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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 23, 19, 8:41 am
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Discussion of the Quality of UA's In-Flight Meals

Have pull a number of posts from the Let's Eat threads -- primarily the Let's Eat Polaris threads -- on the state of UA's in-flight meals. But let's generalize this to all in-flight meals

The Let's East threads have for many years served in a resource role, documenting actual in-flight meals. Many have used the Let's Eat threads to get an idea of what might be served on future flights. We can use this new thread for a more in-depth discussion of the state of UA's in-flight meals generally.

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Last edited by WineCountryUA; Dec 31, 19 at 8:28 pm Reason: creating a thread header
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Old Dec 23, 19, 8:41 am
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Discussion of the Quality of UA's In-Flight Meals

Whether the Polaris product is superior or inferior is of course purely subjective.

If we just focus on the food offerings (based on the title of this thread), my subjective opinion is that the entree (including the second meal options) are inferior. I think the salad, appetizer deserts are fine. Soft drinks and spirits are fine while bubbling and wine selections fall short. Coffee is below average at best.

I do about 100K on other *A airlines each year and I get the same old menus on SQ, NH, LH, AC, TH, CA, etc I fly them often enough, so the complaints about UA never changes its menu are the same on other airlines.

it is often one will get that fresh feel when you fly other airlines after flying UA often, but once you fly other airlines often, the same tired feeling will surface as well.

UA is really good on the hard products including the bedding and IFE, so hope the hard products will compensate the inferior entrees we get onboard.
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Old Dec 23, 19, 9:20 am
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Originally Posted by UA_Flyer View Post
I do about 100K on other *A airlines each year and I get the same old menus on SQ, NH, LH, AC, TH, CA, etc I fly them often enough, so the complaints about UA never changes its menu are the same on other airlines.

it is often one will get that fresh feel when you fly other airlines after flying UA often, but once you fly other airlines often, the same tired feeling will surface as well.

UA is really good on the hard products including the bedding and IFE, so hope the hard products will compensate the inferior entrees we get onboard.
I agree, all airlines just cycle through their same tired menus--especially AA/DL which are UA's main competitors. But I think UA should spend a bit more on some higher quality ingredients, where it noticeably falls short. SQ also at least has the option to pre-select over 20 main entrees which makes the food a bit less boring. But that doesn't make up for the terrible hard product.
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Old Dec 23, 19, 9:38 am
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Originally Posted by hirohito888 View Post
I agree, all airlines just cycle through their same tired menus--especially AA/DL which are UA's main competitors. But I think UA should spend a bit more on some higher quality ingredients, where it noticeably falls short. SQ also at least has the option to pre-select over 20 main entrees which makes the food a bit less boring. But that doesn't make up for the terrible hard product.
This. The problem with Polaris is not the hard product. It is very competitive. The soft product is not. Add to the lower quality ingredients and cheap wine the inconsistent service and you have the Achilles heel of UA’s front cabin.
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Old Dec 23, 19, 4:16 pm
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Originally Posted by UA_Flyer View Post
Whether the Polaris product is superior or inferior is of course purely subjective.

If we just focus on the food offerings (based on the title of this thread), my subjective opinion is that the entree (including the second meal options) are inferior. I think the salad, appetizer deserts are fine. Soft drinks and spirits are fine while bubbling and wine selections fall short. Coffee is below average at best.
Interesting - I find the Illy coffee better than any other airline’s (that I have flown anyway) base coffee. Of course I was buying it occasionally at home before UA switched to it as well.

The shortfall IMHO is not offering anything beyond basic coffee on board (expresso, Cappuccino etc). On the ground the offerings are fine.
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Old Dec 23, 19, 5:23 pm
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Originally Posted by halls120 View Post
...Add to the lower quality ingredients and cheap wine the inconsistent service and you have the Achilles heel of UA’s front cabin.
Air New Zealand lunch in Premium Economy beats UA’s Polaris lunch.
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Old Dec 23, 19, 7:01 pm
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Originally Posted by IAH-OIL-TRASH View Post
Air New Zealand lunch in Premium Economy beats UA’s Polaris lunch.
Low bar: a Whopper® beats UA’s Polaris lunch!
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Old Dec 23, 19, 10:15 pm
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Originally Posted by uastarflyer View Post
Interesting - I find the Illy coffee better than any other airline’s (that I have flown anyway) base coffee. Of course I was buying it occasionally at home before UA switched to it as well.

