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.
“Well clearly this United business-class cabin is way overstaffed” – said no one ever. Yet the airline seems to think so — beginning Feb. 1, 2019, United’s removing one flight attendant from the Polaris cabins on its 777-200s, 787-8 and -9 Dreamliners and 767-400ERs. The airline is also trimming the economy count by one crew member on international 757-200 flights.
As Gary Leff reports, United will begin pre-plating meals to compensate for the staffing reduction — it’s unclear how this will affect taste and presentation, in addition to the service flow, but the airline indicates that customers shouldn’t notice any change, explaining that “most of the meals are already plated and then cooked on board.”
United’s inflight services chief emailed flight attendants outlining the changes. SVP John Slater starts off by acknowledging recent adjustments to the Polaris service, including reducing three-tiered carts and scrapping the Bloody Mary cart. “Those were important steps, but there is more work to do,” Slater states. His full message is below:
While Slater suggests that the reductions may be at least partially intended to improve the airline’s bottom line, a United representative explained that the airline is “not removing or reducing the product on our United Polaris dining experience,” adding that “customers have told us that they value sleep when on board and this adjustment will help our crews more efficiently deliver meal service so customers can relax and sleep.”
Either way, flight attendants are not thrilled. And if history is any indication, crew members sometimes take their frustrations out on passengers — both on and off the plane. That’s assuming that the reduced staffing levels won’t directly impact the crew’s ability to deliver quality service — either way, you better believe we’ll be on the lookout beginning Feb. 1.
Know before you go.
News and deals straight to your inbox every day.
NEW INCREASED OFFER: 60,000 points! With great travel benefits, 2x points on travel & dining and a 60,000 point sign up bonus worth up to $1,200 in value, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great card for those looking to get into the points and miles game. Here are the top 5 reasons it should be in your wallet, or read our definitive review for more details.
- 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®
- Chase Sapphire Preferred named "Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption" - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, June 2018
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- No foreign transaction fees
- 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
- 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
- No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards