Earlier this week I flew to London on United Airlines in Polaris (business) class. I noticed a small but meaningful change in the dining menu.
Each course now has a more detailed description. I appreciate knowing, for example, what kind of bread will be offered, what kind of cheese is on the plate, and what kind of salad dressing is served.
We now see additions to the menu like:
Warmed Mixed Nuts
Salted almonds and whole cashews
Assorted Breads With Butter
A choice of warmed bread rolls, including garlic bread, pretzel rolls, campo rolls, and potato rosemary rolls
(are these now considered separate courses?)
And a much more detailed dessert menu:
Assorted Cheese Plate
Tillamook 3-year aged vintage white extra sharp cheddar cheese, St. Pete’s Select blue cheese, Petit Brie de Chèvre goat cheese, cream crackers and fresh red grapes, offered with Graham’s 2012 Late Bottled Vintage port wine from the region fo Porto, Portugal
Signature Ice Cream Sundae
Creamy vanilla bean gelato served with a choice of toppings including hot fudge, butterscotch Carmel sauce, strawberry sauce, maraschino cherries, mini milk chocolate gems and whipped cream
Enjoy a selection of sweet treats from Eli’s Cheesecake, including mini apple pies, cookie butter swirl cheesecake bars and seven layer bars with coconut and pecans
Compare that to the old dessert descriptions:
International Cheese Assortment
Served with grapes, crackers and port
Served with a choice of toppings
Please as your flight attendant about today’s selection
Here’s the old menu:
And the new menu:
Why It Matters
Some may call this putting lipstick on a pig…or perhaps you can think of a more apt metaphor. Maybe it is just a space-filler.
The food is the same and I know it’s just a small change, but these help guide passengers and avoid receptive and unnecessary questions to flight attendants. Such descriptions also keep United accountable.
Some FAs are too lazy to warm up the mixed nuts. But when the menu calls for “warmed mixed nuts” it makes it more difficult to conveniently forget to warm them up…
Sometimes certain breads (like cinnamon rolls with breakfast) are withheld…I tend to think it more out of laziness than a desire for the FAs to eat them. Now we know we can ask for them.
Feel free to scoff that I found this newsworthy, but I like the more detailed descriptions and hope that it at least leads to more consistent warming of mixed nuts…