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COVID Era UA inflight service changes {Archive}

Old Apr 18, 20, 2:31 pm
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Last edit by: cesco.g
https://www.united.com/ual/en/us/fly/travel/inflight/dining/inflight-dining-changes.html



Updated posting July 2020 - Ice, tea and coffee returns and some small food enhancements.
Safety updates to inflight dining
Your safety and the safety of our employees is our highest priority. To try and further limit potential exposure to coronavirus (COVID-19) on board, were temporarily adjusting our inflight service as of March 29 and will be moving to primarily pre-packaged foods and sealed beverages. Preorder meals and food for purchase will not be available. Were also unable to offer special meals except for Kosher meals on flights to and from Tel Aviv.

Beverage changes for all flights
We will be offering sealed beverages on all flights. If youre on a flight under 1 hour, youll receive beverages on request. Well also offer coffee and tea on domestic flights departing before 9:45 a.m. and on all international and premium transcontinental flights. Non-alcoholic beverages are complimentary, and alcoholic beverages are complimentary in premium cabins. Wine and beer are also complimentary in United Economy on long-haul international flights.

Food changes for domestic flights
We won't have snacks available in United Economy for flights under 2 hours and 20 minutes or in United First for flights under 1 hour. As always, you're welcome to bring snacks on board. For flights between 1 hour and 2 hours and 20 minutes in United First, you'll receive an "all-in-one" snack bag with a wrapped sanitizer wipe, 8.5-ounce bottled water and two snacks.

For flights 2 hours and 20 minutes or longer, you'll receive an "all-in-one" snack bag with a wrapped sanitizer wipe, 8.5-ounce bottled water and two snacks in United Economy. In the premium cabin, you'll be offered a snack box.

Food changes for premium transcontinental flights
If you're flying in United Economy or Economy Plus, you'll receive an "all-in-one" snack bag with a wrapped sanitizer wipe, 8.5-ounce bottled water and two snacks. Customers in the premium cabin will receive their meal with their entre choice covered and will be offered a packaged snack for pre-arrival.

Food changes for international flights
In United Economy, youll receive an entre, a snack and packaged dessert, as well as pre-packed mid-flight and pre-arrival items on select flights. Everything is served packaged or covered for you to unwrap.

In United Premium Plus and United Polaris business class, your entre, dessert and bread will be served together. Everything is served packaged or covered for you to unwrap. Youll receive a pre-packaged snack for midflight and a fresh packaged meal for pre-arrival on select flights.
orignal posting
Safety updates to inflight dining
Your safety and the safety of our employees is our highest priority. To try and further limit potential exposure to coronavirus (COVID-19) on board, were temporarily adjusting our inflight service as of March 29 and will be moving to primarily pre-packaged foods and sealed beverages. Preorder meals and food for purchase will not be available. Were also unable to offer special meals except for Kosher meals on flights to and from Tel Aviv.

Beverage changes for all flights
We will only offer sealed beverages and we will no longer offer ice, coffee and tea service, and poured alcohol. Instead of pouring you water from a large bottle, well provide sealed individual water bottles. In premium cabins, we will offer beer and individual wines. Flights under 2 hours and 20 minutes will only have beverages on request.

Food changes for domestic flights
For flights under 2 hours and 20 minutes, we will not offer a snack service in any cabin. As always, youre welcome to bring snacks on board.

For flights over 2 hours and 20 minutes, you will receive your choice of pretzels, a stroopwafel or cookies in United Economy. In the premium cabin, youll be offered a snackbox.

Food changes for premium transcontinental flights
If youre flying in United Economy or Economy Plus, youll be offered a snack choice. Customers in the premium cabin will receive their packaged meal with their entre choice covered and will be offered a packaged snack for pre-arrival.

Food changes for international flights
In United Economy, youll receive an entre, a snack and packaged dessert, as well as pre-packed mid-flight and pre-arrival items on select flights. Everything is served packaged or covered for you to unwrap.

