United Airlines is bringing back complimentary snacks back to economy class on flights within North and Latin America beginning in February 2016 and it will be more than pretzels! Building on news that illy coffee will be brewed onboard and in United Clubs, United will add a “savory mix” of Asian or zesty ranch flavor on afternoon and evening flights and offer a stroopwafel pastry on morning fights (“a little bit of caramel heaven between crisp wafers” as United describes it).
Confession: I love stroopwafel and am really excited about a cup of illy coffee and a stroopwafel on a morning flight.
Those flying on flights departing before 9:45 a.m. will receive a morning stroopwafel – a Dutch caramel-filled waffle to pair with coffee, tea, or to enjoy on its own. Flights departing after 9:45 a.m. will offer packaged savory snacks, such as an Asian-style snack mix of rice crackers, sesame sticks and wasabi peas or a zesty-ranch mix of mini pretzel sticks, Cajun corn sticks and ranch soy nuts.
Why the move? Jimmy Samartzis, United’s vice president of food services and United Clubs explained, “We’re refocusing on the big and little things that we know matter to our customers and shape how they feel about their travel experience.” Might it also be that Delta also offer complimentary snacks?
Whatever the motive, every positive incremental change makes flying in economy more bearable and United should be commended for surprising many of us with an improvement in economy class that arguably (and I’m talking about stroopwafel here) is better than the cinnamon cookies, pretzels, or peanuts offered by Delta.
Keep in mind this will only be for North American flights because United already offers an “appetizer” of crackers and cheese in economy on longhaul intercontinental flights.
United will not win customers for this move, but if we continue to see a trend of sprucing up the onboard offering, United can earn back the business of discretionary travels who abandoned the carrier in past years due to the poor post-merger management.
More details here as well as a video to highlight the new complimentary snacks: