Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > Airlines and Mileage Programs > United Airlines | MileagePlus
Reload this Page >

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?


​​​​​​​
Print Wikipost

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

Old Oct 15, 22, 7:08 pm
  #1666  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Honolulu Harbor
Programs: UA 1K
Posts: 12,992
Originally Posted by fly747first View Post
... doubt UA staff would be able to negotiate decent catering contracts
I'm thinking it's not UA's catering negotiation skills that result in the slop we're exposed to - it's what UA is allocating for food that the vendors are working with. You can't pay a vendor $10 and expect filet mignon.

On the other hand, one vendor might be more skilled at turning $10 into something more edible than another one might. UA is probably proud they've kept food costs rising less than inflation. And it shows.
IAH-OIL-TRASH is offline  
Old Oct 15, 22, 7:12 pm
  #1667  
Moderator: United Airlines; FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: SFO
Programs: UA Plat 1.85MM, Hyatt Discoverist, Marriott Plat/LT Gold, Hilton Silver, IHG Plat
Posts: 61,980
Originally Posted by bocastephen View Post
... I flew Delta LAX-JFK on a 764 in regular coach, with much larger seats than UA, more basic legroom, .
For the same aircraft, as both are the same 2-3-2 configuration and same pitch in regular economy 31" and 35" in E+/Comfort+, essentially the same number seats in the aircraft, a tad more in DL as Comfort+ is half the size UA's E+ --- how its much larger for DL?

I'm guessing you are comparing different types of aircraft and not the same type.

And if I wanted to do lax-ewr, DL offers no non-stop and smaller planes.

So for your route maybe DL was a better choice but for other routes it is not.


Originally Posted by bocastephen View Post
.... A bluetooth connection to the IFE is great, but that is not going to sell me on buying a ticket on United if I know the inflight service trails far behind every other option.
A key learning for me from this thread and others is that the traveling community is made up of people with different selection needs / criteria.

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Oct 15, 22 at 7:27 pm Reason: more
WineCountryUA is offline  
Old Oct 15, 22, 7:54 pm
  #1668  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: PHX/SFO
Programs: AA EXP; AS 75K; WN A List; UA 1K 1MM; Hyatt Globalist; Marriott AMB; Hilton Diamond (Aspire)
Posts: 52,257
Originally Posted by uastarflyer View Post
Sorbet and duvet in a lie flat v ice cream on a 737?
If lie-flat is an option, UA may be the right choice based solely on hard product. Currently there are not many UA lie-flats west coast to the islands, and most are the 772HD, which I generally avoid.

But it is really not credible to claim that UA has a competitive soft product. And as others have already noted, this thread is about "inflight service."
bocastephen and Repooc17 like this.
Kacee is offline  
Old Oct 15, 22, 10:37 pm
  #1669  
 
Join Date: Jul 2020
Location: So Cal
Programs: AA Platinum
Posts: 1,684
Not a frequent UA flyer at all but was wondering on the following 3 questions for GRU to ORD in Polaris:

Will there be sundaes ?
Will there be a cheese course?
Will there be hot towels offered?

I know UA cut a lot during Covid and not all has come back so just wasnt sure...

Also, if seating chart is showing the new Polaris and its only 2 weeks out very unlikely I would get swapped to the 1 remaining not retrofitted 789?

Thanks
happiest_at_40000 is offline  
Old Oct 15, 22, 11:22 pm
  #1670  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Los Angeles / Basel
Programs: UA 1K MM, AA EXP, Hyatt Globalist
Posts: 26,614
Originally Posted by happiest_at_40000 View Post
Not a frequent UA flyer at all but was wondering on the following 3 questions for GRU to ORD in Polaris:

Will there be sundaes ?
Will there be a cheese course?
Will there be hot towels offered?

I know UA cut a lot during Covid and not all has come back so just wasnt sure...

Also, if seating chart is showing the new Polaris and its only 2 weeks out very unlikely I would get swapped to the 1 remaining not retrofitted 789?

Thanks
Will there be sundaes ? (Yes, but pre-made)
Will there be a cheese course? (Yes)
Will there be hot towels offered? (No)
MatthewLAX is offline  
Old Oct 16, 22, 12:00 am
  #1671  
 
Join Date: Jul 2020
Location: So Cal
Programs: AA Platinum
Posts: 1,684
Originally Posted by MatthewLAX View Post
Will there be sundaes ? (Yes, but pre-made)
Will there be a cheese course? (Yes)
Will there be hot towels offered? (No)
How does it work if its pre made, how do I choose what I want? I do butterscotch & chocolate both which I doubt they will have premade..... Or do you just mean not made in front of you but still made to order in the back?

Thanks for the info
happiest_at_40000 is offline  
Old Oct 16, 22, 12:23 am
  #1672  
 
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 1,509
Originally Posted by bocastephen View Post
but that is not going to sell me on buying a ticket on United if I know the inflight service trails far behind every other option.
But according to your profile, you're still a United 1K. And these soft product changes haven't been changing in the last couple months, they've been on going for years. So clearly, whatever upset or concerns passengers have about the soft product isn't moving the needle in a meaningful way that UA feels they need to compete on it. Take a gander at the DL/AA forum, just as often they have people there complaining about some aspect of their preferred airline and how they're going to go to someone else. For everyone who does that, there's another who's coming in from a different airline. Those "loyalty switchers" are constantly in flux among each other and the airlines know this. All I do know though, is United's flights are going out full, even in the premium cabin to the point people here are equally upset about not getting their upgrades. So for as much despair there appears to be over the soft product here, the soft product isn't preventing UA from still selling out the majority of their premium cabins, often well in advance, and flights as a whole.
SPN Lifer likes this.
Lux Flyer is offline  
Old Oct 16, 22, 2:20 am
  #1673  
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: SFO
Programs: UA 1K, AA EXP, Hyatt Glob, Hilton Diamond, Marriott Plat, Total Wine & More Reserve
Posts: 3,324
Originally Posted by happiest_at_40000 View Post
How does it work if its pre made, how do I choose what I want? I do butterscotch & chocolate both which I doubt they will have premade..... Or do you just mean not made in front of you but still made to order in the back?
Choices? Butterscotch? What do you think this is, AA?

Prepare to be very disappointed.
bocastephen and goodeats21 like this.
econ is offline  
Old Oct 16, 22, 2:58 am
  #1674  
 
Join Date: Jul 2020
Location: So Cal
Programs: AA Platinum
Posts: 1,684
Originally Posted by econ View Post
Choices? Butterscotch? What do you think this is, AA?

Prepare to be very disappointed.
Hahahaha... Okay shoot I am really rethinking this United routing now. These recent discussions/reviews make UA sound so far behind AA & DL.

I thought it would it would be cool to check out ORD Polaris and hard product wise I think its better than DL where storage is limited & the seat lowers/slides but doesnt just do a nice recline to watch the IFE comfortably. I guess food would be better on DL though. Lounge nicer with United though.

Normally I'd avoid the US airlines for international travel but for South America its not like there are the awesome ME or Asian carriers. Maybe I'll just go AA both ways. Was thinking to try something different for the return.

If you want to feel better about AA I think you just have to come here and read a few United threads lol
happiest_at_40000 is offline  
Old Oct 16, 22, 7:56 am
  #1675  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: LAX/TPE
Programs: United 1K, JAL Sapphire, SPG Lifetime Platinum, National Executive Elite, Hertz PC, Avis PC
Posts: 39,703
Originally Posted by Lux Flyer View Post
But according to your profile, you're still a United 1K. And these soft product changes haven't been changing in the last couple months, they've been on going for years.
Not for long, Ill be dropping to lifetime Gold at the annual reset, and assuming 1K requal jumps to 18k or probably 24K next year, Im not going to even bother trying.

In 55 minutes from now, upon landing at JFK, I will be a newly minted lifetime OW Sapphire via JAL and with two midtier lifetime status, Ill have more flexibility and options to tailor my travel experience beyond chasing 1K with its diminishing returns outside of bragging rights.

