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

Old May 11, 22, 2:38 pm
FlyerTalk Forums Expert How-Tos and Guides
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 29, 22, 10:22 am
  #1591  
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Originally Posted by Infinite1K View Post
Behind a paywall…
Here's a free version: https://deleciousfood.com/the-airlin...is-the-answer/

My favorite line:

A manager at a major airline catering company said the only real reason to serve first class meals was “to make economy travelers feel bad about themselves”.
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Old Oct 7, 22, 2:26 am
  #1592  
 
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This may be complete conjecture, but I feel like the legacy carriers' food service is only as good as the demands made of their international codeshare partners. Lufthansa J, while still better than United by far, still pales in comparison to, say, soft product in Cathay, or Qantas, or Air France. An LH loyal passenger on a UA-operated codeshare is less likely to throw a fit than a Cathay or Qantas passenger on a UA-operated codeshare would (and LH has sub-par J hard product, United Polaris cabin is cush compared to LH). I could be mistaken. But I know that many times, legacy US carriers are "forced" to up their game just to keep the experience palatable to codeshare partner loyal passengers. Granted, these are international routes, but catering is catering and usually carries over to domestic long-haul.
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Old Oct 7, 22, 6:28 pm
  #1593  
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Can anyone confirm what service would be offered on a domestic (well, US-Canada) redeye that is 2000+ miles in F (I think that’s actually J now, but, same difference). Well, this would be SFO-YYZ, probably the only transborder redeye, I suspect.

when I look up the flight, it says dinner and meals page doesn’t seem to differentiate based in time or between daytime and nighttime departures (I thought it used to be different based on timing of flight). Does that mean hot meal choice, and service as if it was a lunch or dinner time flight? Haven’t done even an evening/late mid/Tcon in F in a looong time - last time was probably ORD-SFO in the days where it used to be after 7 or 8 you just got a cold snack plate (which was very meh - at best).

Part of me would like to enjoy a [semi-]decent F meal if offered. The other part says I should just grab something before departure at terminal, and use the time to sleep most of the way.
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Old Oct 7, 22, 7:44 pm
  #1594  
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Originally Posted by emcampbe View Post
Part of me would like to enjoy a [semi-]decent F meal if offered. The other part says I should just grab something before departure at terminal, and use the time to sleep most of the way.
Listen to the other part.
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Old Oct 7, 22, 8:01 pm
  #1595  
 
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Originally Posted by bunkunu View Post
This may be complete conjecture, but I feel like the legacy carriers' food service is only as good as the demands made of their international codeshare partners. Lufthansa J, while still better than United by far, still pales in comparison to, say, soft product in Cathay, or Qantas, or Air France. l.
This is unfair. Cathay hasn't flown in 2+ years, Qantas just started flying. I dunno about AF. But EVERYONE's "service" is a far cry from before the Covid Winter Extravaganza. I find it difficult to get to fussed about it. . .
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Old Oct 7, 22, 8:58 pm
  #1596  
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Originally Posted by jimmc66 View Post
Cathay hasn't flown in 2+ years
Huh? CX has flown throughout the pandemic.
Originally Posted by jimmc66 View Post
dunno about AF. But EVERYONE's "service" is a far cry from before the Covid Winter Extravaganza.
Not true. Just had four absolutely lovely flights on SQ, with some of the best J service I've ever experienced and excellent meals.
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Old Oct 7, 22, 9:20 pm
  #1597  
 
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Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
Huh? CX has flown throughout the pandemic.Not true. Just had four absolutely lovely flights on SQ, with some of the best J service I've ever experienced and excellent meals.
Ok, they've flown some. Mostly because of cargo demands, few passengers. You know what I mean. And SQ as a government-owned airline even kept up with FA training of new hires, despite the lack of work. Meh.
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Old Oct 7, 22, 9:23 pm
  #1598  
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Originally Posted by jimmc66 View Post
This is unfair. Cathay hasn't flown in 2+ years, Qantas just started flying. I dunno about AF. But EVERYONE's "service" is a far cry from before the Covid Winter Extravaganza. I find it difficult to get to fussed about it. . .
ANA, JAL, SQ, BR, to name a few, are all pretty much back to normal and have been for some time.
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Old Oct 7, 22, 11:15 pm
  #1599  
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Originally Posted by bocastephen View Post
ANA, JAL, SQ, BR, to name a few, are all pretty much back to normal and have been for some time.
And AA and DL and AS and B6...
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Old Oct 8, 22, 12:58 am
  #1600  
 
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Originally Posted by MatthewLAX View Post
And AA and DL and AS and B6...
Id make the case UA is “back to normal “. I wouldn’t eat the food pre-pandemic as I wouldn’t eat it now.
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Old Oct 8, 22, 5:01 am
  #1601  
 
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Originally Posted by HNLbasedFlyer View Post
Id make the case UA is “back to normal “. I wouldn’t eat the food pre-pandemic as I wouldn’t eat it now.
That's lumping a very wide range of objective realities into one compressed subjective category.
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Old Oct 8, 22, 6:46 am
  #1602  
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Originally Posted by fumje View Post
That's lumping a very wide range of objective realities into one compressed subjective category.
Correct, it's simply objectively not true, though I would agree that what we see now is probably the new normal.
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Old Oct 8, 22, 9:09 am
  #1603  
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Originally Posted by MatthewLAX View Post
I would agree that what we see now is probably the new normal.
Yes. And new normal is pretty much the same as old normal in overall approach - offering a subpar product with continual vague promises of a "more premium" product and the occasional teaser (e.g., new EWR UC). The main difference is the food and service are even worse than they were pre-covid. And they now give you a UA-branded wipe on boarding to clean your seat :-)
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Old Oct 8, 22, 11:11 am
  #1604  
 
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Originally Posted by MatthewLAX View Post
And AA and DL and AS and B6...
Just did BOS-YYZ on AC, breakfast on a 58 minute flights was better than UA transcon
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Old Oct 8, 22, 12:54 pm
  #1605  
 
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I was told pre-pandemic by a UA insider that UA catering was expected to hold catering costs (ex-booze) per Polaris customer to $12/flight. Rationale was that Polaris lounge food was considered extravagant and needed to counteract that.
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