While Delta Air Lines and American Airlines already serve “real” meals onboard their regional jets, United has been a holdout, offering only junk food snack boxes. That changes on 01 March 2015 when United will begin to serve hearty meals onboard its regional jets, finally eliminating the profound difference between flying mainline and United Express.
Here are the details from United–
- Phased-in introduction: New menus will first be introduced on the E170 and E175 fleets beginning March 1, followed by CRJ700 and Q400 flights in April.
- Full meals on flights approximately 2:20 hours or longer: During traditional meal times, like on mainline, we will offer a full breakfast, lunch, or dinner meal service served on chinaware. Our regional aircraft are not equipped with ovens so our United Express menus have been designed with this in mind. Here are a couple sample menu selections:
- Breakfast: Fresh fruit plate served with cereal,Greek yogurt, and breakfast bread
- Lunch/Dinner: Artisinal pretzel roll filled with tangy barbecue chicken and creamy coleslaw, accompanied with a tri-color quinoa side salad. Pre-baked signature triple chocolate chunk cookies will be served for dessert.
- Light refreshments on flights approximately 1-2:20 hours in length and on flights over approximately 2:20 hours between meal times (1:30pm – 4pm and after 8pm): We will offer a selection of premium snacks and fresh fruit.
- Flights approximately 1 hour or less: Our shortest United Express flights will offer a morning refreshment service with gourmet biscotti and on flights later in the day we will offer a premium fruit and nut snack mix.
More details here. Note that like mainline flights, there are exception markets in which United serves meals in business/first class due to competetive pressure depsite being less than 800 miles. Those incldue:
- Chicago O’Hare to and from Hartford, New York LaGuardia and New York/Newark
- Houston Intercontinental to and from Mexico City
- New York/Newark to and from Atlanta
No love for Washington National or Dulles, but this is a tremendous and long-awaited improvement. By 01 April, all regional jets that operate longer flights will offer meal service during meal hours and wi-fi installation across the United Express regional fleet is also in progress.
> Read More: Impressive Meal Service Upgrades at United Airlines