United Clubs have embarked upon a revolution, but perhaps not the revolution you’d expect…I’d call the change revolutionary in the sense that it comes full-circle, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
Revolution: How United Is Keeping United Clubs Clean + Safe
In a video released today, United explains how it is applying its CleanPlus program to its network of airport lounges known as United Clubs.
As you’d expect, there is mandatory social distancing, frequent cleaning, and and end to many of the self-serve features that characterized the club prior to the pandemic.
One thing that caught my eye was the return of packaged food, which will replace the buffet of soups, salads, cheese, bread, sandwiches, and occasional hot items that have appeared in United Clubs for the last several years.
That’s to be expected of course, but for longtime Club members or frequent travelers, you’ll notice that United has essentially returned food offerings to what they were for so many years prior to the improvements of the preceding 2-3 years.
For years, United Club offered individually packaged food like cheese, crackers, carrots, and yogurt. This worked well for the most part. After the merger with Continental, United began moving toward more communal food offerings in order to discourage people taking food from the lounge.
I like packaged food, precisely because you can take it from the lounge, which is especially helpful in an era in which most airport restaurants are closed and food service onboard is extremely limited.
In that sense, the new food selection is more sanitary and much more helpful if you only have a moment before or between flights, none of which will likely offer meal service even in premium cabins.
I thought United had done a great job in offering a decent spread of food options prior to the pandemic (including superb Korean beef tacos at LAX), but it is understandable why this has all been cut back (hopefully on the a temporary basis). I’m happy to be able to take food with me once again, even if that is not the intention of the new “revolutionary” food offerings available now.
Do you prefer pre-packaged food in airport lounges?