While United Airlines gets an A for effort, the French Fries served in first class left much to be desired.
French Fries In United Airlines First Class
This month, United has introduced a cheeseburger with French Fries on its domestic first class pre-order menu. On narrow-body aircraft, you can pre-reserve your meal between five days and 24 hours in advance of your flight. The cheeseburger with French Fries option is only available on hub-t0-hub flights. I decided to give the French Fries on my recent United flight from Houston to Los Angeles.
While taking meal orders, the flight attendant confirmed my meal had been loaded, prompting my seatmate to ask for the same dinner. The flight attendant explained that it was a special pre-order, much to his chagrin (the regular options were a glass noodle salad, tofu, or beef and broccoli with rice).
As an aside, United has previously said that the cheeseburger is its most popular food item onboard. While some decry cheeseburgers in premium cabins, they are always a crowd-pleaser.
My tray arrived and included a “four-cheese skillet burger” with caramelized onion and jalapeño served with a side of crinkle-cut fries, a side of lettuce, tomato, and pickle, and a hot “Pie in the Sky” cookie pie. Two packets of ketchup and one packet of mustard were also included on the tray.
The cheeseburger was delicious – it always is.
The French Fries? Not so much.
They reminded me of the Ore-ida French Fries my father used to always buy because they were on sale or the sort of French Fires served in a school cafeteria. They were salty and warm and therefore not totally inedible (I ate them anyway because I was famished after the 2.5 hour delay), but quite soggy. I do like the effort, but an air fryer would greatly help in making them crispier.
Overall, I quite enjoyed this meal and would order it again. But are the French Fries great? No, as expected they were quite soggy. That said, other airlines (like SWISS, for example) are able to offer crispy French Fries onboard, so it is possible and therefore hopefully something United will continue to experiment with.