Issues with double catered flights

Old Jan 4, 20, 10:28 pm
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Issues with double catered flights

No food except snack boxes on 6 hour flight from CUN-SFO. We were in 4th row of E+ coach so it wasn’t as if they sold out. Rather the FA said everything is catered at SFO and they didn’t stock enough for 2 flights. Sry lame.

Interestingly they distributed meals to a few select passengers after we took off (and I’m pretty sure these weren’t 1K/GS as nobody boarded when those groups were called nor did they take orders from them). My guess is these folks ordered special meals so maybe that is the trick to getting food service on UA economy flights.

in any case pretty disappointing for a 6 hour flight. I guess I will have to return to self catering for all my UA flights.

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Jan 5, 20 at 11:28 pm Reason: Started a new thread
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Old Jan 5, 20, 3:38 am
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A few months ago I was flying MAD-AMS on KL. Because of a catering strike at AMS, no food was available on the flight, so the KL folks at MAD handed out small sandwiches and a bottle of water to each passenger as we boarded. For a 2 hour flight.

Last edited by halls120; Jan 5, 20 at 4:37 am
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Old Jan 5, 20, 3:46 am
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Originally Posted by halls120 View Post
A few months ago I was flying MAD-AMS on KL. Because of a catering strike at AMS, no food was available on the flight, so the AMS folks at MAD handed out small sandwiches and a bottle of water to each passenger as we boarded. For a 2 hour flight.

The difference between an airline that cares about its passengers and an airline that cares about nothing but profit, maybe?
If this trend continues, I see a bleak future for United.
Let them ride the success-wave as long as it lasts, and then it'll hit them, and they'll pretend they didn't see it coming.
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Old Jan 5, 20, 6:27 am
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Originally Posted by Boraxo View Post
No food except snack boxes on 6 hour flight from CUN-SFO. We were in 4th row of E+ coach so it wasnít as if they sold out. Rather the FA said everything is catered at SFO and they didnít stock enough for 2 flights. Sry lame.

Interestingly they distributed meals to a few select passengers after we took off (and Iím pretty sure these werenít 1K/GS as nobody boarded when those groups were called nor did they take orders from them). My guess is these folks ordered special meals so maybe that is the trick to getting food service on UA economy flights.

in any case pretty disappointing for a 6 hour flight. I guess I will have to return to self catering for all my UA flights.
I donít think you want the flight to be catered in CUN.
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Old Jan 5, 20, 12:55 pm
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Originally Posted by fly18725 View Post
I donít think you want the flight to be catered in CUN.
Why not? Cancun restaurants serve millions of tourists every year, mostly without incident. I'm sure it's purely a cost decision - why ink a contract with a local caterer for a few flights when you can simply overstock the flight from your hubs (where most US flights originate). As others have noted, I've had better catering on 2 hour intra-Europe flights including Aeroflot, LOT.
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Old Jan 5, 20, 3:46 pm
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Originally Posted by Boraxo View Post
Why not? Cancun restaurants serve millions of tourists every year, mostly without incident. I'm sure it's purely a cost decision - why ink a contract with a local caterer for a few flights when you can simply overstock the flight from your hubs (where most US flights originate). As others have noted, I've had better catering on 2 hour intra-Europe flights including Aeroflot, LOT.
Iím not aware of any US airlines that regularly caters in CUN or most any Mexican beach destination. Flights are double catered.
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Old Jan 5, 20, 4:33 pm
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Double catering makes for faster turns.
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Old Jan 5, 20, 7:35 pm
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Originally Posted by narvik View Post
The difference between an airline that cares about its passengers and an airline that cares about nothing but profit, maybe?
If this trend continues, I see a bleak future for United.
Let them ride the success-wave as long as it lasts, and then it'll hit them, and they'll pretend they didn't see it coming.
At this point, UA will have company in AA, which has lowered itself to UA's level in service quality in many respects, and has a worse OT performance. But yes, when the economy turns south, demand slacks, UA will regret all of the people it POed and will no longer fly it. Flights are full, so UA sells tickets (but at a lower yield and with a lower margin than Delta in particular) but when demand slacks....

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Jan 5, 20 at 11:19 pm Reason: removed repsonse to ancient post, moot after thread move
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Old Jan 5, 20, 8:20 pm
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So, looking at todayís CUN-SFO flights, all say fresh food and snacks available for purchase. Sounds like either a catering error, or the crew on the outbound used the return cart on the outbound when they ran out of that?

Unfortunately, there are some routes that are clearly within the fresh food for purchase window that donít even get it. I was surprised to see it when I was trying to buy something on CVG-SFO, which clocks in at ~ 5 hours (or did...I think this flight stopped running last week). Crew says itís due to a lack of catering at CVG, and so they only have those box of carbs for sale. For one thing, there is plenty of catering available at CVG - ask DL, who provides it on their flights. Second, is there an issue with double-catering food out of SFO? Seems if they can double-cater meals for F pax on CVG-SFO (which they seem to do - they have always had meals in both directions in F), why canít they do it for Y? To add insult to injury, The flights, depending on the day, leave either at 6am (more recently) and even before, at 7. The only real option to grab breakfast at A concourse in CVG before boarding is Starbucks - which has to be the slowest moving Starbucks line, and longest prep time, of any Starbucks Iíve been to (and that is a low bar). Everything else is closed, Club at CVG doesnít open until 6, nor do the other eateries such as Blaze, and The stuff in B mostly only open at 5:30 anyway, so not enough time to go there before boarding ends. Went looking at other Midwest-SFO routes, and many of them suffer the same fate. While flights from IND, DTW, CMH, and even YYZ to SFO seem to offer fresh food for purchase, in addition to CVG, flights from MCI, STL and BNA do not. Not sure how they decide these flights donít need it, it canít be that hard, can it?
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Old Jan 5, 20, 9:26 pm
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Originally Posted by emcampbe View Post
So, looking at todayís CUN-SFO flights, all say fresh food and snacks available for purchase. Sounds like either a catering error, or the crew on the outbound used the return cart on the outbound when they ran out of that?

Unfortunately, there are some routes that are clearly within the fresh food for purchase window that donít even get it. I was surprised to see it when I was trying to buy something on CVG-SFO, which clocks in at ~ 5 hours (or did...I think this flight stopped running last week). Crew says itís due to a lack of catering at CVG, and so they only have those box of carbs for sale. For one thing, there is plenty of catering available at CVG - ask DL, who provides it on their flights. Second, is there an issue with double-catering food out of SFO? Seems if they can double-cater meals for F pax on CVG-SFO (which they seem to do - they have always had meals in both directions in F), why canít they do it for Y? To add insult to injury, The flights, depending on the day, leave either at 6am (more recently) and even before, at 7. The only real option to grab breakfast at A concourse in CVG before boarding is Starbucks - which has to be the slowest moving Starbucks line, and longest prep time, of any Starbucks Iíve been to (and that is a low bar). Everything else is closed, Club at CVG doesnít open until 6, nor do the other eateries such as Blaze, and The stuff in B mostly only open at 5:30 anyway, so not enough time to go there before boarding ends. Went looking at other Midwest-SFO routes, and many of them suffer the same fate. While flights from IND, DTW, CMH, and even YYZ to SFO seem to offer fresh food for purchase, in addition to CVG, flights from MCI, STL and BNA do not. Not sure how they decide these flights donít need it, it canít be that hard, can it?
I really donít understand it either. I could probably help UA figure out how to make a ton of money on inflight food purchases. I mean - as I understand it - UA pays next to nothing to procure those food boxes as the contents are Ďpromotionalí and funded/subsidized by the manufacturers of the various items contained. And the pax will pay a price premium for the convenience. It should be a no brainer.
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Old Jan 5, 20, 9:53 pm
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Unfortunately it’s not unusual for return flights that are double catered to be out of certain catering items. Certain routes never have any IPA left on the return leg. I am also very annoyed when the FA’s on my SIN-SFO flight tell me the passengers coming from SFO drank most of the champagne and they only have one bottle for all 48 passengers in Polaris. The only thing that keeps me from becoming irate is that UA doesn’t serve great champagne and it’s never properly chilled anyway. I realize taxes on booze in Singapore are high, but it always surprises me that champagne in heavy glass bottles is double catered on this ULH route.
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