Can someone explain to me why United Airlines continues to slash domestic first class meal service?
Oh, I know. One word, right? Kirby. United Airlines’ President Scott Kirby is just doing what he attempted to do at American Airlines: cut his way to growth.
And first class fares have dropped so much over the last few years, perhaps this is not unexpected. But I haven’t seen cutbacks like this since my worst business class meal ever over a decade ago (in the midst of United’s bankruptcy).
I just wish United would issue a statement like this:
We’ve got to pay for our employee bonuses from somewhere, so we’re cutting domestic first class dining.
We’re slashing first class meal service because we know we can get away with it. Have you seen the slop they serve on Delta and American?
American Airlines, to its credit, has much more generous meal service windows and now allows for the pre-order of special meals and fruit/cheese plates on most domestic flights.
But as View from the Wing glumly pointed out, this is how United spins it:
We offer customers a more simplified meal service on flights under 4 hours. It’s not considered a full meal service because it has a smaller serving portion of the starter, entree and dessert.
Excuse me?! Really?
I might laugh if it wasn’t so pathetic. Now flights under four hours like a 3.5 hour flight departing at noon from Newark to Houston have been “snacked”. No more hot lunch option…not even a burger. Just a couple of paltry cold options.
You know first class catering is slipping when the economy class buy-on-board food is far better. I know I won’t be the only one requesting breakfast tacos or a hamburger from the back on a flight like this.
Despite rising oil and labor costs, airlines are still raking it in. In fact, U.S. airlines made more from baggage fees last year than any years in history. Times are good. And that’s the point: as long as United can get away with these cuts, they will continue to happen.