United will expand its complimentary meal service trial in economy class to a second Hawaiian route starting later this month.
Beginning May 15, 2019, complimentary sandwiches will be offered to economy class passengers on flights from Chicago to Honolulu.
Last month, United began trialing free sandwiches on its Houston to Honolulu route, an eight-hour flight. Augmenting its buy-on-board menu, each passenger was offered a four-ounce balsamic chicken sandwich with arugula spread and mozzarella.
While hardly a gourmet meal, it is certainly a recognition that both Delta and American offer complimentary food on their longer Hawaiian routes. Hawaii is and remains a very different, primarily leisure-based market compared to Europe, but Chicago to Honolulu is a 9-hour flight. That’s a long time to go without eating for those who did not bring a credit card to buy food onboard.
So how is the sandwich? On Twitter, @shipwreck stated:
The taste isn’t bad and the the bread is not soggy. Although so much bread for a small sandwich. At least UA is trying to be more competitive with AA on the TX to HNL route.
United did not tell me how long the trial will run, but if successful we could see it expand to Honolulu routes from Newark and Washington Dulles as well. Success will be gauged based upon customer feedback in post-flight surveys. Thus, if you enjoy the complimentary sandwiches, be sure to let United know.
> Read More: United’s Free Coach Meals on Domestic Transcons
I’m frankly surprised it took so long for United to bring back some form of free meals on these longer Hawaiian routes. Chicago and Houston are clear choices due to competition from American (from DFW in Texas and seasonally from ORD). Whether these free sandwiches stick around or not, it’s nice to at least see the hint of free meals returning to economy class.
What do you think about free sandwiches on United Airlines’ flights to Hawaii?