I’ve heard from many United Premier 1K and Global Services passengers that they have been charged recently for “Bistro on Board” meals that are supposed to be complimentary in economy class. United is aware of the issue and working on a fix.
United Airlines “Bistro On Board” Items Still Free For 1K And Global Services Members – A Technical Glitch Has Been Identified
Apparently, snack boxes and alcoholic beverages are being comped as normal, but “Bistro on Board” items (the heartier dishes United offers for sale on longer flights) are not.
In a memo shared with Live And Let’s Fly, United identifies the problem as a “known issue” and says it is working on a fix:
We are currently aware of a known issue within the Inflight Service app – Sales module that is not automatically comping the first selected ‘Bistro on Board’ item when selected for our Global Services (GS) and Premier 1K (1K) customers in the economy cabin.
Please note that this technical issue only applies to the ‘Bistro on Board’ category. The app is still automatically comping the first ‘Snack Shop’ item and/or alcoholic beverage item for GS and 1K customers. If a ‘Bistro on Board’ item is requested by a GS or 1K customer in economy, please provide the first item complimentary.
We will send an update once this has been fixed.
Unfortunately, some flight attendants are telling 1K passengers that the “Bistro on Board” items are no longer complimentary.
“Looks like you’re a 1K, but only the snack boxes are complimentary.”
“These items have NEVER been complimentary, only snacks.”
This is not true.
If you run into any issues onboard, please ask your flight attendant to refer to an 08 September 2023 memo (above) that instructs them on how to deal with it.
“Bistro on Board” meals are still free for United top-tier flyers who fly in economy class. Do note that the flight attendant iPhone app currently shows that these items are not free, but this is a technical glitch, not a policy change. Hopefully, flight attendants will read the memo above and be ready to comp the items onboard via alternate means. If you do get charged, just write or tweet United and you will receive a refund.