A small reprieve for premium cabin flyers on domestic United flights: United is rescinding its recent meal service cutbacks.
I was alerted to this via an e-mail received from a Global Services passenger who had complained about the recent cutbacks. The customer service response shared that United had “reversed course” on its recent slashing of premium cabin dining:
You wanted to enjoy your dining experience and I can certainly understand your disappointment. As a result of the feedback received, we are reinstating the meal services that recently changed on May 1, 2018. United reversed their decision and are putting the full meal service back in the Premium cabins.
We’re listening to our passengers more than ever and working hard to be your airline of choice. On behalf of United, we look forward to welcoming you aboard your next flight.
I checked this with United and a spokesperson sent me the following confirmation:
We want our customers to know that we value and appreciate them and that we’re listening. Our customers told us that they were not happy about the menu modifications so we made the decision to reverse the changes and return our meal service to our previous offerings.
United.com still has not been updated. Even so, my flight this morning from Ft. Lauderdale to Newark had reverted back to the old meal policy. Instead of the fruit and breakfast bread, as promised on united.com, we had a choice of an egg white sandwich with fruit and yogurt or Cheerios with fruit and yogurt.
A Brilliant Tactical Move?
Some have speculated that this latest rollback is a tactical move from United. United reduced meal service in February and reduced it further this month. The rollback is to February levels, which still represent a cutback from the last couple years.
Could this have been the plan all along? Make customers happy by making cutbacks on a deliberately temporary basis in order to make prior “trial” cutbacks permanent?
Doing the last round of cutbacks, a United spokesperson told me:
Also wanted to make you aware that this is a test only right now – the modifications of the menu. It hasn’t been something that is formally rolled out formally.
Yet this “test “was never rolled back and became worse earlier this month. At least the May cutbacks have been rolled back.
I’m not sure trying to figure out the psychology of United’s latest decision is practical. But I’m happy to see meal service restored on some routes where it was cut. Let’s hope United finally has learned that it can never cut its way to growth.
top image: United