The soft product changes have amplified recently with much touted upgrades to premium cabin F+B falling flat as epic failures and it was mentioned here previously that someone heard from UA that they are able to measure some revenue loss due to a poor experience upfront.

Nothing seems to roll out smoothly for United, whether its something as simple as a website update or online pre ordering for meals. This clearly illustrates a major defect in leadership.
bocastephen is offline  
Old Oct 16, 22, 8:53 am
  #1676  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: LAX/TPE
Programs: United 1K, JAL Sapphire, SPG Lifetime Platinum, National Executive Elite, Hertz PC, Avis PC
Posts: 39,703
My posts have been very clear about what’s broken and what needs to be fixed here, but I don’t see any effort being made or contemplated by management to do anything about the soft product, they only want to champion hard product features like IFE blue tooth and other such nonsense, and focus on the masses in the back vs the bill payers up front.

Kirby has already declared victory, touting United as a best in class global airline experience, and after some 50+ hours on JAL since Friday, I can assure him that he is waaaaaay off.
rch4u and manstein58 like this.

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Oct 16, 22 at 11:49 am Reason: Removed quote of deleted post and response
bocastephen is offline  
Old Oct 16, 22, 11:55 am
  #1677  
Moderator: United Airlines; FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: SFO
Programs: UA Plat 1.85MM, Hyatt Discoverist, Marriott Plat/LT Gold, Hilton Silver, IHG Plat
Posts: 61,980
Recent posts (some now deleted) have drifted from the thread title "General discussion of UA's inflight service (Domestic / International, all cabins)", let's try to return to that topic and focus primarily on UA related topics.

WineCountryUA
UA coModerator
chrisny2 likes this.
WineCountryUA is offline  
Old Oct 16, 22, 4:20 pm
  #1678  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Programs: UA 1K 1MM (finally!), IHG AMB-Spire, HH Diamond
Posts: 59,068
Originally Posted by bocastephen View Post
My posts have been very clear about whats broken and what needs to be fixed here, but I dont see any effort being made or contemplated by management to do anything about the soft product, they only want to champion hard product features like IFE blue tooth
I dont believe it should be either/or. Thats the most important thing.

Its harder to remove hard product during a downturn, which is why I prefer this investment if there must be a tradeoff

By the way, inflight services includes IFE, WiFi and power. Its not just dining - UA link below .

https://www.united.com/ual/en/us/fly.../inflight.html

Last edited by uastarflyer; Oct 16, 22 at 7:25 pm
uastarflyer is offline  
Old Oct 16, 22, 8:17 pm
  #1679  
 
Join Date: Sep 2021
Programs: Delta Platinum, Hilton HHonors Silver, Hertz Gold Status.
Posts: 74
Originally Posted by dw View Post
Seriously, what were they thinking, composing a dish like that? So its basically three large slices of mozzarella accompanied only by a tiny bit of cant tell whether its red peppers or sundried tomatoes?
Seriously, I hope it at least tasted good. I will say I was in the DL SkyClub at AUS this past week and they had a full-on hot BBQ buffet that would kick the crap out of any of these UA domestic meals (including red velvet sliced cake). Meatballs weren't very good though, so I at least hope UA pulled it off with them on-board because they look tasty. I wasn't terribly hungry so I didn't eat much (caught a bad cold once I got back to LA) but it looked really impressive for an outstation.
Saab_Redondo_1987 is offline  
Old Oct 17, 22, 12:25 am
  #1680  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Los Angeles / Basel
Programs: UA 1K MM, AA EXP, Hyatt Globalist
Posts: 26,614
Originally Posted by happiest_at_40000 View Post
How does it work if its pre made, how do I choose what I want? I do butterscotch & chocolate both which I doubt they will have premade..... Or do you just mean not made in front of you but still made to order in the back?

Thanks for the info
There will be no choice, usually just a toffee chocolate topping. So it will be more than a scoop of ice cream, but no chance of customization.
MatthewLAX is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread