United changes the way you’ll get your free snacks

Feb 1, 2020

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Who doesn’t love a complimentary snack?

Well, United just made an improvement to how it presents your complimentary onboard snack choices. Though the nosh fare isn’t changing, flight attendants will now be offering snacks choices in a basket presented to each customer. Previously, the crew simply asked passengers for their preferred choice without showing the options.

Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy

The airline moved to the snack basket presentation after receiving feedback from customers that they prefer seeing their choices before making a decision, a United spokeswoman told TPG.

On flights of 90 minutes or more, the basket of complimentary snacks will distributed from the gallery cart during the regular in-flight service. The snack basket will join the existing and more substantial buy-on-board Choice Menu items.

Photo by Zach Honig/The Points Guy

This improvement doesn’t impact what’s actually in the snack basket. The carrier will still offer a rotating selection of munchies, including pretzels, stroopwafels and recently-introduced Lotus Biscoff cookies.

I recently flew from LaGuardia Airport to Denver to catch a first look at United’s first retrofitted 787 Dreamliner.

My Premier 1K complimentary upgrade didn’t clear, so I was sitting in coach when I first saw the new snack basket. I personally much prefer seeing my choices before making a decision, so I was quite happy. I asked a few of my fellow passengers, and they agreed that the new presentation is a positive improvement to the carrier’s service flow.

United isn’t the only airline to serve snacks in a basket. Of the domestic carriers, JetBlue is perhaps the most famous for its complimentary snack selection and presentation. The airline offers an unlimited choice of five brand-name snacks, including Terra Sweet & Blue chips and Cheez-it Crackers.

Though UA isn’t upping its nosh fare, presenting them in a basket is a customer-friendly move. It’s time for other airlines to take note and do the same.

Featured image courtesy of United

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