United Airlines Announces New First, Business Menus for North America

By Paul Riegler on 21 January 2015
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United Executive Chef Robin Carr applies a finishing touch to a meal

United Airlines announced it will begin to serve all new meals and snacks on flights within North America in its first- and business-class cabins.

The Chicago-based airline said that, starting February 1, it will “elevate” everything on its menus from entrees to desserts to snacks for United First and United Business passengers.  It will also add meals to shorter flights, offer passengers a greater variety of choices, and expand its meal service offerings on mid-continental and transcon flights.

On shorter flights, those of at least 800 miles (1,287 kilometers), or of a duration of two hours and 20 minutes, it is adding meals.

The new choices include cage-free scrambled eggs prepared skillet style with pepper-jack cheese, sautéed pepper mix, sliced New Mexico sausage, potato gratin, and fire-roasted pepper sauce; lobster macaronic and cheese with a baked crumb topping accompanied by broccoli rabe; and chicken and sausage jambalaya with white rice and green onions.

Shorter flights that don’t have a meal service will get new breakfast breads in the morning and a rotating selection of 25 new snacks in the afternoon and evening.  Meals on flights of less than four hours will get new menu options including French toast soufflé, steel-cut oatmeal (both paired with fresh fruit and Greek yogurt), and entrees such as tandoori chicken with basmati rice and paneer will replace sandwiches served on these flights.

On longer flights, those between four hours and five hours and 19 minutes, passengers will have a choice of three entrees (up from two), including creole shrimp served with Carolina grits.  Transcon flights as well as those to and from Hawaii will see new entrees as well, including tamale-stuffed chicken wrapped in a corn husk, accompanied by creamy corn sauce, roasted red and yellow tomatoes, and yucca sticks.

The airline said it plans to offer new entrees on its p.s. flights linking New York with San Francisco and Los Angeles and will announce the menus for those flights later in the year.

The airline will also upgrade meals on United Express flights, replacing snack boxes with traditional meals on flights of at least 800 miles (1,287 kilometers) or a duration of two hours and 20 minutes, and offer new snacks on shorter United Express flights.

Without providing details, the airline also said it will enhance the meals served in coach on long-haul international flights, adding multi-course meal service, and will update its Choice Menu Bistro on Board buy-on-board service for domestic coach passengers.

United will also bake cookies on those flights on which meals are served including triple-chocolate chunk.  The cookies will serve as dessert on shorter flights and as a pre-arrival snack on transcon and Hawaii flights.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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