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The Points Guy shared an interview today with United Airlines’ Chief Commercial Officer, Andrew Nocella. In it, he talks about how United is improving food quality and that passengers are raving about dishes being introduced, but if you take to social media you’ll find a different narrative.
— Jenny (@JCT_212) November 2, 2023
View from the Wing published the gourmet treat above from Twitter/X user @JCT_212 of their Fruit and Granola plate. This is one of many on social media posts that illustrates that what the executive team thinks (and survey scores that it claims are “off the charts”) is not necessarily based in reality.
@united why would this be first class service? Chicken wrap that is completely frozen, unacceptable. No way to heat it on the plane. Offered the sodium filled snack boxes, I ate the grapes and the cookie instead. The crew was great, but why? Thanks Newark. pic.twitter.com/24yUTGonse
— Bill Rankin (@BillRankin1956) October 30, 2023
Another passenger (@BillRankin1956) shared a meal that was still frozen.
— sara (@yhprumaras) October 23, 2023
Here’s another satisfied customer (@yhprumaras).
— Megan not Meghan 🌊 (@meganbc) October 14, 2023
United could have at least not served a sticker cooked into this meal in its flagship Polaris (shared by @meganbc).
@united extreme negligence by the crew today in LA to EWR . served me Southwest shaker salad from menu, which was to be served Warm. They heated it in the same plastic container and you can see they served it to me in melted plastic container (toxic), I ate without realizing pic.twitter.com/1JTduSHgHk
— Abhay Sachdev (@AbhaySachdev2) October 12, 2023
Sometimes it’s not the food, but the melted container that adds to the culinary delight (@AbhaySachdev2).
It’s quite telling that United held a recent event around the changes to its Polaris bedding (more here) and offered none of the food from the Polaris menu onboard. United let its food quality drop to a level you’d find in prisons during the pandemic (more here) and has continued to deliver a sub-par product, even with “improvements.” Planes continue to be full and leisure travelers are buying premium seats. As long as this trend continues, catering will remain marginal at best.
Anthony’s Take: I have been frustrated with the food served by United for years now. Most of the changes being made still bring service to a level that was established before the pandemic (which was also not great). Anytime executives tout the catering at United, be assured that it’s lip service for a quote in the press.
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