No special meals US-Australia on United?

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by PhlyingRPh, Jul 16, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. PhlyingRPh
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    PhlyingRPh Silver Member

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    After a 5 month embargo on flying UA, I thought I'd give them a chance and while I'm at it use up my last two SWU's on a trip to SYD this Aug. Half way through the booking, I noticed that there are no longer any special meals on the LAX-SYD flights. While I don't eat much in the air, I do have specialized dietary requirements, so I did not proceed with the booking. Thanks to my customer, I'm now booked in J on CX but am still very surprised that on such a long flight between two cosmopolitan and diverse cities, United feels it unnecessary to offer special meals.
     
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  2. desamo

    desamo Gold Member

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    You have to call. Edit: Not sure you have to, but I've only ever gotten them post 3/3 when I did.

    Here's the official policy.

    "Special meals are available on all international trans-Atlantic, trans-Pacific, intra-Asia and Micronesia flights. Special meals are also available on South American flights to Argentina and Brazil."
     
  3. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    The website doesn't display the correct information. Not sure why it's so hard for UA to (find the time to) fix...
     
  4. desamo

    desamo Gold Member

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    Well, it's not entirely correct as there aren't special meals on domestic snack flights, as an example, but that's not a transpac (except for west coast Hawaii flights, like my OGG-SFO flight). Do you have any evidence that there's no special meals on the transpac? (I've only flown NZ to Oz, so...)

    I have gotten special meals (in premium cabins) on SFO-OGG and JFK-SFO recently, though.
     
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  5. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    No, sorry, you misunderstood (or I wasn't clear). What I was referring to is united.com often displaying "No Special Meals" for flights where there are in fact special meals. What you quoted is correct -- there definitely should be special meals available for the OP's route (or transpac or TATL, or ...).
     
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  6. desamo

    desamo Gold Member

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    Oooh, yeah. Gotcha.

    The reference web page is correct so far as I know. I actually spoke with Shannon Kelly in person on this because I was gobsmacked I got a special meal on JFK-SFO in F. I hadn't known there were still domestic routes that offered them.

    Also, if you have mixed carriers, always call the other carriers to get your meal requests in.
     
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  7. desamo

    desamo Gold Member

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    I should also add: I have a standing Gluten-free meal request in my profile.

    That is NOT enough to get one catered even on a qualifying domestic itinerary. Thus, my SFO-EWR, EWR-SFO, and previous SFO-JFK flight -- all in premium cabins -- did not get them catered. I had to call.
     
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  8. PhlyingRPh
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    PhlyingRPh Silver Member

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    I see. Well, if that's the case, that glitch just cost UA a J class ticket worth approx $9,700. Given many of the changes over the past year, I took it at face value and didn't think it could possibly be a glitch.
     
  9. desamo

    desamo Gold Member

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    Fair point. I just sent a note to UA Insider about it.
     
  10. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Don't blame you for believing what the website says, especially since it's such an easy thing to get right. If they didn't display anything about special meals, it would be better than wrong information.

    Thanks!
     
  11. kansaskeith

    kansaskeith Gold Member

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    Let's see now. Is this where SMI/J says it's not a glitch in the system but a known situation going in, and they didn't realize it was so important to customers?

    Or, as we used to say when I was in IT 30 years ago, "It's not a bug, it's a feature!"
     
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  12. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    It's an expensive feature, as this thread shows.
     
  13. Sedosi

    Sedosi Gold Member

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    The wife is Celiac, so we ALWAYS call on Intercontinental flights JUST to make sure. Just in case they mess it up we bring GF food that's able to get through security just in case.

    I'm not sure if this kind of thing is very high on their radar. That's my feeling anyway. Air Canada had pretty good GF service, as did Aer Lingus. Oddly enough, USAir is pretty good as well.
     
  14. desamo

    desamo Gold Member

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    Me too. Glutino bars are my friend.

    I need to write up my tour of Emirates catering....

    Best I've had was KLM in Y catered out of Amsterdam. Second best was Swiss C catered out of Dubai (by Emirates).

    Where a gluten-free meal is catered out of is key; a lot of stations :)cough: SFO :cough:) think making food as bland and dry as possible (not to mention depriving you of butter) is a decent GF meal.
     
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  15. Jenny & Curt
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    Jenny & Curt Gold Member

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    Vegetarian meals, too, are often a challenge for some caterers --- "Give 'em a pile of rice and some margarine and they won't complain." must be written on some wall somewhere, next to the OSHA and minimum wage posters.
     
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  16. desamo

    desamo Gold Member

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    Except for Hindu vegetarian, there's only vegan offered. Also, nowadays one of United's meals is supposed to be vegetarian, so in theory it should now be easier to get a decent vegetarian meal on long haul.

    But yeah, your description sounds a lot like gluten-free meal catering out of SFO. :rolleyes:
     
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  17. Jenny & Curt
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    Jenny & Curt Gold Member

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    One of my LAN legs this spring had my husband eating a fairly good-looking business-class meal and me staring at an (I kid you not) Iceberg lettuce-and-nothing-else salad.
     
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  18. desamo

    desamo Gold Member

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    This is why I always bring snack bars. They may suck, but at least I can plan what I'll have, y'know?
     
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  19. Sedosi

    Sedosi Gold Member

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    Yup. Even as someone without diet restrictions I'm more often than not bringing something to eat on the plane just in case. I've been served some things that are barely identifiable as food.
     
  20. desamo

    desamo Gold Member

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    I just bring my homemade pudding through as "medically necessary."

    (Really.)
     
  21. FlyingFree
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    FlyingFree Gold Member

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    I would even be willing to pay for knowing that I will have a decent vegetarian meal waiting for me on every flight (are you listening, United?!).
     
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  22. myskyconnections

    myskyconnections Active Member

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    united...nothing surprises me with them anymore. sometime i feel like they do one step forward, two steps back.
     
  23. myskyconnections

    myskyconnections Active Member

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    but if you pay $$$ for a flight - then you should expect a great and safe experience...look at other airlines that do just that at a reasonable cost!
     
  24. desamo

    desamo Gold Member

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    Umm, what? Did you read the thread or only the title?
     
  25. myskyconnections

    myskyconnections Active Member

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    i did - and i stand by my comment: united needs to improve - in many areas.
     
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