Catering changes coming June 1; some good, some bad

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by Wandering Aramean, May 6, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. Wandering Aramean
    Original Member

    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

    Messages:
    28,201
    Likes Received:
    61,716
    Status Points:
    20,020
    One of the last steps in the harmonization of the products between the two subsidiary operations is that of long-haul, premium cabin meal service. June 1, 2012 is the magic date and some details are starting to become clear on what the approach will be. Alas, things will still not be completely harmonized.

    For BF service there will still be differences depending on whether you are on a 2-cabin or 3-cabin aircraft. For 3-cabin the appetizer will be pre-plated and only one choice versus two choices served in the aisle from a cart. Dessert will be sundae carts for all, but the petit fours are moving to be only in UGF, not in 2-cabin BF, and the cheese plate will be similar to the appetizers in terms of plated or from the cart depending on the aircraft configuration.

    From an entrees perspective everyone will basically have the same choices, regardless of cabin. For the sUA flights this means the BF customers will now have 4 choices, not 3. Generally an upgrade, I believe.

    They're getting rid of all the patterned china over time, switching to plain white dishes. And they're switching to the sCO wine/water/cordial glasses in BF.

    Overall I think this is an upgrade. The entree choices are definitely a step up. A bit annoying that there are still going to be inconsistencies in BF depending on what the cabin configuration is, but I understand it mostly has to do with galley configurations and space limitations so not much else which can be done there.

    Read more about the new United catering options here.
     
    iolaire, Golfingboy, mtbroxs and 5 others like this.
  2. ssullivan
    Original Member

    ssullivan Gold Member

    Messages:
    27,358
    Likes Received:
    60,275
    Status Points:
    20,020
    Only switching the glasses in BF or BF and GF too?

    Domestic F seems to only have the CO style glasses on sUA flights these days now, or at least on my flights over the past two months.
     
  3. Wandering Aramean
    Original Member

    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

    Messages:
    28,201
    Likes Received:
    61,716
    Status Points:
    20,020
    What I saw suggests that the wine glasses in GF are going to be different from those in BF.
     
  4. ssullivan
    Original Member

    ssullivan Gold Member

    Messages:
    27,358
    Likes Received:
    60,275
    Status Points:
    20,020
    Interesting. Is that the only difference with the glassware and china?
     
  5. Wandering Aramean
    Original Member

    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

    Messages:
    28,201
    Likes Received:
    61,716
    Status Points:
    20,020
    Well, they're getting rid of all the patterned stuff and going to plain white. And they're harmonizing the shapes of the plates in use across sCO/sUA operations.

    Other than that I'm not seeing anything I can put a finger on.
     
  6. Flyer1976
    Original Member

    Flyer1976 Gold Member

    Messages:
    28,247
    Likes Received:
    33,912
    Status Points:
    20,020
    GlobalFirst is supposed to get real Wine Glasses versus the small ones they currently offer in BusinessFirst & Domestic First.
     
  7. meFIRST

    meFIRST Silver Member

    Messages:
    928
    Likes Received:
    744
    Status Points:
    695
    Would be nice if UA would return to real wine glasses and flutes, circa lata 1990s in Global First today.

    I saw them when I was much younger riding United Connoisseur Class in the 90s.
     
    desamo and Flyer1976 like this.
  8. Wandering Aramean
    Original Member

    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

    Messages:
    28,201
    Likes Received:
    61,716
    Status Points:
    20,020
    What I'm seeing suggests that they will be keeping the ones currently in GF. Those are most definitely not the same as the ones in BF nor domestic service, but I also don't see an indication that they are different from the current GF service items.
     
  9. Gtitan
    Original Member

    Gtitan Gold Member

    Messages:
    7,069
    Likes Received:
    12,437
    Status Points:
    12,520
    Seth, as always, your contributions to this community, are great beyond measure. Thanks my friend. Now, these changes to someone like myself who don't eat on planes has zero impact, but hope others will like.

    Whenever I tell an FA "no thanks" on long haul flights to food, be they legacy CO or UA, the response is always the same. "You fly a lot with us, don't you?":D
     
  10. EWR764
    Original Member

    EWR764 Silver Member

    Messages:
    486
    Likes Received:
    580
    Status Points:
    670
    Not bad. It isn't really a wholesale improvement to GF, but what can you expect?

    The galley packout issues are understandable. On the IPTE 777-222, UA has about 1/2 the galley space for the BusinessFirst product (40 seats) as it does on the 777-224 (50 seats). UA is also reducing galley space on the 767-400s with the new configuration, but increasing the capacity of the cabin by 4 seats.
     
    Wandering Aramean likes this.
  11. stephenbgarvan

    stephenbgarvan Silver Member

    Messages:
    234
    Likes Received:
    86
    Status Points:
    370
    CO glasses already in use generally, and larger CO hot handtowels..
     
  12. ssullivan
    Original Member

    ssullivan Gold Member

    Messages:
    27,358
    Likes Received:
    60,275
    Status Points:
    20,020
    I think the biggest improvement to GF will be the new entrées that are supposedly coming. The presentation also has the potential to be improved, with a larger appetizer course served separately from the salad, ability to pick and choose on the cheese course, and also the ability to have the cheese course in addition to dessert (as opposed to cheese being a "dessert" option in the past in lieu of ice cream). If they go the route of the CO ice cream sundae carts, that's an improvement over the previous UA ice cream option, in my opinion.

