United Airlines’ First Class Burger & Fries…

United Airlines’ First Class Burger & Fries…

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Yesterday I flew United Airlines first class from Miami to Chicago, and I decided to pre-order what’s probably United’s most talked about first class meal, the “four-cheese skillet burger.” I figured I have to report back, since ordering this dish and writing about it is basically a rite of passage of being an airline blogger. 😉

Trying to serve a burger & fries on a plane is brave

I find airline catering to be endlessly fascinating. Not because the food is that great, but because the logistics are incredibly challenging, and because most airlines allocate small budgets for what they try to market as premium meals.

These are meals that are prepared in mass quantities in catering facilities many hours before a flight departs, and then they have to be reheated and served in a way that’s (hopefully) at least semi presentable. It’s no small task.

All that being said, I find the choices that airlines make with what they choose to cater to be peculiar at times. Not all dishes reheat equally well. The way I think of it, a dish that’s great on an airline would be one that would also be good as leftovers from a restaurant.

Some sort of curry or lasagna? Yeah, it’s usually pretty good the next day. A burger already on the bun? I don’t know about you, but I can’t say it’s among my favorites. Personally I’d prefer airlines serve more cold dishes, since you can have a high quality dish that’s tasty and doesn’t require heating.

But I also recognize that a lot of people just love comfort food when they fly… or maybe in general? Like, if you give people the option between a pretty good salad and a burger, a lot will choose the burger. It’s the same as how premium cabins make everyone a big drinker. “Of course I’ll have a bloody mary at 8AM, why wouldn’t I?”

So, how was United’s burger and fries meal?

I couldn’t help but order United’s burger and fries, even though I’m not someone who is much of a burger fan. In fairness to United, I had five pre-order options, and I would have otherwise gone with the harvest grain bowl, which actually sounds good. But I also couldn’t resist trying fries on a plane.

United describes its four-cheese skillet burger as being served with caramelized onion and jalapeño, and with a side of crinkle-cut fries.

United Airlines first class burger & fries

So, how was the dish? Honestly, I was expecting it to be worse. That’s not to say it was good, but it wasn’t to the disaster level of American’s “lobster roll” or American’s “turkey sandwich.” The bun wasn’t as soggy as I was expecting, and I guess the burger had some flavor because it was doused in cheese.

United Airlines first class burger

What I was most curious about was the fries. Honestly, they were exactly how you’d expect them to taste. They were pretty flavorless and soggy, but then again, potatoes of all kinds are tasty, right?

United Airlines first class fries

So is United’s burger dish good? No, not really, in my opinion. Is United’s burger dish bad? Honestly, it could be worse. But there is a certain irony to having a first class meal where the best thing you can say about it is that it’s not quite as good as McDonald’s, no?

I think it’s worth mentioning that during a recent Lufthansa first class flight, I ordered a beyond burger as the pre-arrival meal. This was actually very good, and that comes down to a couple of factors:

  • The airline serves chips as a side, rather than fries (realizing those can’t be executed well)
  • In Lufthansa first class they plate the burger onboard (so that the bun and patty aren’t loaded together), unlike in United first class, where it’s already all together
Lufthansa first class burger

Bottom line

I’m happy I had the chance to finally try United’s (in?)famous burger and fries, which are part of United’s first class meal rotation. Given the constraints of inflight catering, serving this dish seems bold, since it’s impossible to executive anywhere as well as on the ground.

I have pretty low expectations of catering in domestic first class, so in that sense I’d say this dish was fine. It could have been worse, but I also wouldn’t order it again.

What do you make of United’s burger and fries meal?

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  1. Steve Guest

    I had it last Wednesday. Other than it coming out so hot that I had to wait a few minutes to cool down, I really enjoyed the burger and fries.

  2. Santificus New Member

    It makes me sad to type this, but it seems like the burger might be no more. The last 3 flights I've had on United in 2024 have not had the burger as an option for either lunch or dinner. The originating cities were SEA, DEN, and IAH. :(

  3. KrumDriller Guest

    American offered a burger and fries in International First Class back in the mid 80's. Ate it many times between London Gatwick and DFW. It was especially good when paired with a Baskin and Robbins Chocolate shake- bought just before boarding.

