United announced meal service upgrades today with the biggest changes for domestic premium cabins.
- There will be new choices on premium cross country flights between Newark and Los Angeles/San Francisco and in international business class like roasted duck and flat-iron steak. These come to premium transcon flights October 25, no date was mentioned for international.
- Starting November 1 domestic first class flights over three hours that depart between 1:30 and 3:59pm will get lunch (it’s shocking that they didn’t already get a meal, actually).
- Hawaii and cross country redeye departures will get a meal service. That’s a long time in coming.
The new lunch service will include entree salads, something American brought back in May.
American Airlines Pecan-crusted Chicken Salad
They’ll offer “Napa salad with grilled salmon, goat cheese and fig and an arugula salad with Milanese-style chicken.”
The new redeye long haul dinner service from Hawaii will include hoisin short ribs with wasabi grits and stir-fried vegetables, and the Hawaii-West Coast and West Coast – East coast redeyes will get “hearty sandwiches after takeoff, such as a pretzel burger with bleu cheese dressing, arugula and pickled onions, followed by warmed pastries before arrival.”
Premium cabin United Express service will get new unspecified lunch, dinner and snacks and expanded lunch meal windows on flights over 3 hours.
They’ll also refresh economy buy on board options November 1:
Menu selections will include a Southwestern bistro scramble for breakfast and, for lunch and dinner, a rustic Italian sandwich and a French country-style bowl with slow-cooked beef, roasted carrots, onions, parsnips and steamed white rice.
Finally Latin America and Caribbean ‘business markets’ will get new dishes in December.
There’s nothing revolutionary here, although offering something a bit more substantive on redeye flights is long overdue (even if a ‘pretzel burger’ doesn’t exactly jump off the page as exciting). Delta continues to improve its meal service, and American made real strides after the huge cuts to meal service the airline implemented in September 2014. So United is having to invest a bit more, which is good for flyers.
Taken together with United’s announcement of a new domestic first class seat this is especially good to see.