United Airlines will introduce a new snack pack that will replace traditional beverage service in economy class, at least temporarily. Select drinks will still be available upon request.
United moved to exclusively serving pre-packaged food and drink in April. Ice, coffee, and tea were eliminated in all cabins and alcohol was also cut from economy class. Still, flight attendants would roam through the cabin offering a choice of beverage and choice of snack (stroopwafel, Oreo Thins, or pretzels) served in a wicker basket.
> Read More: United Airlines Drastically Reduces Service Onboard
Beginning tomorrow, United will introduce an “all-in-one” economy snack bag that replaces the economy beverage and complimentary snack choice service on domestic flights scheduled 2 hours and 20 minutes or more. This bag will include:
- Wrapped sanitizer wipe
- 8.5 ounce bottled water
A United spokesperson confirmed that this will replace flight attendants offering a formal beverage service. However, the spokesperson noted, “There will be limited quantities of canned soda, juice, and extra bottled water will be boarded if customers request throughout the flight.”
Put simply, you’ll receive a bottle of water and anything else will be by request only.
I also asked about the return of meal service in premium cabins, since planes are starting to fill up again and American Airlines has already re-introduced food to more premium cabins flights. A spokesperson told me:
“We are continuing to evaluate, but there isn’t currently a set timeline.”
It’s important to note that a variety of beverages will still be available onboard. Just note that if you want something more than water, you’ll have to request it.
And finally, yes, I realize there are more important things than in-flight beverages, but I hope this update is helpful for planning purposes. TSA still does not allow liquids larger than 3.5 ounces through security checkpoints unless it is hand sanitizer. Thus, you may want to purchase your own drinks from airport concessionaires, especially on shorter flights.