  4. Anu Guest

    United beats lower expectations. Imagine being served a cold cheese burger in First Class. Even bread was cold, let alone hard cold cheese slice as I asked for vegetarian. Wish I had a picture to share

  5. David R Guest

    I tried the United First Class burger and fries recently between San Francisco and Newark. The burger was more substantial than I had expected and the quality of the beef wasn’t half bad. The cheese was generous and nicely melted and more flavorful than expected. The bun seemed nicely toasted and not at all soggy. The fries were surprisingly crispy and better than expected. All in all my experience was fine. Yes I would order...

    I tried the United First Class burger and fries recently between San Francisco and Newark. The burger was more substantial than I had expected and the quality of the beef wasn’t half bad. The cheese was generous and nicely melted and more flavorful than expected. The bun seemed nicely toasted and not at all soggy. The fries were surprisingly crispy and better than expected. All in all my experience was fine. Yes I would order it again. I do appreciate United taking a chance at a risky move. The burger was better than a chicken or pasta entre

  6. Jason Funke (United International Purser) Guest

    If you compare meals, a Lufthansa international meal to a domestic United meal is unrealistic. On the United international flights with the burger and fries, the patties get cooked separate from the buns, the fries get cooked for 40-50 minutes, allowing them to actually get crispy, which they can't do domestically due to the people expecting meals shortly after take off.
    Basically, please, as the saying goes, compare apples to apples and oranges to oranges.

  7. AJ Guest

    I don't think I ever had a positive food experience flying domestically. I think domestic flights are a failure and I treat them like I'm on normal public transportation, like a bus... Nothing special and it exists to take me to my destination. Even coast to coast are now short nap flights for me... Who cares and just take me to work.

    However, I am a frequent international traveler and I look forward to my...

    I don't think I ever had a positive food experience flying domestically. I think domestic flights are a failure and I treat them like I'm on normal public transportation, like a bus... Nothing special and it exists to take me to my destination. Even coast to coast are now short nap flights for me... Who cares and just take me to work.

    However, I am a frequent international traveler and I look forward to my international flight meals, especially on Korean Air and Japan Airlines (JAL I think is top notch here, they never disappointed me!). I purposely won't eat at the airport because I know I will not only get overfed on these flights, I can always get up and ask the flight attendant for more snacks or even ramen lol.

  8. Levinson Guest

    I too tried the burger and fries. The bun was so hard it was inedible. The fries were as you described them. Very disappointing.

  9. Mark Schifferli Guest

    I have been flying both domestically and internationally in all classes for 50+ years. Most enjoyable was a year or so on a Delta flight ATL to PVR in FC. They featured some boutique entrees from a renowned Atlanta chef. Her smoked seafood salad was memorable. So good.
    I am a frequent Delta customer. They are a cut above in food, beer and cocktails; reliably terrible wines. What gives?

  10. PHXFlyer Guest

    I still can't get over the mention of the harvest grain bowl. During COVID when Delta was serving those horrible boxed first class meals I was left with either the harvest grain bowl or nothing. How I wish I had chosen nothing. I have a hard time wasting food and was haunted for hours by the digestive distress brought on by the harvest grain bowl. Never again.

    1. AD Diamond

      I think those were quite tasty and healthy... maybe you need more fiber in your diet on a regular basis...

  11. Mike Guest

    I had the burger on united domestic fist class but it was a different version served on a pretzel bun. I was surprisingly impressed. However they served it with some kind of Mediterranean lentil side dish and not fries. Perhaps that was what made it better?

  12. Michael Guest

    United cancelled our flight from Denver to Vancouver after 7 delays then made us pay for hotel and got us to Vancouver 3 days later now don't want to pay for hotel Disgrace United

    1. VP Guest

      And you’re saying it here why lol go complain to them.

  13. World Traveler Guest

    @ Tim umb

    Delta has been serving a burger in F recently. Care yo tell us how they do it better?

  14. Aikezim Guest

    Funny how I read this after just having the burger this afternoon on a flight into IAD. Definitely agree that the burger was not good, although it wasn’t bad either. I first had United’s burger on a flight from DEN to HNL last year and it was pretty good. I think the big difference with this new burger is that it has way too much cheese that it made it soggy and very greasy. The fries left much to be desired.

  15. Alex Flores Guest

    I've had the burger United serves and I thought it was pretty good, it's not In-n-Out by any means but it was good

  16. JetSetFly Guest

    I had United burger a week and a half ago via pre-order. Did I regret my decision or what! It was disgusting. I’ll stick to Thai meatball next time. I was trying to be adventurous….what was I thinking….

  17. Vincent Guest

    The only burgers I’ve had with United are the Wellington Burger in Polaris Int’l Business and then the Polaris Signature Burger at the Polaris Lounge. The Wellington Burger was fine but it could’ve used more beef. The Polaris Signature Burger was excellent overall.

  18. glenn t Diamond

    A hamburger in first class? How déclassé !
    Then again, i'm not American.
    I recall some years ago on JAL they offered a DIY hamburger which you assembled, with written instructions, yourself of components supplied with incredibly long 'best by' dates!
    Gave it a try for the novelty value, but thought the end product less than stellar. Think it quietly disappeared off the menu pretty quickly unsurprisingly.

    1. François Guest

      Wow I completely forgot about the JL burger. I remember it when I flew NRT-ORD in Y back in early 2015.

  19. Andrew167 Gold

    “Of course I’ll have a bloody mary at 8AM, why wouldn’t I?”

    Ummmm…8am is exactly the right time to have a bloody mary! If I saw you order one at 5pm, I’d start to have questions about your decision making process…

    1. Ghislaine Guest

      HaHa… the US international crews often say: »it is always Happy Hour somewhere in the world. So we drank at any given time.

  20. Robert Fahr Guest

    A charcuterie and cheese plate would be my go to if it were on offer.

  21. EMMA. FA Guest

    They didn’t cook the fries long enough, I’ve been making these in Polaris International pre-arrival all month. They need to be cooked for at least 20 mins. I open the box first. Then they need SALT!!!

  22. Steven Guest

    Well, there you have it: a less appetising burger than McDonalds! Congrats!

    Fail.

  23. Syd Guest

    I was once woken up an hour before landing in Detroit on a Delta transatlantic flight in business - the sleep was great, mostly cause during my first meal I tried my best at finishing any and all alcohol they had loaded on board. I don't think I managed to, but, proudly and shamelessly, my result was more than respectable.

    I was offered a burger and I didn't even care to listen what the other...

    I was once woken up an hour before landing in Detroit on a Delta transatlantic flight in business - the sleep was great, mostly cause during my first meal I tried my best at finishing any and all alcohol they had loaded on board. I don't think I managed to, but, proudly and shamelessly, my result was more than respectable.

    I was offered a burger and I didn't even care to listen what the other option was - I'm extremely hungover, just give me my burger already.

    The burger tasted amazing.

    Never had a burger in-flight before or since. To anyone who wants to try it - I'd recommend my method, you will not be disappointed!

    (When you're sauced anything goes.)

  24. Zeek Guest

    United: We want to do an American staple for our next first class meal. Something that will get soggy by the time it is served. Like a burger and fries
    GG: Are you serious?
    United: Yes, but we're going for something like a premade 7-11 burgers. If it tastes like an MCD 1/4 pounder we went to fancy.
    GG: Okay and the fries. That's not going to turn out well. How about a side salad? or Chips?
    United: Just buy a bag of Ore Ida and call it a day.

    United:

  25. Greg Jones Guest

    I continue to question why we would even refer to United Airlines forward cabin as first class. It's hardly first class. It's nothing more than a premium economy class on most Airlines and if you want to rebranded as a business class go ahead but it hardly cuts it. Comparing United to Lufthansa which actually does have a true first class cabin and a business class cabin and a premium economy cabin and an economy...

    I continue to question why we would even refer to United Airlines forward cabin as first class. It's hardly first class. It's nothing more than a premium economy class on most Airlines and if you want to rebranded as a business class go ahead but it hardly cuts it. Comparing United to Lufthansa which actually does have a true first class cabin and a business class cabin and a premium economy cabin and an economy cabin then we have something to talk about. United Airlines is a failed Airline overall as are most North American Airlines when it comes to food and general service. Why when the rest of the world can do so much of a better job? It must be a cultural thing a bunch of lazy ass people we've created in this world who don't give a shit about anything anymore. Including the CEOs of all North American Airlines. As an added note it continues to perplex me as to why an American or a Canadian would fly either an American or Canadian carrier across the Pacific Atlantic or to South America when there are so many better choices. Loyalty programs? You're being fooled into believing they actually benefit you now. Those days are over.

    1. JetSetFly Guest

      I agree with you that domestic first class in United States should be called business class at best. It’s definitely not a first class product by any stretch. It’s really more like premium economy to be honest… The reason why Americans fly them is because lack of foreign choices. If you have Singapore airlines or EVA flying within United States, US3 will go bankrupt really quickly. But then again, if the competition is there, I’m...

      I agree with you that domestic first class in United States should be called business class at best. It’s definitely not a first class product by any stretch. It’s really more like premium economy to be honest… The reason why Americans fly them is because lack of foreign choices. If you have Singapore airlines or EVA flying within United States, US3 will go bankrupt really quickly. But then again, if the competition is there, I’m sure US3 will whip up to shape ASAP. Right now they offer “good enough” product because no competition. JetBlue has a very nice Mint product but it’s limited to mostly cross country.

  26. Jaded platinum Guest

    I don't need to eat the DL green chili rubbed cheeseburger ever again.

  27. Jordan Diamond

    I appreciate all of the bloggers trying this disaster of a meal to report back. It's always a must-read on every blog.

    Mcdonald's food is straight-up poison (sometimes it's the process of cooking mass meals that leads to its poisonous situations)...see how Mcdonald's cooks its fries, as one example.

    1. Victoria Guest

      Well, I watch other films of high end reviews of seriously high priced flights which always have great food - steaks included. So, I just think it is not preparing it correctly because we think it cannot be done within limitations.

  28. Kyle Guest

    Had this burger and fries on Sunday flying Polaris Business Class from Munich to Houston. Honestly the fries were soggy and the burger was burnt / melted to the bottom bun. Almost like it was microwaved too long.

  29. Jack Gordon Smith Guest

    I just flew Air France economy from CDG to Panama. I guarrantee that my meal was better than AA first class for two reasons. 1. Americans don't have a clue about food 2. In France it is a religion. I was offered champage before the meal was served and a quarter bottle of red to have with the tarragon chicken, which was excellent. Offered a cognac to follow and the charming stewardess gave me a...

    I just flew Air France economy from CDG to Panama. I guarrantee that my meal was better than AA first class for two reasons. 1. Americans don't have a clue about food 2. In France it is a religion. I was offered champage before the meal was served and a quarter bottle of red to have with the tarragon chicken, which was excellent. Offered a cognac to follow and the charming stewardess gave me a second bottle of wine, which I asked for. All included in the price of an economy ticket.

    1. KK13 Diamond

      Agree 100%. As my friends abroad would sum up, "Americans will anything in between two buns".. lol
      They have no idea about 'good' food. Anything sugary and cheesy doesn't make food taste good.

    2. Dave Guest

      That’s surprising. Worst international flight I ever had was on AF a few years ago. The flight attendants refused to answer the call button due to a service slowdown and huddled in the galley. If you wanted a glass of wine or water you had to walk all the way to the back of the plane and ask them for it. I will never forget that experience. I’ll take United any day over Air France.

    3. Mike Guest

      I have been in AF biz 14 times this year and the food is disgusting. The wine makes up for it.
      They serve this disgusting sandwich for a snack. It’s a cold hard bun with guacamole and sliced radishes. The steaks were all dry and overcooked.

      AA biz class food is WAY WAY better.

      I’m on SQ 21 the 17th in biz and I ordered the cheeseburger because murica’!

      I had...

      I have been in AF biz 14 times this year and the food is disgusting. The wine makes up for it.
      They serve this disgusting sandwich for a snack. It’s a cold hard bun with guacamole and sliced radishes. The steaks were all dry and overcooked.

      AA biz class food is WAY WAY better.

      I’m on SQ 21 the 17th in biz and I ordered the cheeseburger because murica’!

      I had a cheeseburger for a snack in Flagship First two weeks ago and it was excellent.

      It sounds like UA should ditch the fries for chips. They still have to be better than in and out fries. Barf.

    4. AD Diamond

      the Stewardess, @Jack? Did you just wake up from a nap that started in the 1970s? That would explain why you said Americans don't have a clue about food, as that was also true in the 1970s. There are three Michelin starred restaurants within two blocks of my house in the US and I'd put them up against any restaurant in France.