    I'm disappointed that some service cuts exists with the BF cabin, particularly on three class aircraft, but I'm not surprised. It's far easier, and cheaper, to move some options from BusinessFirst to Global First, keeping the budget the same (or reducing it, simply because you have to cater so many fewer seats in First), and claim Global First has better catering, than it is to simply keep BusinessFirst as is and really beef up Global First catering instead. It's not how I would do it if I was in charge and free of the type of budget constraints they're probably given to work with, but then, nobody asked me. :p
     
  13. Wandering Aramean
    Original Member

    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

    Messages:
    28,201
    Likes Received:
    61,716
    Status Points:
    20,020
    They are going this route. :-:

    There won't be service cuts in the 3-cabin C cabin compared to today, but it won't be improving up to the level of the 2-cabin C quite as much as it could. Apparently this is mostly dictated by significantly less galley space for C on those aircraft more than anything else.
     
  14. dhammer53
    Original Member

    dhammer53 Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,574
    Likes Received:
    2,928
    Status Points:
    1,470
    OP, you're looking at this the wrong way. Having an additional choice means the likelyhood of being out of your choice when the FA asks what you'd like to eat. :p
     
    SC Flier, unavaca and goalie like this.
  15. ssullivan
    Original Member

    ssullivan Gold Member

    Messages:
    27,358
    Likes Received:
    60,275
    Status Points:
    20,020
    Definite :-:.

    Well, that's really what I meant. :) And the galley space issue does make sense; I know on the sUA 777s in particular the galley space is really out of proportion with the premium cabins; the small GF cabin has a huge galley up front, and the much larger BF cabin is stuck with the mid-fuselage galleys that are smaller.

    It just reinforces my belief that when I'm traveling internationally on award tickets, we'll go for GF on three cabin routes and BF on two cabin routes, always sitting in the best possible section.
     
  16. ssullivan
    Original Member

    ssullivan Gold Member

    Messages:
    27,358
    Likes Received:
    60,275
    Status Points:
    20,020
    Haha. If they cater it like they've been catering the sCO flights over the years, that will hopefully be less an issue. I've never not been able to get my choice in CO BF. I've not been able to get a choice (as in, we're down to one entrée option and you'll be having it, Mr. ssullivan unless you'd prefer not to eat) about 25% of the time on PMUA C flights, and have had limited choices on about another 25% of PMUA C flights. That means I'm about 50/50 overall on PMUA C flights for having all choices available. This is just on long-international flights; obviously on domestic flights it happens more often. But, my impression in the past, before the merger talk ever started, was that UA didn't cater the C cabin with nearly as many entrées as CO did, resulting in more passengers being told "Your choice is already sold out tonight."
     
  17. genemk2

    genemk2 Gold Member

    Messages:
    5,829
    Likes Received:
    14,570
    Status Points:
    11,070
    Any chance they'll bring back those instant noodles for the mid-flight snack on the trans-pac flights? They switched to a "pastry" which is much worse, and that's coming from someone who generally likes airplane food (even in Y).
     
    unavaca likes this.
  18. dayone
    Original Member

    dayone Silver Member

    Messages:
    579
    Likes Received:
    824
    Status Points:
    795
    I've held that same belief for a long time.
     
    desamo likes this.
  19. Wandering Aramean
    Original Member

    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

    Messages:
    28,201
    Likes Received:
    61,716
    Status Points:
    20,020
    What I'm seeing suggests that the mid-flight "snack" service to/from China will have the noodle service when it is offered.
     
    unavaca and genemk2 like this.
  20. ssullivan
    Original Member

    ssullivan Gold Member

    Messages:
    27,358
    Likes Received:
    60,275
    Status Points:
    20,020
    After they've got everything combined, I wonder if they'll bring back the monthly menus to the website like CO used to have?
     
    Ygor and desamo like this.
  21. Captain Oveur
    Original Member

    Captain Oveur Gold Member

    Messages:
    7,243
    Likes Received:
    14,058
    Status Points:
    12,520
    Sounds like a pretty good deal for the once-a-decade flyers who get their $99 upgrade at check-in.
     
  22. desamo

    desamo Gold Member

    Messages:
    9,320
    Likes Received:
    10,970
    Status Points:
    14,975
    Even so, I asked for a little bit (literally wanted a taste) and got half a glass. Ill advised on my current meds, sadly.
     
  23. Jslo
    Original Member

    Jslo Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,002
    Likes Received:
    2,649
    Status Points:
    1,445
    LOL! I almost forgot about United Connoisseur Class. I too used to fly it back in the 90's, lots of TransPacs. My company used to fly me in paid C or F, and I didn't even sign up for the MP/FF program lol. Ahhh the good old days and the naivety. I do remember it being alot nicer then in "C" than it is now in BF. AND what's funny is some of the cranky FA's I typically get these days transpac quite possibly could be the eager/energetic FA's I experienced in the 90's when they were in their late 40's and not sick of flying yet (!). Wierd to think of that.
     
    Flyer1976 likes this.
  24. unavaca
    Original Member

    unavaca Gold Member

    Messages:
    8,547
    Likes Received:
    11,224
    Status Points:
    14,495
    I really hate the CO glasses :( It's a shame they got rid of the UA tumblers.
     
  25. gobluetwo
    Original Member

    gobluetwo Silver Member

    Messages:
    806
    Likes Received:
    1,012
    Status Points:
    825
    Not on the other TPAC routes, though? That's too bad.
     

Share This Page