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)

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

    Hide Wikipost
Old Jul 27, 22, 5:35 am   -   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
Wiki Link
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

Old Feb 15, 22, 9:27 pm
  #391  
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Programs: united
Posts: 1,636
Originally Posted by NikoLGA View Post
Would it be too much to ask to print it out? Slap a Sunday Riley ad/United Shop on the back of it and make a profit out of it. There's a reason a lot of the places that had QR code menus went back to physical menus. It's just not the same. I'd much rather that than the postcards, etc. that are in the amenity kit.
A menu on the website is better. Puts people on notice preflight so they can plan.
dilanesp is offline  
Old Feb 15, 22, 9:31 pm
  #392  
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Bloomfield, NJ
Programs: UA Premier 1K, Million Miler, Marriott Ambassador, lifetime gold
Posts: 922
Originally Posted by Unitedloyalflyer View Post
The sandwiches are not anywhere near as bad as you are making them out to be

Add a bag of chips and you have an appropriate meal for a short haul flight
We have to disagree. Adding a bag of chips would actually cheapen the awful experience even more.

I remember the days of EWR MCO with a grilled pineapple salad with a choice of chilled shrimp or chicken on the side, with freshly baked chocolate chip cookies. This thread is about covid cuts. That is what we used to get. This offering seemed acceptable in late spring of 2020 when it was the first reintroduction of anything at all. That time has long expired. It's getting ridiculous. We don't need lavish multi course meals on a EWR Florida market, but a child could create better options than this nonsense.
JerseyCityS is offline  
Old Feb 15, 22, 9:31 pm
  #393  
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Programs: united
Posts: 1,636
Originally Posted by bocastephen View Post
The sandwiches are tasteless aside from being a sodium bomb and a hot mess of slop when heated. I've had a hot sandwich of the same size and type served to me on a mid-haul flight of somewhat similar length on Hawaiian - in coach - which was also heated, but tasted far better, held its shape without oozing everywhere, wasn't a salt lick, and was also served with a bag of snacks and a cookie - again, in coach.

Touting these sandwiches as an appropriate meal in first class on a flight of almost any length beyond an hour just doesn't cut the mustard. It's a major fail for United in quantity, quality and presentation for what should be a premium product.
I don't think domestic first class (outside of premium transcontinental) is or is supposed to be a premium product. It's mostly frequent flyers flying up there on upgrades, and the coach-first fare differential is much lower than it was 20 years ago.

I'd be all in favor of raising fares, restricting upgrades, and making it "premium", like the premium transcons are now, but I get the feeling such an upgrade of service would not be popular among UA frequent flyers.

But F space that is mostly given away or sold cheaply is not going to be "premium"
dilanesp is offline  
Old Feb 15, 22, 9:54 pm
  #394  
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Bloomfield, NJ
Programs: UA Premier 1K, Million Miler, Marriott Ambassador, lifetime gold
Posts: 922
Originally Posted by moyang_mm View Post
Choice of chicken with rice and Italian ragu. Pie-in-the-sky and bread were warmed.



On what planet would one go into the cheapest diner in town, order that, and pay for it? I've had it. What in the world even is it? It's perfectly awful. It's like somebody hired somebody to construct the most god awful meal, and serve it. We're not asking for 5star dining, but come on, this is not acceptable.
JerseyCityS is offline  
Old Feb 15, 22, 10:06 pm
  #395  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Los Angeles / Basel
Programs: UA 1K MM, AA EXP, Hyatt Globalist
Posts: 26,434
Originally Posted by dilanesp View Post
I don't think domestic first class (outside of premium transcontinental) is or is supposed to be a premium product. It's mostly frequent flyers flying up there on upgrades, and the coach-first fare differential is much lower than it was 20 years ago.

I'd be all in favor of raising fares, restricting upgrades, and making it "premium", like the premium transcons are now, but I get the feeling such an upgrade of service would not be popular among UA frequent flyers.

But F space that is mostly given away or sold cheaply is not going to be "premium"
I'm not so sure and I'm not saying that just to nitpick. Even as a 1K, I've missed upgrades lately and the planes seem full once again up front. People are buying premium tickets. Heck yes, they are far cheaper than 10 years ago...but that actually has led to a lot more people buying "paid" F seats rather than holding out for an upgrade. Back in the day, I could upgrade whatever flight I wanted even as a Gold using my e500 mile upgrades. Those days are long gone. If I want F, I have to buy it - even PlusPoints are not a sure thing. In that sense, I have to imagine UA has ran the numbers and found that its current model (say selling ten at $500 rather than four at $1,000) makes financial sense.
MatthewLAX is online now  
Old Feb 15, 22, 10:09 pm
  #396  
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: SRQ, PDX
Programs: UA 1 MM, AA Gold, DL
Posts: 865
Originally Posted by JerseyCityS View Post
On what planet would one go into the cheapest diner in town, order that, and pay for it? I've had it. What in the world even is it? It's perfectly awful. It's like somebody hired somebody to construct the most god awful meal, and serve it. We're not asking for 5star dining, but come on, this is not acceptable.
Air travel is no longer an experience many can savor. If you're lucky, you may have a flight now and then that is enjoyable; most times, you just try to endure it. Inflight food and service as it was is gone.
artvandalay is offline  
Old Feb 15, 22, 10:12 pm
  #397  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Los Angeles / Basel
Programs: UA 1K MM, AA EXP, Hyatt Globalist
Posts: 26,434
An interesting juxtaposition - I've had something similar in SWISS business. This dish can be done right...UA just doesn't do it right.

MatthewLAX is online now  
Old Feb 15, 22, 10:30 pm
  #398  
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Programs: united
Posts: 1,636
Originally Posted by artvandalay View Post
Air travel is no longer an experience many can savor. If you're lucky, you may have a flight now and then that is enjoyable; most times, you just try to endure it. Inflight food and service as it was is gone.
Correct, and it's quite "acceptable".

If there was a market for a gourmand First Class service, it would be offered- the closest out there is either Jet Blue's Mint or American's Flagship First on premium transcon routes. And note, those are only on a very limited number of ultra high value routes between the major cities of the coasts.

Nobody has to like the status quo. If what a particular traveler wants is the type of thing you see in 1960's travel brochures, with the stewardesses rolling the chateubriand cart through the aisle and carving it, well, I can see how that traveler would hate what FC dining has become.

But the industry responds to demand, the front cabins are full of people who didn't either pay for their upgrade or paid a discounted TOD fare for it anyway, and that reality is going to produce the modern domestic First Class service. It's acceptable because travelers in fact accept it.

And one thing I think is missed in all of this is AIRPORT food has gotten much better. It used to be there was a hot dog stand in the terminal. Food at the airport was generally awful. Now you can get very decent food at the airport- and that means there are fewer hungry travelers who need that inflight meal, especially on shorter duration flights. (Note, back in the day, you used to get a meal IN COACH on a 3 hour domestic flight. That reflected the lack of options at the airport.)
dilanesp is offline  
Old Feb 15, 22, 10:50 pm
  #399  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Honolulu Harbor
Programs: UA 1K
Posts: 12,746
Originally Posted by dilanesp View Post
....Nobody has to like the status quo. If what a particular traveler wants is the type of thing you see in 1960's travel brochures, with the stewardesses rolling the chateubriand cart through the aisle and carving it, well, I can see how that traveler would hate what FC dining has become...
Well, those were the times of regulated airfares/routings. The quality definitely started going down after deregulation, as price became the factor to attract customers and airlines had to find ways to cut costs. I think the drop in quality on U.S. airlines became precipitous after Bethune left CO. Nowadays, it's easy for airlines to continually chip away at food costs (or maintain the status quo), rather than increase cost/quality. The Polaris meals one sees now is probably the new norm and expecting it to get better might be a bit optimistic.
IAH-OIL-TRASH is offline  
Old Feb 16, 22, 1:25 am
  #400  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: LAX/TPE
Programs: CO Platinum 1K, United 1K, SPG LT Platinum, National Executive Elite, Platinum TSA Hater
Posts: 38,834
Originally Posted by dilanesp View Post
I don't think domestic first class (outside of premium transcontinental) is or is supposed to be a premium product. It's mostly frequent flyers flying up there on upgrades, .
No its not. There are countless posts from 1K and even GS members on this forum who havent received a free upgrade in ages. On a 4 segment round trip, todays 1K would be lucky to clear 1/4 depending on their travel day and route. Upgrade lists are usually 20+ names deep with 1-2 people clearing.

Domestic F is either paid for or bought up. Hardly any seats are left for freebies which makes the substandard catering and service that much more embarrassing.
bocastephen is offline  
Old Feb 16, 22, 2:01 am
  #401  
 
Join Date: Jun 2021
Location: Houston, TX
Programs: UA silver, Bonvoy gold
Posts: 860
Think the issue with domestic F is it is a misbranded product.

UA will be flying the max 738 to Porto Delgada this year and calling what we call "first class" premium economy.

Maybe if domestic F was branded as PP instead of F, people would have the proper expectations as to the level of service.

They'd expect a basic plated meal (varies by flight distance, of course, the longer the flight, the more substantial the meal) as well as continuous drink service, not some elaborate 5 course meal.

Polaris is where there is legit griping about service levels
Unitedloyalflyer is online now  
Old Feb 16, 22, 5:27 am
  #402  
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: NYC, FLL
Programs: UA 1K MM, Marriott Bonvoy LTTE, BA Silver
Posts: 5,459
Originally Posted by dilanesp View Post
It's mostly frequent flyers flying up there on upgrades, and the coach-first fare differential is much lower than it was 20 years ago.
No no no, and contradictory statements.

Even before the pandemic, people were BUYING F outright and of course they are now.

Originally Posted by Unitedloyalflyer View Post
Maybe if domestic F was branded as PP instead of F, people would have the proper expectations as to the level of service.
I don't see this happening (for a host of reasons - competitors, pricing, mixing with Int'l legs) - but I think it's a great idea.
seanp7 is offline  
Old Feb 16, 22, 5:46 am
  #403  
 
Join Date: Jun 2021
Location: Houston, TX
Programs: UA silver, Bonvoy gold
Posts: 860
Originally Posted by seanp7 View Post
I don't see this happening (for a host of reasons - competitors, pricing, mixing with Int'l legs) - but I think it's a great idea.
There is a model for doing this. WestJet. Their domestic business product is branded as premium economy. Priced similar to AC's domestic J. They also have premium on long haul routes. Same product as the domestic "J"

People expect first class service as they believe they paid for first class, when the overall product is actually PE.

I truly think the complaining about domestic F is people feel they deserve an actual domestic F product instead of the PE product they receive
Unitedloyalflyer is online now  
Old Feb 16, 22, 5:48 am
  #404  
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: NYC, FLL
Programs: UA 1K MM, Marriott Bonvoy LTTE, BA Silver
Posts: 5,459
Originally Posted by Unitedloyalflyer View Post
I truly think the complaining about domestic F is people feel they deserve an actual domestic F product instead of the PE product they receive
Yes, you're right. Spirit's "Big Front Seats" and some of the LCC's in Sth America do the same thing. I just can't see a US legacy carrier going that route.
seanp7 is offline  
Old Feb 16, 22, 6:06 am
  #405  
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: IAH & CMH
Programs: UA GS, UA MM, Marriott Ambassador, Hilton Diamond, Uber Platinum :)
Posts: 536
Originally Posted by Unitedloyalflyer View Post
People expect first class service as they believe they paid for first class, when the overall product is actually PE.

I truly think the complaining about domestic F is people feel they deserve an actual domestic F product instead of the PE product they receive
or maybe, just maybe, United need to actually offer a product that reflects what theyre actually selling First Class. Except currently theres nothing first about it
Dyce is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread