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Catering Strike in FRA affecting UA flights, 20-ish Dec 2019, double catering from US

Catering Strike in FRA affecting UA flights, 20-ish Dec 2019, double catering from US

Old Dec 20, 19, 3:49 pm
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Catering Strike in FRA affecting UA flights, 20-ish Dec 2019, double catering from US

No ice cream sundae today onboard UA944 ORD-FRA. I was told there was a catering strike in FRA was the reason.

There was also no plates for dessert so Iím eating off a napkin.

I did find some results about a strike a couple weeks ago for LH for a day but that was about it.
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Old Dec 20, 19, 4:42 pm
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Originally Posted by BThumme View Post
No ice cream sundae today onboard UA944 ORD-FRA. I was told there was a catering strike in FRA was the reason.

There was also no plates for dessert so Iím eating off a napkin.

I did find some results about a strike a couple weeks ago for LH for a day but that was about it.
I'm confused - why would catering issues currently affecting LH flights in Germany affect a UA flight originating in ORD? Perhaps replacing plates with napkins is the latest Polaris enhancement.
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Old Dec 20, 19, 5:14 pm
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Originally Posted by LarryU View Post
I'm confused - why would catering issues currently affecting LH flights in Germany affect a UA flight originating in ORD? Perhaps replacing plates with napkins is the latest Polaris enhancement.
That's what I'm asking. I was told the lack of sundaes was due to a catering issue at frankfurt, and I tried to do some googling to find any information relating to that and it's all I could find. Maybe UA has to double cater the flights and they don't have enough room for everything, or we're limited? Or maybe it was just mis-catered and I was told that...
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Old Dec 20, 19, 5:22 pm
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Flew muc-ord today.. Proper plates and the Sundaes were there as usual. I think they lied to you.
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Old Dec 20, 19, 8:40 pm
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Weíre also getting a limited breakfast as well, no fruit option, only the cheese omelette, the FA reiterated because of a strike in FRA
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Old Dec 20, 19, 8:43 pm
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Just enjoyed a lovely flight with the family, Polaris FRA-IAD. Full service in every respect.
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Old Dec 20, 19, 9:03 pm
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Your plane did fly in from FRA this morning, so I suppose this is possible. I would be surprised to learn that any supplies being double-catered would come from FRA, as opposed to ORD, but I have no specific knowledge on this.
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Old Dec 20, 19, 9:12 pm
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Originally Posted by will2288 View Post
Your plane did fly in from FRA this morning, so I suppose this is possible. I would be surprised to learn that any supplies being double-catered would come from FRA, as opposed to ORD, but I have no specific knowledge on this.
Someone is on the PA apologizing due to the catering issue as were getting ready to descend. They said they had to cater the return flight and UA opted to limit the service rather then delay or cancel our flight.
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Old Dec 21, 19, 4:00 am
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There is a ground service worker union strike effecting catering in all of Germany right now. I just flew EWR-MUC and got in a few hours ago. Purser was highly apologetic and we talked extensively about it (and they showed me the slide deck distributed to the crew by UA).

All US-Germany flights are being double catered out of the US. In J that means one tray with appetizer/salad/bread/main all served at once. No desserts of any kind catered, limited beverage options, no pre departure beverage and breakfast was served on these tiny half trays so they could fit more in each cart to consolidate. Midflight snacks were also very limited to save space.

Purser was telling me premium Y/Y were rough. Just a cold turkey sandwich on a napkin.

Also there is compensation for it. Go to united.com/unitedcares and put in your info. The crew stressed this about 10 times to go to the site. For us it was $300 voucher or 15k miles each. For reference we were revenue J, I'm 1k my wife silver.

Originally Posted by LarryU View Post
I'm confused - why would catering issues currently affecting LH flights in Germany affect a UA flight originating in ORD? Perhaps replacing plates with napkins is the latest Polaris enhancement.
To double cater, they load the outbound flight with everything the return flight needs. To save weight they cut a lot of the extras.

Originally Posted by toddt View Post
Flew muc-ord today.. Proper plates and the Sundaes were there as usual. I think they lied to you.
I think you got in just before the strike. We departed EWR at 5:30pm on 12/20 and our flight was one of the first effected.
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Old Dec 21, 19, 4:53 am
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Originally Posted by DErg View Post
There is a ground service worker union strike effecting catering in all of Germany right now. I just flew EWR-MUC and got in a few hours ago. Purser was highly apologetic and we talked extensively about it (and they showed me the slide deck distributed to the crew by UA).

All US-Germany flights are being double catered out of the US. In J that means one tray with appetizer/salad/bread/main all served at once. No desserts of any kind catered, limited beverage options, no pre departure beverage and breakfast was served on these tiny half trays so they could fit more in each cart to consolidate. Midflight snacks were also very limited to save space.

Purser was telling me premium Y/Y were rough. Just a cold turkey sandwich on a napkin.

Also there is compensation for it. Go to united.com/unitedcares and put in your info. The crew stressed this about 10 times to go to the site. For us it was $300 voucher or 15k miles each. For reference we were revenue J, I'm 1k my wife silver.

.
Thanks for confirming that, but I think those flights have to be input by the crew to be eligible. I entered my info but it comes back "we can't find your information". I'll try reaching out to customer care, I was also on a revenue J ticket.

Here's some additional information (from LH) - I don't see any mention on United's site, and I doubt they would mention it.
https://www.lufthansa.com/de/en/flight-information

Update: I was given a $225 etc. Iím a 1k as well, and the reply made no mention of the strike or issue, just that they would pass on the feedback

Last edited by BThumme; Dec 21, 19 at 10:17 am
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Old Dec 22, 19, 1:47 am
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That's really strange. Flew through FRA yesterday on LH and both flights were catered correctly. Could be that the UA FAs where just making up things? Unless there is some unknown dispute with UA I don't see how the ongoing LH catering situation would affect UA.
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Old Dec 22, 19, 6:30 am
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I flew UA46 IAH to FRA on Nov 30. Purser said the catering strike caused them to double cater the flight for the return and had the following limitations: No ice cream, no breakfast choice, breakfast served on half size trays, Maybe some others I don't remember.
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Old Dec 22, 19, 6:58 am
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I am so mistrusting of UA nowadays, I immediately thought:

- Kirby reads about FRA strike
- Kirby calls for a meeting
- Kirby instructs to maximize savings by using FRA strike as an excuse to minimize food & drink offerings and double-cater flights to Europe

Of course, the compensation they seem to offer is counter to that assumption. I just don't trust them as far as I can jump, that's all.
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Old Dec 22, 19, 8:28 am
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Considering there is currently no catering strike in FRA as far as I can see ... this is quite perplexing.
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Old Dec 22, 19, 11:06 am
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Originally Posted by cfischer View Post
Considering there is currently no catering strike in FRA as far as I can see ... this is quite perplexing.
"Strike" actually refers to staff issues that have been going on for months at LSG FRA. The way an LH FA explained it to me is that they are severely understaffed, don't find any candidates to fill the many vacancies (or they just don't offer enough pay), and that they have no clue how many of the workers that they do have on the payroll will actually show up on any given day. If they don't show up, they don't fire them because they simply don't have that luxury, they just chalk it up to a "strike" to have at least some sort of viable excuse to present to LH, UA or other clients. In practice, this means that they operate with a skeleton staff on holidays, weekends, nice weather days, hot days, etc. as many workers don't turn up on those days, and only a selection of flights are catered based on an internal priority list.

These issues started in Q2 2019, and while it was reported back then, you won't see any recent coverage as it isn't newsworthy anymore. The issues are expected to last until the merger with Gategroup is completed.
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