If you fly on a premium transcontinental or longhaul United flight this month in business class, you might find one more small but important return to pre-pandemic service: warmed mixed nuts.
Warmed Mixed Nuts Return To United Airlines Polaris Business Class
Since the pandemic began, mixed nuts have been limited to premium transcontinental flights between Los Angeles/San Francisco and Newark/New York Kennedy as well as longhaul international and Hawaiian flights in Polaris business class. Those nuts have been served cold and packaged in either a foil or plastic container and placed on the meal tray as part of a one-course “enhanced” meal service.
Starting this month, however, nuts are again being served warm and heated in ceramic ramekins. Furthermore, these will be served during a pre-dinner beverage service. Rather than serve everything (including the drink) at once, United will once again begin service with a beverage, followed by a meal (which continues to be served with side salad, entree, bread, and dessert all on a single tray).
It is not clear if or when mixed nuts will return to all domestic routes will meal service, as was the case before the pandemic.
More Changes To Come To United Polaris Meal Service
United will trial an expanded meal service starting next month in select (unnamed) markets. The details of what those “modifications” look like have not been revealed, but a video shared with employees suggests more service elements will return that have been missing since the pandemic began.
With the help of the team’s outstanding collaboration and feedback, we’ve made modifications to the service and will be doing live tests on select markets starting February 1. These live tests will give us detailed, in-the-moment data for our final service.
One insider suggested that the multi-course desserts will return, but no longer be served from a cart. Instead, cheese, petit fours, and ice cream sundaes will be brought from the galley to each seat.
United hopes to launch a new “final” service that will be the new normal rather than a pandemic stop-gap in the months ahead.
United Airlines has brought back warmed mixed nuts to business class on premium transcontinental and longhaul flights. It is also studying how to restore more service elements and will began that trial next month on select routes. By the middle of the year, we should see a return to “normal” (though slightly modified) when it comes to meal service in a United Airlines premium cabin.
As the flight attendant reminded some passengers emptying the bar cart on F:”I like warm nuts,just not the tiny furry ones.” Make of that comment what you must.
Will this also apply to Long Haul Hawaii, where mixed nuts were included on my flight in December?
Matthew, do the domestic changes such as PDB or glassware apply to United Express flights over 2 hrs? Service seems still very much reduced on these flights up front.
I’ve noticed that too. Glassware should have returned (and meals too), but I understand that plastic is still being used and snack boxes instead of meals. I’m going to check with UA and see what is going on.
Sara Nelson is letting them heat the nuts up? That seems like one step too far. We all know inflight ovens magnify the spread of Omicron 100X, or something like that.
Serving drinks/snacks is too much for Sara Nelson as it is.
I was on EXPRESS JET -2 hour flight (in Prem economy) and saw that FC had real glassware and Tapas boxes.
Yay! I was a little disappointed by this on an LAX-MSY trip last month. Now all I have to do is get back in the air with some regularity …
Matthew, any word on when the meal service for regular non premium domestic flights will change from the Italian Ragu and chicken? Has been that forever. Would love to see it go back to something different every flight. The current 2 options also seem very unpopular. My flight attendant last week referred to it as the “nasty Italian ragu… whoops I’m not suppose to say that”.
With all of the stuff going on in the world, and all of the issues airlines have been having, an article about warmed nuts is needed? Find it almost as baffling as View on the wing’s articles on UFO’s. Lots more important things in life.
I totally agree Rich! This article is completely tone deaf and out of touch with what is going on. I completely understand bringing back service when things are better but are they right now? I think it’s really funny everyone has an opinion while safe at home or in their seats on a plane but what about the flight attendants who have to interact with these, “Post pandemic” passengers at the sake of customer service. The airlines are not a bar or restaurant. The primary service is transportation and safety. Service should come second.
Don’t like service? Please, you stay home. Better yet, retire.
Etihad,Qatar, emirates never used the “covid” excuse to cut cost. If you are scared just stay home. I flew 6x times last year and never got sick or infected. And on Ethihad i had a pdb with refil and warm nuts. While US airlines were skimping on it, and serving beverages in plastic cups. For a $3000+ ticket.
And yet you took time to read it and comment.
What about proper sized main courses and a separate appetizer / salad course for transcon / Polaris.
Lufthansa business should be the minimum standard here for ongoing service. It is a JV partner after all.
Have you seen what LH serve in business class on their 3hr+ flights to S. Europe and the Near East? Be careful what you wish for!
“Warmed mixed nuts”…sounds like you’re describing your readers here.
While they are at it, how about serving a roll that isn’t sealed in a plastic bag? I doubt that would put too many lives at risk.
Do y’all remember those first few weeks of Polaris when the food was actually good? That was a good time.
Matthew, thank you so much for keeping everyone up to date on the return of these services. My fingers are crossed that most, if not all, domestic premium cabin services are restored this year.