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General discussion of UA's inflight service (Domestic / International, all cabins)

Old May 11, 22, 2:38 pm
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Last edit by: phkc070408
previous thread: COVID Era UA inflight service changes


Thread is for general discussion of the state of UA in-flight service / catering, comparison to other carriers, past UA offerings and concerns with management decisions.

For a specific post about a recent in-flight food, use the appropriate Let's Eat .... thread.

The current Onboard Service descriptions by UA.com

Long-haul international premium cabin dining
North America, Caribbean and Latin America premium cabin dining
United Economy dining

Since the UA website is extremely vague, I'm looking for a few volunteers to submit data, and I will summarize to complete the wiki. kind regards, phkc070408

Domestic Under 300 Miles

Sample 1
Route? Morning or Afternoon/Evening?
PDB - Yes/No? What was offered?
Bagged Snack? Yes/No
Served Snacked? Yes/No. Hot/Cold. What was offered?

Sample 2
Route? Morning or Afternoon/Evening?
PDB - Yes/No? What was offered?
Bagged Snack? Yes/No
Served Snacked? Yes/No. Hot/Cold. What was offered?

Sample 3
Route? Morning or Afternoon/Evening?
PDB - Yes/No? What was offered?
Bagged Snack? Yes/No
Served Snacked? Yes/No. Hot/Cold. What was offered?

Sample 4
Route? Morning or Afternoon/Evening?
PDB - Yes/No? What was offered?
Bagged Snack? Yes/No
Served Snacked? Yes/No. Hot/Cold. What was offered?

Sample 5
Route? Morning or Afternoon/Evening?
PDB - Yes/No? What was offered?
Bagged Snack? Yes/No
Served Snacked? Yes/No. Hot/Cold. What was offered?


Domestic Over 300 Miles Under 800 Miles

Sample 1
Route? Morning or Afternoon/Evening?
PDB - Yes/No? What was offered?
Bagged Snack? Yes/No
Served Snacked? Yes/No. Hot/Cold. What was offered?

Sample 2
Route? Morning or Afternoon/Evening?
PDB - Yes/No? What was offered?
Bagged Snack? Yes/No
Served Snacked? Yes/No. Hot/Cold. What was offered?

Sample 3
Route? Morning or Afternoon/Evening?
PDB - Yes/No? What was offered?
Bagged Snack? Yes/No
Served Snacked? Yes/No. Hot/Cold. What was offered?

Sample 4
Route? Morning or Afternoon/Evening?
PDB - Yes/No? What was offered?
Bagged Snack? Yes/No
Served Snacked? Yes/No. Hot/Cold. What was offered?

Sample 5
Route? Morning or Afternoon/Evening?
PDB - Yes/No? What was offered?
Bagged Snack? Yes/No
Served Snacked? Yes/No. Hot/Cold. What was offered?

Domestic Over 800 Miles

Sample 1
Route? Morning or Afternoon or Evening?
PDB - Yes/No? What was offered?
Served Snacked? Yes/No. Hot/Cold. What was offered?
Meal Served? Yes/No. Short description.
Snack Basket?

Sample 2
Route? Morning or Afternoon or Evening?
PDB - Yes/No? What was offered?
Served Snacked? Yes/No. Hot/Cold. What was offered?
Meal Served? Yes/No. Short description.
Snack Basket?

Sample 3
Route? Morning or Afternoon/Evening/. or Late Evening?
PDB - Yes/No? What was offered?
Served Snacked? Yes/No. Hot/Cold. What was offered?
Meal Served? Yes/No. Short description.
Snack Basket?

Sample 4
Route? Morning or Afternoon/Evening or Late Evening?
PDB - Yes/No? What was offered?
Served Snacked? Yes/No. Hot/Cold. What was offered?
Meal Served? Yes/No. Short description.
Snack Basket?

Sample 5
Route? Morning or Afternoon/Evening or Late Evening?
PDB - Yes/No? What was offered?
Served Snacked? Yes/No. Hot/Cold. What was offered?
Meal Served? Yes/No. Short description.
Snack Basket?

P-Tcon

Sample 1
Route? Morning or Afternoon/Evening or Red-Eye?
PDB - Yes/No? What was offered?
Meal Served? Yes/No. Short description.
Snack Basket/Pre-Arrival?
Any other notes of relevance?

​​​​​​​Sample 2
​​​​​​​Route? Morning or Afternoon/Evening or Red-Eye?
PDB - Yes/No? What was offered?
Meal Served? Yes/No. Short description.
Snack Basket/Pre-Arrival?
Any other notes of relevance?

