Comparing American and United’s catering out of San Juan

I just got back from San Juan today and while I’ll share my impressions of the city in a future post (long story short, I loved it), I have something unrelated that kind of surprised me

Departing San Juan today I flew American to Miami at 1:25PM, while a friend flew United to Newark at 1:05PM. Not only did his flight leave closer to lunch time, but it was also 600 miles further than mine.

Upon landing we traded food pics, and I couldn’t help but feel like I came out victorious. šŸ˜‰

Here’s his United meal, for which there was no choice (and no nuts):

While here’s my American meal, where I had the choice between chicken quesadillas and a salmon salad:

How United considers a 1:05PM flight a “snack” window is beyond me…

And this is one of the (many) reasons that American’s catering is the best of any US airline, in my opini0n.

Filed Under: American, Travel
  1. Get your facts straight Ben. The SJU-EWR flight leaves at 1:01 PM! šŸ™‚ I was just on it last week.

    And yes, it is ridiculous to call this 4 hour flight a snack flight, and then to serve rubbery cold chicken. Insane. Even worse, the SJU-IAD flight, also COdbaUA, leaves at 1235PM and is thus a LUNCH flight despite being shorter duration! (Flights leave at 1PM or later are snack…. any wonder why SJU-EWR leaves at 1:01 PM?)

    Welcome to COdbaUA. It’s insane Ben. You were wise to bail on this sinking ship.

  2. @ Coutureguy — Actually didn’t end up renting a car, which I’m happy about. Enjoyed the beach, Old Town, a nice restaurant, etc. An all around awesome 22 hours!

    @ hobo13 — Hah, today it was actually scheduled to leave at 1:05PM, though ironically enough it left at 12:59PM.

  3. I had that f’ing cold plate 3 times last week! (I will concede that is adequate and acceptable for a red-eye, but not for SJU-EWR or SFO-DEN!)

    My wife informs me that we’ve had two different types of pasta out of those 3 trips — spirals and penne. It looks like your friend has bowties, so now I feel cheated!

    Apparently, that’s the variety we should come to expect from this pathetic excuse of an airline.

  4. @Hobo13 In all fairness, if this was truly COdbaUA, the meal would have been a PMCO lunch, which would have been served on flights departing as late as 2:00 PM. And it would have had nuts, a choice of salad or hot sandwich, fruit, soup, and cookie for dessert. This catering isn’t COdbaUA. Yes, it’s wrong the UA lunch window closes at 1:00 PM. I’m sick of the pasta salad on 1:05 PM IAH-DCA departures myself. But let’s be honest – that level of catering isn’t up to the standards of either CO or the old UA. Let’s drop the dba nonsense.

  5. Steven — Smisek & Co. is running the airline. Most of management came from CO. You can call it what you like — all I know is that it’s NOTHING like PMUA, and it sucks.

  6. I think they both look good. Getting fresh fruit is a very nice and healthy choice. It is easy to bring your own nuts but fresh fruit while you travel is harder to get. I would say you are both winners:-)

  7. My 2:05 SJU-JFK flight was a dinner flight. Unfortunately the only entree left was the pasta as they moved me from 1F to 4A. My guess was right and we had the chocolate cheesecake as dessert, though I wish they had the brownie sundae you guys thought would be on it. My dissapointment was confounded when the 3 hour mechanical delay on my JFK-LAX flight caused the made to order sundaes to melt. The FA offered to make us milkshakes instead hahaha.

  8. I’ll go you one better (or worse). That pasta/chicken “snack” ‘from UA looks like a first class lunch or dinner on DL. The EWR stage is about 1600 miles and DL serves similar cold lunches and dinners (and breakfasts) on stages of that length. It’s virtually impossible to get a hot meal in first on DL unless you are traveling between at least 3 time zones.

  9. So 2 choices vs 1, + nuts vs no nuts??? Oh sure, that’s a reason to blowoff an airline. Rolleyes.

  10. the united food is pretty bad sometimes considering it comes from the intergalactic council of chefs, errr council of some-mauliers, err whatever the hell they are. the presentation is grade 3 level, taste is not much better. i do like the yogurt and fruit for breakfast tho.

  11. i find this funny because i just came back from San Juan today! what are the odds of that…

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