21 am
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There is no "rule" for how many items one may purchase, just as there is no "rule" for many other aspects of how common sense accommodations are made for the situation at hand. Just as on most carriers, the supply of perishable BOB items is limited and it is rare that there is enough to accommodate demand. This FA was apparently more concerned with the rest of the passengers than just OP, so she said what she said.

It was great service on her part to return to OP when she had given others the opportunity to make their purchases.

Carriers limit supplies because they have done significant study of purchasing patterns and the supply vs. space vs. weight issue all boils down to what is catered. One partial solution is AA, which permits the pre-order of certain BOB items. However, the system does not accommodate changes made within 24 hours of flight, whether voluntary or involuntary and, depending on when a change is made, may not make it if there is an aircraft swap.
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Old Jun 22, 19, 10:27 am
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Originally Posted by halls120 View Post
I get it as to why UA runs out of items they aren't charging for, but what's the excuse for running out of items they are charging for?
A lot are given out for free to GSs and 1Ks. Fresh items are often gone when FAs reach the exit row. And the people holding money who really want to buy canít buy. Trust me this is one of biggest gripes of the crews
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Old Jun 22, 19, 11:34 am
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Originally Posted by Leemo View Post
FA said i could only purchase one item... FA returned 15 mins later, said she confused me with someone else, but asked if I wanted to purchase another item
Maybe she thought you were a non-rev and wanted to make sure revenue pax had a shot at the limited BoB options before a non-rev bought out the whole stock?
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Old Jun 22, 19, 1:14 pm
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Originally Posted by IAH-OIL-TRASH View Post
Agree. I've experienced getting last cheeseburger in 3rd row of E+ and overhearing that chicken sandwich was gone a couple of more rows back. United seems to want to avoid wastage rather satisfying everyone.
So I happen to be personal friends with the lady who runs the entire BOB program and had dinner with her last night. One of the major issues is that flight attendants give out so much food without charging or ringing it up in the system. Since there's no data on things that flight attendants just give away, the operations data thinks that United is throwing away tons of food from every flight, so underestimates how much fresh food needs to be boarded. It's a systemic problem. She regularly tells flight attendants even if you're giving it for free, at least put it in the system as a 'comp'. FAs regularly complain to her that there's not enough food on board, but they're preventing the airline from knowing how much is actually eaten.

(Speaking only for myself, not on behalf of my employer)
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Old Jun 22, 19, 1:17 pm
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Originally Posted by SteveHK View Post
So I happen to be personal friends with the lady who runs the entire BOB program and had dinner with her last night. One of the major issues is that flight attendants give out so much food without charging or ringing it up in the system. Since there's no data on things that flight attendants just give away, the operations data thinks that United is throwing away tons of food from every flight, so underestimates how much fresh food needs to be boarded. It's a systemic problem. She regularly tells flight attendants even if you're giving it for free, at least put it in the system as a 'comp'. FAs regularly complain to her that there's not enough food on board, but they're preventing the airline from knowing how much is actually eaten.

(Speaking only for myself, not on behalf of my employer)
Interesting tidbit. Do they adjust the catering by elite loads?

On another note, I am a little bit apprehensive about the day UA accurately accounts for every burger I eat.
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Old Jun 22, 19, 1:32 pm
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Originally Posted by fumje View Post
...
On another note, I am a little bit apprehensive about the day UA accurately accounts for every burger I eat.
Take a look at what you've accomplished this year.

Your favorite buy-on-board food was hamburger.
You had 22 hamburgers that's 6 more than last year!

Set your goals for 2020!
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Old Jun 22, 19, 2:32 pm
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The uncomped comps are a huge problem. I used to pick exit rows and then stopped because the food never made it that far back. The problem also comes down to space on the plane for more carts with fresh food.
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