​​​​​​​Sample 3
​​​​​​​Route? Morning or Afternoon/Evening or Red-Eye?
PDB - Yes/No? What was offered?
Meal Served? Yes/No. Short description.
Snack Basket/Pre-Arrival?
Any other notes of relevance?

​​​​​​​Sample 4
​​​​​​​Route? Morning or Afternoon/Evening or Red-Eye?
PDB - Yes/No? What was offered?
Meal Served? Yes/No. Short description.
Snack Basket/Pre-Arrival?
Any other notes of relevance?

​​​​​​​Sample 5
​​​​​​​Route? Morning or Afternoon/Evening or Red-Eye?
PDB - Yes/No? What was offered?
Meal Served? Yes/No. Short description.
Snack Basket/Pre-Arrival?
Any other notes of relevance?

Polaris USA - Europe

​​​​​​​Sample 1
​​​​​​​Route? Morning or Afternoon/Evening or Red-Eye?
PDB - Yes/No? What was offered?
Menu?
Hot Towels?
First Meal Served? Yes/No. Short description.
Appetizer / Desert Info:
Snack Basket/Mid-Flight Snack?
Arrival Meal? Short Description.
Any other notes of relevance?

​​​​​​​Sample 2
​​​​​​​Route? Morning or Afternoon/Evening or Red-Eye?
PDB - Yes/No? What was offered?
Menu?
​​​​​​​Hot Towels?
First Meal Served? Yes/No. Short description.
Appetizer / Desert Info:
Snack Basket/Mid-Flight Snack?
Arrival Meal? Short Description.
Any other notes of relevance?

​​​​​​​Sample 3
​​​​​​​Route? Morning or Afternoon/Evening or Red-Eye?
PDB - Yes/No? What was offered?
Menu?
​​​​​​​Hot Towels?
First Meal Served? Yes/No. Short description.
Appetizer / Desert Info:
Snack Basket/Mid-Flight Snack?
Arrival Meal? Short Description.
Any other notes of relevance?

​​​​​​​Sample 4
​​​​​​​Route? Morning or Afternoon/Evening or Red-Eye?
PDB - Yes/No? What was offered?
Menu?
​​​​​​​Hot Towels?
First Meal Served? Yes/No. Short description.
Appetizer / Desert Info:
Snack Basket/Mid-Flight Snack?
Arrival Meal? Short Description.
Any other notes of relevance?

​​​​​​​Sample 5
​​​​​​​Route? Morning or Afternoon/Evening or Red-Eye?
PDB - Yes/No? What was offered?
Menu?
​​​​​​​Hot Towels?
First Meal Served? Yes/No. Short description.
Appetizer / Desert Info:
Snack Basket/Mid-Flight Snack?
Arrival Meal? Short Description.
Any other notes of relevance?


​​​​​​​
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General discussion of UA's inflight service (Domestic / International, all cabins)

Old Sep 9, 22, 4:20 pm
  #1516  
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
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Originally Posted by gmt4 View Post
UA 4506 STL-IAD 7 Sep. CRJ-550 on a roughly two hour flight. Water, alcohol wipe and Kind bar placed at each seat in the F cabin before boarding, snack boxes pre-postioned in the seat back pockets for the three or four of us that had status. I was so surprised I had to take pics. FA was an older lady, very kind, very attentive and professional. She took beverage orders before departure and had them delivered to the seats shortly after level off. Offered the cheese and cracker snacks to each of us seated in First and brought the basket with snacks and bananas around several times. The Y cabin got one full service with the drink cart. On descent when she was doing her cabin prep for landing she stopped at each seat in F and thanked us for our business.

This was the early AM departure out of STL, I had never flown this route before. I am not sure if this is typical. But this was far and beyond the best service and flight I've had on any UA domestic segment I've flown in years. Reinforced my belief there are some really good FAs out there and all it takes is a little effort to impress. Sadly most of my short haul hops are nowhere near this level.



this post misplaced from 1982?
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Old Sep 9, 22, 4:25 pm
  #1517  
 
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What happened to the snack bags with the water bottle, biscotti, and the world’s smallest pretzels? Disappeared on EWR flights from/to ATL, CLT, CHS, ORD
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Old Sep 9, 22, 4:25 pm
  #1518  
 
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Originally Posted by manstein58 View Post
this post misplaced from 1982?
Exactly why I had to post about it. Every once in a while we get surprised.
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Old Sep 9, 22, 7:56 pm
  #1519  
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Originally Posted by gmt4 View Post
UA 4506 STL-IAD 7 Sep. CRJ-550 on a roughly two hour flight. Water, alcohol wipe and Kind bar placed at each seat in the F cabin before boarding, snack boxes pre-postioned in the seat back pockets for the three or four of us that had status. I was so surprised I had to take pics. FA was an older lady, very kind, very attentive and professional. She took beverage orders before departure and had them delivered to the seats shortly after level off. Offered the cheese and cracker snacks to each of us seated in First and brought the basket with snacks and bananas around several times. The Y cabin got one full service with the drink cart. On descent when she was doing her cabin prep for landing she stopped at each seat in F and thanked us for our business.
Unfortunately for every one of these experiences, we need to read a dozen or more negative ones. So its either an amazing FA like this who elevated the brand and delivers a great experience, someone who does the absolute minimum before retreating to their People Magazine, or someone who wishes they were doing something else, somewhere else and probably should.

If I had to call out one single defect about United service, its a total lack of consistency. It costs United absolutely nothing to deliver this kind of premium cabin experience and it should be this way on every single flight, every single day.
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Old Sep 12, 22, 12:46 pm
  #1520  
 
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Premium Transcon service is dead

Originally Posted by CMK10 View Post
There was that brief shining moment when they rolled out Polaris service in 2018 when it was really good. But almost instantly the cuts began and here we are.
Heartbreaking trip to EWR and back from LAX yesterday in Polaris. Only 7 FA's on a 787-10, with 3 in Polaris - not enough. The crew going out to EWR was far better than the crew coming back, but with only 3 FA's in Polaris, they are not going be able to offer premium service. The food was awful, dinner "service" was abysmal. They could not be bothered with taking the little slice of cheesecake out of the plastic shell. The Purser on the return trip had less than one year with United and still had acne. His announcements sounded like they were coming from a spoiled teenager that could care less. They were barely intelligible. When I asked for a refill, the Purser advised me that it would have to wait, then he forgot.

Mr. Kirby wants to get business travelers back, but why would they want to pay for such crap. It is just plain heartbreaking what has happened to this airline.
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Old Sep 12, 22, 1:33 pm
  #1521  
 
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Originally Posted by andersjt View Post
Heartbreaking trip to EWR and back from LAX yesterday in Polaris. Only 7 FA's on a 787-10, with 3 in Polaris - not enough. The crew going out to EWR was far better than the crew coming back, but with only 3 FA's in Polaris, they are not going be able to offer premium service. The food was awful, dinner "service" was abysmal. They could not be bothered with taking the little slice of cheesecake out of the plastic shell. The Purser on the return trip had less than one year with United and still had acne. His announcements sounded like they were coming from a spoiled teenager that could care less. They were barely intelligible. When I asked for a refill, the Purser advised me that it would have to wait, then he forgot.

Mr. Kirby wants to get business travelers back, but why would they want to pay for such crap. It is just plain heartbreaking what has happened to this airline.
The Czar (Kirby) knows and he could not care less about HVFers
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Old Sep 12, 22, 10:12 pm
  #1522  
 
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Originally Posted by manstein58 View Post
What happened to the snack bags with the water bottle, biscotti, and the world’s smallest pretzels? Disappeared on EWR flights from/to ATL, CLT, CHS, ORD
All-in-one snack bag w/ water was d/c'd on 9/1. Apparently this includes discontinuing complimentary snacks entirely on flights < 800 miles and those flights only contain beverage service (> 300 miles) and snacks for purchase (>500 miles).

Food

For flights under 800 miles long, we won’t have complimentary snacks available, but you’re always welcome to bring your own snacks on board.

Flights over 500 miles will also have additional products like snack boxes, and flights 1500 miles and over have Bistro on Board items available for purchase. Visit the Bistro on Board page for more information on food and drinks for sale in United Economy.

If you’re flying in United Economy on an international flight that is 800 miles or more, you’ll receive an entre, a salad and salad dressing, a snack, and (on select flights) ice cream and a hot pre-arrival meal. You may also receive mid-flight and pre-arrival items on select flights.
https://www.united.com/ual/en/us/fly...g/economy.html

Edit: unclear what the plan is for first class. The page for that still indicates the all-in-one bag (which has been discontinued) for 300-800 mile flight range. Earlier discussion in this thread on 9/3 suggested there was supposed to be a separate bag loaded for snacks, however wasn't presently loaded, and the FA's I've talked with indicated they're being told no complimentary snacks period for <800 mile flights. So unclear if this is catering mistakes due to the discontinued all-in-one bag, or if first class is also truly being included in the no complimentary snacks decision. Anyone else have additional data points since last week? All flights I've been on in first class since the change were >800 miles so had a meal.

