United has suspended its “mandatory” express dining service on some late-night flights to Europe and is still testing out free meals in economy class on select Hawaiian flights.
In April, United began testing obligatory express dining service on select flights to Europe from Washington Dulles. The appetizer, salad, and main course were served on a single tray. Ice cream and petit fours were served from the galley rather than via cart. United initially cut the cheese plate and hot breakfast prior to landing, but brought it back last month.
Trial flights included late evening departures from Washington Dulles to:
- Dublin (UA126)
- Frankfurt (UA932)
- Lisbon (UA168)
- London (UA924)
Now we are in June and the trial has concluded. United tells me these flights are back to “regular” meal service, with the option for express dining.
Our team is currently reviewing customer feedback so that we can determine next steps.
I’m glad United is reviewing customer feedback, but I’ll add mine here. I think the experiment will only work if everyone has to participate. One person with the light on and clanking away on his cutlery against his plate will keep all those around him up.
Free Sandwiches Continue On Two Hawaiian Routes
I also asked about the complimentary sandwiches United offered in April from Houston to Honolulu and in May from both Houston and Chicago to Honolulu. Will that continue? Will it expand to Newark and Washington Dulles to Honolulu routes? I was told that for now, the status quo would continue:
We continue to test the free sandwiches from IAH-HNL and now from ORD-HNL. We’ll continue to gather feedback before determining next steps.
Even though the European market is far different than the Hawaiian market, offering meals on a 10-hour flight seems like a no-brainer, especially when Hawaiian and Delta do it.
United is in a holding pattern right now on both of these meal service items. As long as full a la carte dining is not in the cards, I’d like to see the mandatory express dining program expand to Newark and Chicago…just for the late night flights departing after 9:00 PM. As for Hawaii, let’s hope United expands its free meal service offerings.
What is your opinion on mandatory express dining or free meals on longer Hawaiian routes?