A United Airlines Polaris business class menu distributed to passengers earlier this week includes a typo that can only be described as delicious irony.
Major Typo On United Airlines Menu
Most United flyers are of the opinion right now that catering on longhaul flights in Polaris business class leaves much to be desired. While the presentation has recently improved, the quality has been cut and the portions downsized. Many report their food inedible (though I did not find it quite as bad on my flight from London to LA).
One annoyance has been a lack of menus, which force flight attendants to have to explain the 3-4 choices available verbally to each passenger. Many just simplify it to “beef, fish, or pasta.” Paper menus were supposed to return this month, but have been delayed in some markets.
In London, some kind soul (either a really great flight attendant or the catering team there) decided to create their own menu. While the gesture is well-intentioned and appreciated, someone forgot to proofread:
Hilariously, United is misspelled “Untied” which really about sums up the poor catering situation on United right now compared to its peers.
Longtime readers will know that this is a frequent typo that I have made over the years (amongst my many typos…). But I’m just a recreational blogger, not the airline itself!
My guess is that this was a flight attendant, who probably was tired of having to explain the four choices to every passenger in a business class cabin with 40-50 seats. This is a very smart approach…save for the spelling error.
Someone at United Airlines showed great initiative in creating a paper menu…but misspelled United. While the error doesn’t bother a chronic misspeller like me, I had to chuckle at the delicious irony. It’s time for United to provision printed menus…and better food onboard in Polaris business class.
Not to be “that person,” but you misspelt “Untied” as “United” in the first paragraph. It’s all-too-ironic given the headline….
That was deliberate…
correction – first paragraph beneath the menu photo. Happens to best of us!
I prefer my Arabiatta ( sic) sauce with my noodles flying untied.
Hilariously, United is misspelled “United”
United fares are just so uncompetitive and service horrendous. I can’t believe their planes are flying full. Americans have given up their standards and fallen so low.
Yeah, but how can you explain that people still pay for them, how can they still go out of their way and afford it? That is still an enigma wrapped in a riddle for me! This is now, by far, the worst airline out of the big 3, not to mention the smallest. It used to not be like that!?
United makes a big issue of being contactless… on a recent UA 713 flight, in Polaris class, there was no menu!! Instead, the same dog-eared printed page was presented to all customers. It was not the fault of the cabin crew, but rather of the United management. Should United want details of the day of the flight, I can be reached. US airlines feel entitled to govt. Subsidies, don’t believe they are accountable for service lapses, and ignore customer complaints. Yes, most times they are better than obscurethird-world airlines, but they fall woefully short when compared to standard carriers from Europe, Gulf and Asia. I hope there will be a day of reckoning for them in the not too distant future, when they are forced into bankruptcy by carriers providing better price-quality choices.
In publishing legal books, systems were put in place to make sure that these words were really intended:
untied instead of united, as in United States
statue instead of statute
pubic instead of public (this error occurred once in a major state’s legislation)
Interesting. To my knowledge no similar system exists in medical writings, in which the terms “penile vs penal” or “genetic vs generic” and “regimen vs regiment” get confused with regularity.
The more recent addition has been with regard to tracing– is it “contact tracing” or “contract tracing”– I guess it depends on the agreements that one has in place.
The most classic though… well here’s my best shot at explaining this succintly… if something has wrinkles is might be described as being “wrinkly”. If something has pus, the correct term for describing it is “purulent”, however it is not uncommon for people to describe it as being “pussy”, which obviously can be read in more than one way.
As someone who works in the medical field, in EMS, newer providers have absolutely charted the word “pussy” instead of “purulent.” At the very least, they have asked, “how do I not use the word pussy, despite my patient describing his wound as such a way?” As in the case of some other words…. there are safeguards in place for sound alike medications. Sometimes significant letters are capitalized.
The proofreaders missed an error in a footnote in the Civil Procedure book used in my 1L class, which addressed the “uniformed reader” instead of the “uninformed reader”. 🙂
They also spelled Cheesplate with crackers wrong too. ♂️
Either way, I’d rather this than a high pressure, instant decision that has to be made when a flight attendant comes by to ask for meal choices.
