This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Update 2/11/18: The airline has clarified that unfortunately the “wine arc” (re: wine flight) will be eliminated as well, though passengers can still request to try as many wines as they wish.


United Airlines confirmed that the airline will eliminate drink cart service in its Polaris international business class cabin beginning May 1 of this year.

Currently, these carts provide passengers with custom Bloody Marys and mimosas on morning flights — typically outbound from Europe, or daytime eastbound transatlantic flights — and wine carts on all other routes.

The wine carts offer a choice of six wines, and travelers can even order flights to sample three or all six vintages.

The official line from United is business-class passengers want more time to relax, and removing the drink carts speeds up beverage service.

United spokesperson Jonathan Guerin told TPG‘s editor-at-large Zach Honig today:

“This change is meant to increase the speed of the beverage service to allow customers more time for relaxation, which is what they have told us is their top priority. Removing the dedicated cart service will help speed up the service so customers can relax — Bloody Marys and the wine will still be available.”

However, United also admitted it was 300% over budget on wine this past spring in an internal email to its flight attendants as reported by View from the Wing:

Image courtesy of View from the Wing

Common sense suggests that if showcasing the wine offerings incentivized passengers to drink more, then the move to remove the carts may not be nearly as altruistic as United would have us believe.

Featured photo courtesy of Hero Images via Getty Images

Know before you go.

News and deals straight to your inbox every day.

2018 TPG Award Winner: Mid-Tier Card of the Year
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

NEW INCREASED OFFER: 60,000 Points

TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,200

CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
18.24% - 25.24% Variable
Annual Fee
$95
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.