On the heel of the renovations that United announced last month, the airline has unveiled an expanded complimentary food selection, which will be rolled out throughout the domestic United Club network through 2015.
Exit the carrot sticks, cheese and crackers, and awkward trail mix with candy – the airline wishes to offer a fresh and healthy options. While the new fare may not match everyone’s definition of “healthy”, it is undoubtedly a vast improvement over the previous offerings.
Breakfast is expanded to include the following:
- Greek yogurt bar with assorted toppings, including mixed fruit and granola
- Old-fashioned oatmeal with assorted toppings, including cinnamon, raisins, honey and brown sugar
- Cage-free hard-boiled eggs with chives and paprika (peak breakfast hours only)
- Healthy cereals and granola with a choice of 2% or skim milk
- Plain and everything bagel sticks with assorted toppings, including cream cheese, fruit jams and Country Crock® butter spread
- Assorted scones, with flavors like cinnamon vanilla, blueberry and cranberry orange
- Spicy bloody mary trail mix with pretzel sticks and assorted nuts
- Fresh apples and bananas
Breakfast was already the highlight of the United Club offerings, so the change isn’t extremely significant. The main additions are hard-boiled eggs and oatmeal. The real difference lies with the all-day selection, which goes from virtually nothing to the following:
- Hummus with pita chips or pretzel thins, freshly sliced red bell peppers and Greek olives
- Cured sliced meats, including salami (limited-time offering)
- Artisan breads
- Hearty garden vegetable soup
- Cheddar cheese with wheat crackers
- Mediterranean grain salad with wheat berries, peppers, tomatoes and black olives
- Fresh corn and roasted red pepper salad
- Fitness trail mix with assorted seeds, nuts and dried fruit
- Salty ranchero trail mix
- Sheila G’s Brownie Brittle™
- Available condiments include salt and pepper, olive oil, Sriracha and Texas Pete’s® hot sauce
With these changes, United bridges the gap with Delta’s Sky Club offerings – which, incidentally, are extremely similar – and it leapfrogs American Airlines, although the latter offers a pretty wide array of cold and hot entrees for sale.
United also announced the expansion of the premium beverage selection, although complimentary drinks aren’t changing.
Overall, this is a welcome improvement, although it will take another eight months for the new offerings to be available throughout the entire domestic network, in part because of the need to upgrade the clubs with adequate food storage and serving areas.
United has now aligned with its main competitors, but it still lags way behind international airlines and the domestic American Express Centurion Lounges which offer full complimentary meals all day long.