After receiving passenger pushback over a recent decision to eliminate free alcohol minis on intercontinental flights in Premium Plus (premium economy class), United Airlines will restore complimentary drinks starting next month.
Alcohol Minis Will Again Be Complimentary On United Airlines In Premium Economy Class
It was revealed last month that spirits, often called liquor minis, were no longer complimentary in Premium Plus class on longhaul flights. Instead, only beer and wine were included. In fact, the website was updated to make this clear. Ironically, liquor minis remained free on premium transcontinental and longer Hawaiian flights in Premium Plus. But with consumer confusion and anger over the incongruity, United will be updating its liquor policy.
In a memo to flight attendants reviewed by Live and Let’s Fly, United shared that spirits would again be complimentary on longhaul flights in its premium economy class.
Starting June 1, liquor minis will be reintroduced and served complimentary. Offer one alcoholic beverage at a time.
The move comes as United also restores a heartier pre-arrival meal to these cabins, reversing a pandemic-era cutback as planes once again fly full. With this move, Premium Plus will now return to its pre-pandemic service flow.
It’s a smart move, especially as Delta Air Lines has chosen to continue its premium economy (Premium Select) cutbacks and serve economy class meals rather than a more upgraded meal. While the soft product may be far less important than the seat to most passengers, it is an important component of building long-term loyalty. Both American and Delta offer complimentary spirits to their premium economy passengers.
Even as planes are going out full and ticket prices rising despite the poor quality of onboard catering, United is finally recognizing that in-flight food and beverages do matter and consumers still have choice. With profitable times ahead, why not invest a bit more in the soft product to capture passengers on the margin for whom food and drink matter? It just represents good business.
After a brief cutback to just beer and wine, United Airlines will restore complimentary liquor minis on longhaul flights in Premium Plus, starting on June 1, 2022. This move harmonizes beverages offerings in premium economy across domestic and international longhaul flights.