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

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

Earn unlimited 10x miles on hotel stays booked and paid through hotels.com/venture. Pair that with the Hotels.com Rewards program and you'll essentially be getting 20% off of hotel bookings! With the 50,000 mile sign-up bonus you can get up to $700 in value based on TPG's most recent valuations and you'll have the flexibility to transfer those miles to participating airline partners or redeem those miles on any purchase for airfare, hotel stays, car rentals and more.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Enjoy a one-time bonus of 50,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $500 in travel
  • Earn 2X miles on every purchase, every day. Plus earn 10X miles on thousands of hotels, through January 2020; learn more at hotels.com/venture
  • Named ‘The Best Travel Card' by CNBC, 2018
  • Receive up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®
  • Fly any airline, stay at any hotel, anytime; no blackout dates. Plus transfer your miles to over 12 leading travel loyalty programs
  • Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $0 intro annual fee for the first year; $95 after that
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
17.99% - 25.24% (Variable)
Annual Fee
$0 intro for first year; $95 after that
Balance Transfer Fee
$0
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.