In United Premium Plus and United Polaris business class, your entre, dessert and bread will be served together. Everything is served packaged or covered for you to unwrap. Youll receive a pre-packaged snack for midflight and a fresh packaged meal for pre-arrival.


crew meals, covered by contract, appear minimally changed





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COVID Era UA inflight service changes {Archive}

Old Jul 13, 20, 10:32 am
  #556  
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Originally Posted by thaliajen View Post
Flying a CRJ from DTW-ORD there weren’t even beverages, even though “snack” was listed in Flight Details. But it’s only an hour flight and I departed B3 to find my next gate was B6, right by the only open UA Club in ORD. The machines+ soda, coffee, etc were not available but you could get a drink at the bar. I grabbed a Sprite and examined all the packaged food sitting out. I liked the packaged muffins but everything else was not to my taste. Still, I had to be grateful I could take my meds with food.

An hour later I boarded a739 to LAS. They said it was the first day they had ice. I enjoyed a can and glass of ice in First Class. This was the best flight of the four. We were given a choice of 2 snack boxes and I chose Tapas, even though I hate hummus. I was glad to get a snack, but I do believe the airline is dragging its feet on meals in 1st.

Returning from LAS the UA Club was not open. I bought a sandwich at the sub place and wow, I’m so glad I did! We were given soft drinks but they ran out of ice very quickly. The only snack boxes offered in first were Tapas, and I hadn’t eaten since the day before. That sub sandwich helped a lot.

Ord was disappointing bc my flight landed in C, and new flight took off in C. I only had an hour to get to B and swallow some popped chips. I should’ve just bought something in C.

ORD-DTW had nothing, not even water. But it’s a short flight.

I guess i can say it was enough, but if another airline is serving 1st in Domestic, I’m not sure why UA couldn’t manage cold sandwiches or something. It could’ve been worse, I guess!
The lack of drinks on ORD-DTW seems to be in line with current service standards - no drinks/sacks in F on flights under an hour/Y on flights under 2 hours, 20 minutes, except drinks on request. So you could have asked for it. From the website (https://www.united.com/ual/en/us/fly...changes.html):

Beverages will only be available on request for customers in United Economy on
flights under 2 hours and 20 minutes and customers in the premium cabin on flights under 1 hour.


We won't have snacks available in United Economy for flights under 2 hours and 20 minutes or in United First for flights under 1 hour. As always, you're welcome to bring snacks on board. For flights between 1 hour and 2 hours and 20 minutes in United First, you'll receive an "all-in-one" snack bag with a wrapped sanitizer wipe, 8.5-ounce bottled water and two snacks.

For flights 2 hours and 20 minutes or longer, you'll receive an "all-in-one" snack bag with a wrapped sanitizer wipe, 8.5-ounce bottled water and two snacks in United Economy. In the premium cabin, you'll be offered a snack box.
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Old Jul 13, 20, 10:57 am
  #557  
 
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Originally Posted by nkwal View Post
Flew in Polaris from FRA-IAD on the Dreamliner on July 3. Ice and coffee were back. Liquor too. I asked for champs but FA thinks since the turn around was in FRA, it just wasnt loaded. All blankets and pillows were there. Wore mask when getting on and off plane and going to bathroom. Didnt inside my pod.

Flying IAD-FRA on July 11. Im curious to see difference from then.
Update on my flight back: Flew last night in Polaris IAD-FRA. Flight was about 70% full. NO CHAMPS on board!! Very sad. FA said its not on the list to come back. So strange as I flew at beginning of shutdown FRA-IAD and they gave bottled champs to me. Start of service was drink only, no nipnips sadly. Dinner was salad, beef entree, cold roll, packaged cookie, BUT different than last time.....cold mixed nuts. I guess they weren't allowed to be warmed up. Same snacks available during flight. Breakfast was some italian sausage frittata travesty. Was awful. I am thinking about calling 1K line with complaints. Fairly overpriced product imo (at this moment, normally I love Polaris). Like I couldn't even get some chobani yogurt??

Side note: flew domestic IAD-IND roundtrip. On way out was just water, but FA gave me a beer without asking. On way back, they gave snack bags with water. I had to ask for the beer.

Biggest thing I notice: product is not the same on same routes. I would appreciate some consistency. But loving the Dreamliner - best part of the pandemic is the older planes aren't being used as often it seems.

United Club at IAD, gate C6 was PACKED. D club is still closed.
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Old Jul 13, 20, 11:34 am
  #558  
 
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Originally Posted by nkwal View Post

Side note: flew domestic IAD-IND roundtrip. On way out was just water, but FA gave me a beer without asking.
You were just sitting there and FA just puts a beer in front of you without asking for it?
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Old Jul 13, 20, 11:36 am
  #559  
 
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Originally Posted by nkwal View Post
Update on my flight back: Flew last night in Polaris IAD-FRA. Flight was about 70% full. NO CHAMPS on board!! Very sad. FA said its not on the list to come back. So strange as I flew at beginning of shutdown FRA-IAD and they gave bottled champs to me. Start of service was drink only, no nipnips sadly. Dinner was salad, beef entree, cold roll, packaged cookie, BUT different than last time.....cold mixed nuts. I guess they weren't allowed to be warmed up. Same snacks available during flight. Breakfast was some italian sausage frittata travesty. Was awful. I am thinking about calling 1K line with complaints. Fairly overpriced product imo (at this moment, normally I love Polaris). Like I couldn't even get some chobani yogurt??

Side note: flew domestic IAD-IND roundtrip. On way out was just water, but FA gave me a beer without asking. On way back, they gave snack bags with water. I had to ask for the beer.

Biggest thing I notice: product is not the same on same routes. I would appreciate some consistency. But loving the Dreamliner - best part of the pandemic is the older planes aren't being used as often it seems.

United Club at IAD, gate C6 was PACKED. D club is still closed.
nkwal - Thank you for your trip report. I think it is clear that UA just does not plan to offer champagne any more on Polaris flights in C. And just mini wine bottles. Now I appreciate that on my flights pre-Covid19, few pax would request champagne, but I always would pre dinner. It was part of flying business class for me. It is sad that UA accepts this poor service level as the new normal. Fortunately there is a choice of airlines for international travel.
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Old Jul 13, 20, 12:14 pm
  #560  
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Originally Posted by nkwal View Post
Start of service was drink only, no nipnips sadly.
nipnips >> nibnibs

Mnemonic: Think nibbles, not nipples!
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Old Jul 13, 20, 2:55 pm
  #561  
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Originally Posted by SPN Lifer View Post
nipnips >> nibnibs

Mnemonic: Think nibbles, not nipples!
parts are parts.

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Old Jul 13, 20, 3:25 pm
  #562  
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Originally Posted by nkwal View Post
Update on my flight back: Flew last night in Polaris IAD-FRA. Flight was about 70% full. NO CHAMPS on board!! Very sad. FA said its not on the list to come back. So strange as I flew at beginning of shutdown FRA-IAD and they gave bottled champs to me. Start of service was drink only, no nipnips sadly. Dinner was salad, beef entree, cold roll, packaged cookie, BUT different than last time.....cold mixed nuts. I guess they weren't allowed to be warmed up. Same snacks available during flight. Breakfast was some italian sausage frittata travesty. Was awful. I am thinking about calling 1K line with complaints. Fairly overpriced product imo (at this moment, normally I love Polaris). Like I couldn't even get some chobani yogurt??

Side note: flew domestic IAD-IND roundtrip. On way out was just water, but FA gave me a beer without asking. On way back, they gave snack bags with water. I had to ask for the beer.

Biggest thing I notice: product is not the same on same routes. I would appreciate some consistency. But loving the Dreamliner - best part of the pandemic is the older planes aren't being used as often it seems.

United Club at IAD, gate C6 was PACKED. D club is still closed.
for your feedback, nkwal!

Lack of champagne and coach mini bottles show the absolute cheap approach UA takes to wine offerings!

On my last flight nuts came prepacked in small disposable plastic container, which might not be suitable to heat in a galley oven.
Packed UC > so much for social distancing...maybe time to open up the other clubs during peak hours.
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Old Jul 14, 20, 9:04 am
  #563  
 
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One thing to keep in mind is that most flight kitchens in the USA (and elsewhere, I'm sure) have already laid off or terminated much of their respective workforces, so they are operating at drastically reduced capacity. Plus, as was pointed out upthread, government restrictions are impacting food service operations and supply chains. So, not only is this an effort to reduce costs by UA, but it's also a function of what kitchens are able to deliver at this time, which is why (setting aside "hygiene theater") we are seeing a lot of prepackaged and shelf-stable items, if anything is served onboard at all.
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Old Jul 14, 20, 9:29 am
  #564  
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Originally Posted by bluedemon211 View Post
Wow, just wow. The term over entitled elite just took on a whole new meaning. Fly private or quit your whinging.
That's de rigeur around here with anything regarding service levels, F&B options, lounges etc.
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Old Jul 14, 20, 10:33 am
  #565  
 
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Originally Posted by EWR764 View Post
One thing to keep in mind is that most flight kitchens in the USA (and elsewhere, I'm sure) have already laid off or terminated much of their respective workforces, so they are operating at drastically reduced capacity.
Yes, it's good to keep in mind that the supply chain hasn't been restored yet. When Denver's flight kitchen got shut down awhile back, food offerings were reduced to only packaged food (I'm looking at you, Pizzeria Uno mini-pizzas), and the business-class meals for DEN-NRT that were brought in on the morning IAD-DEN flight.
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Old Jul 14, 20, 10:51 am
  #566  
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Originally Posted by EWR764 View Post
One thing to keep in mind is that most flight kitchens in the USA (and elsewhere, I'm sure) have already laid off or terminated much of their respective workforces, so they are operating at drastically reduced capacity. Plus, as was pointed out upthread, government restrictions are impacting food service operations and supply chains. So, not only is this an effort to reduce costs by UA, but it's also a function of what kitchens are able to deliver at this time, which is why (setting aside "hygiene theater") we are seeing a lot of prepackaged and shelf-stable items, if anything is served onboard at all.
Could that be a chicken-or-the-egg situation, where the flight kitchens were shut down because airlines stopped offering meals? *SHRUG*
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Old Jul 14, 20, 11:05 am
  #567  
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Originally Posted by PTahCha View Post
Could that be a chicken-or-the-egg situation, where the flight kitchens were shut down because airlines stopped offering meals? *SHRUG*
Unfortunately, UA's position is neither chicken nor egg. Mostly not offering much of a dining experience to those who are actually flying.

So much for Polaris Business.

David
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Old Jul 14, 20, 11:56 am
  #568  
 
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Originally Posted by HNLbasedFlyer View Post
You were just sitting there and FA just puts a beer in front of you without asking for it?
She asked "Can I get you a beer?" not would you like a beverage or a coke or a water or a tea. This was basically handing me a beer imo.
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Old Jul 14, 20, 12:01 pm
  #569  
 
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Originally Posted by PTahCha View Post
Could that be a chicken-or-the-egg situation, where the flight kitchens were shut down because airlines stopped offering meals? *SHRUG*
I think the decline in passenger traffic (by as much as 96% at its nadir) and slashing of airline schedules in May probably had more to do with it, than a reduction in onboard service. Both play a role, to be sure.

Originally Posted by DELee View Post
Unfortunately, UA's position is neither chicken nor egg. Mostly not offering much of a dining experience to those who are actually flying.

So much for Polaris Business.

David
The problem is that so few actually are flying, and the business traffic on which United's entire model is built is simply nonexistent right now... as will be evidenced by the staggering, mind-blowing (though unsurprising, to anyone paying attention) loss Delta posted today, and United undoubtedly will next week.
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Old Jul 14, 20, 12:22 pm
  #570  
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If people continue to pay the asking price for Polaris, this will only reinforce the Kirby Kutbacks have no recourse for United and they will stay as-is, under the phony guise of safety, for the foreseeable future. When people just stop buying tickets and book elsewhere where full service is available, I am pretty certain things will loosen up.
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