The shortfall IMHO is not offering anything beyond basic coffee on board (expresso, Cappuccino etc). On the ground the offerings are fine.
Illy coffee is not bad, it is the way the FA are making them. More than often they are served cold or so diluted. I had one cup a couple of days ago was just plain embarrassing. It was basically water and milk.
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Old Dec 29, 19, 10:36 am
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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:






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Old Dec 29, 19, 4:18 pm
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Originally Posted by narvik View Post
I'll close out with some alternative food pics from other airlines I experienced within the last few months:
Besides the omelet with what looks like beans on it - I don't recognize much of the other stuff and don't think I'd eat that either.....
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Old Dec 29, 19, 4:41 pm
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Originally Posted by HNLbasedFlyer View Post
Besides the omelet with what looks like beans on it - I don't recognize much of the other stuff and don't think I'd eat that either.....
Fair enough, tastes vary.

I enjoyed every one of them. Also to note: none of those pics are of the main course; only appetizer and breakfast.

- Hainan Airlines has Brazil Nuts and Hazelnuts (Filberts) ^.
- Thai has poached eggs cooked to perfection (with asparagus) ^.
- Hainan has Campari® ^^^.
- Hainan has a bread "basket" including FRESH bread that isn't stale! ^
- The Etihad one was a "local" appetizer sample platter...and delicious! ^

United has Thai Spicy Chicken & Western Omelette which are good....but NOTHING else [IMO]!
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Old Dec 29, 19, 5:49 pm
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Originally Posted by narvik View Post
Fair enough, tastes vary.

I enjoyed every one of them. Also to note: none of those pics are of the main course; only appetizer and breakfast.

- Hainan Airlines has Brazil Nuts and Hazelnuts (Filberts) ^.
- Thai has poached eggs cooked to perfection (with asparagus) ^.
- Hainan has Campari® ^^^.
- Hainan has a bread "basket" including FRESH bread that isn't stale! ^
- The Etihad one was a "local" appetizer sample platter...and delicious! ^

United has Thai Spicy Chicken & Western Omelette which are good....but NOTHING else [IMO]!
After posting United meal photos in this forum for about ten years, I stopped posting earlier this year after pre-plating was introduced. The presentations of entrees have been so bad, and the quality of food has been below mediocre. I would say the current Polaris offering are worse than anything PMUA and PMCO offered.

I had some wonderful meals this year on BR, TG, SQ, Ethiopia, NH, CA, LX and Austrian. The gap has been widened between UA and other *A carriers. Imagine having fresh Chirashi Sushi on SQ flight, gourmet coffee on Austrian, decent Bordeaux on Air China, and perfectly cooked poached eggs on TH and BR.

A loyal UA customer does not need to be a UA defender or apologist. I have made it known to UA that they have a wonderful hard product, services have been good, route netowork is superb, but their inflight meals and drinks are falling way behind.
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Old Dec 29, 19, 6:10 pm
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Originally Posted by UA_Flyer View Post
After posting United meal photos in this forum for about ten years, I stopped posting earlier this year after pre-plating was introduced.
Well, this is a slight conundrum: even when United offered nicely presented and tasty meals, you still managed to post pictures that made them look even better than they actually were.
I always enjoyed perusing your uploaded images! ^
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Old Dec 29, 19, 8:08 pm
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Food is totally subjective.

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Dec 29, 19 at 8:25 pm Reason: Stick to the issue
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Old Dec 29, 19, 9:11 pm
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Originally Posted by BlueZebra View Post
Food is totally subjective.
UA’s narrowing of catering offerings and presentation is objectively bad.
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