I must say though, I flew Polaris recently, and we had menus, and I don’t recall how the cheese plate was described, but I got the cheese plate. I got it because my child who was with me got the ice cream (which was a horrible salted caramel in a paper tub type event), and she loves to eat cheese, so me getting the cheese plate was a back up plan…
I’ll be honest I was really disappointed with the cheese plate. It was like you had cut three small blocks off a grocery store cracker barrell item and put them on a plastic saucer, and accompanied it with one plastic wrapped packet that held 2 small crackers. It was a total joke of a desert.
I think it’s probably better to describe it as “cheese and two crackers” with no other attempt to make it sound more exciting, because it was really crap.
To eat in the DESERT, or to enjoy DESSERT… Overthinking faster than you write then mistakes will happen…… It is NOT UNITED’s food, but the cheap catering system that is forcing their menu on the airline system. Research who the catering comp@Ines are, and communicate your disappointment to them. Thank you.
Don’t have these problems when you sit in coach.
Oh I thought the mistake was arrabbitata sauce – nothing like spicy breasts on a plane!
Back about 30 years ago, I worked in a small business that had a two person team of technical document writers. They did NOTHING but write and proofread. In the old-old days, there was a “secretarial” pool of typists and editors who proofread and typed out content.
Today, engineers and technical workers are told we should do our own technical documentation but… in reality it rarely gets done because of scheduling. Completing more projects is going to get someone promoted versus documenting well fewer work. In environments where I (previously) worked which were more cutthroat, well… why should I make it easy for the firm to replace me? 🙂
In any case, I feel for the FA who took the initiative to type out a menu and then flubbed the one word he/she shouldn’t have. Personally, I’d have gone over it with a pen quickly.
Not to mention the “arrabbitata” sauce, “raspberrry” tart, and “cheesplate” (sic), (sic), and (sic).
And I won’t even comment on the choice of serving braised celeriac with celeriac puree.
I was wondering if anyone was going to catch the “cheesplate!” It appears the sharp-eyed author missed that one. I do not think he should be critical of others when he also missed this!
My favorite is the comment from the retired proofreader referring to the days of old with “pools of typists and proofreaders,” yet missed the “cheesplate” also! Hilarious!!
I don’t think they missed the other errors; untied/United just happens to be more egregious given the context. Interestingly enough it’s these other errors that reveal that spellcheck was not used.
Mistakes indeed, but as you said, a nice gesture. It would be nice if others took the initiative and did the same at other airports/routes.
Newark is an absolute disaster. I had a flight to London last night at 11pm, gets delayed until 4am and then they cancel it. The 10pm fought was also delayed over 5 hours. Then they rebook me on a 7am flight to Chicago this morning and I have a 8 hour layover in Chicago.
I just landed in Chicago now, that flight was delayed 3 hours, just like every Newark flight is. I’m going to end up getting to London 24 hours late, what are my options here? Am I entitled to major compensation?
Newark is an absolute disaster, UA is smoking something.
You spelled “flight” incorrectly. (The 10pm fought)
Just pointing out more of the same spelling errors.
I’m just thrilled with what looks like a vegan option!
‘Untied’ would at least be overlooked by any spellcheck system. But ‘cheesplate’, ‘rasberrry’ and ‘arrabbitata’ …?
The funny thing is, Matthew, that you have made this exact spelling error SEVERAL times the last few months.
Not trying to be shady here, but it made me giggle a bit 🙂
Speaking of spelling errors, Matthew have you ever considered asking someone to proofread your blog before you print it?
In the last six weeks I’ve flown UA, AA and BA TATL. Food wise UA isn’t even number three. AA was very good, service too.
Surprised that they sort of spelled all the food items correctly which some people can’t even pronounce. Of course, you know my comment about food and flying; it’s not worth it. I wait until I get to a nice restaurant on the ground to eat.
I love how that mirrors the website that used to be a thorn in “Untied Airlines” side – until they got it shut. Great place to read up on various customer service complaints. Too bad it is no longer . . .
Where do I even begin? Untied Airlines, Arrabbitata sauce, Rasperrry, Cheesplate..
I’ve been typing out my own menus for the customers, too. This one isn’t mine, but I don’t think I’ll do it any more as I don’t want the online ridicule or to get fired or disciplined for doing something I’m pretty sure I’m not supposed to do.
