My Meal of the Week feature examines an airline meal from my travels over the years. This may be a meal from earlier in the week or it may be a meal served over a decade ago.
Earlier this week I flew from Los Angeles to Chicago on United. My upgrade cleared so I had the chance to put two of United Airlines’ highly-caloric new first class sandwiches to the test. The result? Tasty, but probably not worth the fat and carbs.
The New First Class Sandwiches On United Airlines
After limiting domestic first class meal service to snack boxes only for several months, United has introduced sandwiches as an alternate choice. Depending upon the time of day, a selection of two sandwiches is available onboard.
On my midday flight, the two sandwich choices were tomato basil and mozzarella focaccia or carved roasted chicken on Italian flatbread.
For you, dear readers, I decided to try them both.
I began with the carved roasted chicken on Italian flatbread. Kudos to the flight attendants for warming them up prior to serving. The sandwich arrived warm (not hot, so as not to melt the plastic wrapping) on a “real” plate.
I could not help but to noice the nutrition facts. 680 calories. 36 grams of fat. 18 grams of saturated fat. 1360 milligrams of sodium. 61 grams of carbs. Ouch.
The sandwich was tasty; a bit doughy, but tasty. With that many calories, it darn well better be tasty! It included provolone cheese, parmesan garlic butter, and kale aioli.
I chose not to finish it…so I could move on to the next sandwich.
Next up, I tried the tomato basil and mozzarella focaccia with sun-dried tomato and pesto cream.
I preferred this sandwich to the first one. It had a strong basil flavor and seemed lighter than the chicken sandwich.
That said, it still had 500 calories including 18 grams of fat, 8 grams of saturated fat, 980 milligrams of sodium, and 65 grams of carbs (including added sugar!).
I don’t always do a great job, but I make a conscious effort to eat heathy. If that is your aim, steer clear of these sandwiches. But they are tasty, especially when heated. If you’re hungry, these should do the trick nicely. Still, I look forward to the return of full meals and particularly salads onboard…hopefully sooner rather than later. If sandwiches are not your thing, you can still ask for a snack box.
These remind me of Starbucks’ sandwiches. Lovely warmed up, but not terribly healthy. Interesting that they put nutritional information on it. If they plated it without the wrapper, we’d be none the wiser (at the time).
How did u manage 2 sandwiches?
I just asked nicely.
I had both of these sandwiches recently on two flights in Business First and found them to be awful. Neither of the breads were high quality and I’d expected tomatoes in the tomato mozzarella, not tomato paste. Was the chicken actually carved? It looked like packaged lunch meat. I think most people have higher expectations for a sandwich and would be much better off bringing their own or one from any open deli in the airport.
You ask. You’re paying 3x economy and these are cheap crappy sandwiches
United is still instructing us not to heat them up. Too bad; I think they’d taste much better warm.
Really? I did not even request that they be warm (though I planned to). It was a proactive move by flight attendants.
And how do YOU plan on heating it up?
I was going to bring my toaster oven, but then I saw that it was a prohibited carry-on item.
The initial memo about the sandwiches said they are to be served cold. I reread the memo a couple of times to verify because the sandwiches seem like they should be warmed. A few days ago, there was another memo saying that some of the plastic wrap is not oven safe and will melt, but the sandwiches were wrapped in that plastic by mistake and they don’t know which sandwiches have oven safe plastic and which don’t. That memo reminded us they are to be served cold.
Scandalous. 680 calories, ie 1/3 of daily intake for an average person. A list of ingredients that reads like a chemistry experiment, including ludicrous amounts of fat, sodium…PLUS added sugar. That before any drinks, snacks or sides consumed in the same sitting.
Of course once in a while doesn’t hurt but this food is not part of a healthy diet.
“Scandalous. 680 calories, ie 1/3 of daily intake for an average person.”
So you’re saying this meal is like having one of three meals in the day? 🙂
“A list of ingredients that reads like a chemistry experiment”
Other than the Disodium EDTA, what in the carved chicken list of ingredients reads like a chemistry experiment?
Whiny baby on board. Eat the entire sandwich you pretentious twit. You are not going to die.
I said I liked the sandwich, sweetheart…
I had the tomato basil sandwich cold. It made me long for Southwest’s peanuts. It wasn’t worth the calories. In fact, it wasn’t worth the effort to chew it.
You must be an air-flight attendant
This is an absolutely ridiculous amount of sodium. Needless to say this is an issue in the US with foods laden with excessive amounts of saturated fats, sodium…etc.
The sandwich is a welcome sight, too bad they don’t revamp and upgrade the same Snack Boxes which have been around for a while.
I think this is one of those situations where you just eat the thing and toss the wrapper before you have the chance to read the label…
Whenever you see hydrogenated oil it would be more healthy to eat the package. I seldom eat anything served on any aircraft. It is all GMO, cheapest crap they can find and loaded with chemicals to kill anything that could live in the meal. NO THANKS The taste and smell is designed to spark to your senses and induce you to consume it.
I got the date code graph of those round color dots that catering puts on everything. Amazing when they board 3 day old food.
At least they’re no longer serving that horrid Indian food they kept shoving at F pax. Every flight I was on, everybody took the other option, and the FAs I talked to said it was about as popular as dry rot.
Life is to short today we are here tomorrow we don’t know
Enjoy life eat the food in the plane Maybe is not best but is food,
I had the carved chicken on focaccia. It was not good at all. I actually sent it back, and then requested a tapas box.
Same. I have no idea who paid him to say these were good. It was like lunchable meat with goopy soggy bread and water like cheese. My friend did the tomato and it was not tomato. It was catsup like sauce with cheese on soggy dougy tough bread no basil in sight. I got a snack box and now when these monstrosities are offered in 1st, i get a snack box or go without. It makes me wonder if this was paid advert. If not, id hate to see what this gentleman eats at home if this is “tasty”. If i was starving i would be thankful. But if you’re charging 1700 for a 5 hour flight, you can’t serve this.
At least Untied is serving hot coffee, beer, and spirits in first class along with boxed food. Delta’s only service beer & wine and boxed “flight Fuel.” No coffee. In Comfort class they serve beer & wine only. No boxed food. They do hand out zip lock bags to Comfort Class and Main Cabin that include water, snack, mini liquid Purell Hand sanitizer, and a napkin. Delta as of October 20 is still blocking the middle seat as well.
The tomato sandwich had me on edge for a moment! The picture looks like the disasterous “lobster grilled cheese” on AA!
It is catsup and lunchable cheese on wet yet tough bread. Don’t do it!
That looks like something out of a gas station in west Texas.
Having spent time in west Texas… I can confirm Andy’s comment as accurate.
Reminds me of the sandwiches HA serves in economy, pretty sure the tomato one is super similar.
Any word on when they’re going to bring back meals and alcohol in coach? I just flew Alaska in coach and they already have notices that they’re soon going live with a contactless payment system so passengers can order. I haven’t seen any notice yet on United.
No word yet, sadly.
I think they both were disgusting with a heavy emphasis on the bread portion. I would have preferred a yogurt parfait or a fruit cup. It’s almost offensive to serve this to a first-class passenger.
These were so bad and aren’t going away, so i Googled it to see if we were the only ones offended by these. Wondering why they’re STILL being served.
have no idea how this gentleman can call these things tasty. The breads are wet and also tough. And the tomato is just catsup. The chicken is very cheap lunch meat. Both are just messy as hell. They drip everywhere . We always get the snack boxes or go without when we are forced to fly united. 1400 to 2000 dollars for a 5 hour flight often times and theyre serving jail food with gas station wine. It makes no sense. Must be paid advert.
And as of today, United is still serving these sandwiches. In 2019-early 2020, a snack in First was a fresh salad with chicken breast on the side and a little Ghirardelli chocolate. I really hope they go back to that or something similar very soon.