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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 Jan 8, 20, 8:25 pm
  #76  
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Originally Posted by hirohito888 View Post
PVG-ORD
UA836
Boeing 777-200
Meal: dinner, breakfast

Disappointing meals as usual. The main was particularly disappointing, not creative and nothing premium about the ingredients.
Thanks for posting the photos. As much as I love posting photo meals, I just cannot be bothered with posting UA meal photos anymore.
The whole presentation looks terrible. the chilled appetizer seems to be experiencing another cost enhancement.

I now look forward to finishing the meal services early on UA, so I can move on doing my work, sleep or watching the IFEs. I bring my own midnight flight snacks that is more healthy, tasty and fresh.
Again, the taste of food is subjective, but the quality of ingredients, preparation and presentation of food are clearly need a lot of improvement to be considered "premium". If a customer pays Y and upgrade to C, perhaps the focus is more on the comfort of the seats than the quality of the food and beverage. However, for any customers paying thousands of $ to experience premium cabin offerings, UA clearly falls short.

Sure! There will always be opposing view that "Don't expect gourmet dinner" on the plane" etc., but if other airlines (including a number of smaller airlines from emerging markets) can consistently deliver and meeting premium cabin customer expectation, at least UA needs to raise it standard to that "average" level instead constantly meeting just the bare minimum. For example, the same Gategoumet kitchen that prepare inflight meals for UA also prepare for SQ, BR and others at some of the airport locations. I know the ingredient is the cost issue, but why the presentation and preparation are better on other airlines than UA?

In responding to survey email after each United flight, I make sure I express my dissatisfaction with onboard meal offerings.

I do see from your photo above, you got two small bottle of jams...perhaps that is the "enhancement" is talking about! ;-)

Last edited by UA_Flyer; Jan 8, 20 at 8:40 pm
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Old Jan 8, 20, 9:07 pm
  #77  
 
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Originally Posted by UA_Flyer View Post
If a customer pays Y and upgrade to C, perhaps the focus is more on the comfort of the seats than the quality of the food and beverage. However, for any customers paying thousands of $ to experience premium cabin offerings, UA clearly falls short.
I agree with all your points of your post, except the quoted part above.
I don't think it should matter how one gets to the J seat. Paid, upgrade instrument, op-up, or nonrev matters naught: if you sit in a J seat, you should expect & receive J service.

Sadly, UA offers Premium Economy food in J, Economy food in Premium Economy, and slop in Economy (if anything at all).
halls120, dmurphynj and oopl like this.
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Old Jan 8, 20, 9:56 pm
  #78  
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Originally Posted by narvik View Post
I agree with all your points of your post, except the quoted part above.
I don't think it should matter how one gets to the J seat. Paid, upgrade instrument, op-up, or nonrev matters naught: if you sit in a J seat, you should expect & receive J service.
What he is saying is the Customer getting the upgrade will be pleased with the niceties of the seat, tv, bedding, glassware and may not be as discriminating re the niceties of the food and presentation.

But experiences Biz class folks that pay $8-$12K TPAC have options and will (or should) expect a competitive soft product including food/drink.

and regardless, UA needs to step up its game big time on the meals. The duvet is great, that same level of food would be really darn good! Alas, the food is regressing to the moral equivalent of the Y blanket.
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Old Jan 8, 20, 10:13 pm
  #79  
 
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Originally Posted by uastarflyer View Post
What he is saying is the Customer getting the upgrade will be pleased with the niceties of the seat, tv, bedding, glassware and may not be as discriminating re the niceties of the food and presentation.

But experiences Biz class folks that pay $8-$12K TPAC have options and will (or should) expect a competitive soft product including food/drink.

and regardless, UA needs to step up its game big time on the meals. The duvet is great, that same level of food would be really darn good! Alas, the food is regressing to the moral equivalent of the Y blanket.
Thanks for elaborating.
Yes, I can sort of see how it would make a difference.
Sort of.
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Old Jan 9, 20, 12:25 am
  #80  
 
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Horrible "special meals" in premium economy

I normally fly economy or Polaris, but for one recent trip, the Premium Economy seat was actually cheaper than Economy, so I took it. I always order a vegetarian meal. I've been eating United vegetarian economy meals for three decades. They're nothing to recommend to friends, but they've always been OK. I eat them, I'm happy enough.

I don't know (and the flight attendants didn't know) if Premium Economy special meals are different. But these (two on the trip) were inedible. Just gross. Even the flight attendant couldn't help curling her lip. I asked if they had any snacks--no. Snack boxes? even for purchase? No. Could I have a regular meal so I could eat the salad off that? No. I wasn't allowed a regular meal if I'd ordered a special one (the plane, including the Premium Economy section, was not full.

On that first meal, with the weird pasty triangle things (I thought corn? But I tried a corner, and it didn't taste like it. It tasted like how I'd imagine barf + library paste), there was a piece of soggy, faded eggplant that I did eat. No salad. No dessert.




I couldn't eat any of the second meal. It was a long flight, but I just starved.
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Old Jan 9, 20, 5:37 am
  #81  
 
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
I think that is right, initially complimentary BOB for domestic business on 3-class aircraft (or a few months), then a non-choice cold plate and then returned to a choice of hot meals
Started in Oct 2008 in the depths of the recession
Right ... as I recall, when the merger was announced, one of the very first things was to add the ovens back on the Airbuses. They had been removed to save weight at some point earlier (I donít know when; was a pmCO flyer.)

Iím a domestic road warrior, and completely agree that domestic catering has gone downhill. Of all things, I miss the soups!

Iíd be more than happy with a soup & salad, or soup & half sandwich or something. A flying Panera would be just wonderful. It doesnít have to cost a fortune to be pleasing. Soups are cheap, easy to make/heat, and delicious.

To further the ďdoesnít have to cost a fortuneĒ idea ... it wasnít that long ago that CO had free meals in coach; Honey Nut Cheerios + a banana was my favorite. Way better than the presumably more expensive turkey grenade. I say bring back the cereal!

Last edited by dmurphynj; Jan 9, 20 at 5:50 am
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Old Jan 9, 20, 6:43 am
  #82  
 
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I had the egg and kale quiche THING yesterday. Oh my god it was like eating a wet sock!
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Old Jan 9, 20, 8:24 am
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Originally Posted by uastarflyer View Post
and regardless, UA needs to step up its game big time on the meals.
But why would they? This isn't exactly an airline in distress. When you are profiting over a Billion dollars every 3 months are you in much of a hurry to change anything?
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Old Jan 9, 20, 9:22 am
  #84  
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I fly fairly often on long-haul, transpacific flights. Iím usually in E+. I find the food beyond terrible. I bring my own. Breakfast is the only thing that Iíd regard as edible.

I have wondered why UA doesnít spend a few extra dollars and upgrade the TPAC and TATL offering in E+: cater for all the seats in E+ and the first few rows of E-, just to make sure that everyone in E+ gets fed appropriately.

I now order a special meal. For a while, I was getting Hindu Vegetarian. Iím now getting Kosher. You get a lot of food with Kosher. Kosher out of SIN is excellent.

One of the downsides of bringing your own food on board is the amount of garbage it generates. When coupled with the reduction in the number of FAs, service suffers. Rather than hang around waiting for an FA to show up, I end up stuffing the waste in a seat pocket or under the seat if Iím in front of a bulkhead. Itís not ideal, but itís one of those situations where UA outsourced problems to its customers, so they can handle any mess.
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Old Jan 9, 20, 9:29 am
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I am not a picky eater. This egg thing they gave me tasted horrendous. I was seriously concerned it had gone bad.

The fruit was good.

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Old Jan 9, 20, 10:05 am
  #86  
 
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Since retiring we have been able to make some TALT ane TPAC trips, mostly in J, twice in E+ and have learned to take a nice overnight flight, eat dinner before we board and to to sleep on the plane. The food, even in J is pretty much inedible. Our trip to VCE last year I simply told the FA I would skip dinner and do dessert if I was still awake. I was awake and opted for the ice cream sundae, chocolate please. I mean how you can mess up ice cream? They did, it was past frozen and crystalized. Going to DUB in May in PE and alredy planning where at EWR to buy dinner...
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Old Jan 9, 20, 10:30 am
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I really only enjoy the fresh fruit breakfast as well as the ice cream at the end of the meals.
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Old Jan 9, 20, 10:47 am
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Originally Posted by HNLbasedFlyer View Post
But why would they? This isn't exactly an airline in distress. When you are profiting over a Billion dollars every 3 months are you in much of a hurry to change anything?
I think we can all agree that United has a better network, and better hubs than does Delta. Pre "changes you will like" UA+CO used to be bigger than Delta, and more profitable than Delta (which was then one carrier). Despite several billion in synergies from the merger (which to some extent offset some of the damages from Jeff's horrible business plan), Delta is now not only bigger but more profitable. In the 3rd Quarter 2019 (latest quarter we have) United had $11.38B in revenue, and $1.349B in pre-tax income, a 11.9% margin. Delta had $12.56B in revenue, $1.947B in pre-tax income, and a 16.5% operating margin.

So Delta, which has edible meals, better wine/booze/coffee, in-seat IFE, new more comfortable new planes (A220s/A321s/A350s) and much better service in general, and not as good of a route-network, manages to not only attract a much higher rate of revenue growth over the last 9 years, but to become much more profitable as well. And this is quarter, after quarter, year after year.

The reality is that with consolidation and an economy that is doing well, as well as stable moderate fuel prices, only a complete and total idiot would not make money in the current market. United's business plan over much of the last 9 years has been the equivalent of an idiot (just not a total idiot) driving away enough high value traffic with sub-par product and service, to become a serial laggard in financial metrics. Things had started to get better under Oscar in 2016, but United is back to it's old penny wise, pound foolish cost cutting, and the results show.
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Old Jan 9, 20, 11:45 am
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Originally Posted by spin88 View Post
Things had started to get better under Oscar in 2016, but United is back to it's old penny wise, pound foolish cost cutting, and the results show.
We must be looking at different numbers - because the quarterly numbers I look at show considerable year over year improvements.
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Old Jan 9, 20, 11:53 am
  #90  
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Originally Posted by dmurphynj View Post
Right ... as I recall, when the merger was announced, one of the very first things was to add the ovens back on the Airbuses. They had been removed to save weight at some point earlier (I donít know when; was a pmCO flyer.) ...
Ovens were removed (in the front, not the back) of TED aircraft -- which had no F. But restored when F was re-instated on those aircraft. This was a couple of years prior to the merger
TED IS DEAD (or will be) 6/4/08 [Merged Threads]
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