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

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

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Old Jun 18, 22, 12:38 pm   -   Wikipost
Please read: This is a community-maintained wiki post containing the most important information from this thread. You may edit the Wiki once you have been on FT for 90 days and have made 90 posts.
 
Last edit by: phkc070408
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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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Old Jan 6, 22, 8:28 pm
  #16  
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Originally Posted by restlessinRNO View Post
Are you suggesting UA offer nuts with the PDB in Polaris class? I think that might be asking a lot from UA. Did UA ever offer nuts pre-departure even pre- Covid? I don’t think so. 😊
No, @flyingrohit means with the initial beverage service prior to meal service.
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Old Jan 6, 22, 9:31 pm
  #17  
 
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One time last year I received nuts with beverage prior to meal tray - ex-JFK (which has some of the best UA crew, IME) when 763 was still flying in and out of the airport.

Even UA will get it right once in a blue moon.
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Old Jan 7, 22, 9:49 pm
  #18  
 
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Originally Posted by restlessinRNO View Post
Are you suggesting UA offer nuts with the PDB in Polaris class? I think that might be asking a lot from UA. Did UA ever offer nuts pre-departure even pre- Covid? I don’t think so. 😊
we once got chocolates with our PDB in Polaris. And a champagne flute 😉
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Old Jan 7, 22, 9:51 pm
  #19  
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Originally Posted by Plane-is-home View Post
we once got chocolates with our PDB in Polaris. And a champagne flute 😉
Yah. But that was just once.

David
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Old Jan 8, 22, 12:35 pm
  #20  
 
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Originally Posted by Plane-is-home View Post
we once got chocolates with our PDB in Polaris. And a champagne flute 😉
And the FA’s used to smile…
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Old Jan 8, 22, 1:58 pm
  #21  
 
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Well we’ll see day by day what changes (if any, and I suspect it will be none) I will report back the meal service on EWR-DEL this evening. Precovid they did well on the ultra long hauls but COVID era has been nothing short of starvation
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Old Jan 8, 22, 3:43 pm
  #22  
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Originally Posted by flyingrohit View Post
Well we’ll see day by day what changes (if any, and I suspect it will be none) I will report back the meal service on EWR-DEL this evening. Precovid they did well on the ultra long hauls but COVID era has been nothing short of starvation
I am not sure whether Precovid was better ... maybe now is worse than bad?! . I guess depends on how you define "did well" and what do you compare with: Last trip before shutdown in late Feb 2020 - about 5-6 of my colleagues and I flew SFO-HYD, for our usual quarterly visit. Half of us were on Emirates and the other half on UA via DEL. The ones with UA reported that FA service and food was atrocious, ..like the FAs screaming back at people and then disappearing for the majority of the flight. They showed me a picture of their meal that looked just awful. .... While the rest of us were sipping champagne at the EK A380 bar.....
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Old Jan 8, 22, 9:42 pm
  #23  
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Originally Posted by HAF View Post
I am not sure whether Precovid was better ... maybe now is worse than bad?! . I guess depends on how you define "did well" and what do you compare with: Last trip before shutdown in late Feb 2020 - about 5-6 of my colleagues and I flew SFO-HYD, for our usual quarterly visit. Half of us were on Emirates and the other half on UA via DEL. The ones with UA reported that FA service and food was atrocious, ..like the FAs screaming back at people and then disappearing for the majority of the flight. They showed me a picture of their meal that looked just awful. .... While the rest of us were sipping champagne at the EK A380 bar.....
Ah well. What one does to maintain elite status...

David
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Old Jan 9, 22, 4:59 am
  #24  
 
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Hello from somewhere above Russia on my way to Delhi right now.

So the international purser supervisor from the Newark office (name removed per FT Rules) is working my flight I got his business card too (and actually the international purser supervisors from SFO and ORD are also working today’s flight to Delhi and they are all having a meeting of sorts there for service related stuff to india and whatnot). But I asked him a few questions mid flight when things weren’t too busy and here’s what I heard back and take what you will with a grain of salt most of it sounded genuinely some of it sounded you know how “so we’ve been getting customer feedback and etc…..”.

Q1: when are multiple courses coming back?

Answer: so for the foreseeable future multiple courses will not come back we will likely keep it one tray just because the feedback from the customers has been that they want to get to sleep and sleep more but we will see some changes by the end of the quarter hopefully March. Desserts should be back by then thought there won’t be the cart anymore. You’ll have all the same options it’ll just be on demand. Like we’ll take your tray and ask you if you want anything. Cheesecakes, the sundaes, all the usual stuff, just without the cart.

*If this is true (only about the dessert and not the rest of the service), each to their own, i wouldn’t mind it I guess though it was nice to see what was in front of me *

*Preface: I asked about menus in general though he answered specific to EWR maybe because he’s not sure about other hubs or UA as a whole*

Q2: What about the menus? I’ve been having the same 3 options in and out of india for the last 2 months now and I’m sure other routes to certain regions are seeing the same thing what’s going on?

Answer: so in Newark we had our own United catering kitchen all this time and we now have another vendor which caused a holdup but in the coming month we will be building menus for each region so hopefully to provide more variety and more options than what we currently have.

Q3: Are paper menus coming back?
Answer: We are currently looking at our options on that

——————-this next question is more a pet peeve for me than others so feel free to stop reading———————

Q4: AA has told their crew to stop blocking 787 windows and tell a passenger should they need to dim it some more. It doesn’t make sense on flights like my return from bom to EWR (which he actually might be working on my flight) where its 16.5 hours of pure darkness, what’s the point?
Answer: we want to maintain passenger comfort I’m sorry for your experience for sure, but we want to make sure to accommodate everyone and this is something i am constantly discussing with my team.

*Doesn’t seem like it should warrant that much discussion, seems like a very straightforward issue*

anyways hope this helps put some light on things. I’ll be in flight for another 2 hours before they get super busy again, I’ll check periodically as we are out of the northern latitudes so Wi-Fi should be more stable now. Happy to ask any other questions you guys might have while I can. Cheers all!

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Jan 9, 22 at 11:17 am Reason: FT rule 21 - Do not post (full) non-exec names or contact information of airline employees
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Old Jan 9, 22, 5:32 am
  #25  
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Originally Posted by flyingrohit View Post
Q1: when are multiple courses coming back?

Answer: so for the foreseeable future multiple courses will not come back we will likely keep it one tray just because the feedback from the customers has been that they want to get to sleep and sleep more but we will see some changes by the end of the quarter hopefully March. Desserts should be back by then thought there won’t be the cart anymore. You’ll have all the same options it’ll just be on demand. Like we’ll take your tray and ask you if you want anything. Cheesecakes, the sundaes, all the usual stuff, just without the cart.
If the above is true, it just shows that the current cutback has nothing to do with COVID, it has everything to do with saving money. Going back to pre-pandemic meal service will cost United $$$, both in the food and drink itself, and having to return staffing to pre-COVID levels.

I don't believe for a minute that the majority of Polaris customers just want to sleep. That hogwash might fly if we all just flew eastbound with departures in the late afternoon/early evening. This is all about Kirby being cheap.
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Old Jan 9, 22, 5:48 am
  #26  
 
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Originally Posted by halls120 View Post
If the above is true, it just shows that the current cutback has nothing to do with COVID, it has everything to do with saving money. Going back to pre-pandemic meal service will cost United $$$, both in the food and drink itself, and having to return staffing to pre-COVID levels.

I don't believe for a minute that the majority of Polaris customers just want to sleep. That hogwash might fly if we all just flew eastbound with departures in the late afternoon/early evening. This is all about Kirby being cheap.
Also I can speak for ALL of United's ultra-long hauls to/from India and Im sure this is the case on other particular long hauls too. Nobody sleeps right away. Many people are drinking and chatting away for hours. Only after like 2-3 hours do people actually start sleeping and that's well beyond the scope of how long the pre-covid multi-course service used to be. And I agree this seems like its cost cutting. But to our purser I'm of course putting a smile on as I accept his answers.

And I'm with you, from all the flights I've had, sleeping early is a rare case and not the norm

Last edited by flyingrohit; Jan 9, 22 at 5:55 am
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Old Jan 9, 22, 7:30 am
  #27  
 
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Do you think the hot towels pre meal in F are ever coming back ?
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Old Jan 9, 22, 11:33 am
  #28  
 
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Originally Posted by benewr View Post
Do you think the hot towels pre meal in F are ever coming back ?
not while Kirby Kwality is a thing…
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Old Jan 9, 22, 11:45 am
  #29  
 
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Originally Posted by halls120 View Post
If the above is true, it just shows that the current cutback has nothing to do with COVID, it has everything to do with saving money. Going back to pre-pandemic meal service will cost United $$$, both in the food and drink itself, and having to return staffing to pre-COVID levels.

I don't believe for a minute that the majority of Polaris customers just want to sleep. That hogwash might fly if we all just flew eastbound with departures in the late afternoon/early evening. This is all about Kirby being cheap.
I can believe that explanation. We've seen it here from the frequent business travelers. They simply want to sleep and would likely accept an economy level of service if it meant 30 minutes of extra sleep
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Old Jan 9, 22, 11:55 am
  #30  
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Originally Posted by Unitedloyalflyer View Post
I can believe that explanation. We've seen it here from the frequent business travelers. They simply want to sleep and would likely accept an economy level of service if it meant 30 minutes of extra sleep
we’ve heard it from some here. And for those who want to sleep early, UA used to offer express dining- an option I’ve rarely seen used by more than a handful of front cabin customers during my almost 30 years of flying UA internationally.
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