New Food, Meals on Shorter Flights & More – United Announces Premium Cabin Changes on North America Flights

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United Premium Cabin Service

United Premium Cabin Service

Beginning on February 1, 2015 United Airlines is making enhancements to their premium cabin service on North American flights. In addition to a new “dining experience”, they also will begin meal service on all flights 800 miles and longer. (Currently they serve meals on flights 900 miles or longer with a couple of exceptions.)

Here is how the new food is described, “Created by United’s team of chefs and inspired by cuisine in the airline’s hub cities and other popular North American destinations, United will introduce flavorful new entrees, including cage-free scrambled eggs prepared skillet style with pepper-jack cheese, sauteed pepper mix, sliced New Mexico sausage, potato gratin and fire-roasted pepper sauce; lobster macaroni and cheese with a baked crumb topping and side of broccoli rabe; and chicken and sausage jambalaya with white rice and green onions.”

According to the airline, others changes include:

  • For short flights that offer lighter refreshments, the addition of new breakfast breads in the morning and a rotation of 25 new premium snacks in the afternoon and evening;
  • On meal flights less than four hours, a variety of enhanced breakfast choices, such as French toast souffle or steel-cut oatmeal, both paired with fresh fruit and Greek yogurt, plus new dinner selections, including tandoori chicken with basmati rice and paneer, to replace the current premium sandwich options;
  • An expanded mid-continental meal service on flights of four hours to five hours and 19 minutes, offering customers who now get two entree options a choice of three, such as creole shrimp served with Carolina grits, and a dessert of sorbet with mint-leaf topping during lunch or gelato or ice cream for dinner;
  • New multi-course meal service on transcontinental and Hawaii flights, featuring heartier entrees, such as tamale-stuffed chicken wrapped in a corn husk and served with creamy corn sauce, roasted red and yellow tomatoes and yucca sticks, followed by sorbet during lunch or gelato or ice cream for dinner; and
  • Signature bake-on-board cookies in customer-chosen flavors, including triple-chocolate chunk, served for dessert on short- and medium-haul flights that offer meals, or as an afternoon or evening pre-arrival treat on transcontinental flights and flights that link Hawaii with Los Angeles, San Francisco, Denver and Houston.

Analysis

So it seems as if they hired some new chefs and shuffled around the mileage requirements for serving meals. Overall not a huge deal, but for loyal United flyers (are there any left) this may mean a better on board experience.

As of right now both American and Delta only serve meals on flights of 900 miles or longer, so perhaps this is a way for United to gain back some market share. They also tout a new premium menu on the LAX/SFO-JFK routes, which isn’t a surprise considering those are lucrative and highly competitive flights.

You can read the press release and find out about United’s multi-million dollar investment in food service here. Do you think it will make a difference?


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