Last edited by Lux Flyer; Sep 12, 22 at 10:23 pm
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Old Sep 12, 22, 10:45 pm
  #1523  
 
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Originally Posted by andersjt View Post
It is just plain heartbreaking what has happened to this airline.
United did this on its own. No sorrow to be felt, no tears to be shed.
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Old Sep 12, 22, 11:29 pm
  #1524  
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Originally Posted by Lux Flyer View Post
So unclear if this is catering mistakes due to the discontinued all-in-one bag, or if first class is also truly being included in the no complimentary snacks decision. Anyone else have additional data points since last week?
Per my Sept. 5 post quoting 1kvoice: "Currently, these flights have no snack options scheduled. Please accept our apology."
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Old Sep 12, 22, 11:30 pm
  #1525  
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Today I flew IAH-LGA (1416 miles) -- no bistro-on-board, just snack boxes in the back. I usually fly AUS-EWR (1504 miles) and bistro-on-board is available on every flight. What a difference 88 miles make... S sad.
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Old Sep 12, 22, 11:52 pm
  #1526  
 
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Originally Posted by Lux Flyer View Post
Edit: unclear what the plan is for first class. The page for that still indicates the all-in-one bag (which has been discontinued) for 300-800 mile flight range. Earlier discussion in this thread on 9/3 suggested there was supposed to be a separate bag loaded for snacks, however wasn't presently loaded, and the FA's I've talked with indicated they're being told no complimentary snacks period for <800 mile flights. So unclear if this is catering mistakes due to the discontinued all-in-one bag, or if first class is also truly being included in the no complimentary snacks decision. Anyone else have additional data points since last week? All flights I've been on in first class since the change were >800 miles so had a meal.
Flew LAX-SFO in F last week and there were pretzels and stroopwafels on offer from the basket.

I noticed the FA open the large plastic bags that each of those were loaded in, and place a bunch into the basket before going around the cabin.
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Old Sep 16, 22, 1:53 am
  #1527  
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Originally Posted by econ View Post
Flew LAX-SFO in F last week and there were pretzels and stroopwafels on offer from the basket.

I noticed the FA open the large plastic bags that each of those were loaded in, and place a bunch into the basket before going around the cabin.
That's been the standard op (e.g. extracting items from large bags to place into the snack basket) since UA went to the snack basket routine.

But in the before times, there were items that went beyond pretzels and stroopwafels...

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Old Sep 18, 22, 12:01 am
  #1528  
 
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IAD-PIT, 12:45 PM departure yesterday. ERJ-175 in F. No drinks.

I wasn't expecting a snack basket, but I don't think I've ever flown F where not even drinks were offered. Mind you, we departed on time, arrived early, had no weather, had no "the captain had asked the flight attendants to stay seated" announcement, and, in fact, the captain turned off the fasten-seatbelt sign for about ten minutes.

Mind you, this is a 182-mile, 32-minute flight. But I rushed from downtown DC to the flight with minutes to spare (okay, that's my fault) and really would have appreciated... something. We had two FAs, and the only time either came through the cabin was to collect trash, which seemed subtly ironic.

Is this a new thing? A misinformed/lazy FA (the guy seemed nice and attentive when I boarded)? Or has this route always been like this? Because I recall drinks and, I think, snacks recently on DCA-EWR, which is only 17 miles longer and often way more hectic.

I was upgraded (albeit on a $263(!) one-way fare), so I can't complain too loudly. And, even for an hour, F is a lot better than ParkBench by United Express. But if I want Big Front Seat, I'll fly Spirit.
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Old Sep 18, 22, 12:45 am
  #1529  
 
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Par for the course these days for UA.
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Old Sep 18, 22, 1:37 am
  #1530  
 
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Originally Posted by tcdtcd View Post
I don’t understand why TATL menus have been refreshed, expanded to 4 entree choices, and supposedly upgraded - while TPACs are still the same old 3-choice short rib/salmon/veg chili.

Cmon UA, please upgrade TPAC, they are longer flights!!😡
With TPAC J demand starting to return in some/most markets, any explanation for this continued disparity with TATL services? I thought the corporate line was something along the lines of "there's nobody flying so we'll provide a barebones service," but that line gets less true by the day.
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