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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 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
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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 Jul 22, 22, 8:11 am
  #1246  
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Originally Posted by ft4lyf View Post
I am happy for the people who live at UA Hubs and get their meal at the Polaris lounge before flight. (or who can build long layovers at the hubs).
As you noted, not everyone has that opportunity.
Also, it's not like SFO PL has great food. There's often a long wait for the dining area and the food quality has generally ranged from yuck to sometimes okay.

Plus a single meal is not really enough to carry you through on a 12-16 hour TPAC.
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Old Jul 22, 22, 10:20 am
  #1247  
 
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Flying Premium on a 773 EWR-SFO in November. Has food service improved? It's listed has a Dinner flight for Premium Plus

Thanks,

Paul
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Old Jul 22, 22, 11:02 am
  #1248  
 
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Originally Posted by Paul510 View Post
Flying Premium on a 773 EWR-SFO in November. Has food service improved? It's listed has a Dinner flight for Premium Plus

Thanks,

Paul
Improved compared to what or when? On p.s. routes I believe premium plus gets same mains as J. But those are not great and worse than they were a few years ago.
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Old Jul 22, 22, 11:14 am
  #1249  
 
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Originally Posted by bocastephen View Post

Perhaps people are unwilling to pay top dollar for a poor quality experience across the board.
That seems to go against everything I read in this forum - full flights, expensive flights, and lack of upgrades.

Revenue seems fine - costs are too high. Cuts are coming.
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Old Jul 22, 22, 2:51 pm
  #1250  
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Originally Posted by HNLbasedFlyer View Post
Revenue seems fine - costs are too high. Cuts are coming.
If costs are "too high" it's not because UA's overspending on inflight meals or FA staffing. But I suspect there's lots of room for cuts in executive compensation.
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Old Jul 22, 22, 3:01 pm
  #1251  
 
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Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
If costs are "too high" it's not because UA's overspending on inflight meals or FA staffing. But I suspect there's lots of room for cuts in executive compensation.
The Executives at UA did indeed take much lower compensation during Covid. Kirby is also paid less than Munoz and Hart paid less than Kirby when Kirby was President. Kirby and Hart also did not take salary during Covid.
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Old Jul 22, 22, 3:17 pm
  #1252  
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Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
If costs are "too high" it's not because UA's overspending on inflight meals or FA staffing. But I suspect there's lots of room for cuts in executive compensation.
Sounds like margins might be an issue - cutting executive compensation and thinning the management heard is probably the better step than cutting an already barebones product. What are they going to cut? Make the french toast from 1/2 a slice of bread? 1/4 strawberry instead of 1/2?

How about a self-serve buffet in the Polaris galley so they can cut another couple crew to the FAA minimum?

Perhaps less incompetent management would have seen the cash balance as something to preserve for future lean times instead of an ill-fated stock buyback that left the company vulnerable to a sudden downturn in business or uptick in cost?
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Old Jul 22, 22, 3:28 pm
  #1253  
 
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Originally Posted by bocastephen View Post

Perhaps less incompetent management would have seen the cash balance as something to preserve for future lean times instead of an ill-fated stock buyback that left the company vulnerable to a sudden downturn in business or uptick in cost?
UA's cash on hand is $18 billion - compared to $5 billion in 2018, $12 billion in 2019 - so cash doesn't appear to be something UA is neglecting. I suspect Wall Street actually does not like that lofty cash figure and they were underwhelmed with $400 million in profit last quarter.

The $1.43 share versus analysts $1.93 was a big and massive miss. UA actually exceeded load factor estimates of 86.7% versus analysts 84.5%. Revenue about on par $12.1 billion versus $12.2

So - UA is filling the planes and costs are eating into the profits - price of gas is not helping. To meet estimates - either prices need to go up with same LF or costs will need to be cut.
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Old Jul 22, 22, 5:26 pm
  #1254  
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Originally Posted by HNLbasedFlyer View Post
The $1.43 share versus analysts $1.93 was a big and massive miss. UA actually exceeded load factor estimates of 86.7% versus analysts 84.5%. Revenue about on par $12.1 billion versus $12.2

So - UA is filling the planes and costs are eating into the profits - price of gas is not helping. To meet estimates - either prices need to go up with same LF or costs will need to be cut.
Well it's taking higher loads to hit the projected revenue, and that's leading to higher costs than projected. So there actually is an issue on the revenue side, at least in terms of hitting estimates.

One might also say the estimates are part of the problem. But that's a much broader discussion.
Originally Posted by bocastephen View Post
Perhaps less incompetent management
I don't know I'd call them incompetent. They're running a pretty solid airline operationally. They're just not providing much of a premium soft product.
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Old Jul 22, 22, 5:35 pm
  #1255  
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Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
If costs are "too high" it's not because UA's overspending on inflight meals or FA staffing. But I suspect there's lots of room for cuts in executive compensation.
Take the total cash compensation of the top 10-20 and spread it over all tickets in a year and you have a number in small change -- while total compensation needs to be managed. the cash compensation isn't going to make the slightest difference in the P&L.
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Old Jul 22, 22, 5:45 pm
  #1256  
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
Take the total cash compensation of the top 10-20 and spread it over all tickets in a year and you have a number in small change -- while total compensation needs to be managed. the cash compensation isn't going to make the slightest difference in the P&L.
Neither did serving broken cashews, but Smisek actually boasted about that.

Labor and fuel are the significant costs that are not fixed. Cutting the soft product further hardly seems the answer to those problems.
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Old Jul 22, 22, 6:15 pm
  #1257  
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Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
... Labor and fuel are the significant costs that are not fixed. ...
Absolutely, for the past 6 months
Labor 28%
Fuel 30% -- normally less than labor
but also
Operating Costs 15% (is food a minor item here?)
Landing fees and other rent, Depreciation and amortization. Regional capacity purchase .Aircraft maintenance materials and outside repairs are 5-6% each
The above is 95% of the expenses



Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
...Cutting the soft product further hardly seems the answer to those problems.
As a passenger I agree. And as a non (direct) stockholder, I don't have a dog in this discussion, other than to know UA is obligated to its stockholders to generate profits and equity value.

Apologies for taking us off topic, I will stop
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Old Jul 22, 22, 6:32 pm
  #1258  
 
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Originally Posted by Kacee View Post

Labor and fuel are the significant costs that are not fixed. Cutting the soft product further hardly seems the answer to those problems.
Realistically - I actually don't see them cutting soft product further. The analysts were so off on the profit that they may indeed revisit the future forecasts.

But, I don't see right now how any Executive will make a business case for more soft product budget and make improvements - I also think they will seek out more partnerships like they've done with impossible meats where they've likely gotten significant discounts. They may also try another caterer/kitchen - that could help.
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Old Jul 24, 22, 4:12 am
  #1259  
 
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The most flattering feedback I can give UA catering - it serves school cafeteria like food. UA's catering actually makes other carriers look like Michelin star restaurants.

Flew to Florida the other day on Delta's A220. Really stark contrast.
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Old Jul 24, 22, 11:46 am
  #1260  
 
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Originally Posted by Repooc17 View Post

Flew to Florida the other day on Delta's A220. Really stark contrast.
At least it wasnt cancelled.
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