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Discussion of the Quality of UA's In-Flight Meals

Discussion of the Quality of UA's In-Flight Meals

Old Dec 30, 19, 7:00 am
  #16  
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Originally Posted by BlueZebra View Post
Food is totally subjective.
While I agree with your statement, but the decline in the quality UA onboard catering is quite obvious and alarming, IMHO.

I have been flying UA for 28 years and mostly in international business cabins, and I have observed the decline over the years. You can say that is a general trend in commercial aviation, but the decline in UA is quite obvious. I would argue that the entree quality is better pre-Polaris era. There was improvement within the first year of Polaris rollout, but now UA has regressed to level lower than post merger period.

Looking at the photos I took just before the merger (both PMUA and PMCO), the decline is even more alarming (even during bankruptcy periods). One can also look back of all the photos posted in the Lets Eat threads from since inception, and can notice the differences.

Yes, we get new blue table cloth, gold napkins and updated plates, a moving desert cart and a few cheap sugar loaded pastries, but these are cosmetic and superficial changes.

I fly UA because of its route network, GS benefits, *A coverage and the outstanding beddings, but inflight catering Is so bad that is has undone all the good work UA has done in other areas.
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Old Dec 30, 19, 9:39 am
  #17  
 
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Originally Posted by narvik View Post
There will soon be a new thread: "2020 Let's Eat - Polaris Business".

If the current UA trend of declining food quality continues, we will fondly look upon the 2018 and this 2019 thread!
Amazing, just amazing.


I'll close out with some alternative food pics from other airlines I experienced within the last few months:
I also find it sad when I look back to how the domestic catering peaked around 2016 before each year they chipped away at it

The problem is that they still find new ways each year to reduce the offerings with no end in sight!
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Old Dec 30, 19, 9:53 am
  #18  
 
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Originally Posted by uastarflyer View Post
UAs narrowing of catering offerings and presentation is objectively bad.
I don't care that much about presentation, and I also don't think feeding a few less calories in what is often a 4,000 calorie meal is a big deal. If anything they should cut us back a little more.

I do care about food quality. The food should taste good. It should never be disgusting or inedible. So when I see those comments I worry a lot.
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Old Dec 30, 19, 10:16 am
  #19  
 
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Originally Posted by dilanesp View Post
...what is often a 4,000 calorie meal...
4'000 kcal seems a bit of an exaggeration for one UA meal....although with oodles of soda, all the sugary booze, all the snacks, and saying "yes" to all the top-ups they offer, one might get close.
You can choose to forego drinks with calories (i.e Seltzer/S.Pellegrino) and not eat all of the desserts they have on offer.

Pretty sure I've never had a 4'000 kcal meal on United!


(BTW, you likely mean 4,000 Calories, not 4,000 calories, which would be 4 Calories (4 kcal)!)

Last edited by narvik; Dec 30, 19 at 10:22 am
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Old Dec 30, 19, 12:52 pm
  #20  
 
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Originally Posted by samjnz View Post
I also find it sad when I look back to how the domestic catering peaked around 2016 before each year they chipped away at it

The problem is that they still find new ways each year to reduce the offerings with no end in sight!
Next year it will become: What we did NOT eat in Polaris.

Frankly, I am going to eat a nice meal in the ORD Polaris lounge when I land in an hour or so before heading home to PDX.
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Old Dec 30, 19, 2:01 pm
  #21  
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Originally Posted by uastarflyer View Post
UAs narrowing of catering offerings and presentation is objectively bad.
UAs food is also objectively worse than what many other airlines serve.

Im sure if we compared catering budgets between, say UA and NH, the difference would be startling. The basic difference is that carriers like NH take pride in presenting a quality product, whereas UA cares only about pleasing the analysts.
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Old Dec 30, 19, 2:49 pm
  #22  
 
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Absolute trash was served NRT-IAD. I had the salmon (GROSS) and my partner had the Japanese (also GROSS). Not one thing edible, and everything was overdone from the nuts at start to the dinner entree to the arrival meal. I wouldn't have served food of this quality prepared in this manner to anyone, much less in a premium cabin.

How can UA find this acceptable? Especially with the JV with NH, their product should be competitive. With the new loyalty PQF scheme I see no reason to fly UA outside of the 4 segments.
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Old Dec 30, 19, 2:52 pm
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Originally Posted by narvik View Post
4'000 kcal seems a bit of an exaggeration for one UA meal....although with oodles of soda, all the sugary booze, all the snacks, and saying "yes" to all the top-ups they offer, one might get close.
You can choose to forego drinks with calories (i.e Seltzer/S.Pellegrino) and not eat all of the desserts they have on offer.

Pretty sure I've never had a 4'000 kcal meal on United!


(BTW, you likely mean 4,000 Calories, not 4,000 calories, which would be 4 Calories (4 kcal)!)
Since we aren't a physics website, I think everyone knows what 4,000 calories means.
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Old Dec 30, 19, 2:58 pm
  #24  
 
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Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
UAs food is also objectively worse than what many other airlines serve.
I do not know any major airline that has worse business class food than UA. I used to say that BA was worse, but they listened to their customer, changed caterers; and are much better than UA now. Sure, I will still buy UA business class if it is the cheapest - the seat is the main thing - but I cringe at the thought of the UA onboard dining. I look forward to it on most of their competitors. That may be fine with UA, but I don't imagine that they can charge a premium to other-than-captive customers that way. And not everywhere has a Polaris lounge to even it out.
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Old Dec 30, 19, 3:09 pm
  #25  
 
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UA business class dining is so bad that emirates economy beats it. Can you imagine salmon with saffron rice making the polaris cutoff today?
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Old Dec 30, 19, 3:26 pm
  #26  
 
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When did UA cutoff the chocolates at the end of the flight? Always found that nice touch, but just realized that I haven't seen it in awhile.
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Old Dec 30, 19, 3:36 pm
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Originally Posted by Zoltar View Post
When did UA cutoff the chocolates at the end of the flight? Always found that nice touch, but just realized that I haven't seen it in awhile.

Yeah, that has to be quite a few months now.
I never missed them though, as they were pretty horrible (and too sweet).
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Old Dec 30, 19, 3:40 pm
  #28  
 
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Originally Posted by narvik View Post
Yeah, that has to be quite a few months now.
I never missed them though, as they were pretty horrible (and too sweet).
I always found it as a nice gesture (although yes low quality), and an easy thing to toss in my bag for home as a gift for friends or family.
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Old Dec 30, 19, 6:33 pm
  #29  
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It looks like UA Polaris has actually out-grossed Air Canada J - and given that AC almost takes pride in serving the most inedible, horrific food (the hamburger on Air Koryo is better), this is quite a feat for United to accomplish! Well done!

I am sure the cost differential from presentable and tasty vs just plain gross will save United millions and cause the analysts to erupt in wild cheers.

I guess United pushing me to AC and NH for my 2020 travels is not such a terrible thing after-all. I can get over the missing ice cream sundae and pajamas in exchange for a better over-all experience without the 'tude.
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Old Dec 30, 19, 7:49 pm
  #30  
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Originally Posted by Zoltar View Post

How can UA find this acceptable? Especially with the JV with NH, their product should be competitive. With the new loyalty PQF scheme I see no reason to fly UA outside of the 4 segments.
A few years ago my former employer had a contract with both AA and UA, and the in-house TA booked outbound to NRT on UA and in-bound on AA.

I was shocked to see AA serving the JAL Japanese meal in the first class cabin. Nice set of sashimi, sushi, tempura, yakitori, followed by Kobi beef as hot entree. What a treat! All those years flying UA since 1992 in First and business cabins, and I have never seen UA contracting NH to serve its Japanese meals out of NRT.

I dont know what AA serve now because I have not flown them for awhile. Just a data point.
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