Changes are coming to domestic First and Business Class meal service on United, and overall, I’d say they are good changes.
Here’s the new meal service descriptions:
Flights between one and two hours in length (a distance of 220 to 759 miles)
United First passengers are offered a selection of complimentary snacks, which may include potato chips, premium mixed nuts, snack mix, Biscoff® cookies or Ghirardelli® premium chocolates. Warm muffins are offered on flights departing during breakfast hours.
Flights more than two hours (a distance of 760 miles or more)
During breakfast, passengers may select from hot eggs with breakfast potatoes or cold cereal, both are served with fresh fruit and a warm croissant. For lunch enjoy warm mixed nuts and choose a fresh prepared entrée salad with breadsticks or a hot sandwich with potato chips, both are served with soup and a warm chocolate chip cookie. At dinnertime, customers can select from a delicious hot chicken or beef entrée or a pasta entrée. Dinner service begins with warm mixed nuts and is served with a crisp salad, warm bread and a warm chocolate chip cookie. In between lunch and dinner, or later in the evening, a delicious warm panini or flatbread sandwich is served with a crisp salad and Sunchips®. On flights farther than 1,650 miles a light snack will be offered prior to arrival in addition to the primary meal service.
On United Express® flights longer than 760 miles (approximately two hours), United First customers will enjoy complimentary snackboxes featuring high-quality, brand-name products.
Complimentary meals are offered to United Business passengers on flights 760 miles or longer (about two hours). During breakfast hours, passengers flying in United Business class on North American flights will be offered a hot breakfast entrée of eggs, turkey sausage and potatoes. At lunchtime, United Business customers are treated to entrée-sized salads. For dinner, a traditional hot entrée, such as steak or chicken breast with appropriate accompaniments, will be offered. On flights farther than 1,650 miles a light snack will be offered prior to arrival in addition to the primary meal service.
Warm muffins on short-hop breakfast flights and a Delta/US Air-style snack basket on other flights under 200 miles is a great change.
Plus, I’m impressed with the hot panini coming to flights that don’t depart during the traditional meal windows. The fruit and cheese plate served on these flights now is not bad, but a hot sandwich sounds much more appetizing.
The pre-arrival snack basket will also be appreciated, especially on morning transcon flights.
The only downside to this news is that ORD-DCA/IAD/PHL/EWR/LGA flyers will no longer receive a fruit and cheese plate on the <600 mile route. Compare this to American Airlines, which serves full meals on this route.
I’m a bit depressed though, for reasons that I will share tomorrow. Recent changes to the way United allows routing have virtually eliminated the ability to MR in the manner I have done in the last few years. It’s going to be much harder to re-qualify for 1K next year.