A small, but personally meaningful catering victory this month, as United Airlines has restored freshly-cut fruit onboard both domestic and international flights.
United Airlines Returns Fresh Cut Fruit With Breakfast
Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day and whether I am out and about or at home, my breakfast always includes fruit. I do realize that some rightfully question the nutritional value of fruit, but I figure the sugars are natural and it beats the refined carbs found in most breads or other processed foods.
Berries, peaches, and apricots are my favorite, but I do love ripe fruit of all kinds, like watermelon, pineapple, honeydew, and even citrus fruits or seedless grapes. Little fruit bowls have been a staple of airline meals for decades…that is, until the pandemic.
For much of the pandemic, United has substituted a usually-ripe and tasty fruit bowl for a Dole fruit cup:
Sorry, but I’m not eating processed fruit in a sugary syrup.
So in addition to missing out on fruit, serving this highly-refined fruit cup leads to food and plastic waste…and I know I am not alone.
But this month, United re-introduced fresh fruit on breakfast flights, which is a small but meaningful step in the road to toward restoring service to pre-pandemic levels to match pre-pandemic demand.
Passengers flying on premium transcontinental or Hawaiian flights during the breakfast window or on longhaul flights in Polaris business class or Premium Plus premium economy class now receive a “real” bowl of freshly-cut fruit instead of the processed fruit cup.
For much of the pandemic, cost-cutting has masqueraded as “safety” or “hygiene” concerns, but it was all theatre…a bowl of fruit versus a sealed plastic cup of fruit poses no additional risk to flight attendants or nearby passengers. If anything, it poses less because passengers do not have to struggle to peel off the sticky lids of the container.
Thank you for this small but important move United…it restores some of the dignity in first class that has been lost for many months. Now how about hot croissants and cinnamon rolls?