United Airlines will offer a wider variety or pre-order meals and a refreshed menu of entrees in domestic first class starting tomorrow.
United Airlines Adds New Selections To Domestic First Class Menu
For many months, United has promised that it would continue to expand its preorder menu and bring new and fresher choices to its onboard meal service. Starting on March 1, 2023 the menu will rotate and several new choices will be available, especially to those who book early and pre-order a meal between five days and 24 hours prior to their flight.
Note that pre-orders are still only available on narrowbody flights.
Let’s take a look at this month’s menu.
Breakfast On United Airlines First Class
Up to five choices will be available for breakfast, though three of the five will be pre-order only, meaning if you clear a complimentary upgrade within 24 hours of travel your choices will remain the breakfast frittata (which I reviewed here) or a Belgian waffle.
Breakfast frittata with red potatoes, chicken sausage, sautéed spinach, and cheddar cheese
Belgian waffle with caramelized apple and cranberry compote
Green chile frittata (pre-order only)
Green chile frittata with roasted cherry tomatoes, salsa verde, and queso fresco
Cheese blintz (pre-order only)
Cheese blintz with ricotta filling and blueberry-blackberry compote
Yogurt granola bowl (pre-order only)
Yogurt granola bowl with Greek yogurt, lavender honey blueberries and granola
Breakfast will continue to be served with a side of fresh fruit, Chobani Greek yogurt, and a croissant.
Now let’s turn to flights that depart at 10:00 am or later.
Lunch/Dinner On United Airlines First Class
While the breakfast menu is not changing much, the lunch and dinner entrees have been completely refreshed.
Lemon roasted chicken
Lemon-roasted chicken thigh with herb potatoes, broccolini and lemon-thyme jus
Chili-glazed Thai meatballs
Thai beef meatballs glaze with cilantro lime rice, stir-fried vegetables and red chili glaze
Herb Ricotta rigatoni
Rigatoni pomodoro with herb ricotta
Cheese enchiladas with Spanish rice, green chili sauce and street corn
Sweet chili-noodle salad with garlic-ginger beef
Sweet chili-noodle salad with jicama and cucumber, protein side optional
Ultimate cheeseburger (pre-order only)
Four-cheese skillet burger with caramelized onion and jalapeno
Beef and broccoli (pre-order only)
Beef and broccoli with white rice and sesame ginger sauce
Fruit and cheese plate (pre-order only)
Fruit and cheese plate with brie cheese, havarti cheese, smoked Gouda cheese, prosciutto, grapes,
strawberry, dried apricots and almonds
Lunch and dinner will continue to include a side bread roll, a “Southwest wheatberry salad” of roasted corn, wheat berries, cotija cheese, roasted poblano chile, red cabbage, cilantro and green onions, and a “Pie-In-The-Sky” cookie. Meals will now also include warm mixed nuts.
All of these options will not be available on every flight, even via pre-order. Selection will depend upon the station, with United returning to a more unique offering depending upon the airport (versus the same entree from every station during the pandemic).
Good News. Green Salad Please.
We will have to reserve judgment until we try (some or all of) these entrees, but this sounds like a nice improvement and at the very least, a nice change from the menu options we’ve had for many months.
United seems to be going for simplicity, which is a smart move. We don’t need fancy meals, just edible ones and sometimes simple is best. To that end, I would also like to see the “Southwest wheatberry salad” (a grain salad) replaced with a green salad.
United Airlines is rolling out a number of new meal choices starting tomorrow (March 1st). If you are traveling on United this month in domestic first class or regional business class (to Canada or Latin America), expect to see these new choices on flights originating in the USA.
Premium transcontinental and Hawaiian meals will remain unchanged (except the tofu option will be replaced on inbound flights from Hawaii with another vegetarian option).
Let us know if you’ve tried the new entrees and what you think of them. I’ll certainly be reporting on my own experiences later in the month.
Looks pretty decent. The question is, will it taste good. However, I will say that my bar is rather low for shorter flights because most of my shorthaul flights have been with AFKL in Euro J and their food has been horrible.
When will the granny casserole dishes ride off into the sunset? They make any food look like a TV dinner, and are in dire need of a replacement.
100% agreed! They make everyting look so sad and cheap.
Btw, the cheeseplate/charcuterie board plated in that casserole dish looks beyond hilarious. Seriously, who comes up with this?
Amen on the green salad! I don’t understand why, if you are not going to offer an appetizer, you wouldn’t offer a simple green salad.
The answer lies in all these meals shipped frozen to the local catering kitchen including the wheatberry salad.
LSG marketed those frozen meals first to US Airways, then AA and now UA.
UA seems to be the most aggressive in using them, hence why they can’t offer a salad, because you can’t freeze a salad.
UA is trying to minimize costs and one way is not have the local kitchen produce any food.
I doubt these meals will be any better than the previous incarnations.
If anyone is curious this is the facility in question.
This is a great point and I appreciate that you have brought it to our attention.
Can I get the recipe for the cheese enchiladas , rice with the quinoa salad? I had it today and it was so good!!
I would ask United on Twitter.
United doesnt use LSG for any menu development, nor do they provide any significant volume of frozen entrees. If you want to know who to blame for the lackluster menus seen on UA since the pandemic ended, look to the caterer who got more of UA’s kitchens when they were outsourced. LSG got none.
Actually looks pretty good, shocking! Most of them actually look appealing to the point where I want to try them, unlike pretty much everything we’ve had since 2020.
And hot towels return tomorrow too! Service is slowly coming back.
X2. Something to remain hopeful for!!
Why can’t we preorder on wide bodies?!
Well, I’m in domestic F tomorrow but I think the flight’s too short for dinner service (and at that awkward time between lunch and dinner). Just my luck. And it looks like I’m flying out of B Concourse at ORD, thus delaying yet again me trying out the new United Club in C Concourse. The Fates conspire against me. Well, I always have that trip to LAX next week…
If the food served to me actually looks like what’s in the publicity photos then I’ll be ready. Lately, it’s all looked like partially digested bovine diarrhea.
*Then I’ll be happy.
Being in corporate marketing, My first thought was these are marketing photos. The food won’t look like the pictures. Hopefully they will taste better than what’s currently being offered.
I noticed that quite a few options included “chile” or “jalapeno”. I just wished that we could order these options without the spice or at least have the spicy sauce on the side. Many of us cannot do spicy foods.
It totally ruined the burger for me. That was my fallback option. Except when they had to put pickles on it (I’m allergic to pickle brine).
Did you have this 3-cheese burger with jalapeno? I was looking at it, but if it’s spicy, I can’t do that. I have a choice of tomatoes that upset my stomach, jalapenos that upset my stomach, or “chili sauce” that might upset my stomach or be too sweet. Or no dinner.
That burger looks utterly pathetic!
The first thing that came to “ mind where ’s the beef?”
It looks like all bun.
That dishware has to go…. None of it looks good in those old school casserole dishes
If the enchiladas are like the ones they had a few years back, that would be my choice.
I’ve just ordered the rigatoni for a flight on Friday. We’ll see how that goes.
I am not a skeptic by nature, but naming the sad-looking cheeseburger depicted in the publicity photo the “Ultimate Cheeseburger” is taking a marketing risk, unless it is tongue-in-cheek, meaning that after you order it once, it will be the ultimate time you make that choice.
I’m a million miler with United. Pictures are nice, pre-order is a great idea. Based on the past 12 months, you have a 20% chance of getting any pre-ordered meal. It’s all smoke and mirrors, you will have two choices on board and you’ll like it! Because even though your pre-order choice will not be in the manifest when you tell the steward you pre-ordered, it sure as hell won’t be available as an in-flight choice. Everyone knows when it comes to food services United is a sorry mess: pathetic, pitiful, and they don’t care about us at all.
Every year in March my spouse and I travel to Clearwater Beach to enjoy spring training and I believe we have had the same 2 meal options served in 1st class for at least 5 years. Please let one of these new choices be better but I have my doubts.
I had a flight out of Houston in December, and the Green Chile Frittata was one of the options. The normal two options and the Frittata were the only options for this flight. It was tasty, and the green chile added just the right kick. It’s an appropriate breakfast for Texas, and fits into a state with Tex-Mex as a major food category. The option to pre-order seems to be hit or miss, it would be good to have that option more frequently.
I expect that even if out stations can store the food, that the logistics of putting the right food on the right flight requires more staff time, and they may not have enough flights or resources to support the additional complexity. They do have this programmed into the flight attendant app, so they can easily see who has pre-ordered.
Although it looks like vomit, I like the Green Chile Frittata as well! I had it ex-LAX (pre-order) and thought it was really quite acceptable for an airline meal.
Breakfast frittata was decent yesterday on a US flight. Looks like some of these got rolled out at least a day before March 1st, most of these were available for pre-order for Feb 28th flights. Charcuterie board was OK but it’s hard to mess that up. The lemon chicken I had on a flight to Mexico was decent as well although it does not look like the picture in the article and was served with what looked like wild rice rather than potatoes.
I have to assume this is for economy. Otherwise it’s probably some of the most vile business class food I’ve seen (I live in Asia)
It is for business class (what United calls “first class” within the USA).
United needs to improve Polalris catering and stop using the casserole dishes.
Absolutely! I’ve flown Polaris Class at least 12 times and the food is so-so…the presentation is terrible…
This must be a step above microwave meals that one buys at the store. A step above only because they are heated and served. What a disappointment. I though they were going to design a new menu with a chef.
We all did. Perhaps that is still coming.
Fine for those in First/Business Class but what about the majority of us who fly Coach? There ought to be complimentary meals in Coach on Transcontinental or near Transcontinental flights as well as flights going between the mainland USA and Hawaii and flights between the lower 48 (excluding WA and OR) and Alaska.
Will this also be for transcontinental?
Sadly, no. Premium transcons between EWR and SFO/LAX will maintain the same menus (though hot towels and ice cream sundaes have returned).
Just had the lemon chicken. It was rather underwhelming and pretty dry. The champagne PDB and warm nuts were a nice touch though.
Does anyone know if the sweet chili glass noodle salad comes already dressed with dressing or is the chili sauce on the side?? Was it good? Thank you Matthew for the info.
On the side, I believe.