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United improves onboard beverage service, trims Saks amenities

July 02, 2020
2 min read
United improves onboard beverage service, trims Saks amenities
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Earlier in the coronavirus pandemic, U.S. airlines began scaling back their service offerings, limiting alcoholic beverages in some cases, and eliminating inflight service entirely in others. This week, Delta announced that beer and wine would return on certain routes, and now United is expanding its alcohol service, including in economy on international flights.

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As Brian Sumers reports, and a United spokesperson confirmed, most United flights will offer beverages in all cabins, beginning tomorrow, July 3. Coffee and tea will return on certain flights as well, as will liquor in all premium cabins.

It isn't all good news on the passenger experience front, though. Beginning July 15, United will be reducing its Saks Fifth Avenue bedding on certain flights — that comfy Saks duvet will no longer be available in domestic business class, or in first class on lie-flat flights between the mainland U.S. and Alaska and Hawaii, with the airline offering a light throw blanket, instead. That same light blanket will be removed from international Polaris cabins, though I never found it to be necessary, myself.

Domestic business-class passengers will no longer receive a comfy Saks duvet. Photo by Zach Honig/The Points Guy.

While bringing back liquor in premium cabins is certainly an improvement, along with beverages on most other flights, I am a bit bummed to see United's super-comfy Saks comforters disappear from shorter flights — they've kept me comfy on flights to and from Hawaii, and on many a business-class transcon.

Related: Inflight service is resuming — here’s what food and drinks the major U.S. airlines are currently serving

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Featured image by You can use partner miles to book Polaris, too. (Photo by Zach Honig/The Points Guy)

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Best for the well-traveled foodie
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
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    Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

    60,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $250
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

There's a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It's been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you're hitting the skies soon, you'll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there's no reason that the foodie shouldn't add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

Pros

  • 4x on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x)
  • 3x on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex Travel
  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees