Experience with United’s new enhanced meal service

I posted a couple of weeks ago about United’s enhance domestic meal service. For once United made changes that were overwhelmingly positive!

Anyway, I had my first firsthand experience with the changes last night and this morning.

Last night I was on a redeye from Seattle to Washington Dulles. In the past, the snack was simply a cheese plate with a few slices of fruit and a cookie. Not very good if you ask me, since the cheese is the same kind United uses everywhere, so I’ve grown quite sick of it. If anything, it was a bit of a blessing, because I finally stopped eating the snacks on redeyes.

But now they have quite a filling meal service on redeyes! To start, the flight attendant offered the snack basket, consisting of potato chips, Ghirardelli squares, Biscoffs, and bananas.

Snack basket

Shortly thereafter the main course was served, which consisted of a hot turkey sandwich, side salad, and Sun Chips.

Turkey sandwich, salad, and Sun Chips

This sandwich was actually delicious, with quite a bit of turkey, and the salad was more than just the typical rotten lettuce.

To finish off the meal was a warm cookie, as usual.

Warm cookie and milk

I was really, really impressed. And in a way I’m dreading this, since I’ll have a hard time turning this meal down, while I had no problems turning down the cheese plate. It’s actually tasty and filling. I had low expectations after seeing Matthew’s post and the rather bare sandwich, but I thought this was really impressive.

Then came my breakfast flight, from Washington Dulles to Tampa. The choices used to be an omelet or a fruit plate. The omelet was always served with a small bowl of fruit and a croissant, and the fruit plate was always served with yogurt and a croissant.

The new choices were cereal or an omelet. I went with the cereal. I thought it was kind of funny that they served the Corn Flakes in the same plate they serve scrambled eggs in. It was served with a small bowl of fruit, croissant, yogurt, Biscoffs, and banana. The omelet, in addition to what used to be served with it, also comes with yogurt and Biscoffs now.


While I’m not excited to see more food on an airplane that I’m tempted to eat, this is an all around positive change.

Filed Under: United
  1. Wow, United has definitely improved their meals. No excuse to go hungry on a UA flight anymore!

  2. Just order a special meal and your expectations will be lowered. I’ve received some very odd preparations lately. My SEA-ORD flight this morning was catered in ORD the night before according to the purser and my meal was frozen solid. He had to cook it for a very long time and all trays were cleared by the time I got mine. There were no nuts boarded for this lunch flight either. They did have the snack basket though.

  3. Really nice improvement on the red eye. Good work UA.
    The breakfast one… not so much… it never appeals much to have my first class service include the same exact items as I’d get in high school in NYC for 35 cents. And I’m talking the late 90s here.
    Lucky, any thoughts on feasibility of selling warm cookies in coach? Warm cookies would sell – it’s not something that can be carried on!

  4. Let’s hope they’ve improved the menus on their long hauls to Sydney, Narita and Bangkok. They have a long way to catch up with the fine menus on Thai Air and Singapore Air.

  5. I have not flown United on Domestic routes much this year to experience this positive change on meal services.

    I am spoiled by LH’s Intra-Euorpean meals in my almost monthly intra-European travels.

    Starting in July, my travel shifts to United, and I am excited to see this positive change.

  6. @Coins, not all your readers know that the photos shown are for first class. Just a minor point. I’m imagining a new reader to this blog is thinking ‘wow, food in coach’.

  7. I recently got the improved meal service on a SFO-ORD redeye and was glad to see the change. The “Deli Platter” was a horrible offering with garbage cheese, disgusting looking sandwich meat, and never enough crackers. The new red-eye offering is at least a decent sandwich and is a good late night snack.. My only complaint with the new red-eye meal is the FAs the sandwiches are often reheated inconsistently with them sometimes being partially frozen in the middle.

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