I realize that meal service is not really a selling point for most flying on United Airlines right now, but I could not figure out why such an otherwise wonderful crew would choose such an odd time to serve a “pre-arrival” meal on my flight to Honolulu.
Odd United Airlines Flight To Honolulu…In Terms Of Meal Service
I was flying from Newark to Honolulu on United, a 10-hour, 50-minute journey that represents United’s longest domestic flight. Fortunately, I was able to fly business class on the trip.
Shortly after takeoff, breakfast was offered. That included a croissant, fruit, yogurt, and a main course of egg whites with kale, potatoes, and sausage. I have to be honest, this is one of my favorite United Airlines dishes and I quite enjoyed the breakfast. Breakfast was served at 9:15 am.
Since the flight is nearly 11 hours, a second meal is served before landing.
Or in my case…three hours later even though there was still over 5.5 hours of flight time left before reaching Honolulu.
It made no sense. Most were sleeping. The cabin was dark. I was not hungry (and you can bet if I was not hungry, most others were not either). And yet lunch was served.
So I took it. A hamburger with sweet potato wedges, a side of fruit, and a hot cookie. Once again, a nice meal, but why over Nevada instead of 90 minutes out of Honolulu?
And it’s not like the crew was lazy. They were quite attentive throughout the flight and after this mid-flight meal, they continued to monitor the cabin until final approach for drink refills and offered additional snacks like potato chips and nuts. I asked one flight attendant why we ate so early and she just said, “Well, that’s when they tell us to serve the food.”
But that’s not the case, actually. The meal guidelines do specify this is to be a pre-arrival meal.
About five hours later, I asked if I could have the other pre-arrival meal option, a soba noodle salad, and my request was granted. It was much better than I thought it would be.
In the end, I had more than enough to eat and quite enjoyed my flight to Hawaii (though United has still not brought back Mai Tais onboard). I still found it very strange that the pre-arrival meal was served while we were still over the continental USA with over 5.5 hours of flight time left. Even so, that ultimately just meant I ate three meals instead of two meals on this flight. #diet
I’ll share more about this trip in a follow-up post.