United boosts onboard food service with new inflight offerings

Jan 21, 2021

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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.

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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

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