Changes to Special Meals (Effective October 1st)

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by eap, Aug 12, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. eap
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    eap Silver Member

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    It looks like many of the special meals will be discontinued, as well as almost all special meals on flights within North America.

    From the AFA website:
    For the full article, see http://www.unitedafa.org/news/details.aspx?id=6430 .
     
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  2. eap
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    As a vegetarian, this is not the sort of "harmonization" that I was looking for. :mad:
     
  3. mherdeg
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    Yup, this is consistent with CO's policy of only offering special meals for (front cabin) transcons, Hawaii flights, and long international flights and (coach cabin) long international flights. (See http://www.continental.com/web/en-US/content/travel/inflight/firstclass/dining.aspx, http://www.continental.com/web/en-US/content/travel/inflight/economy/dining.aspx).

    I guess CO's only transcons are EWR-SFO + EWR-LAX, so it doesn't cost UA much more to continue to cater them.

    On both CO and UA, if an F passenger declines the meal (e.g. you're a vegetarian) and requests a snackbox, they're supposed to ask you to pay for the snackbox. This is a recent UA adoption of a CO policy, right?
     
  4. Scottrick
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    This makes *some* sense. I think a lot of the special meal categories could possibly be combined. For example, take away the meat and you'll have both a low fat/cholesterol meal AND a vegetarian meal. Most meals could have lower sodium given how much is put in almost all processed foods. And if you want low calorie, I'm not sure why a person couldn't just eat less. Yes, I'm sure I'm being insensitive as someone who will eat anything (except that butter and onion sandwich I was served on BA). But it's airplane food, not a Michelin starred restaurant.

    However, it does stink that they're not offering any special meals on the regular domestic flights. Limiting it to p.s. and international flights is about as bad as it can get. This from the airline (CO) that was the last to offer meals in all cabins.
     
  5. Flyer1976
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    That's correct...even if in First Class and there is no meal choice available they expect you to pay for the snack box or anything from the Buy on Board...
     
  6. Bay Pisco Shark
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    How broad is "Latin America" in this edict? A full fare premium cabin to EZE, etc, can't even get a special meal? I just hope my MM status continues to be of some meaning. Otherwise, little reason to favor this airline anymore.
     
  7. mrx900
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    in F, they should at least offer a vegetarian option, so that people who have religious dietary restrictions re: meat can be offered something in a premium class. Heck, even something with seafood will be suffice....
     
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  8. ande777emt
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    I think they mean Northern Latin America; the flights eligible for UDU/EUA, not the Int'l C/BF flights.
     
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  9. goalie
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    In order to cut costs and further $crew the loyal customer....... :mad:
     
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  10. HiIslands
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    On two very recent trips in United First I was given a snack box at no charge. Guess it depends on the flight attendants.
     
  11. From NYC
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    Sorry, but “take away the meat and you'll have both a low fat/cholesterol meal AND a vegetarian meal“ doesn’t happen if you substitute processed cheeses in place. Or piling on extra sugar items doesn’t make it low calorie.
     
  12. Scottrick
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    True, there are still ways to screw it up. But my point is UA could find ways to make a meal that is more healthy and meats several criteria. I know several vegetarians who aren't against eating animals but are trying to eat less fat/cholesterol/salt/calories. UA hasn't eliminated all special meals or all vegetarian meals. If I were running catering, I would certainly try to make the most people happy with the fewest number of special meal options. It just creates more opportunities to load the wrong meal or have a meal go wasted if a flight is missed.
     
  13. Flyer1976
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    I'm quoting verbatim from the current inflight SOP.
     
  14. Misplaced Texan
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    There will still be a vegetarian meal on transcons and international flights. Just not a lacto-ovo vegetarian meal, which I means both the vegan meal and Hindu vegetarian will be available.
     
  15. Misplaced Texan
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    The interesting thing to me will be whether the "select" transcon flights will include flights ex-IAD.
     
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  16. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    As someone who doesn't NEED a special meal for dietary or religious reasons but sometimes orders Hindu vegetarian because (in my experience) it often is more interesting/tastes better than the standard offerings, I am somewhat concerned about this change. While I recognize it's just airplane food (as Scottrick correctly points out), not offering ANY special meals and then charging for economy food boxes if a passenger on a catered domestic flight without special meal options can't eat the regular food seems rather rude... and indeed surprising considering the often touted customer service focus of PMCO.
     
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  17. From NYC
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    +1
     
  18. From NYC
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    I admit that the many choices were a bit befuddling before, and that some clarification is good. It’s just that if I’m looking for vegetarian or low fat, that doesn’t mean I want a super sugary, high calorie dessert, so long as it’s non-fat.

    And forcing someone who can’t get a special meal on a flight that’s serving meals to pay for a snack box is just the sort of Smisek-style nickle and dime’ing that’s just really getting on my nerves.
     
  19. bungalow1225

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    As a vegetarian P1 (will be 1K next year) I have a vested interest in this. The thing I don't understand is that they say "low volume" meals will be discontinued, and list VLML.

    But it says nothing about VGML, which has to be lower volume than VLML. So if the list is complete, then Misplaced Texan is correct and the vegan option will remain.

    I've received the tapas box as a courtesy from Economy on those (frequent) occasions when I was upgraded but my meal preference didn't "follow" my reservation from E+ to C cabin. I've never been asked to purchase the snack from Economy.
     
  20. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    That's as it should be (would anyone disagree with that?), but I don't see how that would help you on domestic "food flights" where in the future your meal preference wouldn't even be accepted as a choice.
     
  21. Bay Pisco Shark
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    Not really - shellfish / fish w/o scales doesn't pass muster.
     
  22. bungalow1225

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    Oh, I agree completely! Why is it so hard when you have two meal choices, to have one of them always be without meat/seafood? That would cover the VAST majority of vegetarians. (I know, Hindu, vegan, Halal, etc. are still up in the air - pardon the pun.)
     
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  23. EWR764
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    EWR-LAX/SFO/SAN/SEA/SNA/PDX/YVR, LAX-ITO/HNL, SNA-HNL/OGG, SFO-ITO, plus EWR/IAH-HNL are catered with essentially the same first service, which is a multiple-course meal with 3 entree choices. These domestic routes offer a limited selection of special meals in the front cabin.
     
  24. chrislacey
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    Saw this one coming from a mile away when they basically discontinued special meals on most hub-outstation domestic flights earlier this year. As someone who is on a gluten-free diet (medically necessary), this just plain sucks. In my case, I always find it extremely difficult to even find real GF food at an airport (I know lots of people say to just grab something before the flight).

    That said...it is pretty much status-quo to what the other US carriers do. United was the exception. In this case...it added real value for me (and other people who relied on their special meals). I've heard so many reports of people not getting their special meals...but that hardly ever happened to me...and only on a couple flights to outstations with no catering (like TPA) when I had made a change within 48 hours (but was still outside 24). Thumbs down CO!
     
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  25. From NYC
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    Didn’t see the list of what would still be available, but if GF food is no longer to be offered, that’s truly bad news.
     
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