  30. Justastew Guest

    When I’m asked what I would suggest during order taking it is difficult for me to bite my tongue and not say “I would suggest purchasing a meal in the terminal”. There are times when I do all I can to make the food look presentable and be halfway edible but I still drop the tray and run becasue it’s embarrassing to serve some of these meals.
    Anyone who actually serves food on an...

    When I’m asked what I would suggest during order taking it is difficult for me to bite my tongue and not say “I would suggest purchasing a meal in the terminal”. There are times when I do all I can to make the food look presentable and be halfway edible but I still drop the tray and run becasue it’s embarrassing to serve some of these meals.
    Anyone who actually serves food on an aircraft could have warned that fries were not a great idea, but what would we know? We only prepare and serve it.

  31. John Guest

    ordered the burger on a recent flight to MCO. One of the worst burgers I've ever had. Bottom bun was already soggy. The patty was like a hockey puck. There was like 3 specks of jalapeno. The fries were even worse...probably equivalent to frozen fries you can pick up at the dollar store.

    The lemon roasted chicken thigh was equally as bad. It was uber dry (akin to an overcooked chicken breast). There was zero hint of lemon...the only taste was salt.

  32. IrishAlan Diamond

    I have to agree about curry being the way to go. I’ve had some pretty decent curries on UA and had an incredible near restaurant quality curry on BA out of LHR a few months ago. With many of the UK’s leading Indian meal manufacturers located near LHR it’s not hard to get quality right.

  33. Pudu Guest

    Given the general standard of catering I’ve struck on US airlines I’d absolutely avoid things like burgers. I’ve had two burgers in Cathay J and the difference in quality was weird. One was edible but something I’d have been annoyed to have paid for on the ground and one was actually very good and something I’d expect from a decent burger place. Both times the fries were a pleasant surprise.

  34. EthaninSF Gold

    Reminds me of back in the day, when Continental Airlines used to serve free meals in coach. I remember receiving a reheated "hamburger" prewrapped in plastic, like out of the frozen section in the supermarket. Those minds are still around at UA/CO. At this point United's catering is basically instant frozen entrees.

  35. John Guest

    Nothing will ever beat American's pimento loaf sandwhich they served during COVID. Foulest thing I've ever seen served on a flight and I've flown Aeroflot and China Eastern, which set new lows for foulness. I actually got sick eating one of them. RIP, pimento loaf, you tried to take me out but failed.

  36. Extraordinary1 Member

    It's obvious that American Airlines has the best catering, United's newest food option is just proves that.

    1. Thomas Guest

      Delta's often good too, especially out of BOS where I'm based. It's really just United that is awful.

    2. shza Gold

      Delta has also had a burger on its First class menu this summer, and it's actually worse than United's. None of the U.S. airlines have half-decent options in first, except JetBlue Mint.

    3. FJ Guest

      I fly American Airlines frequently and there premium cabin meals in the so called First Class Cabin leaves alot to be desired. In a recent AA Survey I suggest that the Director of Catering at American Airlines be fired due to the fact that American Airlines menu has not changed in 29 months !!!!!

  37. Zach B Guest

    A friend of mine who was a frequent flyer compared the meals on United to something you'd see in a hospital or senior home

  38. Bob Guest

    Agree with the author. I had my burger and fries a week ago flying DFW/ORD. I would not order it again. Part of the problem might have been our 2 hour departure delay - allowing the burger to sit for another 2 hours before serving. My bun was soggy enough that there was no way to eat it except to cut it up. Fries were firm but not tasty. The desert was the best thing on the tray.

  39. George Romey Guest

    Domestic meals in First now looks like something you'd get at Circle K. I'd take that Cheeseburger over what AA has been serving. Hard to screw up basis burger and fries.

  40. Cr- Guest

    It seems that certain bloggers really like the burger, fries. Did you really order 5 different meals and in the end selected the burger? If so, what happened to the other 4?

    1. Steven L. Gold

      > In fairness to United, I had five pre-order *options*

      Emphasis added

  41. Donna Diamond

    Disgusting mess that I’m sure tastes worse than it looks and that’s saying a lot. The airlines freeze prepared food, thaw it inflight and reheat, it’s not surprising it’s generally horrible. The best options are cold dishes, even a sub or panini sandwich would be preferable to this burger mess. Best meal I had recently was carpaccio on an AA Business Class flight. If I’m hungry, I eat on the ground before boarding any domestic...

    Disgusting mess that I’m sure tastes worse than it looks and that’s saying a lot. The airlines freeze prepared food, thaw it inflight and reheat, it’s not surprising it’s generally horrible. The best options are cold dishes, even a sub or panini sandwich would be preferable to this burger mess. Best meal I had recently was carpaccio on an AA Business Class flight. If I’m hungry, I eat on the ground before boarding any domestic F flight. As for the Impossible Burger, a 20 ingredient highly processed FrankenFood alternative to real beef is beyond disgusting.

  42. Mitch Rapp Guest

    I agree the United cheese burger I will not order again. The fries were definitely nothing to write home about either. I did how have the cheese burger on a Delta flight which I would definitely order again. You could even eat it with your hands.

    1. shza Gold

      I had the opposite experience, finding United's burger far less disgusting than Delta's, which had a distinct "organ meat/liver" note.

  43. Mike Guest

    You got very lucky. My burger lhr-ewr had at least a half ince of grease/oil in the bottom of the dish. Took 3-4 napkins to soak it all up. By then the bread was mush too. Yuck!

  44. Cas Guest

    Cathay Pacific used to do a good burger and fries as a first class, mid-flight snack. I was shocked the fries were excellent.

    1. BBK Diamond

      You brought me memories.. yes, I loved it.

  45. InternationalTraveler Gold

    Timely article … I ordered the burger one week ago in United Polaris as a pre-arrival meal before landing in the US - big mistake.

    From the description I envisioned something like the burger you had when flying Lufthansa, I saw something similar in BA F years ago.

    The burger I got served in United Polaris was worse than what you got. The bun was soggy, the patty/cheese was upside down and the...

    Timely article … I ordered the burger one week ago in United Polaris as a pre-arrival meal before landing in the US - big mistake.

    From the description I envisioned something like the burger you had when flying Lufthansa, I saw something similar in BA F years ago.

    The burger I got served in United Polaris was worse than what you got. The bun was soggy, the patty/cheese was upside down and the fires were both soggy and cold when the arrived at my seat. My set didn’t include the salad / burger garnish.

    I regretted my choice immediately. Lesson learned - I should have gone with the safer alternative, which was pasta and looked decent.

    1. Kyle Guest

      Not sure what the issue is, I think the cheese they put on it more than makes up for the quality of the burger itself--the blend is excellent. And keep in mind, this is domestic first class we're talking about. I don't think it's fair to compare it to long haul business/first class. For domestic first class in the US, I'm not sure it gets any better when it comes to hot meals. Also McDonald's is actual garbage, this is WAY better--not even close.

    2. Firstlast Guest

      Depending on timing, have a McD's prior to boarding or immediately upon deplaning.
      My thoughts on burgers and steak. Why order such ordinary meat when they can be better prepared at home.

  46. John Guest

    I took a recent Cathay Pacific flight in long haul J, and they had a burger and chips (fries) as an anytime snack. Although I stuck to the Asian meals, my friend decided to try and he said the chips were actually a decent quality and taste (crispy enough). This is also the airline that supposedly has slight catering quality in the post-COVID days.

    For people who are very busy and do not have...

    I took a recent Cathay Pacific flight in long haul J, and they had a burger and chips (fries) as an anytime snack. Although I stuck to the Asian meals, my friend decided to try and he said the chips were actually a decent quality and taste (crispy enough). This is also the airline that supposedly has slight catering quality in the post-COVID days.

    For people who are very busy and do not have time to lounge at the airport, the very least that US-based carriers can do is test and improve their food quality so people can have edible meals, should they seek it. I am also sure that those chips served on United are the ones found in the freezer section of supermarkets… talk about budgeting every penny possible to load the executives’ bank accounts.

  47. Ted Guest

    I wonder if planes could have an air fryer? They can reheat fries amazingly well in less than 5 minutes.

    1. Lara S. Guest

      I was wondering that too- why do they use the weird ovens they use? It has to be a space/energy consumption issue right? It just seems like they should either use or equip a different kind of oven that would work better for different kinds of foods or stop trying to make foods that don't do well in the oven they have.

    2. Scudder Diamond

      The kinda do. Air fryers are basically convection ovens on an Easy Bake scale.

    3. BBK Diamond

      Air Fryers were basically invented for the need of ovens in airplanes. So yeah, they have convection ovens.

  48. Gucky Guest

    I fly a lot LX EU short haul and never ever had a bad meal. It is cold food like Ben suggested and I even prefer it to the lounge food.

  49. Tim Dunn Diamond

    you truly do wonder what possesses United to think they can execute a burger and fries well on a plane. For the reasons that are noted in the article, it is impossible to make a pre-assembled heated sandwich taste good and be anywhere near comparable to a freshly prepared and served burger.

    I'm with Ben. A wholesome salad with warm bread is a good domestic first class meal.

    and contrary to what some people believe,...

    you truly do wonder what possesses United to think they can execute a burger and fries well on a plane. For the reasons that are noted in the article, it is impossible to make a pre-assembled heated sandwich taste good and be anywhere near comparable to a freshly prepared and served burger.

    I'm with Ben. A wholesome salad with warm bread is a good domestic first class meal.

    and contrary to what some people believe, commercial aircraft ovens are CONVECTION ovens - fan-forced hot air - not microwaves and not steam ovens.

    1. seanp78 Gold

      Agreed. Of all the bold catering moves that United should be attempting, a burger and fries is not it...

    2. DCAWABN Guest

      100% I'd prefer they get the basics right first - and for an extended period of time - before attempting some sort of culinary magic...which they fail to do time and again.

    3. Samo Guest

      Burgers are obviously a terrible choice but you can do much better than a salad on a plane. Just out of my mind, over the last couple of months I had minced patty with polenta, beef cheeks with dumplings, and roast beef on EU business class (OS, LO, LX) and all of those were pretty damn good. No need to go for a salad just because burgers don't work.

    4. Lara S. Guest

      Then that is even more horrifying that no one can do fries properly- they are supposed to be air fried/convection oven fried if you can't deep fry them. It must be the packaging/tray they use that doesn't allow proper air movement.

      Thank you for noting the type of oven- for some reason I too thought it was a weird steam oven they used on airplanes. Wonder how that rumor got started and spread so widely??

    5. JC Guest

      Tim - I'm sure you're aware that Delta also very often offers a burger in domestic First. It can sometimes be *ok* but I've also had it come out incredibly soggy and wet. I guess points to Delta for not attempting fries.

    6. shza Gold

      I was going to make the same point as JC. I've had both United's and Delta's "first class" burgers this summer and United's was a little better.

    7. Tim Dunn Diamond

      as I said, burgers are not for airline food. Doesn't matter who serves it.

    8. Heather Mc Guest

      Tim actually on some widebodies ( 777,787 and some of the ovens in 767) they are indeed steam ovens, or specifically that is the default setting . Narrowbody , correct that they are forced air. Some carriers do have some microwaves ( meaning one on the plane) on some fleet types as well ( not UA), but not used for large scale meal cooking.

  50. Better bring fast food Guest

    The method they have available to "cook" on a planeiis basically steaming. Whether it's a microwave or an actual steaming machine. Soup and curries. That's why Asian carriers win here. On United in eco for transatlantic, the snack is very often basically a hot pocket. Dough +weird meat +cheese. Weirdly some ppl ask for seconds...

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Tim Dunn Diamond

you truly do wonder what possesses United to think they can execute a burger and fries well on a plane. For the reasons that are noted in the article, it is impossible to make a pre-assembled heated sandwich taste good and be anywhere near comparable to a freshly prepared and served burger. I'm with Ben. A wholesome salad with warm bread is a good domestic first class meal. and contrary to what some people believe, commercial aircraft ovens are CONVECTION ovens - fan-forced hot air - not microwaves and not steam ovens.

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Samo Guest

Burgers are obviously a terrible choice but you can do much better than a salad on a plane. Just out of my mind, over the last couple of months I had minced patty with polenta, beef cheeks with dumplings, and roast beef on EU business class (OS, LO, LX) and all of those were pretty damn good. No need to go for a salad just because burgers don't work.

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Jack Gordon Smith Guest

I just flew Air France economy from CDG to Panama. I guarrantee that my meal was better than AA first class for two reasons. 1. Americans don't have a clue about food 2. In France it is a religion. I was offered champage before the meal was served and a quarter bottle of red to have with the tarragon chicken, which was excellent. Offered a cognac to follow and the charming stewardess gave me a second bottle of wine, which I asked for. All included in the price of an economy ticket.

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