United boosts onboard food service with new inflight offerings

Jan 21, 2021

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. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Since March 2020, airlines have drastically reduced their onboard food and beverage offerings.

Whether it’s due to anti-coronavirus precautions or cash-saving measures, don’t expect to be served a full, multi-course meal when seated in a domestic premium cabin these days.

Though U.S. carriers — in particular, Delta — largely stopped serving warm food and beverages onboard, some others, like American and United, have slowly started to bring some back.

Want more airline-specific news? Sign up for TPG’s free new biweekly Aviation newsletter!

The latest update comes from Chicago-based United, according to an internal memo shared by Brian Sumers and confirmed by the carrier.

Starting on Feb. 1, United will serve a new French twist croissant sandwich on all mainline domestic first-class flights longer than 2 hours, 20 minutes.

This warm sandwich will be available on all morning departures from all seven mainland hubs, as well as select outstations, including Boston (BOS), Cleveland (CLE), Fort Lauderdale (FLL), Fort Myers (RSW), Orlando (MCO) and Tampa (TPA). The croissant will replace the current turkey monte sandwich.

United’s current first-class sandwich and snack offerings (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

Going forward, the new warm croissant will join the existing rotation of sandwiches, like tomato basil and mozzarella focaccia and carved chicken on Italian flatbread, for first-class passengers flying from the aforementioned airports. United will also continue offering snack boxes with a variety of noshes on such flights.

For flights shorter than 2 hours and 20 minutes — but longer than one hour — first-class flyers will receive an “all-in-one” snack bag with a sanitizer, water and two snacks.

More: Here’s what food and drinks you can expect on your next flight

Beginning Feb. 1, international business-class flyers will receive an updated pre-arrival meal. United hasn’t detailed the new entrée, but the second meal will include refreshed side offerings, such as fresh fruit, a fruit cup, muffin, croissant or roll.

All meals, including the new offerings, will continue to be served in pre-packaged, sealed containers for customers to unwrap on their own.

The only bad news from the carrier’s policy change is the removal of seasonal hot chocolate from the onboard beverage offering. The remaining drinks available onboard will include coffee, tea, sodas, juices and water. Alcoholic beverages are served complimentary in premium cabins.

American Airlines also serves sandwiches in its domestic first-class cabins. Delta, on the other hand, continues to only offer pre-packaged snack boxes, as well as water, beer and wine — no sodas or hot beverages — when flying in premium cabins.

Featured photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Offer ends 11/10/2021.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer expires 11/10/2021.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
$250
Balance Transfer Fee
N/A
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

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.