By-Grant Martin: Improvements to United’s in-flight catering continue. Early this year, the Chicago-based airline announced that it was overhauling its meal service as part of a larger effort to improve the overall premium passenger experience. This week, the airline took another step towards improving meal service including expanded serving hours and updated menu items.
Updates to meal selections include the addition of dishes such as roasted duck and flatiron steak, while the main cabin will see light improvements to its paid selections.
United also plans to increase the number of hours during which it serves full meals to include a handful of afternoon and overnight flights. Previously, those routes were catered with only light snacks.
Past the marginal catering improvements, the updates show that United is investing further in the premium passenger experience. That sector has received a great deal of attention from the legacy domestic carriers over the last few years as profit margins from premium sales rise in contrast to stagnant growth from the main cabin. On top of catering updates, United, American and Delta have all invested heavily in new airport lounges, transcontinental service and improved in cabin amenities.
As part of that race, earlier this month United separately launched an initiative to relax its main cabin alcoholic beverage policy for top-tier elites. According to BrianSumers.com, the airline is now giving its 1K and Global Services members flying in the main cabin a free drink of their choice during each flight. Previously, elites were given certificates to use, but the policy cuts down on complicated logistics and better-competes with American Airlines and Delta Air Lines — both of which give free drinks to elites in coach.
Overall, the combined updates should mean a better experiences for elites flying on United Airlines.