Menus are round trip catered out of the USA. After the outbound leg, nobody knows where to put the menus so the return crew has menus. You can place them back where you found them, but that carrier gets removed from the plane and they’re never seen again. You can leave them on the credenza up front with a note, but that plane’s route and time of day may not match the menu and the cleaners may ignore the note and throw them away. You can take them with you on your layover and bring them back if the menus match your return flight’s catering. Or you can type up your own menus. Or United can send a supply of menus to the caterers in other countries, but that seems unlikely to happen any time soon.
Thanks for the insight into this JM. I have thought to myself how hard it must be for United to improve it’s onboard food product if the situation right now is that they can’t even get menus onboard. It seems like one of the problems is that even if menus make it on the plane for one leg, having them available for the next leg isn’t something that has become operationally normal.
Has it always been this way or was there previously a different protocol?
Menus used to be catered at each station. I do not know why it changed, but the new way is not working.
Also misspelt cheeseplate.
Is this what passes as blog-worthy.
I’m working EWR VCE EWR this month. We’ve had printed menus all month so hopefully no more creative catering reps.
Wondering if Inglese is not the writer’s first language …
There was once a website untied.com that was run by a united employee, that employees used as a place to vent anonymously. It’s been gone for a while now but it was a good read back in the day
I agree. I enjoyed that site.
What is so complex about having the menu on the website, which is accessible on board through the WiFi (without paying)?
Absolutely incredible that in 2022 they’re still relying on paper or the lazy flight attendants who do not describe the dishes at all.
Agreed. At least put it on the IFE screen!
United should just add QR codes linking to menus on the seat back.
Cheese plate is also spelled wrong and is two wotds
This menu was clearly made by an overly-eager flight attendant or purser who didn’t want to explain the menu items. I commend the effort, but this incident should be reported to the company so that they can have a conversation with this employee. Even while well intended, this kind of personal publication isn’t permitted for obvious reasons.
The good news is that redesigned, official menus will be on flights in August.
Do you happen to have this on good authority??
Would have been hilarious if ‘tart’ was the misspelled word … and doesn’t anyone who publishes something use spellcheck anymore?
They also misspelled Arrabiata. Which would likely make anybody who speaks Italian a bit angry (Pun Intended).
Another typo on the menu: the almond, egg and butter based custard, commonly used in pastries, is called “frangipane”. “Frangipani” refers to a type of flower.
So, that makes 5 typos
Someone wanted to actually report this flight attendant for trying to make a flight nicer? Between that and all these spelling bee winners, I’m so glad most of these commenters aren’t related to me. Just terrible. Many flight attendants learn along the way that you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t. You go out of your way to help someone or appease someone that has had a problem and someone else cries and complains because they didn’t get the same thing.
Yes, absolutely. This is pass press for the airline, and the flight attendant needed to be reminded not to do this, even if good intentioned. The company sent out a memo to flight attendants today, July 27, to remind us never to publish or distribute our own, homemade menus onboard. It’s pretty obvious why the airline wouldn’t want this going on, and now it has been addressed.
United menus don’t look like that. You were duped.
You don’t get it. A FA or member of ground staff made that precisely because UA did not have “real” menus. Of course it does not look official.
Roll the “r” in “Raspberrry” I guess…
Is ”Cheesplate” mispelled instead of ”Cheeseplate”?
Thanks to this article, United has issued the following internal memo on 7/27:
“Paper menus: Will be provisioned on both flights inbound and outbound starting August 1. REMINDER: Under no circumstances should homemade menus be printed and boarded on the aircraft. This leads to inconsistencies with our product offerings throughout the system and unintentional typos, which may lead to blogger articles.”
Lol. I still commend the FA for the good initiative. The many spelling errors were a bit much, but kudos to him or her for trying so hard to be proactive.
Lol… “inconsistency” with their product??? Are they joking… the one consistent thing is that their current on board offering is consistently horrible. @Matthew I have to imagine you have the ear of UA corporate… how do they explain that even the “improved” Polaris service is still unacceptable to their peers. I stopped flying UA in business after a trip to Tahiti earlier this year and will not return. Planes might be full but they will lose repeat business, very short sighted.
It’s the fruit salad for me. I didn’t know cauliflower was a fruit.