After rolling it out and then promptly pulling it back, United Airlines will again offer meal preorders in Polaris Business Class on international widebody flights.
United Airlines Will Offer Polaris Cabin Meal Preorders On Widebody International Flights Starting July 1, 2023
For over a year, United Airlines has offered meal service pre-orders in its premium cabins on domestic and select international flights, provided that the flight was operated by a narrowbody jet.
There was a brief period in which United expanded its preorder programs to premium cabins on all flights, but quickly pulled it back due to logistical constraints that made fulfillment difficult. Even then, it was promised that preorders would return and that will finally happen starting next month.
Effective July 1, 2023, preorders will be available in Polaris Business Class on international widebody flights. Passengers confirmed in business class will be able to preorder meals starting five days before their flight, up until 24 hours prior to their flight.
In a memo to flight attendants, United said:
When testing this process on select international flights in April, we found that customers loved being able to tell us what they wanted in advance, making taking orders easier and more efficient for our flight attendants.
I think that was self-evident: passengers appreciate the ability to select their meals in advance to ensure their first choice is available onboard, as American Airlines and Delta Air Lines have offered for years.
United also tells flight attendants that “customers with preorders take precedence over our GS/1K customers,” making it all the more important that you order early, when possible.
If United has figured out the logistical hurdles of offering preorders, this really is a win-win for both passengers and flight attendants. Not only are passengers happy to receive their first meal choice or even prepare in advance for what they will eat (which may limit…or increase…lounge food consumption), this also makes the job of a flight attendant easier, not just in taking orders, but in managing expectations.
However, if there continue to be supply chain or other logistical hurdles that prohibit preorders from being loaded or accommodated, the work for flight attendants becomes much more difficult when having to explain to guests onboard why their meal was not loaded.
United Airlines will (finally) offer meal service preorders on widebody premium cabin international flights. This addition is long overdue and will be welcomed by United’s most frequent flyers.
The memo did not say anything about whether United will finally offer meal service preorders on domestic widebody jets, but we have reached out to United Airlines and will update this post accordingly when we hear back.
image: United Airlines