United Airlines has expanded its popular preorder program to all U.S. domestic narrowbody flights over 1,500 miles, a big step forward as it attempts to offer passengers a more predictable experience onboard.
United Airlines First Class Preorder
Prior to the pandemic, United had introduced meal service pre-orders on a limited number of domestic routes. In fact, United’s Chief Customer Officer Toby Enqvist had told Live and Let’s Fly that the meal service pre-order program would roll out to all domestic flights with meal service in 2021. But plans to expand this systemwide, as American Airlines and Alaska Airlines have done for years, were interrupted by the pandemic.
Now United is using technology to be smarter about catering provisioning and ensuring that passenger meal preferences are tracked and properly prioritized. Currently, United has limited insight on what passengers order or how often they do not receive their first choice. Through the use of a flight attendant app versus pen and paper for meal orders, United will have additional insight into consumer preference.
Even more importantly for customers, United has now introduced the ability to pre-reserve meals on all domestic narrowbody flights over 1,500 miles. This ability will arrive via an email link sent in the days leading up to the flight.
In many cases, passengers have noticed that the preorder features offer additional selections than are available onboard:
Note, for passengers whose upgrade clears within 24 hours of their flight, this option will not be available.
United Airlines Economy Class Preorder
Economy class passengers can also preorder drinks, snacks and meals on domestic narrowbody flights over 1,500 miles on the United app or united.com.
All payments will remain contactless. Once you select your desired snack and/or beverage, your form of payment will be stored. However, it will not be charged until you accept the snack or beverage onboard. If you change your mind, you are not stuck accepting what you pre-ordered.
Premier 1Ks will be able to pre-order one free snack and beverage as part of their Premier benefits package. Passengers who are later upgraded to a premium cabins will automatically have their order cancelled (and can reorder again, if the meal is requested more than 24 hours prior to the flight)
United Airlines has expanded its preorder feature to all narrowbody domestic flights more than 1,500 miles departing from a hub or line station. Hopefully this feature will continue to expand and eventually be available systemwide.