One of the best gauges I have for picking up on travel trends are the emails I get from TravelSkills readers. And over the course of the last few months, I’ve been getting more positive emails (and photos) about United meals than before. Which means good things are happening in the those kitchens and galleys, I hope.
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For example, several readers have let me know that United’s new Lobster macaroni and cheese is an awesome new addition. And even though it might not photograph well, it reportedly tastes good!
“I recall a post you made recently that mentioned the Lobster Mac on United as part of their upgraded domestic first meal service. On my flight from ORD-SFO today it was offered as an option. I have to say I was hesitant, but the alternative was tofu, rice and peas. The broccoli rabe didn’t survive the reheat, but I have to say the mac was shockingly tasty. I ate every bite, as did the other folks sitting around me. On Monday I flew SFO-BOS and the meal was even better. Service started with a full-sized, mixed green salad with quinoa, followed by a great chicken dish with curry and rice with porcini mushrooms. All topped off with lemon sorbet!” –P.M.
I’ve long been wondering when United would move on from its standard breakfast omlette with the greenish triangle potato wedges. According to TravelSkills reader B.D. better breakfasts are at hand:
“Hey Chris: I knew you would appreciate a shot of United’s new breakfast on my flight from SFO to Atlanta today. It was a nice hearty portion, which I appreciated since I skipped breakfast in my rush to the airport today. I can’t remember what it was called, but it was really delicious mix of eggs, potatoes, sausage and sauteed veggies. Bravo to the new chef in Chicago! I’m not sure if this was a special flight or not, but I hope I get this again.” –B.D.
Update: T.J. wrote to us about the sandwich pictured above: “Yesterday from DEN-PHL had a choice of a cuban sandwich or salad with chicken (which looked sizable and edible from across the aisle). While the cuban appeared like a big blob of dough, it was actually quite tasty. I was surprised. The bowl was a cold salad (orzo?). Of course it probably had 5000mg of sodium to make it taste good, but it was good!”
Over on YouTube, Jetsetter describes his recent United meal like this: “There were three choices Lobster Mac and Cheese, Beef Salad, and Indian Tofu. I had the Lobster Mac and Cheese which was really good! The little salad was impressive. It was a mesclun mix salad with strawberries, mandarin oranges, and blue cheese in it. Dessert was the best thing. It’s no ice cream sundae, but I’m so happy to see ice cream back on these flights. It was a strawberry sorbet. Oh yeah the bread plate. I give UA two thumbs up. I also show the beef salad which the people across the row had.” JetSetter made a good video of the meal service here.
I do know that United has been announcing several changes in food service in the air and at its United Clubs, which we have diligently reported here. As a matter of fact, this week the carrier announced that starting June 1 it would enhance international economy class meals, providing three courses, and perhaps even more notable, that it would bring back complimentary wine and beer (sorry, boozers, the hard stuff is not included). Here’s what United said in a press release (regrettably without photos of the meals):
United added that on super long haul overnight flights, it will enhance the complementary pre-arrival meals, too: “Depending on the market flown, United Economy customers will receive a croissant with jam, a warmed sandwich or a hot meal served with fruit and a roll. On flights where a hot meal is available, new options, such as cinnamon-swirl French toast and a Tuscan skillet with scrambled eggs, will join current offerings.”
Related: Wake up and eat your ice cream! (Must see comments…)
So what do you think, hungry flyers… are meals on those long hauls on United or other airlines getting better? What do you think about the economy class meal service enhancements? Please leave your comments below!